Kristin Harila breaks 8,000m peak records

The Norwegian mountaineer hopes to become the first woman to summit all 14 peaks within six months, and is on track to break Nimsdai Purja’s record

Read time 2 mins

Published Jun 02, 2022

Base editorial team
BASE editorial team BASE writers and editors who live and breathe adventure every day. We love adventure storytelling as much as we love adventure itself.

Norwegian mountaineer Kristin Harila is on track to beat Nimsdai Purja’s record, having now summited 6 out of 14 of the world’s above 8,000m peaks. Less than two weeks ago, Kristin summited Everest and Lhotse, swiftly moving on to conquer Makalu. Kristin also smashed her own record from last year, maintaining her title as the fastest female to traverse Everest-Lhotse, in 8 hours and 35 minutes.

Norwegian mountaineer Kristin Harila © Pemba Sherpa – 8K Expedition

Professional athlete Kristin Harila has completed the first phase of her Bremont 14 Peaks expedition, a monumental challenge tackling all 14 of the world’s peaks above 8,000m, with the aim to summit them all within six months. Kristin summited Makalu, the fifth highest mountain in the world, at 10.40am Nepal time on the 27th May. Despite relentless heavy snow, all climbers including Dawa Wongchu Sherpa and Pasdawa Sherpa, who accompanied Kristin on Makalu, descended safely to Base Camp, where Kristin waited to catch a helicopter to Kathmandu once weather conditions had cleared.

By completing the challenge, Kristin will become the second person ever, and first woman in history to do so. The Norwegian former cross-country skier-turned-Arctic guide has so far successfully completed the first six peaks in the challenge in just 29 days, breaking Nimsdai Purja‘s record of 31 days.

It was a struggle. The weather got worse, but it was no turning back. I am tired, but very happy.

Harila, 36, set a world record in May 2021 when she became the fastest woman to climb Everest and Lhotse in less than twelve hours, subsequently breaking her own record in May of this year. Kristin summited Everest at 8.45am Nepal time on Sunday  22nd May 2022, and by 5.50pm the same day, was standing on top of the world’s fourth highest peak, having spent 28 hours ascending Everest from Camp 4 and completing the traverse to Lhotse in 8 hours and 35 minutes.

‘It was a struggle,’ Harila said of the Everest-Lhotse linkup in a post on her Instagram page. ‘The weather got worse, but it was no turning back. I am tired, but very happy.’

Kristin was accompanied by Nepali climbersDawa Ongju Sherpa, Pasdawa Sherpa, Mingma Dawa Sherpa, and Pasang Tenzi Sherpa to the summit of Everest and by Pasdawa Sherpa and Dawa Ongju Sherpa to the summit of Lhotse.

 

Kristin has been accompanied on all ascents so far by Nepali climbers and using fixed ropes. In summiting Makalu, she has now concluded phase 1 of the project, which also included Kanchenjunga, Annapurna and Dhaulagiri.

It is thought that Harila will now attempt to climb K2,  Gasherbrum I, Gasherbrum II and Broad Peak, on the Pakistani leg of the challenge.

Only 44 people have ever summited all 14 of the world’s above 8,000m peaks, and in completing the challenge Kristin would become the first person to do so from a Scandinavian country. The record for summiting all 14 in the fastest time with supplemental oxygen is currently held by Nepal-born Nimsdai Purja, who led the Project Possible expedition with a team of Sherpas and other mountaineers. The challenge is documented in the film 14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible.

Nimsdai summited six of the 8,000m+ peaks in 31 days, with five of those already ticked in 24 days, Kristin looks poised to beat that record too.

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