Nepal/Sherpa CookMingma had been Iñaki’s cook during his expeditions for many years. Mingma had always been interested in climbing but Iñaki never encouraged him to take his interest any further. The cook has 2 sons, and, Iñaki always used to say that the mountains could easily take their father away from them. Mingma did what he could to help his friend in danger: amongst other things, he used his feet to make a plateau for the helicopter to land on. 


Rumania/DentistOver the course of the last decade Horia Colibasanu has climbed his way to an elite position as one of the leading Himalayan climbers from his country. In 2004 he became the first Rumanian to reach the K2 summit (8611m).Horia was Iñaki’s climbing partner and the first person to raise the rescue alarm. Horia stayed at Iñaki’s side at 7400 metres on Mount Annapurna, for three days and three nights waiting for the rescue team to arrive. 


Switzerland/CarpenterUeli Steck is known throughout the climbing world not only for his extraordinary talent but also for his fearlessness. He has been awarded the Piolet d’Or, the climbing equivalent of an Oscar. He was the first to solo climb Cholatse (6440m) and Tawoche (6505m) peaks in Nepal's Everest region. In 2007, he set a spectacular new speed record after climbing Eiger’s legendary North Face in 3 hours and 54 minutes.Ueli was the first rescuer to arrive on the scene after Horia sounded the alarm and the only one to see Iñaki alive. 


Kazakhstan/Captain of Kazakhstan’s national mountaineering teamDenis Urubko is part of the elite group of Snow Leopards -an award given to the few climbers who have ascended all five 7,000m Russian peaks in less than 42 days-. This soldier-adventurer has climbed thirteen of the world’s fourteen 8000 meter high peaks and holds the record for fastest 148 thousand meter peak climb.Denis had traveled with Iñaki on several expeditions prior to the Annapurna attempt. He was resting in Kathmandu after an expedition to Makalu when Iñaki fell in and rushed to his aid with oxygen as soon as he heard the call from his comrades on the mountain. 


Russia/Industrial engineerAlexei is a member of the Russian national multisport team (adventure races) and is a national champion in high altitude climbing. He was twice awarded the Piolet d’Or and the Order of Courage. He climbed Everest in 1998 and again in 2002 without the aid of artificial oxygen. Alexei is known to his climbing comrades as The Mutant because of his super-human endurance.Alexei was fighting his way doggedly onto Annapurna´s summit when Iñaki fell ill. He came to help immediately but was forced to camp just 400 meters above his sick friend as he severely weakened. 


Russia/RetiredOne of the all-time Himalaya and Karakorum veterans, Sergei has climbed a dozen 8 thousand meter summits and won the Snow Leopard award four times (for climbing all five Russian 7000m mountains in less than 42 days). He was awarded the Piolet d’Or for his part in a 1993 Russian-British first ascent of Dhaulagiri´s notorious north face (8167m).As a mountain rescue specialist Sergei has lead more than 20 rescue operations and there are many climbers who owe their lives to his experience and determination.He had been on Annapurna with Alexei Bolotov and was recovering from frostbite in Kathmandu when the alarm was sounded. Iñaki couldn’t have asked for a better man coordinating the rescue effort from the city.  


Poland/DoctorRobert describes himself as a high mountain shaman. He did his doctorate on the influence of the high Himalayan environment on climbers and is a member of the International Society for Mountain Medicine and the Wilderness Medical Society. He is the co-author of several mountain films and has taken part in expeditions in Kyrgyzsan, Nepal and Pakistan.Robertwas in Kathmandu celebrating a successful attempt to conquer the summit of Dhaulagiri (his debut over 8000m) when he heard of Iñaki’s plight. As a mountain specialist he rushed to help with a hyperbaric bubble (used to stabilize people suffering from acute mountain sickness). 


Romania/PhotographerAlex Gavan is driven by the spirituality of the mountains. "Climbing mountains outside", he says, "is about climbing mountains inside". Alex has climbed the same number of 8000 meter peaks as Horia Colibasanu. Alex has conquered Cho Oyu, G1 and Makalu.When the call for help went out, Alex had been on an expedition to Makalu but he rushed to Annapurna to help. Unfortunately he became disorientated in the gathering mist somewhere near Camp II. 


Romania/GeologistMihnea lives in London buthad his first contact with the mountains when he was five in Romania, where his father worked as a geological engineer. He has had a lot of experience climbing the Romanian Carpato peaks and the French Alps. His first Himalayan experience was on Makalu.He had been on an expedition with Alex Gavan, and it was on his arrival back in Kathmandu that he learned of Iñaki’s plight on Annapurna. He immediately offered his assistance.  Mihnea reached Camp I in the rescue helicopter and then trekked to Camp II with the sherpas. 


Canada/Mountain Rescue Team member (Bishop)Canadian Don Bowie, has spent four climbing seasons in the Himalayas and has been on expeditions in Nepal, Pakistan, Tibet, Africa and Latin America. As a qualified Search and Rescue expert he had teamed up with Iñaki and Horia for their Annapurna south face first attempt. Don separated from the others during the course of the climb.As soon as he heard about Iñaki’s problems, Don hurried back to take part in the rescue and was able to get into position to offer support from Camp III, just one position below where Iñaki was located, at Camp IV. 


