Mount Everest time-lapse film

At 2 a.m., when other Everest climbers were getting much needed sleep in their wind-battered tents, Elia Saikaly was setting up shots and waiting for ideal conditions to capture the mountain’s night sky.

Photo Elia Saikaly/Vimeo

Saikaly, an Ottawa-based adventurer and filmmaker who has summited Everest, shot over 70,000 still images over two years (starting in 2014) to create an astonishing film, released this week, that lasts just two minutes and 35 seconds.

The film’s sense of solitude and tranquillity is thanks to the fact he shoots the footage overnight when all the other climbers are asleep.

“People just don’t realize how much goes into it. How much suffering comes along with staying up all night, getting up early. And all the work that comes along, also, with getting it wrong, because you try these things and it’s going great for two hours and all of a sudden the clouds will roll in and your shot will be messed up. So you try it again and when you get it, it’s just pure magic.”