As the son of a sherpa, climbing—and David Lama’s attraction to big mountains—have been part of his life since his earliest days … and since then, he’s found a way to excel at virtually every discipline in the sport. Capable of pushing hard grades on rock, ice, snow, and in extreme conditions at high elevation, David easily ranks among one the most talented all-around climbers in the world.
In 2012, he, with the support of partner Peter Ortner, became the first to free the southeast face of Cerro Torre; once considered to be the most difficult route in the world.
This multi-year effort came with significant controversy after questions on bolting ethics were aroused during the first attempt in 2010. Despite this, David returned in subsequent years, ultimately left with no choice but to climb the route free in 2012 after bolts from the infamous Compressor Route were removed.
This short video—filmed over the course of those three years—takes a peek into the progression of climbing in David’s life, efforts on Cerro Torre, and his changing perspective on the mountains.
What we do in the mountains surely has nothing to do with Russian roulette. It’s more like poker. It’s really something you think about. You weigh out your chances. You only take the risk at the right moment … On the mountain, you must really overcome your weaker self. But in the end, you get paid back.
And for the full story, you can now watch the full feature film, Cerro Torre: A Snowball’s Chance in Hell, which has been released on Redbull TV for free.
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