Synopsis: An Ecuadorian mountaineer balances friendship, love, and luck in his quest to climb a new route on one of the tallest and most dangerous mountains in the world.
Topo Mena is an Ecuadorian mountain guide and rising star in alpine climbing whose dream is to climb the first ascent of a new route on Mount Everest. He teams up with Cory Richards, a National Geographic photographer and the first American to climb an 8,000-meter peak in winter, and they attempt a never-before-tried climb on the north face of Everest. Though they fail on their first attempt, they vow to return the following season.
However, due to the global pandemic, the North side of Everest remains closed, so the ambitious duo turns their attention to a futuristic new route on Dhualagiri, the seventh highest mountain in the world. This route, however, looks far harder and more avalanche-prone than Everest, demanding that they team up with a third climber. They choose the Ecuadorian climber Carla Perez, the first woman ever to successfully summit Everest and K2 without supplemental oxygen in a single year. When the risk of death on Dhualagiri stresses the team to a breaking point, the climbers are forced to confront the question of why they climb—and why it’s all worth it.
Tommy Joyce is a National Geographic filmmaker and award winning documentary director. His work primarily focuses on extreme sports, natural history, and character-driven stories that explore the depths of human emotion and push the boundaries of our capacity for achievement.
Tommy is the co-founder of Triage Creative and has made films and produced commercial content on all seven continents for such varied clients as National Geographic, Adidas, Red Bull, Nikon, Honda, The North Face, and more.
The Trilogy, a documentary he directed about climber Sasha Digiulian, won the Audience Choice Award at Banff Film Festival in 2019.