Film gives closure to climber's family

Irishman Ger McDonnell, died on K2, widely regarded as one of the most dangerous mountains in the world. Photograph: Patfalvey.com/PA Wire

Irishman Ger McDonnell, died on K2, widely regarded as one of the most dangerous mountains in the world. Photograph: Patfalvey.com/PA Wire

Sun, Feb 24, 2013, 00:00

Four and a half years after his death on K2 the family of Limerick mountaineer Ger McDonnell got some measure of closure this afternoon with the Irish premiere of The Summit.

The award-winning documentary, shown as part of the Jameson Dublin Film Festival, casts lights on the tragic events in early August 2008 when 11 climbers died after they summited the world's second highest peak. Using a combination of footage shot by climbers at the time and scenes recreated in the Swiss Alps, it shows that the 37-year-old, who the day before became the first Irish climber to conquer K2, died after rescuing a group of Korean climbers and their Sherpa. Shortly after Mr McDonnell and those he rescued were swept away by avalanches.

“The reason we as a family got involved in this was that Ger had one motto,” McDonnell's brother JJ McDonnell, told a sell-out audience after the screening at Dublin's Savoy Cinema. “He'd rather nothing was said than an untruth so we owed this to Ger, because the untruth had come out first.”

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