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Climbers Racing Up World’s Highest Peaks for Big Records

The push is on to climb the 14 8,000-metre peaks in only six months. Climbers have summited Gasherbrum II and are now heading to Gasherbrum I

Gasherbrum II

There are several climbers ascending the world’s 14 8,000-metre peaks in hopes of becoming the fastest or the youngest.

Norwegian mountaineer Kristin Harila is aiming for a record time, and she’s on track to accomplish it. Along with Pasdawa Sherpa and Dawa Ongchu, she has just summited Gasherbrum II for their 10th 8,000-metre peak in 102 days. Their goal is to climb all 14 in less than six months. They’re now preparing to climb Gasherbrum I.

Canadian Liliya Ianovskaia also summitted Gasherbrum II, two weeks after climbing K2 as the oldest woman to ever do so. It adds to an impressive season which started with a summit of Everest with her daughter this spring.

“It is in these high mountains where I have realised my true strengths, after setting a world record in 2021, this is what I care about the most,” said Harila. “I think that gender equality has fallen short in many areas and in this environment there are almost only men. This gave me the motivation for a much bigger goal. More recently Nepalese climber Nimsdai set a world record by summiting all 14 of the world’s tallest peaks, in six months and six days. The previous record was a full seven years. Now I aim to show that it is possible for a woman to do the same and hopefully in a shorter time.”

Pakistani climber Shehroze Kashif is on track to become the youngest climber to ascend the 14 highest peaks. He’s currently 20 and just topped Gasherbrum II with Sajid Sadpara and his cousin Imtiaz Sadpara for his ninth. Kashif became the youngest climber in the world to summit K2 on July 27, 2021.

And Taiwanese climber Grace Tseng, led by Nima Gyalzen Sherpa and Ningma Tamang, also summited Gasherbrum II this week for her 11th 8,000er. Tseng didn’t use supplementary oxygen. She’s on track to become the youngest woman to climb the 14 highest peaks, and is currently 29. She’s climbed three 8,000-metre peaks in the past two weeks without using supplementary oxygen.