K2 and the Invisible Footmen: Climber Bios


Iara Lee's documentary feature K2 and the Invisible Footmen profiles those who've climbed the world's second-tallest mountain. Filmed during the summer 2014 climbing season, the film devotes particular attention to the indigenous Pakistani mountain porters who have been an integral part of K2 expeditions since the mountain was first summited in 1954. Below, find biographies of moutaineers featured in the film, whether they climbed K2 in 2014 or in years past.

Adrian Hayes

British record-breaking polar explorer and adventurer


Agostino da Polenza

Italian climber and expedition leader who summited K2 in 1983 without supplemental oxygen; founded Ev-K2-CNR Committee as a project of scientific and technological research in Himalaya, Karakorum and Hindu Kush ranges


Al Hancock

Thirteenth Canadian to climb the Seven Summits; completed over 20 difficult, expedition style summits


Alan Arnette

American mountaineer who has climbed the Seven Summits to reach millions on behalf of Alzheimer's causes



37 year-old climber from Hushe, Pakistan who has summited Broad Peak, G2 and K2; member of the Pakistani-Italian 2014 expedition

Ali Durani
24 year-old climber from Hushe, Pakistan, who has summited Broad Peak and K2; member of the Pakistani-Italian 2014 K2 expedition

Ashraf Aman
Mountaineer, adventurer, and engineer from Pakistan who, in 1977, became the first Pakistani to reach the summit of K2; operates Adventure Tours Pakistan and is vice president of Alpine Club of Pakistan


Boyan Petrov
Bulgarian climber and famous zoologist; member and leader of research and mountaineering expeditions who has made 16 summits above 5,000 meters

Chhang Dawa Sherpa
A climbing prodigy and the second Nepali to successfully summit the 14 mountains of the world that are above 8,000 meters; the youngest 14-peak summiter in the world


Chris Jensen Burke
One of the few climbers, female or male, to reach the summit of four 8,000-meter peaks in a twelve-month period; the 4th woman to climb both G1 and G2 in a single season


Dawa Yangzum Sherpa
Nepalese female climber and high-altitude long-distance runner who believes mountaineering and climbing can bring change in society; hopes to raise the voice of climate change for women living in under-developed countries

Daniele Nardi
Documentary filmmaker who summited K2 in 2007 and 2014 and Nanga Parbat in 2008; supported communication for Pakistani-Italian expedition


Fazl Ali
A climber from Shimshal, Pakistan

Ghulam Mehdi
39 year-old climber from Hushe, Ghulam has summited G1, G2, K7, Nanga Parbat, Spantik and K2; member of the Pakistani-Italian 2014 expedition

Hassan Jan
39 year-old mountaineer from Hushe, Pakistan, who has summited Nanga Parbat, Char-Ku-Za Peak, G2, Broad Peak, Bawashal Peak and K2; member of the Pakistani-Italian 2014 expedition

Hassan Sadpara aka Hassan Asad Khan
Mountaineer and high altitude porter from Sadpara village, Skardu, Pakistan; only Pakistani who has made it to the summit of 65 distinct 8000-meter mountains and the second Pakistani to summit Everest


Lakpa Sherpa
Nepalese climber and guide known for conducting rescue operations at extreme altitudes and adverse conditions


Lien Choong Luen
Singapore-based climber who summited Everest and K2 in 2014

Female climber from China who has summited seven 8000ers, including K2 in 2014

Matteo Zanga
Italian photographer the photographer for the Pakistani-Italian 2014 expedition


Maya Sherpa
Nepalese climber who completed K2 in 2014 to raise awareness around climate change; has summited Everest twice

Michele Cucchi
An Italian guide, Cucchi who has connected his passion for skiing, rock climbing and alpinism into a professional mountaineering career; a member of the Pakistani-Italian 2014 expedition

Mingma Gyalje Sherpa
A young, experienced climber from Nepal, who has successfully climbed Mt. Everest four times and several other 8000ers, including K2 in 2014


Muhammad Hassan
25 year-old climber from Hushe, Pakistan,who has summited G2, Broad Peak and K2; member of the Pakistani-Italian 2014 expedition

Muhammad Sadiq
39 year-old climber from Sadpara who has summited G1, G2 and Broad Peak; member of the Pakistani-Italian K2 expedition

Muhammad Taqi
38 year-old climber from Hushe, Pakistan, who has summited Spantik and Broad Peak; leader of the Pakistani-Italian 2014 expedition

Nazir Sabir
Pakistani mountaineer from Hunza who became the first Pakistani to climb Mt. Everest; climbed four of the five 8000-meter peaks in Pakistan, including K2 in 1981


Pasang Lhamu Sherpa
Nepalese female climber who has spoken out about the sexism in the climbing world; has climbed Mt. Everest, K2 and various other mountains

Paolo Aralla
Director of photography for the Pakistani-Italian 2014 K2 expedition


Rajab Shah
The first Pakistani to climb all five of Pakistan’s 8000ers; summited K2 in 2005.

Rehmat Ullah Baig
A native of Shimshal, Pakistan, who summited K2 with the Pakistai-Italian 2014 expedition

Reza Shahlaee
An Irani alpinist who summited K2 in 2014

Shaheen Baig
A mountaineer, high-altitude porter, mountain guide and instructor from Shimshal; co-founded the Shimshal Mountaineering School to promote professional mountaineering and adventure sports activities; summited K2 in 2004


Tamara Lunger
Italian ski mountaineer and the youngest female climber, at 23, to reach the main summit of Lhotse, in Nepal; summited K2 in 2014

Tashi Lakpa Sherpa
Nepalese mountain guide and international expedition leader; summited Everest eight times


Tunc Findik
The first Turk to summit Mount Everest twice from different routes; summited K2 in 2012


Zdravko Dejanovic
Macedonian climber who summited K2 in 2014