On the 14th of November 2009, lost Slovenian mountaineer Tomaz Humar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TomaC5BE_Humar) was found dead on the remote mountains of Langtang region(at 18000ft) during a search mission organized with Fishtail Air. This was the first time an evacuation through Human Sling Operation was successfully conducted in the history of Nepal’s High altitude rescue mission.
This mission was led by Swiss company Air Zermatt. Thereafter Air Zermatt and Fishtail Air collaborated to establish a Helicopter rescue station. A team of Swiss National Television led by Frank Senn and Hari Thapa with his camera team from Nepal-the same team who were behind the award winning film “Sherpas-the true heroes of Mt. Everest” planned to follow and film not only this unique and difficult rescue operations but also the risks that pilots and rescuers have to take. The demanding rescue missions already are something unusual for a geographically gifted country as ours, filming it was something else. It is something new but at the same time it caters to the vision of making our Mountains a safer zone. The making of this film has taught us a lot and they wish to bring the same awareness amongst us all so that we never stop learning and exploring. This film mostly shot in Kathmandu, Khumbu region, Manaslu region, Mt. Dhaulagiri and Mt. Annapurna was to show the start of a new and important decade in the mountain rescue and tell the story of the people who made this happen. Some of the highlighting missions included in the film were the rescue of sick and injured clients from different mountains; the recovery of an American Climber from Everest Camp II by Captain Siddhartha Gurung. Next was when the team carried out a sling operation to bring down the body of a deceased South Korean climber who was lost at Mt. Manaslu last year. Training on crevasse rescue, human sling and cargo sling of Fishtail Air crew by Air Zermatt at Kalapatthar and other areas has been focused on as well.
Carrying out the Hydro power plant’s cargo shuttles widened the range of mission capabilities and gave a new platform to cargo transport in Nepal. The emotions involved in all the missions carried out every other day are priceless. Our whole team included in every little detail of the work hope that this film lets the viewers have an insight and believe for themselves that The Himalayas is but a Safe place where Nature is at its very Best!
This film is being produced as a 3 part series (each of 51minutes) and would be aired at prime time on Swiss National Television and on Servus TV, Austria. For the international audience it is being made into a 95-100 minute documentary. This is supposed to be an intercultural project between Swiss and Nepali filmmakers. The team believes this to be a unique film about pioneering, hardship and faith.
The entire filming of the tough Training of our crew, Rescue missions, Sling operations and related stories has officially been completed here in Nepal.
We cannot wait to watch the documentary and will soon let you know when it’s out. We thank and appreciate the effort and interest of Frank Senn of Swiss National Television and Hari Thapa of Nepal.
“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.”
Photo Courtesy: Manuel Bauer, Gerold Biner, Aneel Basnet & Krishna Thapa