Podcast Interview with Kristin Harila

Norwegian Kristin Harila, 37, Tenjen (Lama) Sherpa summited all fourteen 8000ers in three months and 1 day (92 days.) The first was Shishapangma on April 26, 2023, and the last K2 on July 27, 2023. In 2022, Harila summited twelve of the fourteen, but China refused them entry into Tibet to attempt Shishapangma and Cho Oyu thus, she returned this year to complete her project.

She is no stranger to mountaineering. In 2021, 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 as a runner, skier and former mountaineer as she announced she is retiring from climbing with the end of this project.

While she came to mountaineering late, she’s summited twenty-eight 8000-meter peaks since her first, Everest, in 2021 and made a name for herself with several records, including:

  • Fastest person, together with Sherpa Lama overall, to True summit all 14 peaks over 8000m in 3 months and 1 day (July 27th, 2023)
  • Fastest person overall to summit the five highest mountains in the world in 69 days, Everest, K2, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, Makalu.
  • Fastest woman to climb Mount Everest, 8848 and Mount Lhotse, 8516, in less than 8 hours on May 23rd, 2023.

The previous record for reaching the true summits of the 8000ers was five years and four months by Nirmal Purja Pun Magar. Both climbers have been criticized by some in the climbing community for climbing with too many Sherpas, using supplemental oxygen and using helicopters to fly from mountain to mountain.

Harila’s journey was not with controversy. They included switching teams and Sherpas from 2022 to 2023, using helicopters to fly Sherpas to Camp 2 on Manaslu, and the one that caught global attention when a High Altitude Porter, Muhammad Hassan, not climbing with her team died on K2. Her team gave aid, but he died. A video taken hours later showed other climbers, not Harila’s team stepping over the dead body on the way to the summit. Harila was widely criticized for his death, yet her team did everything to save his life.

The Pakistani government investigated the incident and posted a detailed report clearing Harila’s team of any wrongdoing and gave her photographer, Gabriel Tarso, an “appreciation letter” for his effort to save a life that night. We explore all of these controversies in detail in this podcast.

This is the full report for download: Muhammad Hussain’s Death on K2 and Kristin’s report on her website.

A GoFundMe account is open for donations to support Mr. Hassan’s family.

Climb On!
Memories are Everything

Interview with Kristin Harila


The Podcast on alanarnette.com

You can listen on Spotify, AppleGoogle, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, Anchor, and more. Search for “alan arnette” on your favorite podcast platform.

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