The Everest of Volcanoes - solo in a vast barren land
Documentary exploring one of the last wildest places on Earth - the highest volcano Ojos del Salado in the Atacama Desert of Argentina.
This is your chance to travel vicariously on a solo extreme endurance challenge through a barren desert to the summit of the highest volcano on Earth. Can we do it?
At just under 23,000' high, Ojos del Salado is The Everest of Volcanoes. On the eastern shoulder below the summit cone is the highest lake on Earth at just under 21,000'. This peak is deep within the Atacama Desert, along the border of Argentina and Chile, one of the driest and most inhospitable places on Earth. This journey requires a 40 mile trek just to arrive at the base of the mountain. When the climbing is done, it's a long 40 mile trek back out to the nearest highway. Along that apparently empty wasteland will be found some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, yet it's seen by only a handful of people in a decade, let alone a year.
Remote regions such as this one are vanishing all too quickly in our modern urban and cultivated world as civilization and climate change drastically affect our wilderness areas. Virtually forgotten and unknown landscapes such as this deserve our attention and observation to preserve at least the memory of what was once there. Hopefully efforts to document them can help us seek to protect and preserve them for future generations to enjoy and possibly tread lightly within.
You have the opportunity to come along as my companion in spirit as I run, walk and hike this rugged trail. My past skills and experience as an indie and commercial filmmaker will be put to the test as I set out to document this amazing journey so that I can share it with you, and the rest of the world.
Now you can own a piece of it on an autographed DVD.
Between February and June of 2015 I intend to make a documentary of the trek all the way to the summit in a solo unsupported athletic endeavor of epic proportions. I will be recording it from the very beginning to obtain key shots to edit into an outstanding production.
- Return to Civilization
Mountain Film Festival Entry
Upon my return to my home at nearly 10,000' of elevation in Colorado I will create a first draft edit to present to an outsourced editor to create a project worthy of competition in a Mountain and/or Extreme Endurance Athletics Genre Film Festival.
Outcome of Project
The outcome of this project is a completed 80-90 minute video of current film festival quality ready for acceptance. The end product to the consumer, and to you, my Kickstarter supporters, will be a streaming video of this project and possibly an autographed DVD.
What are you paying for?
This project requires that I arrange for the acquisition of additional lightweight expedition-worthy video and charging equipment. It requires that I transport it to Argentina by air and to the road crossing hut near Fiambala (nearest town) by ground transportation.
I will use that equipment along the trek to record my progress and any noteworthy events that occur, including accident, incident, injury, weather and other hazards that would appeal to a broad documentary audience. Additionally I hope for success, serendipitous moments and awesomely gorgeous scenery.
Upon my return to the States with the equipment, the video files will need to be transferred to an editing computer and backed up, then sorted and arranged into usable clips.
At that time an experienced editor will be brought in to assist in creating a finished product worthy of entry into internationally acclaimed film festivals and other regional mountain area fests.
Finally, the streaming host service will be selected and DVD's created, with the press and media packages required for entry into the film festivals being applied to.
Initial estimates are that $30,000 will sufficiently cover the expenses listed for acquisition, transportation, and editing, to create a festival worthy product in the period between February and May 2015.
Video, below, from the 14,265' summit of Quandary in Colorado, in a snowstorm.
What do you get out of it?
At the very least knowing that you have contributed to a unique expedition documentary. You also get social media exposure for yourself or your business, and depending on your contribution, various credits, pages, and bios on my websites and listings in the movie credits.
Most of you would have access to the streaming version of the final product, and some would receive an autographed DVD. Finally some could have the opportunity for a private pre-premiere screening, catered in Summit County CO (not including transportation and lodging/dining).
Ultimately though, you'll have the opportunity to live an extreme endurance challenge vicariously through the production of this documentary that you can watch at your leisure without even leaving your home or office.
