The Man Who Skied Down Everest

The Man Who Skied Down Everest (1975) was the first Canadian-produced feature-length film to win an Oscar, for best documentary in 1976.

The Man Who Skied Down Everest

The Man Who Skied Down Everest (1975) was the first Canadian-produced feature-length film to win an Oscar, for best documentary in 1976.

Yuichiro Miura was a daredevil Japanese skier who set world speed records. This film covers his 1970 trek through the Himalayas to ski down Mount Everest. He spent $3 million and put together an expedition of 850 men and 25 tons of equipment; his climbing team faced a deadly icefall, which claimed 6 lives, still considered to be the worst accident in Himalayan history. They eventually made it to within 100 metres of the summit, and from there Miura took a 2000-metre plunge, reaching speeds of 190 km per hour, with a parachute on his back and an oxygen mask covering his face. When the parachute opened, Miura fell, bounced, and came to a halt only 70 metres from a deep crevasse.

The footage of this amazing feat, however, languished in Japan for over a year until Canadian producer and entrepreneur Budge CRAWLEY saw its potential. He purchased the original negative and the rights to use Miura's personal diary of the event. Judith CRAWLEY, his wife and partner, fashioned a script from the diary to accompany the footage, which she edited into a coherent documentary, and Douglas RAIN was hired to narrate. The result was a box-office success, perhaps the first extreme sports film ever made.