LAND OF MIST AND FIRE - EXPLORING THE PATAGONIAN ICE CAP
United Kingdom / 1978 / 52'
The Patagonian ice cap, situated on the southern tip of South America, must be one of the world's least explored places. This is quite understandable because it consists of twenty-four square kilometres of crevassed ice swept by wind and snowstorms. Welshman Eric Jones, Mick Coffey and cameraman Leo Dickinson trekked across this remote, dangerous land to climb Cerro Lautaro, a volcano in the middle of the ice field. Ater leaving an isolated sheep farm on the edge of the Pampas, the three exlporers took eighteen days to reach the ice cap. Despite being held up by bad weather for two weeks, Jones, Coffey and Dickinson eventually scaled the previously unclimbed Cerro Lautaro. Flushed with success they moved to another undiscovered peak which they quickly conquered and named Cerro Mimosa after the ship which brought the Welsh pioneers to Patagonia in 1865. On the way back to the Pampas Jones, Coffey and Dickinson found a novel use for parachutes they had originally intended for a drop on to ice - using a strong wind to pull their sledge.
He is considered one of the greatest filmmakers of sport adventure film. He has made more than 80films and collaborated in numerous films by other directors. In 1970 he began his climbing career on the North wall of the Eiger, taking his camera to make his first film on mountaineering. Over the years he has made many other films, on Mount Cervino, in Patagonia, on Mount Everest (where he shot Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler’s ascent without the aid of oxygen). In his film “Dudh - Kosi - The Relentless river of Everest” he documented the unpredictable flow of the highest river in the world winning the Great Prize in Trento in 1978. He was Chairman of the International Jury panel at the 40th Film Festival, in 1992, and again a member of it in 2003.