Canada’s Baffin Island has some of the highest potential for radical adventure in the world, with huge walls for climbing, plunging couloirs for skiing, and a vast, often-frozen coastline. It was just those walls that drew Dave Allfrey and Cheyne Lempe, veterans of big vert in Yosemite and Patagonia, but their expedition quickly turned edgy when the sat phone wouldn’t work and then they got onto their planned route only to discover rock after rock peeling off under their touch.
Apprehension, fear, and the desire to be somewhere else quickly come to the fore, at least for Lempe, who narrates this film with vulnerability and openness that’s rare, especially in heroic climbing films. Allfrey is perpetually keen, but Lempe is done long before things take a turn for the worse, and he wrestles with his uncertainty in a raw and touching manner.
“I’m honestly nervous to share such an intimate look at the scariest moment of my life,” he said, “but I hope it inspires everyone to go as big as they can and take a deeper look at why we do the things we love.”
Top photo by Cheyne Lempe