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Lost Cave Temples Of The Himalaya

Airs Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: A cave complex in Upper Mustang, Nepal. In a remote corner of the Himalaya, in the forbidden Kingdom of Mustang, a team of climbers clambers into mysterious caves for the first time and uncovers ancient cave temples lost to the modern world.

In a remote corner of the Himalaya, in the forbidden Kingdom of Mustang, mysterious caves, perched high on cliff faces and carved by humans thousands of years ago, have lain just beyond reach — until recently. In April of 2007, a team of climbers and scientists climbed inside the long-hidden chambers for the first time in modern history.

This film follows the riveting story, told by filmmaker Liesl Clark, about her husband, seven-time Everest summiter Pete Athans, and big-wall climber Renan Ozturk, who take on the dangerous job of climbing into the crumbling caves, searching for nine legendary cave temples called “kabum.” What they find goes far beyond their expectations, as their cameras document every hair-raising move.

It’s an explorer’s dream … until the unexpected happens: A posse of local horsemen gallops up while Ozturk is perched high on a dangerously eroding cliff. The climbers intend to document and preserve what may be inside the cave, but the site is sacred to the locals.

Dramatically heightening the stakes, the villagers start pulling on the ropes, placing weight on the fragile anchors; they then demand payment. Should the team set a precedent by paying the locals to climb into their cave? Should they risk violating the sacred in a dangerous effort to preserve it?


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Avatar for user 'stripat'

stripat | January 26, 2010 at 10:24 p.m. ― 7 years, 2 months ago

Great job and great show. Thanx a lot, it was really fun to watch the show about my own country but little disappointing to see people demanding money. Hopefully that will change someday.

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Avatar for user 'naturenerd'

naturenerd | April 19, 2010 at 4:07 p.m. ― 6 years, 11 months ago

Mixed feelings about this show: well done, fascinating topic. Amazing that these places of such historical and religious significance, and the fragile artificats held within, are still so relatively unknown and unexplored. The only part that was a turn-off was the narcissism of the filmmakers to include storylines and shots about ehr children, husband, and herself. Not interested! Does she really think anyone tuned in to this porgram to learn about her family?

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Avatar for user 'stonerfamily10'

stonerfamily10 | August 22, 2010 at 7:29 p.m. ― 6 years, 7 months ago

It was very interesting to see a family doing this adventure together. What a wonderful educational opportunity for the children of this couple! Home-school families, and Un-school families can be inspired by this documentary to find such stimulating opportunities for their children's learning experience.

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Avatar for user 'cwclifford'

cwclifford | December 9, 2010 at 6:01 p.m. ― 6 years, 3 months ago

I've watched this program twice now and found that I actually didn't perceive the villagers who demanded money as nefarious as portrayed by the viewpoint of the producers. The fact that they traveled MANY miles to get to the site and demanded that they stop the exploration may have been emotionally charged but soon after realizing that the explorers would do no harm, I think it was completely reasonable to ask for a "trade". Since the crew had no goats then cash was the obvious choice. :)

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Avatar for user 'crusher'

crusher | May 25, 2011 at 11:18 p.m. ― 5 years, 10 months ago

Yes it could of done without all the family junk and more content. The kids will not remember a thing about that trip. Could of got a lot more done without the mrs and kids. And should of never paid those villagers. If they don't want to know anything about their past. Their BIG loss.

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