Everest - The Hard Way - About the film

Is it possible to climb the hardest route on Mount Everest in Alpine style? Chris Bonington, the most famous British climber, named this route The Hard Way and stated it is impossible. It became a challenge for four Slovak climbers. In 1988 they started their hardest way with no escape.

story by: Marek Ťapák
directed by: Pavol Barabáš
length: 52 min.
cast: Chris Bonington, Ivan Fiala, Peter Habeler, Peter Hámor, Marek Holeček, Milan Skladaný
year of production: 2020

When Chris Bonington and his team set out in 1975 to climb the South West face of Everest they were attempting the ultimate challenge of mountaineering - to conquer the steepest and highest face in the world. Many international expeditions had tried to climb it in previous years. In August 1975 18 members of the British expedition with the help of Sherpas and suplementary oxygen succeded to reach the top. Chris Bonington was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1976 in recognition of this successful ascent of Everest. 


Bonington called the route leading through the South West face - the Hard Way. He wrote a book with the same name and it became bestseller all over the world. He writes: "In Himalaya the Alpine style of climbing is prefered more and more. Without suplementary oxygene, fixed ropes and Sherpas. In the South West face, however, it is not possible." 

His reflection on the Hard Way became a challenge for the young mountaineering generation. The climbers from Slovakia set the Hard Way as their goal. Is it really impossible to climb it in Alpine style?  

All remarkable events appear as a madness at the beginning. People rode their boats into unknown, walked through endless snowy moors, climbed into the depths of the Earth. And some of them were attracted by the heights - to the highest mountains of the world. By the hardest ways. To find out what a man is able to... 

The realization and distribution of this film was financially supported by the Slovak Audiovisual Fund.  

This film has been produced in a coproduction with Radio and Television of Slovakia. 

Filming location