There I was just scrolling through Twitter when I stumbled across the Vimeo link of The Glass Ceiling trailer and I knew I had to share it on here. The documentary tells the story of Pasang Lhamu Sherpa the first Nepali woman to scale Mount Everest. From the trailer, you will learn that Pasang Lhamu’s journey to the top of the world wasn’t a smooth ascent. It came with fighting for opportunities, breaking stereotypes along the way and inspiring people overall.
I believe the film went into pre-production around 2013, however the film is still not available. The trailer ends with a message ‘Coming 2016’. I really do hope that the film is available very soon… it would be amazing for young Nepalis of today to get to know such an iconic Nepali woman, a hero and a symbol of hope.
THE GLASS CEILING – SYNOPSIS
A Sherpa girl born in the shadows of Mount Everest – denied the right to climb the mountain she called home – defies political leaders, discrimination and tradition in her quest to become the first Nepali woman to summit the world’s highest peak. Willing to lay her life on the line, she pursues a dream that will forever change the role of women in Nepal.
The Glass Ceiling tells the story of Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, as she risks her life and battles profound obstacles in her attempt to become the first Nepali woman to summit Mt. Everest. Born into a traditional Sherpa family, Pasang runs away from a traditional arranged marriage to be with Sonam Sherpa. Exposed to foreign women climbers through the trekking company she starts with Sonam, Pasang decides to pursue her dream to become the first Nepali woman to summit Mount Everest. She makes multiple unsuccessful attempts, each one thwarted by weather and politics on the mountain. On her fourth attempt, her mission becomes bigger than herself. After battling her own government, she is granted a permit to lead – for the first time ever – a Nepali sponsored expedition. Through her charisma and political skill, Pasang becomes the person through whom a fledgling nation stakes its claim to a mountain commandeered by foreign adventure seekers. There is exaltation on April 22, 1993, when a radio call confirms that she has become the first Nepali woman to summit Mount Everest.
But exhilaration turns to concern the following morning when word spreads that she has not returned from the summit. Sonam recruits Sherpas from other expeditions to head back up the mountain to look for her. When her body is finally found – frozen on the South Col – it is brought down to throngs of mourners and carried through the streets to lie in state at the Kathmandu soccer stadium. Today Nepali girls learn her story in school, and a new generation of Nepali women climbers looks to her for inspiration.
Pasang’s story is anchored emotionally by her daughter Dawa as she tries to reconcile the devastating personal loss of her mother at a young age with her mother’s legacy as a national hero and symbol of hope for Nepali women.