Summit Fever (2022) Movie: There have been countless stories about man versus mountain. The medium of the film tends to romanticize the very idea of something so invincible and mysteriously foreboding. The danger looms around the corner, and that very idea of conflict is given prominence. Yet, Summit Fever, the new film that stars Freddie Thorp, Michel Biel, and Mathilde Warnier, seems to evade that very romantic idea of scaling high altitudes to focus more on how dangerous a prospect it can be, with fatal consequences. But, as we all know, noble intentions aren’t enough to translate into a great film. Save for some exhilarating sequences, the overpacked screenplay filled with underdeveloped characters tests the audience’s patience.




Summit Fever gives us the meaning of its title at the very outset. It is an uncountable noun with two distinct meanings that may or may not overlap in some ways. In mountaineering, it is the compulsion to reach the mountain’s summit at all costs. Otherwise, it alludes to the obsessive need to complete a task. This drama, directed by Julian Gilbey, revolves around the intentions of our lead character, Michael (played by Freddie Thorp), who takes risks of climbing the steep mountain ranges as his calling for life. It keeps him sane, as he says. For those who have seen Summit Fever and wondered what exactly happened in that extended climax- as dense and terrifying as you might expect it to be this explainer will help unpack it as much as possible. This piece also contains significant spoilers that may hinder your viewing experience if you read ahead without seeing the film. Happy reading!

Summit Fever Plot Summary And Movie Synopsis

Summit Fever 2022

Summit Fever starts with a small scene that establishes the main characters, Michael (Thorp) and John Pierre (played by Michel Biel), climbing a small mountain range. Michael has been their climbing partner of JP for a long, and now that JP is about to make it into a full-fledged professional lifestyle, he wants Michael to be with him. There will be sponsors and financial support, and they can do what they have always wanted. But Michael has to return to his dad’s business, much to his obligations and JP’s disappointment. As JP goes on his early expeditions, he keeps sending pictures to Michael, who has joined his father’s firm. It is hard to resist the temptation, and Michael takes a 5-day leave to be with his friend again.




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There, Michael meets new people who are now working with JP. Leo (played by Ryan Phillippe) and his wife Natascha (played by Hannah New). Leo is not exceptionally responsive to Michael’s learning years as a climber and repeatedly throws him off his comfort zone. It is here where Michael is introduced to Isabelle (played by Matheilde Warnier), a French ski guide who helps him ski the ranges and prepares him for the more challenging ranges. Both of them are attracted to each other, and the film spends some time establishing their relationship from meet-cute to suitability in terms of understanding one another.


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Michael leaves his dad’s job to be with JP as they switch gears to climb some more ranges, each more challenging than the last. This time it is the Alps, so they need to be better equipped. Michael is a little unsure whether he is best suited for this and takes up a temporary job at a local bar. Their competition is the star-climber Damien Roux (played by Thomas Ancora), who has taken the challenge himself to scale it- with friends and fellow climbers watching from a distance on a makeshift disco bar. His overconfidence in taking unnecessary risks leads to his death in front of everyone’s eyes. This incident shocks everyone. Michael opens up to Isabelle about how he lost his sister Lucy in an accident and can never get past the guilt that he could have saved her. A later ascent by Leo and Natascha ends fatally, killing both.




The last leg of Summit Fever is an extended sequence that JP takes with JP and his new team members. As the forecast announces a shift in the route of the winds, the climbers are stranded in a nest in between. It is a nightmarish situation where each one is challenged like never before.

Summit Fever Ending Explained

Do John Pierre And Michael Survive?

John Pierre is gravely hit while climbing to the pit where the rescue team can collect them by morning. He knows he won’t be returning back again. Michael is adamant that he should not give up and that he will take him back no matter what. JP tells him that when he meets his parents, to let them know that he is happy. That he died doing what he wanted to do. After a while, JP is frozen in his sleep and dies. Michael returns and is admitted to the hospital, where Isabelle meets him. He tells her that he had met ghosts that had wanted him to give up. But he also met Lucy there, who wanted him to go on. Isabelle tells him that there are no ghosts, only garden spirits that show us the light. Michael meets JP’s parents and tells them that they did their best. That JP was happy and never cried till his last breath.




What does Micheal do?

Michael and Isabelle have one last conversation before Isabelle leaves. Michael tells her they could just pack their things and move somewhere entirely away. Isabelle tears up at this suggestion but reminds him that it is something he is saying just at this moment. She knows it will not hold after some time when Michael will again return to what he wants the most- the mountains. She won’t be able to watch him die. They bid farewell to one another with one last kiss. She tears up on the bus. The final shot shows Michael making a free solo climb on a steep mountain range- suggesting that he returned to what gives him sanity.


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Summit Fever (2022) Links: IMDb
Where to watch Summit Fever

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