VIDEO: First Ascent of Rungofarka

The first ascent of Rungofarka (6495 meters) in 2017 via the peak’s north ridge.

By Tino Villanueva | August 17th, 2018

In the autumn of 2017, Alan Rousseau and Tino Villanueva climbed the North Ridge of Rungofarka (6495 meters) for the peak’s first ascent. Below, Villanueva offers some background on his short film about the ascent:

I (Tino) made this movie about that expedition to Northern India’s Jammu and Kashmir region. I am a mountain guide by profession, pseudo-pro climber, enthusiast cameraman and amateur cinematographer/editor. In the making of this movie, I fulfilled most all of those roles.

Alpine climbing is a fringe sport, and this, a passion project. On this trip (and others like it I have done) it is just me, my climbing partner, and our cameras. There is no crew, no support, no set shots. The footage here is simply what we can manage to get while climbing, belaying, or otherwise trying to make upward progress. As such, some of the footage presented is bouncy, muffled, or otherwise imperfect. It is my hope that you will look past the imperfections and view this experience as “authentic.”

My goal in making this movie was to transport people into what an alpine climbing expedition is really like. Most of the time spent on an expedition is actually not climbing at all. It is traveling, planning, positioning, logistics, and, mostly, waiting. Waiting to acclimatize, waiting for weather, for conditions, for the perfect moment – because otherwise, without the stars aligned, a difficult alpine style climb is not happening. You spend a lot of time just hanging out with your climbing partners. In this type climbing, it cannot be overestimated how important compatibility with a climbing partner is. Alan and I have spent an inordinate amount of time together in tents, waiting for our moments to strike, so I apologize if our humor, aged over numerous expeditions, is only funny to us.

If you enjoy climbing, mountains, adventure, international travel and a goofy sense of humor, I believe you will be entertained by the adventure presented here.


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