Mountain climbing is profoundly treacherous, which is all the more reason to sit in a theater where you can watch it in safety.

MeruThink of how you would consider Columbus, Cortez or those on Shackleton’s great adventure in the Antarctic. All of these guys looked death in the face as reflected by Captain Cook’s demise in Hawaii, Magellan’s meeting his maker in the Philippines, Henry Hudson’s sad end in what would come to be known as Hudson Bay as well as Astronaut Gus Grissom’s tragic death on the launch pad.

Meru is a documentary that reveals the dedication and psychological insanity involved with mountain climbing. It involves small guys who dare to do the near impossible. Focusing on a mountain of the same name in Northern India, the film follows three climbers, Conrad Ander, Grace Chin and Jimmy Chin, who conquered this 20,000 foot rock wall several years ago.

Meru involves a vertical climb to the summit that is as picturesque as it is horrifying. Our adventurers tried and failed to conquer Meru four years earlier, and they were dedicated to be the first to reach its summit.

The renowned author Jon Krakauer frequently appears with commentary. In addition, interviews with the climbers themselves reveals a vocation that has led each one to the edge of death. Furthermore, several close associates died in heartbreaking fashion over the years.

This is an engaging, terrifying movie where our adventurers film every step of the climb. Even had some died on the way to the summit, their last vision would have encompassed a magnificent panorama that few people will ever see. Magellan, Captain Cook and Henry Hudson would be proud.