Airdate: Everest Rescue

Discovery’s new doco series Everest Rescue will profile pilots who risk it all to help save lives at Mount Everest.

Every year hundreds of climbers and Sherpas attempt to scale Everest. It’s dangerous, it’s difficult and it’s death-defying; for every ten people who reach the summit, one will die trying. At this altitude there’s no margin for error and when something goes wrong, there’s only one shot at survival. The fate of even the most experienced climbers and Sherpas rests in the hands of the world’s most elite band of high altitude pilots. They risk everything to save the lives of those who have risked theirs attempting to reach world’s highest peak.

The pilots of Everest Rescue are put to the ultimate test each day as they battle against the clock to rescue people who are stranded and often injured or suffering from altitude sickness which can prove fatal. In order to effectively do their job they must also tackle unpredictable and dangerous weather conditions, along with high altitudes that test the limits of their helicopters. The risks are great and the pilots are constantly balancing a desire to save people and bring them back safely with the practicality of avoiding another incident if things go wrong during the rescue.

With the season starting to draw to a close, there have been hundreds of calls for help. There is no shortage of emergencies: from the search for twenty stranded climbers whose camp has been blown away and a climber who’s fighting for his life in Everest’s Death Zone at an altitude out of the helicopter’s reach; to a young Nepalese woman from a remote village who is hemorrhaging after giving birth, and a rescue mission hindered by treacherous weather that sees one of the pilots stuck on the mountain – his own safety at risk. This is not only one of the most dangerous jobs on the planet, but the emotional toll it takes on the personal lives of the pilots is unparalleled.

In 2015 a devastating earthquake struck Nepal killing thousands of people and a subsequent avalanche took 22 lives on Everest. Some of the pilots were among the first response teams on the mountain. Production of Everest Rescue began exactly one year after the earthquake and the crew witnessed how the rescue teams responded as Everest re-opened to climbers, capturing never-before-seen footage.

With exclusive and in-depth access, meet the hero pilots and medical units who respond to an overwhelming amount of emergencies on the most dangerous mountain range in the world in Everest Rescue.

Tuesday 21 February at 8.30pm on Discovery.

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