Deep in the Great Alaskan Range, 100 miles from Anchorage, Alaska, are the Neacola Mountains – jagged, fierce, and big. Situated within these mountains is a never before climbed 3,000 metre peak, the Citadel. Well, never before climbed until alpinists, Matt Helliker and Jon Bracey, set their sights on the peak.
In this story of pure adrenaline and adventure, Red Bull TV brings you the whole adventure from Helliker’s living room near Chamonix, France to the beautiful mountain.
In Alaska, everything is bigger and extreme – the avalanches, the bears, and the remoteness. As a result, Helliker and Bracey are in a constant battle with their gut and their determination to reach the peak, which they constantly refer to as "the Holy Grail of mountaineering".
The climb to the peak of the Citadel presented nothing but a mixed bag of challenges. Whether it was climbing styles, the elements, or the rock. As soon as they believed they were over one, another popped up for the duo to over come. Perhaps Bracey put it best when they were only a fraction of their way into a 20 hour day: "This is REALLY full-on".
The first day's climbing was a day of epic proportions: 20 hours of free, mix, and alpine climbing. Thank God for those long Alaskan days because 20 hours on the side of a mountain is not an easy task, and in the dark it would be worse. Like all good explorers and adventurers, these guys let nothing deter them – not even a granite wall, that’s impossible to scale.
Unfortunately, this is not necessarily a happily ever after story. The impossible does not become the possible; the granite wall forces the climbers to either drill into the rock or turn around. In a way you have to admire their respect for the mountain to not drill.
In this case, the wild remains wild; the mountain wins. However, driven by their dreams, by nature’s beauty, this mad adventure, the explorers think outside the box to become the first people to make this epic assent.
Inspired to watch more explorers achieve the impossible? Check out more of Red Bull TV's Explorer series and watch incredible stories like the one of the skiers who skied a volcano or the man who windsurfed a monster wave in Australia.