The North Face Atacama Bonds Short Film

The North Face: Atacama Bonds Short Film

Atacama Bonds, the latest short film from The North Face, centres on Explorer Team member, James Poole, and his individual attempt to cross the Atacama Desert – the driest, non-polar, expanse on the planet – and win the inaugural The Speed Project Atacama (TSP ATA) running race.

In an effort to cross the line first, James undertakes an unorthodox and untried path across the open-pit copper mines of the Atacama Desert. Shunning the more obvious (but longer) road-based route used by other competitors, his more direct approach exposes him to the Desert’s brutal, barren, terrain and unrelenting sun.

Hundreds of kilometres from civilisation with no support other than the film crew and his friend Nicki, the film shows James not only pushing the limits of human endurance and mental fortitude – but also the importance of the human bond when the ‘chips are down’ and his life is in danger.

In his own words, James, said, “Running can often be seen as an individual sport and while this adventure required, me alone, to put one foot in front of another for many hundreds of kilometres while traveling from Iquique to San Pedro, there is no doubt that I couldn’t have done it without the support of my team.”

He added, “There’s an old saying that goes, if you want to run fast, run alone, if you want to run far, run together. What they didn’t say is, if you want to run 500km across the driest place on the planet, find the most badass crazy people you know. You’ll need them.”

James ran in modified pairs of the Summit VECTIV Pro 2, equipped with gaiters to keep the sand at bay and new UPF innovation from The North Face; LIGHTRANGE™ collection. Available online at

Commenting on the kit he used, James said, “When you are on your own in the desert far from civilisation, it’s not over dramatic to say that kit choices can be the difference between life and death. The new LIGHTRANGE™ collection – the Hoodie in particular – provided much needed sun protection, and wicked away sweat during the day but was also quick drying enough to provide warmth during the cooler nights.”

James finished the inaugural TSP ATA in second place covering 498km in a time of 93hrs and 44 minutes.

‘Atacama Bonds’ is a story of power within the mind, body and soul. Watch here.

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