Mountain Mahila - Nov 15

Producer and adventurer, Ida Vincent, shares her journey in creating Mountain Mahila together with Tammy Martin and Kim Couri, an upcoming film documentary about four women who set to climb Ama Dablam in Nepal.
Ida Kaller-Vincent Ida Kaller-Vincent
Climb Leader
October 29, 2018
Mountain Mahila - Nov 15

It's hard to believe that it is only one year since we were in the Himalayas, chasing what at times seemed a near-impossible dream. In the Khumbu Region of Nepal we slowly made our way through the deep valleys with tall peaks towering all around us, and the tallest mountain on earth looming in the background. The most majestic peak of them all, however, was our objective –Ama Dablam. Peering up at this 22,349 feet tall peak with its near vertical summit sent chills down our bones and instilled us with doubt. What on earth had we gotten ourselves in to?

It had all started a full year prior to our departure. After attending a film festival that was heavily focused on male climbers, our womanly pride was stirred. Rather than shrug our shoulder and move on, our dismay planted a seed that soon grew into a fully grown tree. Having just survived a rare type of cancer, which resulted in major lung surgery and losing the right upper lobe of my lungs, I was more determined than ever to see this project all to the way through. I personally needed this to get back to myself, to being fit, and to once again enjoy one of my biggest passions – mountain climbing.

We took a film production course, we fundraised, we found sponsors, and just like that - Mountain Mahila was born. Mahila is the Nepalese word for women. It didn’t seem right to set up an all-female climbing expedition to Nepal without also somehow contributing to the women of Nepal. So, we put the word out and found an early career female climbing Sherpa, Phurba Sherpa, to be part of our team. This would help kick-start her career as a climbing Sherpa. She had recently completed her mountaineering courses with the Nepalese Climbing Association, but breaking into the heavily male-dominated climbing industry in Nepal is no easy feat. Out of the 100 students in her course she was one of only two women.

So after a year of planning and training, and training some more, it seemed almost surreal to be standing there, next to this beautiful, yet intimidating mountain. Had we know prior to our departure the journey we were about to embark on, we may have paused. But all good adventures are fraught with misadventure, and as such we sure had a grand adventure!

Mountain Mahia premiers November 15 at The Mountaineers Seattle Progam Center. Ida and two of her three climbing partners, Tammy and Kim, will be present during the screening and available for a Q&A after the show.