Works

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  • Dream Mountain Photography Exhibit by Cira Crowell

  • Leica Gallery Los Angeles
  • Opening Reception
  • Tuesday, March 8, 2022
  • International Women’s Day
  • 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
  • Dream Mountain Film Screening and Artist’s Talk with Cira Crowell

  • “Making the Dream Real"
  • Wednesday, March 30, 2022
  • 6:00 PM

The dream continues... You are invited to an opening of the Dream Mountain exhibition at Leica Gallery Los Angeles. The exhibition is part of the Leica Women's Foto Project, in honor of Women's History Month.

The Dream Mountain photography exhibition consists of fifteen editioned black and white pigment prints and one sixteen-foot panorama print. Each image is positioned in a vertical format floating between earth below and heaven above. This longer vertical paper size references Himalayan scrolls that honor the culture in which the images were made. Images in the exhibit were photographed by Cira Crowell with the Leica SL, SL2 and CL over five years working at high elevation (12-21,000ft) in Nepal and while leading the Dream Mountain film project as executive producer, co-expedition photographer, and climber. The exhibition offers a thoughtful portrait of elite mountaineer Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita as she summits Cholatse at a critical crux of her life and career, and explores interconnections between mountain and culture while transcending stereotypes.

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Dream Mountain played to a full house of over 500 people at the Salt Lake City stop of the Banff Mountain Film World Tour in February! It was the first in-person re-opening event at University of Utah’s Kingsbury Hall and several members of the Dream Mountain team — Biographic Lead Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita, Executive Producer and Co-Expedidtion Photographer Cira Crowell and High Altitude Cinematographer Scott Simper reunited on stage to introduce the film.

“It was so much fun to share the moment and to be side-by-side with dear friends who helped make this film happen literally and in spirit,” Cira reflected. "Thanks for a great time Banff World Tour/Salt Lake City!!!"

The Banff World Tour is passing through every state and multiple cities. Dream Mountain is showing in the "Larch" Program (one of three different programs). To check if Banff World Tour/Larch Program is showing near you, click HERE.

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𝘋𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘮 𝘔𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘯 has now amassed 12 laurels worldwide from top-tier film festivals, including: London Mountain Film Festival, Trento (Italy) Mountain Film, Krakow (Poland) Mountain Film, New Zealand Mountain Film, Graz (Austria) Mountain Film, Kendal (England) Mountain Festival, Autrans (France) Mountain Film Festival, Kathmandu (Nepal) International Mountain Film Festival, Santa Fe Film Festival (USA), Big Sky Documentary Film Festival (USA), No Man’s Land Film Festival (USA) and the upcoming Wasatch Mountain Film Festival (USA).Additionally, Dream Mountain is currently playing the UK’s biggest adventure festival, the Kendall Mountain Tour and around the world for the next three years on the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour.

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It is an honor to share the news that Dream Mountain was selected for the 2021/22 Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour. The in-person and virtual World Tour will travel for three years to 40 countries with the potential of over 1,000 screenings world-wide.

"Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita is an inspiration for both her mountaineering and humanitarian accomplishments,” remarked Katie Ives, Alpinist Magazine Editor-in-Chief. “Her story is one that deserves to be more widely known, and we’re excited that Dream Mountain is sharing it with audiences around the world.”

Launched in 1986, the Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour brings mountain films to thousands of people who cannot make the annual trek to the Canadian Rockies.

“The dream of Dream Mountain has come true with the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour,” said Dream Mountain Executive Producer Cira Crowell. “Our original intention was to shed light on inspiration in a world that regularly discourages and limits girls and women at all stages – from hopefuls to elite professionals. We wanted to share Pasang’s heartfelt story in a way that integrates and encourages people and transcends boundaries of all types.”

@Pasang_Lhamu_Sherpa_Akita, an accomplished mountaineer, humanitarian and now mother, has won numerous prestigious awards including National Geographic’s People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year in 2016. In Dream Mountain Pasang reflects on her personal highs and lows and rediscovers for herself just how much the mountains have meant to her. The film offers insights into her struggle to balance mountaineering with motherhood, and the pressures of respecting her traditional culture while pushing boundaries as an elite female athlete. Returning to her mountain home and life-long passion, Pasang leads by force of inspiration.

“This life is beautiful and we only get this opportunity to live once, so we should live our life the way we want,” said Pasang. “All of us women have a right to live our dream. Keep dreaming.”

Photo by Cira Crowell featuring Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita with Cholatse in the background.