Canada/NurseCalgary-born mountaineer and Iñaki’s girlfriend. Nancy coordinated the entire rescue operation between Kathmandu, Spain and Camp IV from the Annapurna’s base camp she was staying at. "It’s like walking that razor’s edge between life and death", says Nancy. "But as much as I accepted the risks and knew that Iñaki accepted the risks, you can still feel that anger". 


Nepal/Director of a trekking expeditions agencyNima is the founding director of Cho-Oyu Trekking, a private company with more than 20 years experience, which facilitates the organization of expeditions for both tourists and professional climbers in Nepal. He lives in Kathmandu and has worked with the best mountaineers in the world. Nima knew Iñaki well -not only as a client but also as a friend-. His work keeps him in contact with the best pilots and sherpas in the Himalayas. His Kathmandu office was the HQ from which the entire rescue attempt was coordinated. It was Nima who asked the Russian pilot, Valery Gubanov, to get involved in the rescue operation. 


On the south face of Annapurna, at 7,400 metres, Iñaki Ochoa de Olza is dying. His rope companion sounds the alarm. And, from the other side of the world, the biggest rescue attempt in the history of the Himalayas gets underway. For four days a dozen men including some of the best mountaineers in the world, from ten countries, set out to try to rescue their stricken comrade.


Even beyond his peaks Iñaki is an exceptional man. As exceptional as the rescue attempt itself and the men who risked their lives to save him. Exceptional because their one driving rule is to live.


To live in the only way possible: with pure intensity and honesty.


Pablo Iraburu & Migueltxo Molina


Arena Comunicación Audiovisual &


Gender: Documentary

Duration: 81'+52'

Shooting format: HDCAM

Projection format: DCP, DVD, MP4

PABLO IRABURU director, screenwrite & executive producer

My work as a film producer has grown from many different roots. My career took a radical turn when I founded Arena Comunicación Audiovisual, a documentary production company specialising in human interest stories. Arena´s activities have taken me to film in very diverse parts of Asia, Latin America and Africa.


My experience as co-producer and co-director of 'Nomadak tx' helped me to discover the enormous potential for universal interest in what can be simple stories of individual experiences. Then began the search for a new story that would allow me to take this theme much further.


And now it has arrived. The great story of the rescue of Iñaki is as spectacular as the life of the man himself. Iñaki loved to climb: I love to make movies. For this season I see this movie as a gift... and also as an enormous responsibility. 

MIGUELTXO MOLINA co-director & co-screenwriter


After studying Communication Studies and Masters in UCLA in Los Angeles, I've been working mostly as an editor and photographer in various production companies. My beginnings were more geared towards fiction, but over time I was part of several teams with the highest projection in the documentary genre.


My experience as a filmmaker was defined when I joined the staff of Communication Arena. Although I started as an editor, I gradually gain more experience behind the camera until he reached a turning point: the possibility of co-directing with Paul Iraburu the story about the attempt to rescue Iñaki Ochoa de Olza, on Annapurna.


A lot of things coincided. As a journalist, the first interview I did in my life was precisely to Iñaki, back in 1996. Turns out it, I was a friend of his younger brother Daniel Ochoa de Olza, with whom I shared desk at the time of the school. And it was true that Inaki had always been a reference in the world of the mountain, which I had always practiced as a hobby. Being the co-director of the story of his rescue was like closing a circle.


The Iñaki's story is fascinating, his life was an example of perseverance and passion for the mountains. We are of the same city, and curiously mingled our lives at different times in our stories.


The opportunity of co-direct this movie was the best present I have never had: an illusion and an honor. 

IGOR OTXOA Executive producer

We´re setting off from a good base camp; advantage of being good friends who have worked together before. The world needs to know people like Iñaki, to understand that you can live without fear, with honesty, opening your eyes to the world and your arms to the people. 

MARGA GUTIÉRREZ DÍEZ Director of production

I have travelled through half the world producing documentaries for Arena Comunicación. The story of the rescue for Iñaki Ochoa de Olza is the latest gift for me. Coming soon to cinemas! 

ITZIAR GARCÍA ZUBIRI Head of production

We´ve made 3 promises to Iñaki´s familiy. We must remain faithful to his philosophy: we are achieving that; this story is full of people with great values. That his message should be shown to the world. That it earns a lot of money for SOS Himalaya. I´ll do whatever I´m capable of. 

RAÚL DE LA FUENTE Director of photography

I see this project as a gift. Also a challenge because Pablo was looking for an special type of filming. He had very fixed ideas on how it should be done and I was enthused by his vision. Sombre, elegant, beautiful. Complex, high-quality, high-definition whith fixed cinematic lenses. 

MIKEL SALAS Original Soundtrack

The movie has several elements that motivate me: the events are true, I can count on the confidence of the director to create with freedom and also the motivation that comes from the target of the profits, makes movie sounds better than ever.