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The Rescue That Changed the Future of Prosthetics: Arc’teryx Teases ‘109 Below’

In 1982, two climbers were stranded in a -20 blizzard for days on end. Their rescue was a tragic and traumatic experience that changed the course of their lives, and that of adaptive athletics.

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Hugh Herr and Jeff Batzer had just finished ascending a technical ice-climbing route on Mount Washington when the blizzard rolled in that would change their lives forever. They became disoriented. They got lost. And they had to spend three nights in -20-degree weather. Herr, who, at the time, was one of the best climbers in the world, lost his legs to frostbite. But the worst was yet to come.

‘109 Below’ tells the harrowing story of the 1982 Mount Washington rescue that ended one life, changed three others, and altered the future of prosthetics forever. As a postdoctoral fellow at MIT, Herr dedicated his life to designing and perfecting prostheses that emulate the movement of the human leg. Herr’s work has changed what it means to become an amputee and has benefited untold numbers of people.

But it came at an indescribable cost.

Catch the full-length film ‘109 Below’ on the Arc’teryx Winter Film Tour. Dates and locations for the event can be found here.

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