This high-altitude action documentary follows a team of leading ultra-marathon runners’ journey to Bhutan to set a speed record on the world’s hardest trek.
Imagine running through 11 mountain passes, by the way, most above 16,000 feet and believing that you can complete the task in just a little over two weeks. Back in 2016, four athletes, Ben Clark, Timothy Olson, Anna Frost, and Chris Ord, along with a team of six guides/cooks and 21 horses, did it in fact in 15 days and 9 hours. This is an incredible feat since most that tackle the trail does so in a course of a month or more. It is worth noting that in Bhutan, the government mandates local guides.
This documentary is full of drama with the guides questioning whether it was possible for the trail to be completed in such a quick time. Other drama focuses on one of the runners having to be evacuated from the course due to pulmonary edema. Pulmonary edema can be fatal which is caused by the high altitude and it can cause the lungs to fill up with fluid. Then as you might imagine, the runners are also battling the weather, high altitude, and constant negotiations with the guides.
What I felt was interesting about this film is the landscape is not known for athletic pursuits and the athletes even mention that their study of the area was not complete. The cinematography was fabulous and the story well-told. This type of documentary will inspire you to go out and tackle your own outdoor goals if you’re an enthusiast such as a hiker, runner, walker, etc.
“The Snowman Trek” is only 81 minutes in length but it was impressive. The landscape was beautiful and you got a real sense of the Himalayas. Overall, I truly enjoyed it and I thought it was an impressive tale of perseverance in the face of adversity.