On The Path Back to the Mountains - Documentary

34 Comments by Javier Lovera - Feb 18, 2013

In this documentary and PSA we follow and walk through Torres Del Paine, Chile alongside Juan Martin Botero, a Colombo-American mountaineer with a physical disability, who is not only passionate about destroying ones notions about what’s humanly possible, but of inspiring us and anyone with physical disabilities to achieve their life goals.

Juan’s journey through the Patagonian landscape will help us understand that our limits lie close to the edge of our soul’s will and that even the most unexpected hardships can be overcome with a bit of humour and a lot enthusiasm.

The Chilean Patagonia is located in the southern-most place of the American Continent. With its vast territory that reaches to Tierra del Fuego, Patagonia is dominated by the majestic Andes Mountains, some of the world’s largest and only growing glaciers, and the raw power of untouched nature.

Located in the heart of Patagonia is the Torres del Paine Natural park. Its landscape dominated by the Paine massif is located east of the Grey Glacier. The parks centrepiece: the W peaks, reaching over 3000 meters above sea level.

To see all the details, photos of Torres Del Paine, and the Route we'll be trekking take a look at this pdf: http://bit.ly/summit_2013

"There is something in man that responds
to the challenge of this mountain and goes
out to meet it, but the the struggle is the
struggle of life itself. Upward and forever
upward...what we get from this adventure is just
sheer joy, and joy afterall is the end of life."

George Lee Mallory

With the footage and photography shot during the expedition, we will produce a 10 minute documentary that will be submitted to documentary festivals in Toronto and abroad, as well as a 3 minute PSA for organizations that help people with physical disabilities.


- Juan Martin Botero:
Juan was born in Cali, Colombia. He is a graduate from Los Andes University in Bogota, Colombia with a B.Sc. in Systems Engineering. In 2005 he received his masters degree in liberal arts focused in anthropology, at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, where he now resides. With over 10 years of mountaineering experience and having been part of expeditions to Peru, Kilimanjaro, Colombia, and Ecuador, Juan grew up with an active and exciting lifestyle. In 2004 he was diagnosed with Friedriech’s Ataxia, a degenerative neurological disease that has taken away much of his physical abilities including his ability to walk.

Juan has never lost his passion for the mountains nor his desire to explore and adventure. With the use of specialized trail mobility devices and teams of incredible helpers, Juan has made it to the bottom of Grand Canyon National Park, accessed trails in Zion, Bryce, Arches & Canyon-lands National Parks, completed the entire Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and even reached the top of Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro.

In the future he would like to combine his IT knowledge/experience, the research approaches of anthropology, and the studies on disability to raise disability awareness, promote human rights and transform the lives of people with disabilities in Bogotá a city in a developing country. He is also expanding ways of collaborating with non-profit organizations helping people with disabilities, and hopefully in 2014 rolling to Mt. Everest’s Base Camp.

- Alpenglow Adventures:
With the use of specialized trail mobility devices, assisted by experienced and motivated teams, Alpenglow Adventures access the world’s most spectacular hiking trails with adventurers who have physical disabilities so they can see and experience some of the most beautiful places on earth.

Alpenglow Adventures are the first organization to facilitate people with disabilities to complete an ascent to Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa rising + 19,000 ft above sea level. They’ve also descended to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, completed the inca trail in the Peruvian Andes, and visited numerous other national parks in North America.

Anybody in the world with a mobility challenge who is unable to walk can join the Alpenglow Adventures mission. They personally assist them to accomplish the World’s greatest hikes and treks.

- Javier Lovera (Director + Cinematographer): http://javierlovera.com
- David Guerra (Sound Engineer): http://http://davidguerra.ca/
- Henry Samson (Producer): http://mediamassage.ca
- Jason Eano (Producer): http://hermannaudrey.com

More Info

This page was created by Javier Lovera.