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“The dream is coming true.” —Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita⁠ ⁠

London Mountain Film has announced⁠ 🏆Dream Mountain won “BEST MOUNTAIN FILM” 🏆⁠ for the upcoming 2020 London Mountain Film Festival!⁠ ⁠

The judges said that Dream Mountain is “a flawless, beautifully shot film that provides wonderful insight and succeeds in allowing the viewer to feel part of a very personal journey –– a dream to watch.” Thanks so much @LondonMountainFilm! It is with deep gratitude and honor that we thank Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita for inviting us into her life, country, and mountains to share her inspiring story.⁠ 🇳🇵🇳🇵🇳🇵⁠ ⁠

London Mountain Film will host the World Premiere of our film on May 2, during the #LMFFvirtual festival next weekend. Click HERE to sign up for the free online festival, featuring 30 inspirational films focused on mountain adventure and inspirational humans pushing boundaries. During these trying times, we hope Dream Mountain and all of the films help lift your spirits and get you dreaming of future adventures! 💫⁠ ⁠ Photo by Cira Crowell⁠

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We are thrilled to present the official theatrical trailer for our award-winning film, Dream Mountain. This is the story of Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita: a mountaineer, humanitarian, mother and inspiration who overcomes all obstacles to live her dream.

We hope you enjoy this glimpse into the film before its World Premiere this Saturday, May 2, during the online London Mountain Film festival.

"The dream is coming true." –Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita

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In an Instagram Live interview, Leica Store Los Angeles' Ash Anderson speaks with Dream Mountain expedition photographer and executive producer Cira Crowell about the making Dreaming of "Dream Mountain" and especially working with Leica at extreme altitudes in the Himilayas!

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Give me a woo! Dream Mountain was named a finalist for the 2020 London Mountain Film Festival!

Join elite climber Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita in her Himalayan homeland of Nepal as she shares the joys and challenges of humanitarianism, mountaineering and motherhood.

Defying societal norms, Pasang has achieved a trailblazing international career and was named National Geographic Peoples' Choice Adventurer of the Year in 2016. After summiting K2, Everest, Denali, Amadablam and other world-class peaks, life changed with the birth of her son. Two years later, still a climber at heart, Pasang allows us into her struggle as she decides that to be the best mother she can be she needs to follow her dreams again. In her homeland, the Khumbu region of the Nepalese Himalaya, she shares her inspiring story of warm-hearted courage, growing up among the highest mountains in the world. She reflects on her proud Sherpa heritage, balancing traditional beliefs and modern ways, and how she overcomes limiting pressures. Pasang treks with her son towards Cholatse, a 6,440m/21,130ft peak she calls her "Dream Mountain."⠀⁠

Despite not climbing for several years, summit day proved to be a healing reconnection with the mountains and herself. Transcending expectations and returning to her life-long passion, she embodies an important message: that everyone has a right to follow their dreams. ⁠⠀⁠

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InLightWorks Executive Producer and Expedition Photographer Cira Crowell was interviewed for Leica's Women Foto Project. Cira tells the story of how her passion for photography began, her creative process and how she nurtures it.

"Instead of asking others where to take your photography, ask yourself where your photography is taking you. Photography is an inner journey and outward adventure. Accept the inner questions and outer challenges. Let it take you places that expand your view of the world, and voice the experience. Photography does not have to take you to the other side of the world, but it should always take you deep within your heart. Don’t worry about style or story; your photography will be much more poignant if you explore and share from your innermost motivation. Your intrinsic motivation is deeper than any outside influence, it is the true seed of your vision and voice."

Click here for the full interview.

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The Inlightworks team's producers and director recently convened in Santa Fe, NM for a screening of the Dream Mountain Film with Pasang and Norbu. The plan is to submit the documentary to Mountainfilm Festival in early February, hoping to screen it in May.

Follow @dreammountainfilm + @inlightworks for updates!

Image : Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita and her son Norbu watch the film's final edit.

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2016 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita grew up in Lukla, Nepal, the entrance to the Everest region. At a young age Pasang found inner-encouragement to transcend seemingly insurmountable obstacles and became one of the most recognized elite female mountaineers in the world, climbing Everest, K2, winning international awards and inspiring people everywhere with her story and warmth.

Two years ago Pasang set aside her ice axe and Nepali-flag helmet to give birth to her son Norbu. Now with the deep urge to climb again she will re-engage with her life-long passions by summiting a mountain in her homeland. This moment will start her new chapter of motherhood and climbing. Pasang lives her words that, “All women and girls have the right to follow their dreams."

Image: Director Kyle Ruddick and Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita at work on "Dream Mountain" in Khumbu, Nepal, with Cholatse in the background.

To summit is not to conquer, but to connect. - Cira Crowell

Summiting Cholatse 6,440m/21,130 ft in the heart of Khumbu, Nepal was the culmination of a dream held close to the hearts of Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita and Cira Crowell. Reaching the summit together with the Himalayas stretching out in all directions was a profound experience of interconnection with the team, the mountains and with the power of inspiration to lead us up and beyond...

