At just eight-years-old, Queensland adventurer Alyssa Azar became the youngest person to cross the Kokoda track. At twelve, she conquered Australia’s 10 highest peaks and then, at 14, Mt. Kilimanjaro. It was after this milestone that Alyssa would realise a life-defining dream: to summit Mount Everest. Twice this dream was impeded by disaster.
In 2014, Alyssa survived the avalanche that killed 16 Sherpa and, in 2015, the Nepal earthquake that killed 22 climbers to become the deadliest disaster in the mountain’s history.
In 2016, Alyssa returned to successfully summit Earth’s highest peak as a 19-year-old, making her the youngest Australian to do so. The Ascent documents the final weeks in the lead up to Alyssa’s departure to Nepal and her return from the successful expedition, offering a rare glimpse into the unique regime and inspiring mindset of Australia’s boldest young adventurer.
The Ascent was produced in 2016 and has featured in various international film festivals, but until now has not received wide public release. It was produced by a student team from QUT’s Fine Arts Film Degree.