“One Degree” is a documentary film about kitesurfing directed by Alex Lopez; I worked on the film in 2021 as a cameraman. The project has two aspects: one, to showcase an inspiring athletic endeavor by kitesurfing at over 5000 meters elevation, and two, to raise awareness among the general public about the world’s melting glaciers. If all be told, these ‘new’ lakes were formed due to high-altitude glaciers retreating. Watch this fascinating 55-minute documentary in theaters and on television in France.

I worked on the Riding to Explore project during filming in Ladakh (India) in November 2021. “One Degree” features Armelle Courtois and Martin Thomas, both high-level athletes and kitesurfers. During the expedition, the goal was to kitesurf on Lake Nimaling, located below Kang Yatse II (6496 m). However, after the arduous five-day approach, we had to face the fact that winter’s early arrival meant frigid temperatures (as low as -30°C at night).


The rivers are freezing.
We won’t be able to kite on this lake.

After nearly a month into the expedition, during the very last window of good weather, we managed to kitesurf on Kyagar Tso Lake, not far from the legendary Tso Moriri. The complex wind conditions and almost 0°C water made for unreal kitesurfing. During filming, we also had the truly unique and fortunate opportunity to see a snow leopard and her two cubs just one hundred meters away… Alex Lopez’s film can be viewed on Trek TV (French television), as well as at various festivals. Learn more about Armelle and Martin’s project and screening dates on the Riding to Explore website.

“One Degree” – the trailer

Photos of the Ladakh expedition