A Norwegian who has just become the fastest climber to conquer all 14 of the world’s highest mountains has announced she will quit her job when she returns to Nepal.
ViaBINAJ GURUBACHARYA Associated Press
KATHMANDU, Nepal — A Norwegian who has just become the fastest climber to conquer all 14 of the world’s highest mountains announced that she will be taking a break from climbing the high peaks on Saturday when she returns to Nepal.
Kristin Harila and her Sherpa Tenjin guide were greeted like heroes at Kathmandu airport, where hundreds of people including climbers, government officials and well-wishers gathered to welcome them back with applause and wreaths.
Harila and Tenjin climbed Mount K2 in Pakistan last week, completing their 14th climb — over 8,000 meters (about 26,000 feet) — in 92 days, breaking the previous record of 189 days.
“I don’t think I’m going to try any of the eight thousand meters for a while,” Harila said. I finished a total of 28 meters eight thousand meters so I think I’ve done my part.”
The 37-year-old climber began his new record-setting mission in April by conquering Mount Shishapangma, followed by other peaks in China and Nepal, including Mount Everest. She then moved to Pakistan to complete her list of mountain hikes.
This year is the second time she has tried to set the record for being the fastest climber of the 14 peaks.
Harila initially started her attempt to set the world record in April 2022 with the aim of completing it by September. But she managed only 12 peaks after Chinese authorities restricted foreign visitors to the country. This is because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m going to run in the mountains and signed up for a race,” she says of her immediate plans.
Harila said Mount K2, the last mountain on her list, is the hardest mountain to conquer. K2 is the second highest peak in the world.
Harila said that weather conditions often determine how difficult the climb is, and this year they faced “very difficult conditions on K2” because of “very heavy snow”.
The final record for the fastest climb to 14 peaks belongs to Nirmal Purja, a British citizen born in Nepal, who climbed them in 189 days in 2019, beating the previous record of more than 7 years set by a Korean climber set. Purja’s climbs were later adapted into a popular Netflix documentary, “14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible.”