In March this year South African ultra-runners, Ryan Sandes and Ryno Griesel, braved sub-zero temperatures, frost bite, exhaustion and starvation to set a new Great Himalaya Trail (GHT) FKT in a time of 24days 3hours 24min covering a staggering distance of 1504k. Joining Ryan and Ryno on their journey was a SPOT Gen 3 satellite tracking device, which proved an integral tool in not only their safety but also the filming of their documentary – Lessons from the Edge – by film maker Dean Leslie from Wandering Fever.
“Logistically, this was one of the most complex shoots I have ever done. Having the SPOT tracking and being able to physically see the dot moving was integral to this trip. In fact I would be inclined to say that it would have been almost impossible to have documented their journey without SPOT!” says Dean Leslie from Wandering Fever. “When we had no comms for days on end it was our only source of “communication” with Ryan and Ryno. We were able to see from the live tracking exactly where they were and if they were safe or not, along with that we were also able to plan our weeks and gauge what sort of distances they were covering each day.”
The film sees Sandes and Griesel traverse heavily snow-covered mountains and experience incredibly extreme weather conditions unusual for this time of the year along the way. They suffered frost-bitten fingers, serious tummy bugs, breathing difficulties and a couple of near death experiences. A constant on the route, however, was the incredibly welcoming spirit of the Nepalese people who truly embody the spirit of Namaste, and welcomed the both of them into their homes.
“There was no way we could have attempted a challenge like this without SPOT and its tracking,” explains Ryno Griesel. “SPOT allowed us share our journey in real time with the rest of the world, logistically plan our routes and allowed us the confidence to push boundaries, knowing that help was always on hand!”
Lessons from the Edge makes it world premiere on Red Bull TV on Tuesday 04 December 2018.