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Ascending Afghanistan Gets Nod at Banff Film Fest 2018

Ascending Afghanistan was directed by Erik Osterholm and follows the first female Afghan mountaineering team as they navigate their first expedition and fight for recognition as athletes amongst their country, culture, and families.

“A film that reminds us how trivial our aspirations and achievements are. A film that humbles us,” said Bruce Kirkby of the jury.

“The jury unanimously agreed that this powerful film could not go unrecognized.”

BREAKING NEWS!!! Members of the Ascend team made an attempt on Mt. Noshaq, the highest peak in Afghanistan, and succeeded in having the first Afghan woman reach the summit! Standing at 24,580 ft. in the Hindu Kush, Noshaq had never before been climbed by an Afghan woman. (For reference, Mt. Everest is 29,000 ft!) This has been a summit Ascend has been dreaming of and striving toward since its inception 3 years ago. We are so proud of the team's accomplishment and their journey to it. Thanks to everyone who has made this possible, which includes hundreds of people across all 50 states and the world! More to come – pictures, the story, and information about those involved. For now, join us in celebrating this achievement, with an awesome photo from a past expedition! Photo by: @julieahotz #AfghanWomenStrong #ClimbWithPurpose #WomenWhoHike #ascendafghanistan #mountaineering #SheExplores #hiking #womenempowerment #girlpower #getoutstayout #sheclimbs #climbingmountains #onwardandupward #forceofnature #ascendingafghanistan

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“it is a reminder of how far we still have to go in the journey to make this a just and equal planet for all, and it casts a new light on the unexpected role mountain sports can play in those efforts.”

Watch the film here.