High ground, a 2012 movie by Michael Brown, is a moving journey of hope, determination and the human spirit. In it we follow 11 injured U.S. veterans who attempt to climb Mount Lobuche, a huge Himalayan mountain that soars to 20,000 feet. With people such as blind mountaineer, Erik Weihenmayer, to support them, we watch as a blind vet, a soldiers mom, some with prosthetic legs, and many with Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or other invisible scars accept a challenge of a lifetime. This troupe shows just how much they can overcome when they are willing to test their limits.
As they share their stories you learn more about their individual journeys and how isolated and lost many have felt since leaving the service. It’s also made clear how hard it can be to cope with everyday existence after serving your country in combat. Although many can relate to feeling isolated and misunderstood, most will differ in the level of death and violence that they were constantly exposed to.There are many similarities between the military and mountaineering, as one of the climbers explains, including running drills, learning safety procedures and having to count on your team, and it’s nice to see some of them begin to bond and smile as they regain a sense of camaraderie. Although the movie does touch on some darker aspects, there is something amazing about watching them accept this challenge. There is a tremendous depth of courage in all of them, and as just one example, when one was told he would never walk again he managed to not only beat those odds, but also go one better and attempt to climb a mountain.
So if you are looking for absolutely stunning cinematography and some personal stories about those who never give up and are willing to continually test their limits, this might just be for you. Here’s a clip: