harila gasherbrum
Gasherbrum I, Karakoram, Pakistan; (photo/Mark Horrell via Flickr)

Kristin Harila, Sherpas Need 3 Peaks in 3 Months to Beat Nims’ Record

Norwegian climber Kristin Harila and two Sherpas reported today they completed the circuit of all five 8,000m peaks in Pakistan. Harila will return home, then hit the road back to the Himalayas, where only three summits stand between her team and a place in the record books.

Pasdawa Sherpa, Dawa Ongchu, and Kristin Harila summitted Gasherbrum I (8,080 m/26,590 feet) in Pakistan’s Karakoram and inched closer to breaking Nirmal “Nims” Purja’s renowned speed record.

Nims summited all 14 of the world’s 8,000m peaks in 188 days in 2019, as later chronicled in the Netflix blockbuster “14 Peaks.” That time broke the existing speed record by almost 7 years. Only three peaks remained on their list when Harila, Sherpa, and Ongchu secured Gasherbrum I at 7:15 a.m. local time.

It was their 105th day on the record push.

 

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The 8K Expeditions climbers reported Gasherbrum I and other recent climbs did not submit quietly.

“The second phase in Pakistan was very challenging and dangerous: ever-changing weather conditions, being hit by a rock, illness and a very tight schedule. But here we are with only three peaks left after a successful phase 2,” Harila’s Instagram reflected.

Harila will now proceed home to Norway before rejoining Sherpa and Ongchu to tackle what might prove to be some of the record attempt’s steepest challenges.

They’ll first go to Nepal to attempt Manaslu (26,781 feet). They must tag the true summit, which drone footage only recently revealed. No other point lower on the ridgeline will count toward a successful summit. (Some opinions hold that Nims’ “14 Peaks” record is invalid because he never tagged Manaslu’s actual highest point.)

Regardless, they must gain permission from China’s government to attempt Shishapangma (26,335 feet) and Cho Oyu (26,864 feet). The more significant obstacle there, Explorersweb reported, might be political rather than technical.

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Sam Anderson
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Sam has roamed the American continent to follow adventures, explore natural wonders, and find good stories. After going to college to be a writer, he got distracted (or saved) by rock climbing and spent most of the next decade on the road, supporting himself with trade work. He's had addresses in the Adirondack Mountains, Las Vegas, and somehow Kansas, but his heart belongs in the Texas hill country.