Premiering on April 18 at 9 PM, SHERPA will recount the harrowing story of the massive avalanche that tore through the Khumbu Icefall killing 16 Sherpas. The 14 million ton avalanche is recognized as the worst tragedy in the history of Everest and sparked a drastic reassessment of the role of Sherpas in the Everest climbing industry. The film captures the story of the Sherpa community, united in grief and anger as they reclaim the respected mountain they call Chomolungma.
The film was originally positioned to showcase the upcoming climbing season from the Sherpas' point of view after a highly-publicized confrontation in 2013 between Western climbers and a group of Sherpas. While capturing the shifting dynamics of Everest climbing culture and legendary Sherpa PhurbaTashi’s world record-breaking 22ndattempt to summit the mountain, the team witnessed and captured the single deadliest day in the mountain's history after an avalanche that struck just above Mt. Everest base camp.
Through the first-hand live recordings, voices of the guides themselves, their families, and the climbers who were preparing to summit when the disaster struck, SHERPA chronicles the historic moment of tragedy and resistancein which the Sherpas and their families consider the future of Everest climbing. SHERPA will be a global television event that will be broadcasted in more than 220 countries and territories.
In a culture that is dominated by the Everest climbing economy and heavily embedded with religion, tensions rise as Sherpas demand governmental changes to their dangerous line of employment. Ultimately, they must decide whether to continue their climb to provide for their families, or to cancel the season out of respect for themselves and those lost in the avalanche.
SHERPA was produced by Bridget Ikin, co-founder of Felix Media, a leading independent film and television company in Australia, and John Smithson, Joint Creative Director of Arrow Media, one of the UK's top independent creative forces and directed by Jennifer Peedom. For Discovery Channel, John Hoffman serves as Executive Vice President of Documentaries and Specials with Jon Bardin as Director of Development and Production of Documentaries and Specials.
On April 18 2016, get ready to deep dive into the lives of the Sherpas who make Everest's climbing culture possible only on Discovery Channel, Discovery HD World and Discovery Tamil at 9 PM.