A new trend in 8000-meter climbing is how many you can get in one trip and how fast. Norweigan Kristin Harila is on track to smash long-time records this year. Thus far, she has eleven of the fourteen, all with climbing Sherpas, Pasdawa Sherpa, and Dawa Ongju Sherpa, of 8K Expeditions. I had the opportunity to record this interview with her during a short respite back home in Norway.
The current record is 189 days between April 23 and October 29, 2019, by Nirmal Purja Pun Magar and is recognized by Guinness World Records. However, a study posted online notes it took Nirmal five years, four months, and 25 days to complete all 14, primarily due to their conclusion that he didn’t reach Manaslu’s true summit during his 2019 campaign and only did in the autumn of 2021. Kristin’s first summit of the project was Annapurna on April 28, 2022. She will need to finish by November 3, 2022, to get the speed record.
She is no stranger to mountaineering. In 2019, she became the fastest woman to climb Everest and Lhotse in a record 12 hours. The 36-year-old is from Vadso/Norway and is a former cross-country skier. Today, she claims her profession is as a mountaineer, runner, and skier.
Next up for the trio are Nepal’s Manaslu true summit, before trying Cho Oyu and Shishapangma. She prefers climbing both from the Tibet side, but as we know, the Chinese have closed Tibet for climbing due to COVID since 2000. They will have to get an exception to enter the country for their attempt. She tells me she will attempt Cho from Nepal if she cannot enter Tibet.
Pemba Sherpa, the founder of 8K Expeditions, tells me:
I have never seen such a strong woman in mountaineering. If China gives the chance to climb Shixapangma and Cho-oyu, she will definitely complete the project in expected time along with Pasdawa and Dawa Ongju.
This is a fun, fast-paced interview where we cover many topics, including:
- Kristin and her Sherpa team
- Her background growing up in Norway and as a professional skier
- Women climbing 8000-meter peaks
- The trash and experience epidemic on the 8000ers this year
- A brief rundown of her climbs thus far
- A look at what’s ahead for the three
Best of luck to Kristin, Pasdawa, and ‘Uncle Dawa.’ She leaves next week for the final phase of the “Bremont 14 Peaks” project. You can follow Kristin on Instagram, Facebook, or her website and 8K Expeditions.
Memories are Everything
Interview with Kristin Harila
The Podcast on alanarnette.com
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