Inspiring Film about the First Nepali Woman To Summit Everest

When we talk about people who might find Masala My Life relevant, I intentionally use the phrase "Americans with ties to South Asia," as there are so many different ways in which we see people experiencing the cultures of South Asia from an American perspective.

A great example comes via a business school classmate of mine, Alison Levine.  Alison is a leadership expert, polar explorer, and mountaineer who is no stranger to extreme environments. It's her time as a mountaineer that took her to South Asia and ultimately led her to become an executive producer on a new film about Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, the first Nepali woman to summit Everest.

I'm sharing the information below from the film website about this award-winning film as screenings continue this fall and I love the South Asian+American connections that led to its creation:

PASANG: In the Shadow of Everest is a true story of adventure, romance, politics, courage and a woman who sacrificed everything to pursue her dream. Pasang’s fight for equality turned “impossible into possible” for millions of Nepali women, and her story is one of universal appeal that will inspire people all over the world.

A trailblazer who battled racism, sexism and defied political leaders in her quest to become the first Nepali woman to summit Everest, Pasang Sherpa shattered the age-old barriers that prevented female Sherpas from climbing.

Born into poverty, Pasang could not read, could not write, and could not speak the national language; yet she had the courage to battle the government of her own country for gender and racial equality. Her initial attempts to reach Everest’s summit where thwarted by bad weather and climbing politics, but her determination finally paid off when she reached the top on her fourth try in 1993. News of her success catapulted her to hero status among the people of her nation … but triumph turned to tragedy, as Pasang perished on the descent and did not make it back down the mountain alive. Her story has never been told. Until now.

Her determined pursuit of Everest plays out within the context of her nation’s quest for democracy and the emergence of the commercial climbing industry. As told by the Nepalis who knew her, by some of the world’s most notable alpinists, and by Pasang herself, PASANG: The Shadow of Everest, documents her historic quest that would transfix her country and uplift a new generation’s belief in its possibilities.

From Norbu Tenzing, Son of Tenzing Norgay:

“There are 2 national heroes in Nepal, my father Tenzing who summited Everest with Hillary in 1953. And Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, who became the first Nepali woman to summit in 1993. My father is well known – Pasang is not. This film can bring her inspirational story to the world.”

Visit for screening information.

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