June 05, 2023: Kristin Harila, a mountaineer from Norway, has added another impressive achievement to her climbing resume. Today, she successfully reached the summit of Annapurna, marking her eighth conquest of an 8,000-meter peak this season. Harila’s accomplishment comes just in the nick of time, as the monsoon rains are set to arrive soon, signaling the end of Nepal’s spring climbing season.
Scaling Annapurna’s peak at 6 am today, Harila faced unique challenges during her ascent. Since she began her journey early in the season, she found herself in a solitary position upon reaching Base Camp, as all other teams had departed weeks prior. To ensure her safety and support during the final push, the outfitter provided Harila with a dedicated team consisting of experienced climbers, including her trusted partner, Tenjen Sherpa “Lama.” Accompanying them were Pasang Nurbu Sherpa, Lakpa Temba Sherpa, Mingma Tenjing Sherpa, Pasang Sherpa, and Lakpa Gyaljen Sherpa.
The team commenced their climb from Base Camp yesterday, steadily making their way to Camp 3. With their sights set on the summit, they persevered through challenging conditions and managed to successfully reach the peak earlier today. To the relief of their supporters, Harila and her team have already descended and returned safely to Base Camp.
In an astonishing display of determination and skill, Harila has accomplished a remarkable feat in record time. She conquered two 8,000-meter peaks in Tibet, Shishapangma, and Cho Oyu, within a mere 52 days. Furthermore, she has triumphed over all the formidable Nepalese giants, except for Manaslu, which she may leave for the final leg of her mission to summit all 14 8,000-meter peaks within a span of six months. To achieve her ambitious goal, Harila aims to complete her journey by October of this year.
Regrettably, Manaslu stands as the only peak that Harila has been unable to conquer. Despite an early-season attempt alongside Adriana Brownlee and a skilled sherpa team, adverse weather conditions thwarted their progress, preventing them from reaching higher sections and considering a summit push. However, Harila’s resilient spirit and unwavering determination drove her to adjust her goals. Upon obtaining a climbing permit for Tibet, she embarked on a new path, while the rest of the team decided to abandon their Manaslu endeavor.
Looking ahead, Harila will soon set her sights on Pakistan, which is home to five more 8,000-meter peaks. Nanga Parbat might be her immediate target, as numerous teams are already in the process of fixing ropes and establishing camps along the route.
Harila’s extraordinary accomplishments have elevated her to the status of a mountain celebrity, gaining recognition not only among mainstream audiences but also within the media of her home country. While her achievements primarily demonstrate her athletic prowess and logistical mastery, rather than traditional mountaineering values, there is no denying the impressive nature of her performance. Similar to her initial attempt last year, she continues to conquer peak after peak in rapid succession, captivating the imagination of adventurers worldwide.