September saw the arrival of RIVA film in Kenya, here to film a re-enactment of the Judmaier accident on behalf of Servus TV and Red Bull. Mt Kenya’s slopes were honoured to have some famous faces on the film crew. Not only was Gert Judmaier and Oswald Oelz here themselves but the whole shoot was directed by Reinhold Messner. All three of these men have accomplished great things in Mountaineering all over the world, especially Messner who has made the summit of all 14 of the 8,000m peaks without Oxygen, and the first on Mt Everest. An incredible achievement.
The story being filmed goes something like this: In the 70’s Judmaier fell on Batian, Mt Kenya whilst climbing with Oelz. He broke his leg and Oelz was unable to move him, he descended Batian to look for help. Judmaier waited on the rock face for around 9 days, he nearly died before he was rescued. At the time the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and the Mountain Club of Kenya (MCK) had no rescue team, several climbers including John Temple climbed up to Judmaier to help, providing clothing and food. Eventually the father of Judmaier paid for the Austrian mountain rescue rangers to fly to Kenya and get his son off the mountain. Judmaier survived the ordeal because of the courageous efforts of his friend Oelz, the MCK and the KWS.
Mt Kenya owes a lot to this great story. We now have a first class mountain hut near to the summit of Point Lenana called ‘Austrian Hut’ and a fully equipped rescue team supported by the Austrians.
It has been our pleasure to host this group on Mt Kenya and we hope that the film is a great success. A big thank you to Tropic Air who did all the Aerial photography and to VeiwFinders for the joint effort in making this shoot run smoothly here in Kenya.