Our most award-winning film to date: Higher Ambitions just won a prestigious CINE Golden Eagle Award. The Golden Eagle is recognized internationally as a symbol of the highest standards in filmmaking. This film is also the winner of three International Telly awards for documentary, sports programming, and cinematography.
At the eastern edge of the Tibetan plateau lies a remarkable region where mountains rise dramatically above the valleys and their rugged beauty instills awe onto those who come here.
Within this rugged landscape, four revered mountains stand beside each other. They are called Siguniang, which means four girls. The highest is a 20,500-foot technical alpine pyramid called Yaomei Feng.
Embark on an exciting tale of adventure where setbacks and obstacles are overcome and history is made on one of China’s most challenging peaks.
For American alpinist Jon Otto, Chinese alpinist Ma Yihua, and filmmaker Tim Boelter, climbing Siguniang started as a casual affair. But after nearly being killed by rockfall and losing the battle against weather, it was anything but casual.
A year later they return to this stunning and challenging peak. Only this time the motivation is different, the expedition larger, and the stakes higher.
For Jon and Ma — as the cofounders of the Arête Alpine Instruction Center in Chengdu, China — the challenge of Siguniang goes beyond getting themselves to the summit. They are determined to get the first Chinese climbers on top, a feat thought impossible in the Chinese climbing community.
For filmmaker and climber Tim Boelter, documenting the risks and obstacles of climbing this mountain are challenging enough, but in an ironic twist of fate, it’s not the rock fall or avalanches on Siguniang that nearly kill him. He suffers a traumatic head injury away from the dangers of the mountains, in a place you’d never expect. His team of doctors urged him not to climb again. But that advice went unheeded and seven months later he returns to the mountain.
Higher Ambitions doesn’t merely chronicle the details of climbing Siguniang. It focuses on the determination of one man to come back from a nearly life-ending injury and Jon Otto’s drive to get the first Chinese climber to the summit. This film is about much more than climbing a mountain—it’s about Higher Ambitions.
This film is excellent, truly excellent, in so many ways. All four of us -- ranging from 6 yrs old to 65 -- were caught up in the images and the story. It is a beautiful, informative and moving film.
For probably the very first time ever while watching a mountaineering or climbing video, I was touched to tears in the story line. Thanks to Tim Boelter for producing such a fine documentary.
I would like to say thank you for producing such a fine film. I have many different climbing and mountaineering films in my home. Your film ranks with the best of them.
What great shots you took on the mountainside. Congratulations on the climb and on making a fine film. I must say that you guys hung around all that falling rock about 100% longer than I would have.
Some of the best climbing video I've seen. The film rates as one of my favorite mountaineering documentaries.