The team on site.
A team of Sherpas working with an Australian documentary crew was just metres away when the devastating avalanche struck Mount Everest last week, killing at least 13 Nepali guides.
Fortunately none was injured and the crew is remaining on the mountain to continue work on Sherpa: In the Shadow of the Mountain.
Co-produced by Bridget Ikin and John Maynard’s Felix Media and John Smithson of London-based Arrow Media, the feature-length film will follow an Everest expedition from the viewpoints of the Sherpas and their sometimes uneasy relationships with foreign climbers.
“We will continue to cover whatever happens, as we are covering the Sherpa point of view,” writer/director Jennifer Peedom told IF from the base camp on Monday.
Peedom is an experienced climber who worked at high altitudes as the director of the Discovery series Everest Beyond the Limit and is licensed to go as high as the second base camp.
“Our Sherpa team are currently having a break at home and will return to base camp in the next few days,” she said. “The mountain is closed for seven days, so we are covering events here at base camp. There is doubt as to whether the [climbing] season will continue, but we will cover whatever transpires. In many ways, what happened highlights the issues that the film is dealing with.”
In the wake of the tragedy, the Discovery Channel has abandoned plans to telecast Everest Jump Live as a two-hour live event on May 11.
Peedom’s film will focus on Phurba Tashi, who aims this year to become the world record-holder for Everest summits, and Yangjee Doma Sherpa, a young guy who will make his first Everest climb.
The day after the avalanche, Peedom posted on the film’s Facebook page: “Thanks for all the well wishes. We are at base camp, still reeling from the events of yesterday. Our Sherpa team escaped the avalanche by a matter of metres. All safe and well but very sad.”
Ikin posted, “We, from Sherpa Film, sincerely mourn the devastating loss of the Sherpas killed on the mountain, and send our loving condolences to their families and friends
“Our team is safe, and it was intense to document some of what was happening in base camp.”