Having survived the 2015 Everest avalanche, climber and film cameraman Joe French found his way back to health and stability through running and swimming in the forests near his Scottish Highland home. Out of Mind is his story. A story of hard climbing, extreme adventuring and reconnecting with ones own self through time in the hills. A story that starts on the outcrops of the Peak District but plays out on the highest mountain in the world.
In 2015, climber and documentary maker Joe French was about to fulfil a dream of a lifetime – to climb Everest and film it. Then tragedy struck and Joe found himself at the epicentre of an earthquake which killed nearly 9,000 people. Only a few years previously, his team of Sherpas had been killed in another avalanche, and soon after that, Julie, his wife, was diagnosed with cancer.
The accumulation of trauma took its toll: suffering from post-traumatic stress, Joe was haunted by the horrors he’d witnessed. In an attempt to find a resolution, he turned to his love of the outdoors. Running barefoot through the forests and glens around his house in Scotland, Joe discovered the means to find a return to health and peace of mind. Out of Mind is his incredible story.
Born in 1978, Joe French grew up in Sheffield. A decade of worldwide travel followed, which led him to the Highlands of Scotland, where he now lives. Joe taught himself to become a climbing cameraman and made films on Ben Nevis which kickstarted a successful career in TV. Joe was soon working as a self-shooting producer/director on high-profile productions across the globe: from recreating Sir Ernest Shackleton’s epic journey of survival in Antarctica to the first attempted wingsuit flight from the summit of Everest. He has worked for Channel 4, the BBC and Discovery Channel. Joe is a climber, musician, barefoot runner and member of Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team. He is married to Julie French and together they have two children, Imogen and Jemima.
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