Montane's support of Magnetic Mountains has been invaluable - Menna Pritchard , Producer
Magnetic Mountains is a British Documentary film that Montane are proudly sponsoring. This inspiring film follows the story of an everyman, who after falling from an Alpine north face, is struggling to find a balance. Featuring some of the biggest names in mountain sports, it will explore the psychology of risk taking in the mountains, asking - is it worth it?
In October 2014, Steve Wakeford, an award winning sports editor, fell 70 metres whilst climbing a mountain known as Les Petites Jorasses in the French Alps. It was a fall that required him to be airlifted out of the mountains suffering from a number of serious injuries and resulted in him being temporarily left in a wheelchair - he is lucky to be alive.
Whilst in the confines of this wheelchair, and at the start of a long journey of rehabilitation, he began to ask himself some serious questions - "Regardless of injury or trauma, why are we drawn to the mountain's in the first place? Is risk an essential part of what we do? Our experiences from us, so do we perceive risk differently after an accident? Perhaps most importantly, why is it that I am planning to climb the same route from which I fell?
Unable to do any of the things that him "him", Steve lost his sense of direction and identity. He decided to pick up his camera and document his journey. And so, Magnetic Mountains was born.
After the trauma he suffered, and with the breakdown of relationship, Steve had to seriously reflect upon why he had put himself in that position in the first place, and why he was considering going back for more. In order to start finding answers, Steve decided to meet with some of the leading figures in alpine sports - household names such as Sir Chris Bonington, Tommy Caldwell, Steve House, Andy Kirkpatrick, Eva Walkner and iv Sansov.
But if anything, this process has led to him needing to ask further, more challenging questions - both of himself and the community in which he is a part of. Is playing in the mountains selfish? What impact does have on our relationship? Rather than equip us for everyday life, does our time in the mountains actually detach us from reality?
When he picked up his camera during his long and dark days of rehab, even Steve couldn't have predicted quite how much the next 18 months would have in store for him. Even now, as he prepares to re-climb the route from which he fell, he's discovering that perhaps the bigger mountains to climb are, in fact, at home.