Climbing the world’s second-highest peak, K2, is more than just feat of athleticism. It’s a feat of logistics, teamwork, and dedication from all the players who make up a climbing expedition. It’s the climbers who often the only ones remembered, but despite being paid at rates far below those received by international expedition leaders, the local porters and support crew deserve just as much credit. Without them, critical supplies in base camp or high-altitude tasks that counts as some of the most difficult and dangerous work on the mountain for supporting climbers would never get done. They are the Invisible Footmen, and this film tells the story of their lives.
Filmmaker Iara Lee takes a deep dive into the lives of Pakistani porters and Nepalese Sherpa who provide critical support to expeditions on K2. For westerners, Pakistan often conjures up a nation of conflict and never-ending war, but the reality in this part of the world is often far from that. The film follows the story of a 2014 expedition of former porters who became the first official all-Pakistani climbing team to successfully summit the mountain in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the first summit.