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"Lightning Strike" - Arwa Tower

CHRISTINE KOPP, STEPHAN SIEGRIST, CHRISTOPH FRUTIGER

Switzerland / 2008 / 50'

An unusual film about the mountain: shot from Stephan Siegrist’s point of view, it deals with the story of two roped parties which, at the beginning of the summer in 2007, climbed the Arwa Tower, an extraordinary six-thousand peak situated in the Garhwal Himalaya, in India. The first roped party, including Stephan Siegrist, the Swiss climber of worldwide fame, Thomas Senf and Denis Burdet, aimed to climb the almost one thousand metres of the North wall, never climbed before. The party succeeded: after twelve days of wall climbing and overcoming countless moves of extreme difficulty both in aid climbing and free climbing styles, on June 7th the three climbers reached the summit. They named the route “Lightning Strike” (900 m., VI, M5, 5.9, A3), after the deep cracks in the lower part that were running through the rock like marks left by lightening. The second roped party was made of two women, Ines Papert and Anita Kolar, who wanted to repeat the enterprise made by a French party in 2002, the first to climb the long way on the West wall. Unfortunately, due to the very bad weather conditions, the two strong climbers were forced to abandon their attempt just 200 metres from their destination. In the film, Stephan Siegrist tells the story of the expedition in the first person.

Directors

CHRISTINE KOPP

After her studies, in 1991 she started to work as a translator, journalist and independent editor specialising in the field of mountain and tourism. She has written and published various book. From 1994 she's chief editor for the mountain section of the Swiss paper “Neue Zürcher Zeitung”

STEPHAN SIEGRIST

Stephan Siegrist was born in Bern on December 17th 1972 and now lives in the Swiss Bernese Oberland. He works as a carpenter and a guide. Today Stephan Siegrist is one of the most renowned climbers worldwide due to his amazing first ascents and new routes in Patagonia, on the Alps (particularly on North wall of the Eiger where he opened three of the most difficult routes for sport climbing), in the Himalayas and in the Antarctica. His films – especially the one on his successful expedition to Thalay Sagar, in India, in 2006 – and the pictures of his enterprises, whether they are those to the big walls in America, in the Himalayas, his ascents in Africa and Australia or the great routes all over the world, are well known internationally and have received many awards.

CHRISTOPH FRUTIGER

Christoph Frutiger was born on April 9th 1965 and now lives in Interlaken. After studying to become a teacher, he moved to New York where he attended school to become a cameraman. Once he finished his studies there, he started his professional career first in America, then in Munich (Bavaria Studios) and later in Switzerland. Today he works as a freelance cameraman; he collaborates with various Swiss and foreign channels, making commercials, fiction and documentary films. His prestigious collaborations as second unit cameraman include those for three James Bond films and a film by Steven Spielberg. He shot many films as director of photography for which he received several awards, including one at the Locarno Film Festival. In the past years he has specialised in new formats and in film productions for the big screen.

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