A Norwegian who is aiming to become the fastest climber to scale all of the world’s 14 highest mountains has said that she can achieve her goal in half the time she initially planned.
Kristin Harila, on her return to Nepal’s capital from the mountains on Tuesday, said she is setting a new target of scaling the peaks in just three months, having already climbed eight of them in 40 days.
She is attempting to beat the 2019 record set by a male climber, who managed the feat in little more than six months.
Ms Harila, 37, is yet to climb Mount Manaslu in Nepal, which she hopes to do in the next few days, and then the five remaining peaks in Pakistan, including K2, the second highest in the world.
“I believe we can do it, if we do Manaslu now and the five in Pakistan, we can do it in three months. So yes, three months is possible if we do Manaslu now,” she said.
“We are very happy we have made eight and we are all safe and everyone is good,” she said.
She began in April by scaling Mount Shishapangma followed by other peaks in China as well as Nepal, including Mount Everest. Her latest triumph was Mount Annapurna on June 5.
Her climb of Annapurna came very late in the spring season when most teams had already left the mountains.
“It was very nice but very difficult to climb Annapurna alone,” she said. “No-one was around, it was different. When there is a lot of people it is much easier.”
Ms Harila began her record attempt in April 2022 with the aim of completing it by September.
But she only managed 12 peaks because Chinese authorities restricted access to foreign climbers during the coronavirus pandemic.
The current record is held by Nirmal Purja, a Nepal-born British citizen who scaled the 14 highest peaks in 189 days in 2019, beating the previous record of more than seven years set by a South Korean climber.
Mr Purja’s climbs were later made into a popular Netflix documentary, 14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible.