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Kristin Harila Close to Climbing World’s Highest Mountains the Fastest

"I have already proved that women can break barriers. I hope I get a fair chance to set the record, it would mean a lot for women in mountaineering."

Norwegian mountaineer Kristin Harila is hoping to become the climber who ascends the world’s 14 highest peaks in record time, and she’s on track to accomplish it. This week, she summited Manaslu, which leaves only Shishapangma and Cho Oyu.

In October 2019, Nirmal ‘Nims’ Purja posted “Mission achieved!” on social media from the summit of Shishapangma with his teammates Mingma David Sherpa, Galjen Sherpa and Gesman Tamang. The Nepalese mountaineer and former British soldier had just completed his goal of climbing all 14 8,000-metre mountains in only six months and six days. He broke six mountaineering world records in the process. If you haven’t watched 14 Peaks, which features Purja’s accomplishment, then you should check it out. Read our review here.

Starting with Annapurna on April 28, then climbing Dhaulagiri before moving onto the world’s third highest peak, Kangchenjunga, Harila started her season strong. She then bettered her own record for the Everest/Lhotse linkup by taking just over nine hours to complete both on May 22, having previously climbed them in 12 hours. “It was a struggle,” said Harila. “The weather got worse, but it was no turning back. I am tired, but very happy.”

On May 27, Harila summited Makalu for her sixth in just 29 days, beating Purja’s 31-day record in 2019. She went on to summit Nanga Parbat on July 1, K2 on July 22, Broad Peak on July 28, Gasherbrum II on Aug. 8, Gasherbrum I on Aug. 11 and Manaslu on Sept. 22. With her ascent of Manaslu, she’s still on track to complete all 14 8,000-metre peaks faster than Purja.

On her social media, where Harila has been announcing her summits, she wrote after Manaslu, “I have already proved that women can break barriers. I hope I get a fair chance to set the record, it would mean a lot for women in mountaineering.”