The names of two Upper Clutha climbers have been linked
with a plan to recover the body of an American climber that has
lain in the ''death zone'' on Mt Everest for 18 years.
Scott Fischer was one of eight people, including New Zealand
guides Andrew Harris and Rob Hall, who died in the Everest
blizzard on May 10-11, 1996.
Christchurch-based Paua Productions has been granted $737,110
from a joint New Zealand On Air and New Zealand Film
Commission fund to make a documentary about the recovery
Adventure Consultants chief executive Guy Cotter and Lake
Hawea mountaineer Lydia Bradey have been linked with the
proposal, however Mr Cotter told the Otago Daily Times
yesterday it was too early to comment on his availability.
A press release from the two government agencies said funding
had been confirmed by the boards of both agencies for
Christchurch-based Paua Productions' documentary Back From
The Death Zone.
''The programme follows two of New Zealand's most
experienced mountaineers Guy Cotter and Lydia Bradey, on a
quest to recover some of the more than 200 bodies of climbers
who have perished over the years on Mt Everest.
''Among those bodies are some of their friends.''
Paua Productions director Virginia Wright yesterday said not
all funding was yet in place and Mr Cotter and Ms Bradey had
not yet been locked in ''because Guy doesn't even go to
Everest necessarily every year''.
Ms Wright said the idea for the documentary came from an
American production company ''wanting to get a co-production
partner for a documentary about bringing Scott Fischer's body
The hour-long documentary would be filmed next year and would
screen on Prime, but the $515,977 from NZ On Air and $221,133
from the NZ Film Commission left it about $150,000 short.
Ms Wright said the expedition itself also needed to be funded
''separate to the [filming] budget''.
Preproduction work would not begin until the budget had been
finalised and Ms Wright was surprised the project had become
public before that.
Mr Fischer's family gave consent for the documentary three
years ago when the idea was first floated.
She had not spoken to the family recently ''because we have
been waiting for it to be fully confirmed.
She said the documentary was more about Mr Fischer and ''not
so much'' on Mr Cotter and Ms Bradey.
The documentary was subject to ''all sorts of things'' but
the plan was to shoot the film in the next climbing season -
Ms Wright said Adventure Consultants would run the expedition
and Mark Whetu might shoot the high-altitude footage.