Two rad women: Sareena Rai started the punk rock scene in Nepal. Pasang Lhamu Akita Sherpa climbed K2 and Mt. Everest and she’s Nepal’s first female mountaineering instructor. “Woman shouldn’t do this; woman shouldn’t do that,” Pasang says in the documentary “Mothered by Mountains.”
Pasang worries over her life choices. She wants to be a mother. She feels she can’t be a mother, away most months of the year pursuing her calling. Pasang is an empowering example both because she does what she does and because of how she troubles over whether she should.
Sareena, a single mom of two adopted kids, says, “to be loving to your children, that's the most important, that they feel loved. Apart from that, what you wear, your pastime, what you do for a living is irrelevant.” Pasang felt scared and responsible for Sareena’s children as she guided her on a climb above 18,000 feet.
Other adventure documentaries showcase women people doing what men adventurers do. It’s encouraging that the empowerment-by-example track in extreme adventure and sports has become increasingly more traveled by women. “Mothered by Mountains” lingers more than other adventure films in the conversation of what women-being-rad means.
As it can be with adventures, the filmmakers admit that this film didn’t go as planned. Maybe there wasn’t enough footage to structure and enrich the story more fully. Regardless, Sareena and Pasang communicate an effecting message. Oh, and the Himalayan mountain photography sets the stage very well.