Courtesy of Red Bull Media House
'The Alpinist'

‘The Alpinist’ explores the life of reclusive Canadian solo alpine climber Marc-Andre Leclerc.

J.D. Simkins  – August 9, 2021

If the trailer is any indication, what could very well be the biggest outdoor film of the year is poised to offer the sort of otherworldly imagery, heart-pounding thrills, and visceral emotion that have become staples of Red Bull productions.

From The Dawn Wall director Peter Mortimer comes The Alpinist, an intimate exploration of the life of reclusive Canadian solo alpine climber Marc-Andre Leclerc.

Renowned for his selfless approach to solo winter climbs of some of the most extreme ascents on the planet, including Patagonia’s Torre Egger and Mount Robson’s Emperor Face, the unassuming Canadian climber quietly gained a reputation among die-hard climbing enthusiasts as a phone-less nomad who preferred the philosophical purity of big mountain climbing over the blossoming mainstream publicity of the sport.

More Videos From Sunset

“As a young climber it is undeniable that I have been manipulated by the media and popular culture and that some of my own climbs have been subconsciously shaped through what the world perceives to be important in terms of sport,” Leclerc wrote in 2016. “Through time spent in the mountains, away from the crowds, away from the stopwatch and the grades and all the lists of records I’ve been slowly able to pick apart what is important to me and discard things that are not.”

Due to his quiet, off-the-grid existence, which subjects in the film’s trailer note is more akin to someone belonging to a generation long ago, capturing—and keeping up with—Leclerc’s unfathomable adventures posed immense challenges for Mortimer, whose award-winning film The Dawn Wall told the story of renowned climber Tommy Caldwell.

Chasing down Leclerc posed perhaps the greatest challenge yet for the veteran filmmaker, but the end result of intense footage in some of the farthest-flung corners of the Earth looks ready to paint a triumphant picture of the very best of the human spirit.

The Alpinist hits theaters Sept. 10. Check out the trailer above.

Read Our 2021 Harvest Issue Right Here!

Get one year of Sunset—and all kinds of bonuses—for just $24.95.