“Tiger” heads to India where it all started.

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Almost two years after we started work on this project, “Nawang Gombu: Heart of a Tiger” is going international. The documentary was selected for the “Tiger Paw Sports Film Festival” which takes place August 27-29th in Delhi.

We’re very excited about this opportunity for movie lovers to see this work in Gombu’s home country and hope several members of his family will be able to attend the screening.

Since we will not be able to be there, we’ve prepared a taped introduction tailored for the event that will play before the movie. 

Our screening at the Plaza Library in Kansas City the last weekend in July was a big success. Some 200 people watched the documentary in the Truman Auditorium and stayed for a Question and Answer session.

We can’t say enough about the Kansas City Public Library which kindly hosted this event and did such a great job promoting it–from the personal appearances they arranged to the terrific graphics they produced for their publications.

If you were one of the people who attended, thanks so much for your support!

Our next stop in the U.S. will be the Breckenridge Film Festival, September 19-22nd in Breckenridge, Colorado.

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Photographs provided by Lea Murphy of Lea Murphy Photography in Kansas City.

Teton Mountain Story Festival


This is the first Teton Mountain Story Festival and they certainly pulled out all the stops to launch what they hope will be an annual event. They kicked it off with author, explorer, educator Wade Davis who spent 12 years working on “Into the Silence”. It’s an epic-length book about WWI and George Mallory who disappeared trying to climb Everest in 1924.

Monday night a standing room only crowd listened to 3 members of the 1963 expedition. Left to right in the photo above are Tom Hornbein, Dick Pownall and Jim Whittaker. Many people have heard of Hornbein, who pioneered the West Ridge ascent of Everest and Whittaker who was the first American to summit Everest along with Nawang Gombu, but few people have heard much about or from Dick Pownall. Continue reading

50th Anniversary Salute!

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What clever people you are!

On Wednesday, May 1st, I posted a request on Facebook. I told people it was the 50th anniversary of the first American summit of Mt. Everest and invited friends to toast the accomplishment of these crazy courageous people. So many did and with such enthusiasm, I was amazed. The students above are in Mr. Tim Johnson’s U.S. history class at Basehor-Linwood High School. They have arranged themselves to look like the historic photo of the 1963 expedition you see in the masthead on this website.

Thanks for making this so much fun! The slide-show below contains all the photos celebrating this big anniversary.

Coming soon to a University, Mountain Town and Library near you!

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We are happy to report, “Heart of a Tiger” is going on the road! Bev will be showing it at the Bob Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas on May 8th.


It will be seen at the Rainier Independent Film Festival in Washington May 12th.


Mele and I will be traveling to Jackson Hole, Wyoming where we will speak and show the documentary at the Teton County Mountain Story Festival May 16th. (This will give us another chance to rub elbows with Jim Whittaker, Tom Hornbein and Dick Pownall, all members of the 1963 American Expedition.)


The following week we are planning a private showing in Telluride during the Mountainfilm documentary festival.

Finally, family, friends, mountain climbers and good sports of all kinds, the Kansas City Public Library will be showing Gombu’s story at 2 pm July 28th at the Plaza Library Truman Forum Auditorium.

Thanks to all who hosted screenings, attended screenings, encouraged us, helped make connections and supported us on Kickstarter. You are the best!

Closing thought.

This week is a very special anniversary. May 1st is the 50 year mark for the men who stood on top of the world in 1963. We’re asking people to toast these crazy courageous people and if you’re willing, send a photo to: HeartofaTiger@icloud.com. We’ll post them on the website and Facebook as a tribute to people everywhere who continue to dream big, take chances and inspire us in ways that challenge the imagination.


Close to our goal.

There’s still time to join our Kickstarter campaign.


Big thanks to all of you who’ve helped us pay for copyright and video transfer fees. We’ve now shown “Heart of Tiger” to a number of small gatherings and the response is simply terrific.

Please know how much we appreciate your support. A portion of the Kickstarter money will go to the “Sherpa Buddhist Association” which supports Sherpa families whose loved ones have died helping mountain climbers.


A Night to Remember!

DSC01040 - Version 2Despite the fact that the MONSTER snow storm in the Midwest forced Southwest to repeatedly cancel our flights, we made it.

Mele was there for the first public showing of “Nawang Gombu: Heart of a Tiger” at the American Alpine Club’s Everest Anniversary Celebration. I arrived a few hours later in time for the banquet and to hear four of the men who climbed Everest 50 years ago, talk about what it felt like then and what it means to them now.

It was an amazing night. There were close to 700 people at the Craneway Pavilion in Berkeley, California to raise money for the club and soak up the nostalgia. These men who sat on the stage are in their 80′s and 90′s now. Nevertheless, when they spoke about Everest, you could hear the “boy” in their voices. Many of the people in the audience say they took up climbing because of them. Some still have the 1963 National Geographic Magazine that detailed the summit. Others have had a chance to get to know these guys, ask their advice and get encouragement to pursue their high altitude dreams.

Some of the expedition members donated personal souvenirs of their experience to the silent auction. Filmmaker Norman Dyhrenfurth donated his climbing gear, tent and shovel. Climber Tom Hornbein gave up a coveted oil painting of the West Ridge of Everest, the route he and Willie Unsoeld pioneered in 1963. That item raised over $20 thousand dollars for the club.

We got to show our documentary and spend time with some of the wonderful people we met on this project including Gombu’s youngest child, Ongmu, who flew all the way from Delhi for the event. Mele got to hang out with Norman and Moidi. We would like to call Tom and Kathy Hornbein our family. And “Big Jim” Whittaker, Gombu’s climbing partner, was warm and kind as always.

We’ve entered the documentary in some film festivals. We’ll let you know how that turns out and when it will be available for people to see on-line.


After shooting, researching and writing for over a year, we are so happy to announce “Nawang Gombu: Heart of a Tiger” will be shown at the American Alpine Club’s Everest Anniversary celebration in San Francisco in February. In addition to club members, the event will include several members of the 1963 American Everest Expedition, many of whom were interviewed for our documentary.




 To find out more about Gombu and our work in progress, click on the video below. We hope you’ll check back often for updates and visit our FAQ section to learn how this all started.