Trailblazing: The Women of Nepal's Trekking Industry
A mountain path, two women with arms around each other, a classroom with women in it and the banner reading: Empowering the Women of Nepal

About The Film

Producer: Lisa Hoffe
Audio and Camera: Lisa Hoffe
Editor: Cyril Reid, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Format: Mini-DV, Documentary

Trailblazing: The Women of Nepal's Trekking Industry
An Only Girl Production

Official Selection: Jeevika Documentary Film Festival, Delhi July 2007

Official Selection: International Mountain Film Festival, Domzale Slovenia February 2007

Juror: Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival, February 2007

Official Selection: Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival

Official Selection: the st. john's international women's film festival

Official Selection: the st. john's international women's film festival


The Film's Journey
About The Film
About the Filmmaker
View a Clip!
The Chhetri Sisters
Memorial University: Women's Studies

For more information
about this film contact:

Lisa Hoffe, Producer
Only Girl Productions


Film Synopsis

Shot in the beautiful Annapurna region of the Nepal Himalaya, the 24-minute film profiles the fledgling few women working in the heavily male-dominated adventure tourism business as trekking guides. The film profiles women in the business of guiding female tourists who come to Nepal to "trek" the mountainous routes from village to village. Through the telling of their stories, the kinds of gender barriers that exist for them, not only alongside the predominately male workforce, but also as Nepali women are seen.

The film opens with the remarkable story of three determined sisters who operate the first and only female owned trekking agency in the highly competitive adventure tourism industry in Nepal. 3 Sisters Adventure ( caters mostly to women travelers requesting female trekking guides and porters. The sisters saw a niche in the market when women tourists returning from treks told of incidents of inappropriate behaviour from their male guides.

To meet the high demand for female guides, the sisters have now developed a training program to expand capacity for women in the industry. The sisters, who are experienced guides themselves, now train approximately 20 to 25 young women twice a year. This is also a first. 3 Sisters is a 'social enterprise', diverting 5% of the annual income generated through their trekking company and guesthouse to a training organization for female guides and porters.

The film captures the pioneering spirit and determination of the sisters as they continue to break down gender barriers and stereotypes in a non-traditional field for women. It tells of how their entry into the field challenged the social order of the marketplace. The film also profiles several young trainees in the program and provides a sense of the social conditions and limited expectations for young Nepali women within this conservative mountain culture. Female tourists from Sweden, Canada and America are also featured.

The film is in English (no subtitles) with a small portion in Nepali (English sub-titles). The project was funded in part by the Canadian International Development Agency.
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