Javier Lovera is an award-winning photographer and director. His images and films tell strong and powerful yet intimate stories. He has slept in tents at +5500 meters above sea level, and rocked climbed in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

Contributors' Messages

  1. Thank you for bringing awareness and inspiring all with your passions.

    John Hamilton , Mar 19, 2013

  2. Bonne chance avec ton projet!!!

    Steph Cloutier , Mar 19, 2013

  3. Good luck to you gents!!! Cheers to life changing adventures and the brave people who embark on them! xo

    Lauren Ching , Mar 18, 2013

  4. Good luck Jav!

    Anthony Tuccitto , Mar 18, 2013

  5. Amazing! Best Wishes....

    BL , Mar 18, 2013

  6. Can't wait to see the finished product!

    James Vorstenbosch , Mar 18, 2013

  7. Parcero, andabamos bien perdidos del mapa pero siquiera vimos esto a tiempo. Lo mejor en esta aventura! Abrazos a los dos de los dos!

    Alejandro & Silvana , Mar 16, 2013

  8. Buen viaje !

    Luisa B , Mar 16, 2013

  9. Bon voyage!

    Anonymous , Mar 15, 2013

  10. Suerte! Que buena aventura

    Maria D. , Mar 14, 2013

  11. Good Luck!

    SUMO Project , Mar 13, 2013

  12. Buena suerte amigos! Wish I could be there with you.

    Daniela Andrews , Mar 12, 2013

  13. Animo!! a tomar muchas fotos, hacer una dirección impecable y a acompañar ese guerrero incansable!

    Jorge Sandoval , Mar 12, 2013

  14. Mucha suerte, Juan! Pensandote muuuucho!

    Ximena , Mar 12, 2013

  15. All my admiration and love going your way :)

    Cami Fuentes , Mar 11, 2013

  16. We can't wait for this!

    Gearshift , Mar 11, 2013

  17. Gran aventura muchachos, suerte y que disfruten de mi querida madre tierra!

    deroooted creative agency , Mar 11, 2013

  18. Do it, dreamer!

    Natalie , Mar 9, 2013

  19. ¡Buenos vientos!

    Anonymous , Mar 2, 2013

  20. I worked with Juan for seven years. I was astounded by his journey to mt. Kilimanjaro & impressed by his thesis. Because of him, i resolve daily to better myself. He truly is 'Juan in a million'

    Todd Spinney , Mar 1, 2013

  21. Very inspiring project. Juan, my best wishes, hope to see you again sometime.

    Mario Plata , Feb 28, 2013

  22. ¡Ánimo! Vale la pena inspirar a otros.

    Adriana D. , Feb 28, 2013

  23. Felicitaciones, que ejemplo. Animo y a conquistar esa nueva meta!!!

    Jose Andres Sánchez Diaz , Feb 27, 2013

  24. Juan, un feliz viaje. Disfrútelo al 100!

    Cesarión , Feb 27, 2013

  25. con ganas de ver esta aventura

    alejandra , Feb 27, 2013

  26. Adelante! Hasta el fin del mundo! Envidio tu fortaleza!

    Anonymous , Feb 26, 2013

  27. inspiradores... como siempe!

    javier_s , Feb 26, 2013

  28. Mucho éxito, tincho!!

    cfu , Feb 26, 2013

  29. Yeap, "Teaching or Leading by example",..is the best way to Teach or Lead,

    Claudia Patricia Perez , Feb 26, 2013

  30. What an amazing project! Can't wait to see it.

    Darlene , Feb 25, 2013

  31. Go get'em!

    hs , Feb 23, 2013

  32. Javier, what a worthwhile project! Looking forward to seeing the movie and photos!

    Flo , Feb 22, 2013

  33. Javi, I think this trip is worth it. Best of luck to you and Juan. Cant wait to see the photos.

    Shaula , Feb 20, 2013

  34. Juan is one of my biggest inspirations, his story is one that needs to be shared with the world!

    Anonymous , Feb 20, 2013