(Islamabad) Norwegian Kristin Harila and her Nepalese guide Tenjin Sherpa became the fastest climbers on Thursday to climb the 14 peaks over 8,000 m on the planet, successfully climbing K2 in Pakistan, their team announced.
The duo scaled those 14 peaks in three months and one day (92 days), according to a statement from their team. The record was held by the Nepalo-British Nirmal Purja, who had established it with a bang in 2019, in just six months and six days.
He had erased from the tablets the Polish Jerzy Kukuczka who had accomplished these climbs in 7 years, 11 months and 14 days in the 80s.
This record reflects “their steely determination, teamwork and sheer tenacity during this entire monumental undertaking,” their team said in the statement.
“The collaboration between Harila and Lama (Tenjin Sherpa’s nickname) showcased the essence of unity in mountaineering, transcending borders and cultures to achieve excellence together,” she added. .
About forty men and only a few women have reached the 14 summits culminating above 8000 meters.
Italian mountaineer Reinhold Messner, in 1986, was the first to do so.
The duo completed Thursday at K2, the second highest peak on the planet (8611 m), located in Pakistan, in the Karakoram massif, a quest started on April 26 with the ascent of Shishapangma (8027 m), in Tibet , in the Himalayas.
Last year, Harila had already tried to break the speed record of 14 “8000”, but her project was thwarted by China’s strict fight against COVID-19.
After climbing the first 12 peaks in record time, she hadn’t obtained the necessary permits to climb Shishapangma, which is entirely in Tibet, and Cho Oyu, which mountaineers attack from the Chinese side.
This year she relaunched her project, called “She Moves Mountains”, with a new team of Nepali guides.
The great mountaineers are mostly men and only a handful of women have distinguished themselves and climbed to the top in this discipline.
But Harila wanted to change the way women mountaineers are perceived. “I hope this project will inspire and make things easier for the girls who come after me,” she said in May.
Few women find themselves in the spotlight and manage to arouse the interest of sponsors, necessary to finance their expeditions.
During her first attempt, despite her prowess, the Norwegian had so much trouble finding sponsors that she found herself forced to sell her apartment to finance her ascents.
“This project would be much easier to do if I were a man,” she lamented. “It’s purely and simply different to be a woman in the world, and not only in the eyes of the sponsors. »