- Jury Prize, Torello Mountain Film Festival 2005, Spain
- Best Film on Mountaineering, Vancouver International Film Festival 2005, Canada
- Best Screenplay, Poprad Mountain Film Festival 2005, Slovakia
- Best Film on Women's Adventure, Boulder Adventure Film Festival 2005, USA
- Best Film on Mountaineering, Cervino International Film Festival 2005, Italy
- Autrans International Film Festival 2004, France
- Banff Mountain Film Festival 2004, Canada
- Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival 2004, USA
- Jackson Hole Film Festival 2004, USA
- Kendal Mountain Film Festival 2004, England
- Ljubljana Film Festival 2005, Slovenia
- Montreal International Adventure Film Festival 2005, Canada
- Taos Mountain Film Festival 2004, USA
- Telluride Mountain Film Festival 2004, USA
- Trento International Mountain Film Festival 2004, Italy
- Wanaka Mountain Film Festival 2005, New Zealand
- Alpinist Film Festival 2008
Few people will ever breathe the rarefied thin air that veils the top of the world. Even fewer survive the experience. Himalayan climbing is the most deadly of recreations, many times more lethal than sky diving, race car driving, or base jumping off skyscrapers. Combined. On certain peaks, the statistics are staggering, but on K2 they are mind-boggling. While Everest has been climbed over 2000 times and seen 175 deaths, only 240 have scaled K2, and nearly 60 have perished in the process. That’s an unimaginable rate of one in four death to survival.
And as bad as those odds are, they are even worse for women. At the start of the 2004 climbing season, five talented and determined women had reached K2’s 28,261 foot (8616 meter) summit, but only two of them made it down alive. And soon after, they too perished while climbing other 8000 meter peaks. Today, all five women are dead.
Women of K2 examines several areas of theory, speculation and discussion and asks controversial and challenging questions of women mountaineers as well as the medical and climbing communities.
- Do women’s bodies react differently than men’s to the devastation of high altitude?
- Are women emotionally equipped to deal with the “combat mentality” of high altitude climbing?
- Do mothers face retribution in choosing to climb that fathers do not? And does that double standard handicap their ability to focus single-mindedly on the mountain at their feet?
- Do women climbers rely on strong male partners, thereby endangering themselves and those around them when they falter, and fail, beyond the reach of rescue?
Deadly or not, every year brings new women climbers to K2, ready to test their strength and will against one of the deadliest mountains on Earth. Among them during the 2002 climbing season was Spanish climber and fashion model Araceli Segarra.
Women of K2 examines the dark history of the mountain’s female pioneers while following the attempts of Segarra who soared into the international climbing world when she summited Everest during the catastrophic 1996 season, captured in the dramatic IMAX film.
“I have great respect for the mountains,” Segarra says, “and for K2 in particular. I am here to climb, but no mountain is worth my life.”
Women of K2 was created, written and co-produced by Jennifer Jordan. It originally aired on National Geographic Channel December, 2003.