Completion on Meru
By Nick Cunkelman
Listen to climber-filmer-artist extraordinaire Renan Ozturk talk about what he’ll be showing at 5Point this year and you get the sense that there’s much more to climbing for this Boulder, CO resident than just, well, climbing. In speaking of his ascent up Meru Central in India via the Shark’s Fin last October, for instance—for which he and climbing partners Jimmy Chin and Conrad Anker were 2012 Piolet d’Or nominees—Ozturk doesn’t fail to mention that Meru is the center of the universe in the Hindu religion, or that the sacred Ganges River finds its source near the beginning of their climb.
Combine these details with the fact that Ozturk himself was involved in a near-deadly ski accident five months prior to October and that the same trio had climbed the same route in 2008, only to come 150 meters short of the summit, and you only begin to see the big picture. Yes, this climb was much, much, more than a climb. It was a journey beyond any previous human limits. It was a first ascent, the recovery of all recoveries, topped off with the courage and loyalty to do it over again—and this time, to make it.
“I’m super excited to present the Meru story with Jimmy at 5point this year! It will be the first time that we will tell the full story, complete with never before seen video from our experience,” said Ozturk.
Ozturk and Chin will be on hand to present a sneak peak of their film, House of Cards, and to speak about their experience with the Shark’s Fin ascent. (Anker will be on Mt. Everest.) This will be Ozturk’s third time at 5Point, having previously shown his As it Happens and Living the Dream in 2010, films about climbing Tawoche in the Himilayas in “real-time” as 100,000 people around the world follow online, and about his own daily life as a climber and filmmaker, thus him living the dream, respectively. In 2011, in addition to screening his On Assignment and Towers of the Ennedi, Ozturk showed Life of Leo—a film centered on a 19-year old climber and farmer who shares his concerns for the future of climbing in Cuba and through which offers a glimpse into the differences between climbing stateside and in the small Caribbean Island.
Ozturk’s Samsara, about the trials of the 2008 Shark’s Fin attempt where he, Chin, and Anker spent 19 days on the wall with seven days of food, won the 2009 Charlie Fowler Award at MountainFilm in Telluride. (Samsara is the Sanskrit word for the endless cycle of birth, suffering, death and rebirth in Buddhism and Hinduism.)
“Beyond the nitty gritty of the  climb,” said Ozturk, “We hope the convey what it was like to pick ourselves back up for a second try after the most serious and humbling failure of our lives. I couldn’t image a better community to share it with.”