Technology Hiker

Media Review: Myanmar: Bridges to Change

Myanmar – Bridges of Change is available on Amazon Videos for Prime Members.  This excellent 44 minute movie chronicles an epic 2013 Himalayan Expedition to Gamlang Razi.  Gamlang Razi is one of the most remote places on Earth and arguably the highest peak in Myanmar.  The area just recently opened up to climbers.

This Himalayan expedition is the 21st century version of Maurice Herzog’s Annupurna climb.  Both required long & unknown paths to the mountain with unknown climbing routes.  The journey to climb 18,000+ foot Gamlang Razi required a steamy 175 mile trek through the jungle.  Once arriving at base camp, the team mounted several attempts to find a route to the summit.  The trek required a significant support team including US based climbers, local Burmese climbers, cultural teams, cooks, and porters.   The expedition team successfully summitted the peak with both US & Myanmar based climbers.

The film mentioned but downplayed the logistical & physical challenges of the adventure.  The Burmese jungle was hot, did not have much of a trail, and was infested with biting & stinging creatures.  The logistical planning of expedition leader Andy Tyson was impressive – everything from aligning incentives with local Burmese climbers & Myanmar government officials to arranging porters in remote villages.

A North Face / National Geographic sponsored expedition attempted to climb neighboring Hkakabo Razi a year later.  This attempt highlighted the expeditions level of difficulty.  The TNF star studded attempt ended in acrimony amidst tough conditions and strife among the climbers.

Myanmar – Bridges of Change will inspire you with an old school Himalayan expedition.  The team members were resourceful, resilient, and skilled.  The documentary’s price is right (free) as well with Amazon Prime membership.  Enjoy

Gamlang Razi in the center.