Controversy As Harila’s Team Summits Manaslu — By Using Helicopters in a New Way

The Seven Summit Treks sherpa team and their client, Norwegian Kristin Harila, have topped out on Manaslu. They reached the summit today, on June 10, at around 3:30 am local time. The group arrived at Base Camp on June 8 and is alone on the mountain. The typical Manaslu climbing season ends at the end of April.

Harila summited Manaslu with Tenjen (Lama) Sherpa, Pasang Nurbu Sherpa, Chhangba Sherpa, Kaji Sherpa, Nima Dorchi Sherpa, and Sonam Tashi Sherpa.

With Manaslu, Harila has summited nine 8,000’ers in 44 days. She is employing significant sherpa assistance and using bottled O2. Harila will now head to Pakistan. She has five 8,000m peaks left to finish her latest 14×8,000’er project. She kicked off on April 24, 2023, on Shishapangma.

Mingma G. Sherpa.

Mingma G Sherpa. Photo: Mingma G


A pure climb? Mingma G contacts ExplorersWeb

Yesterday, on June 9, Mingma G Sherpa from Imagine Nepal contacted journalist Angela Benavides at ExplorersWeb to share a video of a helicopter flying over Manaslu. Mingma G claims that Harila’s team is using helicopters to shuttle sherpas to higher camps, opening the route from above rather than working their way up the mountain.

“This video is from yesterday. The helicopter is dropping rope, oxygen, and sherpas to Camp 2 on Manaslu. They [sherpas] will open the route from Camp 2 to Camp 1. A new model of climbing is developing in Nepal. It was exactly [the same] on Annapurna too. [Sherpas] dropped at Camp 3 and opened downward. I was surprised to read the news of [Harila’s team] climbing from Base Camp to Camp 3 in one push on Annapurna. I know the snow and route,” Mingma G told Benavides.

“They [Harila’s team] had three shuttles to Camp 2 and one to Camp 1 yesterday. This will ruin the image of the Himalaya and the prestige of the sherpa. I won’t be surprised if they make the summit tomorrow,” Mingma G continued.

Kristin Harila and one of her Sherpas on the summit of Annapurna on June 5, 2023.

Kristin Harila and a Sherpa on Annapurna’s summit on June 5, 2023. Photo: Kristin Harila


A fast summit

Mingma G’s summit prediction proved accurate. Harila indeed topped out extremely fast.

On the afternoon of June 9, Mingma G posted his complaints publicly, along with the video of a helicopter over Manaslu.

Mingma G’s caption in full: “Happening on Manaslu now. A new model of climbing is developing in Nepal. No climbing record is pure now. I won’t be surprised if some people make Manaslu’s summit tomorrow or the day after, climbing is easier by flying a helicopter to Camp 1, 2, and 3. Climbing down is easier than up. Good technique. This is also ruining Sherpas’ historical name and fame. I received this video of a helicopter dropping climbers and goods to Camp 2 from local people in Samagaon. It’s from yesterday. I was surprised to read climbers climbed from Base Camp to Camp 3 in a single day on Annapurna. I can now see why The Himalayan Database stopped recording 8,000m climbing information.”


Editor’s note: We have lightly edited Mingma G’s quotes for clarity.

Kris Annapurna

KrisAnnapurna is a writer with ExplorersWeb.

Kris has been writing about history and tales in alpinism, news, mountaineering, and news updates in the Himalaya, Karakoram, etc., for the past year with ExplorersWeb. Prior to that, Kris worked as a real estate agent, interpreter, and translator in criminal law. Now based in Madrid, Spain, she was born and raised in Hungary.