"I just look human, but because of this work, I don't feel human anymore", explains one porter. Exhausted and weak, he sits wearily in the base camp of the world's most extreme mountain, waiting for his next job. He routinely must navigate the harsh mountain terrain carrying up to 40kg of luggage for western climbers. Wearing sandals and with no professional equipment, he must risk his life daily in the most brutal of conditions, just to support his family. "I don't have any other choice... my helplessness brings me here. This is not a safe place to work".
Statistically, for every four climbers who summits K2, one of them will die, and the mountain has the second highest fatality rate among the world's highest peaks. "It's the father of all mountains...one mistake and you're dead", warns one climber. As the climbing season only lasts from May through to August, porters must make enough money in these months to support themselves through the rest of the year. "It's difficult to make ends meet... there is no other source of income", complains one: of his seven children, he can only afford to send two of them to school.
"I marvel at the skill of the porters", admits one mountaineer. Despite never receiving the recognition of the foreign climbers who conquer K2's summit, the local porters are the true heroes of the mountain.
Laurel Winner - Audience Award, Pakistan International Mountain Film Festival, 2015
Laurel Winner - Jury Prize, BBVA Mountain Film Festival, 2015
Laurel Winner - Best Documentary, Salento International Film Festival, 2015
Laurel Winner - Best Film - Rio Mountain Festival, 2015
Laurel Second Place - Best Film - Krakow Mountain Festival, 2015
Laurel Prof. Hamid Award of Excellence, Jammu and Kashmir Mountaineering and Hiking, 2015
Laurel Official Selection, International Festival of Mountain Films, 2015
Laurel Official Selection, Buffalo International Film Festival, 2015
Laurel Official Selection, Bilbao Mendi Film Festival, 2015
Laurel Official Selection, Phnom Penh International Film Festival, 2015
Laurel Official Selection, International Bansko Film Festival, 2015
Laurel Official Selection, Kendal Mountain Film Festival, 2015