Adventure filmmakers Allison Otto and Carole Snow recently returned from a reporting trip to Nepal. Working on a feature set to premiere in fall 2012 the two filmed and interviewed one of the most important chroniclers of Himalayan climbing expeditions in the world. Miss Elizabeth Hawley is the subject a documentary called Keeper of The Mountains. Now in production this bio-pic aims to tell the story of one woman who has recorded accounts of alpine adventure in Central Asia since the 1960s.
“People refer to her as a walking history book of mountaineering and it is true,” said independent film producer Carole Snow. “I’m not sure climbers know as much as she knows.”
At 87 Miss Hawley continues to interview and report on the many climbers that visit near her home in Katmandu. Film partners Otto and Snow visited her this summer after a recent fall left the sharp-minded journalist unable to travel. But Miss Hawley still meets with mountaineers arranging a car and driver to bring them directly to her house. Despite her advancing years Snow said she’s still a commanding presence.
“Elizabeth is a true genius. She constructs her stories and memories with such accuracy and details. It’s no wonder she expects the same recreation of events from climbers,” Snow said in a Facebook exchange. “It’s very difficult to walk into an interviewing environment with Elizabeth thinking you have the upper hand. You simply don’t. She’s smarter than you, and she is absolutely the smartest guy in the room.”
The forthcoming film Keeper of the Mountains is still filming with a second trip to Nepal scheduled for May of next year. A long time to anticipate the telling of what will likely be an amazing story. But a good add to your reading list might be I’ll call you in Katmandu, the Elizabeth Hawley Story by Bernadette McDonald. It’s currently out of print, but available in some bookstores. Rumor has it publisher Rocky Mountain Books plans a re-release in the fall of 2012 as a paperback with an eBook edition available for download.
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