April 09, 2023: Norwegian mountaineer Kristin Harila has arrived in Tibet to begin her ambitious quest of climbing all 14 of the world’s highest mountains in less than six months without using bottled oxygen. She plans to start with Shishapangma (8,027m), the 14th-highest peak above 8,000m.

A climbing permit for two mountains in Tibet was obtained by Climbalaya Treks and Expeditions, which had not been possible last year due to permit issues, despite Kristin successfully summiting 12 eight-thousanders in Nepal and Pakistan within 148 days.

While China opened its borders to foreigners in February, it has not allowed climbers in yet. Climbalaya is the only company to organize an expedition post-Covid for Cho-Oyu (8,201m) and Shishapangma (8,027m) in Tibet in the spring of 2023. Four climbers are on this mission, led by Climbalaya Managing Director Mingma Sherpa, including Kristin Harila, her videographer Matias Myklebust, Mexican climber Viridiana Alvarez Chavez, and Swiss climber Sophie Lavaud, along with five Sherpa guides.

Kristin had planned to summit Manaslu first, but bad weather brought expeditions to a halt across Nepal. However, getting the permit from China within this time will ease her mission considerably. According to the plan, she will climb Cho Oyu and Shishapangma twice, to complete the achievement of climbing all 14 highest peaks twice. Only then will she start on the other 12 mountains that she had previously climbed last year.

Kristin had previously summited 12 peaks with her two guides Pasdawa Sherpa and Dawa Ongju Sherpa of the 8K Expedition, but they could not obtain climbing permits from China.

She joined Seven Summit Treks this year for her mission, with Gelje Sherpa as her guide. They planned to summit Manaslu by the first week of April, but Gelje could not obtain a visa for China.

In an attempt to climb Cho Oyu from Nepal’s side last year, Gelje had also led a team of Sherpa guides to open a route to Cho Oyu from Nepal’s side, but bad weather forced the team to retreat from 7,100m. Had they been successful, both Gelje and Kristin would have been able to set their desired records -that of the youngest 14-peak summiteer and the fastest 14-peak summiteer, last year. While Gelje is now past the age mark to be the youngest 14-peak summiteer, Kristin’s mission is off to a solid start.