There are a lot of stories about the valiant adventurers who trek Mount Everest, but rarely do we hear the perspectives of the invaluable Sherpas who trek the same course multiple times per season.

This documentary captures the story of one guide in particular, Phurba Tashi Sherpa. 

Much like many of the other mountain guides, Phurba is a veteran at climbing and is preparing for his 22nd ascent. 

The film effectively captures the heartache of his family coping with his decision to climb and the impossible dilemma of risking life for income or staying at home and risking financial peril. 

By sheer chance, the documentary witnessed one of the greatest devastations seen on the mountain, where 16 Sherpas lost their lives on the Khumbu Icefall. 

The film goes on to illustrate the painful aftermath, and the backlash from Sherpas with their expedition companies. 

With such sophistication, the film crew capture moments from the Sherpas and the Western clients to reveal both the race and class struggle between the two groups, and their continued incompatibility.

The film is balanced with emotional focus, true fact and breathtaking visuals.

The visuals alone are enough to draw a wide audience, as the documentary captures the rich landscapes of the Himalayas and the sincere spirituality that comes with Sherpas’ relationship with the mountain. 

An absolute must see film; the story of these courageous climbers will bring you down to earth. 

Words by Laura Hitchins 

Details: Sherpa | 96 minutes | release date 7th April 2016