An Ecuadorian mountaineer balances friendship, love, and luck in his quest to climb a new route on one of the tallest and most dangerous mountains in the world. Esteban ‘Topo’ Mena is an Ecuadorian mountain guide and rising star in alpine climbing whose dream is to climb the first ascent of a new route on Mount Everest. He teams up with Cory Richards, a National Geographic photographer and the first American to climb an 8,000-meter peak in winter, and they attempt a never-before-tried climb on the north face of Everest.
Though they fail on their first attempt, they vow to return the following season. However, due to the global pandemic, the North side of Everest remains closed, so the ambitious duo turns their attention to a futuristic new route on Dhaulagiri, the seventh highest mountain in the world. This route, however, looks far harder and more avalanche-prone than Everest, demanding that they team up with a third climber.
They choose the Ecuadorian climber Carla Perez, the first woman ever to successfully summit Everest and K2 without supplemental oxygen in a single year. When the risk of death on Dhaulagiri stresses the team to a breaking point, the climbers are forced to confront the question of why they climb—and why it’s all worth it.