- $4,000 additional video gear, charging gear, accessories
- $6,000 transportation, including baggage, shipping, duties, taxes
- $10,000 professional video editor services
- $6,000 Rewards, DVD's, streaming, festival expenses
- $4,000 miscellaneous contingency
I will save a lot of the editing expenses by doing my own cutting and selecting of the raw video files to eliminate hundreds of hours of the professional editor's time.
If Kickstarter produces additional funds they will be applied toward the editor first, since the editor has the most impact on the success of a documentary project.
I'm Charles Miske, and I'm climbing the Seven Summits and the Volcanic Seven Summits. Ojos del Salado is one of the Volcanic Seven Summits. I've climbed Kilimanjaro in Africa and Orizaba in Mexico as my previous accomplishments on the list of Volcanic Seven Summits. Additionally I've climbed Carstensz Pyramid in Indonesia, one of the most difficult of the Seven Summits. I took 5th place in Elbrus Race 2013, an international glacier mountain speed ascent. Several of the competitors DNF (Did Not Finish) and DNS (Did Not Start) due to severe weather on the day of the race.
Ten years ago I was involved in the indie film-making scene along the Wasatch Front near Provo UT, and participated in a number of productions running a camera and editing as well as writing several scripts for indie productions and commercials for local video stores and outsourced to clients of a marketing company.
Currently I'm a published author with 12 books to my credit including the Seven Summits Quest Series. The story of this climb will become Volume 5 after four previous successful entries. Check it out on Amazon HERE.
I have discussed the logistics of this route, including the limited sources of water, climate conditions and GPS waypoints to mark significant landmarks and potential campsites with a mountaineer who has done portions of the route I intend to follow. MAP HERE
I had the opportunity to observe the workings of the production of a documentary featuring an elite endurance athlete in a mountain setting while sharing a hut with Kilian Jornet and his crew at Elbrus Race 2013. I was able to discuss panoramic and action shots with members of the crew, and view some of their footage. This was an exciting opportunity for me to learn and grow, and renewed my interest in creating such a documentary as this one.
Physically and mentally, I've been preparing for this project with mountaineering and trail running training including winter trail running since 2010. I will be providing access to blog posts about my preparations and link to them for all of you to share the experience.
One way or another this will be an exciting documentary with several options for forks in the road on the way to completion. Going into it with eyes wide open for opportunities to acquire key video shots will enable me to build a vast library of files to be edited to suit the outcome of the endeavor, whichever forks in the road it takes along the way.
Please be sure to check out the pages for this project on my blog HERE where I'll be posting regular updates on training and preparation, as well as maps and glossary entries as the project progresses.
Risks and challenges
Weather and Health
These will play key roles in the success of the project. In 2013 I successfully climbed Carstensz Pyramid with popped cartilage in my sternum after a serious fall during the 6 day 60 km trek. Summit Day required 5.8 level climbing on steep jagged limestone cliffs in spite of limited strength and mobility in my right arm. I am no stranger to adversity of a physical nature, and am prepared to turn it into great footage.
Weather can only be prepared for, but with the limited weight I can haul with on the long trek I will have to multitask my clothing and gear options to be as efficient as possible, yet retain a margin for error to ensure safety.
Traveling with video equipment is risky at times, and with enough backup gear spread out in enough baggage, possible to get at least the minimum necessary gear back and forth to the location.
Digital storage needs to be kept in close proximity to the traveler to protect the most important aspect of the finished product, the video files.
"Is it possible to do a light efficient fast-packing expedition 40 miles with approximately 14,000' of elevation gain and 2600' of elevation loss, then reverse the path for another 40 miles with 14,000' of elevation loss and 2600' of elevation gain?"
That's the big question here, and the documentary is designed to reveal the answer to that question. I'm doing everything I can to run under adverse weather conditions and unstable footing. I'm sorting my gear and preparing for the smallest lightest load I can reasonably carry while moving quickly.
This is a combination of an extreme athletic endeavor requiring a balance of strengths and abilities, along with the technical proficiency in setting up shots in a limited amount of time with a limited amount of gear, while keeping everything charged and running in a hostile environment. It is a challenge I am avidly preparing for even as I type this.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)