“We were at Mt. Everest to make history, but instead we were there as eyewitnesses to history,” Discovery Networks president Eileen O’Neill said in a statement. “It is essential to tell this story and honor all the Sherpas who lost their lives.”
The documentary comes after Discovery canceled its planned “Everest Jump Live” special, which was to document Joby Ogwyn’s attempt to make a wing-suit flight off the summit of Everest. Those killed in the avalanche had been employed by producer NBC News’ Peacock Productions, moving equipment up the mountain in preparation for the May 11 live event.
This new program will focus instead on the weeks leading up to the climb, the avalanche itself and the tragic aftermath. In addition to footage of the Sherpa families and climbers directly impacted by the avalanche, “Everest Avalanche Tragedy” will include interviews with Ogwyn, expedition leader Garrett Madison and others involved with the original production and recovery efforts.
Discovery wants the documentary to be a tribute to the Sherpas and their families and will be making a donation to the American Himalayan Foundation Sherpa Family Fund in conjunction with the special.
“Everest Avalanche Tragedy” will air Sunday, May 4 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the Discovery Channel.