Q&A: Adrian Ballinger

Interested in attending the Wasatch Mountain Film Festival?

Adrian Ballinger directed 2021 WMFF feature “Breathtaking: K2,” a short film on undertaking the second highest mountain on earth. We asked him a few questions, see our Q&A conversation below:

What is in your gear bag/kit?

Lucky for me on K2 without oxygen, not much! I filmed POV with a DJI Osmo, a GoPro, and sometimes a Sony RX100. Topo Mena, our main high altitude cameraman worked with pro level equipment

What item can you not live without?



Favorite on-set memory?

Finally all returning to Base Camp after our summit push. That was the moment we could finally celebrate – the summit, but more importantly all being off the mountain uninjured.

Craziest on-set/en route to set adventure?

11 day walk to base camp with a heinous parasite along for the ride. I’ve rarely been so sick, and never before so sick while also at altitude, hiking 90 miles through rugged terrain, and with not a bathroom or shower in sight for hundreds of miles.

More About Adrian Ballinger


Adrian Ballinger has a list of alpine climbing accomplishments any professional alpinist would be happy to call their own. The renown and respect his peers in those places on the ceiling of the earth have for him also stems from his two decades of guiding experience. He’s successfully led more than 100 clients to the over 8,000-meter summits of Everest, Lhotse, Manaslu, and Cho Oyu. In 2004, Ballinger founded Alpenglow Expeditions, leading three trips on one continent. Now thriving, and a leader in the guiding industry for safety, ethics and education, Alpenglow annually runs over 30 trips on six continents, and each year introduces thousands of newer climbers and skiers to the backcountry through their local guiding in Lake Tahoe, CA.