Huge thanks and congratulations to climbing team Panuru Sherpa, Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita, Lhakpa Gyaljen Sherpa, Tenzing Sherpa, Scott Simper and Cira Crowell!

Image: Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita joyfully reaching the summit of Cholatse, Khumbu, Nepal.

On the trail of multiple projects into the Khumbu region of Nepal... Altitudes ranged from 9,000ft to over 17,000ft and sub zero temperatures with winter fast approaching. It was a profoundly successful, energizing adventure returning to work in the Everest region with Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita, Ei-Kichi Sherpa Akita, Kyle Ruddick, Jangmu Sherpa, Dawa Sherpa and Tenzing Sherpa.

Image: An early start in the frost and freezing fog towards Renjo-La, Khumbu, Nepal.

Breathing is good for you... especially at altitude! In addition to O2s Avalon7 Breathable Mesh Tubes also offer protection from the sun and dust. We're thrilled with the collaboration with Avalon7 featuring "Moonlit Everest" by photographer Cira Crowell. Team tested and approved!

Thanks to Rob and his team at Avalon7!

Image: Dawa Sherpa, Kyle Ruddick, Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita, Cira Crowell, Tenzing Sherpa wearing "Moonlit Everest" Avalon7 Breathable Mesh Tubes with Everest in the background. Can't see it but we're all smiling!

A spot on interview by Gear Patrol Studios for Leica Camera USA with a beautifully produced video interview and article with insights into preparations, training and gear for current projects.

Thank you Leica Camera USA and Gear Patrol!

Image: Video setup and stills photography of Cira Crowell discussing "Luminous Everest" and upcoming projects with the Gear Patrol Studios team.

Beyond words - the students, the locations, the time together exploring not just the technical side of photography but also our deep shared passions, struggles, achievements and hopes. Thank you Santa Fe Photographic Workshops for creating such a supportive space for learning and growing together! Black and white photography is not Plan B, it is a much deeper philosophy of shadow and light that begins before even picking up a camera.

UPDATE: Sign up for The Language of Black and White taught by Cira Crowell, July 2020! https://www.santafeworkshops.com

Image: Santa Fe Photographic Workshops class photo, The Language of Black and White, July 2019

Cheers to friends supporting friends... What a joy to host a dinner joining Santa Fe Photographic Workshops and a women's' creativity retreat for the amazingly excellent Brit+Co! This very special summer evening featured gorgeous table design by Santa Fe's own Violante & Rochford Interiors and dinner by Pínon Catering.

Image: Santa Fe Photographic Workshops Founder and President Reid Callanan, InLightWorks Founder Cira Crowell and Brit+Co Founder and CEO Brit Morin in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Mountaineer and Humanitarian Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita shared her inspiring message that “Nothing is impossible” with a crowd gathered at IBU Movement in Charleston, South Carolina, which fosters international economic support for female artisans around the world.

Photographer Cira Crowell shared a reading from her new book, “Luminous Everest” along with images and stories of weavers photographed along eight hundred miles of trail in the High Himalayas.

Tremendous thanks to Susan Hull Walker and her team at IBU for a beautiful evening and for weaving the threads of inspiration internationally!

Image: Susan Hull Walker, Angel Murdock, Cira Crowell and guests of IBU listen to the stories and insights of Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita.

"Luminous Everest" is a collection of black and white photographs of Everest made over three years of trekking in the Khumbu region, Nepal. The book has a hand-stitched binding similar to traditional red thread mala prayer bracelets with the intention that the book elevates and inspires, as does Mt. Everest. Images by Cira Crowell. Book design by Michael Motley, 11×17, 2019.

Image: Discussing page details with Michael Motley of Michael Motley Design.

“Luminous Everest” was an installation of large scale photographic prints. The images evoke the mystery, awe and enigmatic experience of traveling to Everest where the summit looms at 29,029ft/8,848m but is often hidden behind nearer, smaller peaks. In many ways the mountain is a mirror - a reflection of ideals, intentions, challenges, and strengths.

The exhibition consisted of thirteen large print perspectives of Everest. Five prints of Everest and a sold-out, special-edition, hand-bound book that benefitted Mountainfilm on Tour Savannah, 2019. Huge special thanks to Zelda Tenenbaum!

Image: A guest studies photographic prints by Cira Crowell at "Luminous Everest"

Currently in the works is a special edition book of images from years of remote treks in Dolpo, Nepal. Text and comments from Dolpo Tulku Rinpoche will add deeper insights. The book will benefit the Dolpo Tulku Rinpoche Foundation and InLightWorks is looking forward to coordinating exhibits and events.

Image: "Radiant Dawn." A horseman leads his Ta (Tibetan for horse) into the morning light in Tokyu, Dolpo, Nepal. White horses are believed to be particularly auspicious.