- One October day in 2010, Pam Palis went for a walk along her usual route to Mount Washington. With the weather changing so drastically, I decided to go back
- She found the footprints, and eagerly decided to follow her. She met a man near death and he did not answer
- Eventually they got to the parking lot and the man walked away. Only later in his letter did he explain that he was not lost in the mountains and that he planned to commit suicide
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Oscar-nominated Naomi Watts’ “Infinite Storm,” directed by Małgorzata Szumowska, won’t be released in Poland until May 27, but it’s already ranked 10th at the US box office. “It’s a brave and unforgettable portrait of shock, compassion and incredible strength. Szumowska efficiently creates a moving action movie, and the wonderful images by Michai Englert (co-director) only heighten the emotion.” – Gary Goldstein writes, a critic for the Los Angeles Times.
She wanted to come back
The success of the film so far was not limited to the actors, skillful direction and beautiful cinematography. It’s basically a story that actually happened. “Infinite Storm” is a film based on the events of “High Places: Footprints in the Snow Lead to an Emotional Rescue” by Tai Jani.
Naomi Watts in Infinite Storm portrays Pam Pallis, a nurse and mountain guide from New Hampshire. One October day in 2010, the woman went on a trek along her usual Jewell route to Mount Washington, but decided to return due to inappropriate weather. It was the usual October weather when I left, and suddenly the wind speed reached 140 km/h. So, even though she was prepared for the bad weather, packing extra clothes, goggles, and necessary supplies, she decided to turn back. In the end, she survived despite the raging storm, because something stopped her.
Lonely footprints in the snow
Pam enjoyed walking alone near her home in New Hampshire and followed Jewell’s path several times, but this trip turned out to be a battle for her life and the life of a stranger. On her way back, Pam noticed individual footprints, and anxiously decided to follow them, finally meeting a man with whom she had no contact. His clothes were wet, and the cold brought him close to death. Pam used a thermal blanket, turned him into her dry spare clothes, and gave him the warm cocoa she had in her thermos flask. Since the man was silent and unable to introduce himself, Pam called him John.
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The woman cautiously continued her steps and tried to turn back, leading the man back and regaining his strength. Once, John fell into the snow and told her he was tired, but Balice didn’t take it for granted. After six hours in a blizzard, they managed to get into the car, chatted briefly, and John suddenly drove off.
“Maybe I wasn’t about to die yet”
Bales spent several months recovering. The head of her organization, the Pemgoset Valley Search and Rescue Team, received an anonymous letter from John, who decided not to reveal his name. He thanked Bales and the organization for helping turn his life around. It turned out that the man was not lost and wanted to commit suicide. He wrote that Pam Pallis saved him and treated him with respect the entire time they traveled, letting them know she was important. “Maybe I wasn’t about to die yet,” he added.
The man explained that he got out of the parking lot so quickly because he was embarrassed, but he noticed a badge with her organization’s name on Pam’s backpack, so he knew where to write a thank you note.
Reader’s Digest journalist Ty Janney described Balles’ story in his 2019 article, “The High Places: Footprints in the Snow Lead to an Emotional Rescue.” Janie recounted Bales’ trip and examined how her relationship with John affected her in the months that followed.
Watch the trailer for the movie here:
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