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Follow a handful of diverse hikers as they walk 2,663 miles along the Pacific Crest Trail. They begin in April at the U.S. Mexico border and battle their way through bone-dry deserts in Southern California, icy mountain passes in the High Sierra and the torrential rains of the Pacific Northwest. 5 months later, they may reach their final destination in Canada. Equipped with cameras to record their video journals, they give us an insider's view into what it takes to spend half a year living in the wild. From Billygoat (chronic hiker and John Muir look-alike) to Scott Williamson (the world's greatest endurance athlete that no one's ever heard of), their collective tales illustrate the power of wilderness to transform, renew and inspire.Written by
I watched Tell it on the Mountain on the suggestion of a friend. As a lukewarm hiker myself, I was a bit dubious when she told me how eye opening and inspiring the movie would be. But I watched it. And, to be honest, I was drawn in from the first minute and left not only inspired, but touched by the sincerity of the material. Although a lukewarm hiker, I'm an avid fan of documentaries. Tell it on the Mountain brought out the best of the art form.
With the backdrop of the PCT, several thru-hikers and trail angels take center stage in the arching narrative. Personality is certainly in abundance with the hikers. The most venerable of the crew, a man in his 70s called Billygoat, garners the respect not only of his fellow hikers, but of the audience. My favorite thought from Billygoat was when he posed the question to himself: "What will you do when you can't thru-hike the entire trail anymore?" He answered, "Then I'll do half the trail. When I can't do half, I'll do a quarter." This piece really captured the spirit of the story.
Beyond the personalities, the photography fits the grand scope and beauty of the locations. And the interjection of hand-held cameras from the individual hikers' points of view stirs imagination, at least for this viewer. With all the ups and downs (not everyone finishes their goals on the hike), Tell it on the Mountain captures what it means to be adventurous. The fascination is in the details, so I hesitate to add more (I want to talk about the Uranium water for example!), but, believe me, this documentary is multi-layered and holds enough substance to capture a wide variety of viewers, not just the hiking set. Watch it!
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