Dong Hong Juan Climbs Shishapangma; May Be the First Woman to Summit all 14 8,000’ers

It turns out Climbalaya was not the only expedition to summit Shishapangma today.

Climbing discreetly and assisted by two Tibetan guides, Dong Hong Juan of China also made it to the top. With it, she completed her own 14×8’000m quest. More significantly, according to, Dong is the first woman to reach the true summits of all 14 peaks.

Imagine Nepal, with whom Dong climbed most of her higher peaks between 2015 and 2023, shared the news.

First try, only a foresummit

Mingma G of Imagine Nepal, who is currently in Everest Base Camp, shared more details with ExplorersWeb.

Dong had already climbed Shishapagma in 2018 as a member in a large Chinese group, he said. However, she later discovered that the expedition had only reached a foresummit — possibly the mountain’s central summit, at 8,008m.

“She knew that only the main summit counts for the 14×8000’ers quest, so she returned this year [to do it again],” explained Mingma G.

Mingma G was waiting for details, but he was pretty sure that Dong had reached the same point as Kristin Harila and the rest of her Climbalaya team.

“If they reached the main summit, so did Dong,” he said. “She was determined not to turn around at a foresummit this time.”

Dong in a Base camp (Everest?) wearing dark sun glasses, black cap and a red down jacket.

Dong Hong Juan.


The first female ever, according to

According to’s updated list of 14x8000ers, Dong Hong-Juan thus becomes the first woman to reach the true summits of all the peaks. Eberhard Jurgalski’s team stated that Edurne Pasaban (traditionally, the first female 14×8000’er summiter) and Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner (the first who did all 14 without supplemental oxygen) didn’t reach the true summits of Manaslu and Dhaulagiri.

However,’s updated classification is not unanimously accepted in the mountaineering community, and there has been a heated debate since it was published. Institutions such as The Himalayan Database are not willing to change history. Some argue that the climbers believed that they had reached the highest points of their targeted peaks.

Now, the debate will possibly increase. Dong not only snatched the distinction from the historical summiters, but from the three other women who stood on the summit of Shishapangma today! Both Kristin Harila and Sophie Lavaud bagged their 13th 8,000’er today and were a step away from being the first woman themselves. Viridiana Alvarez, also in the group, was on her 9th 8,000’er.

On their way down

The Climbalaya team is currently on its way down. According to her tracker, Viridiana Alvarez has stopped at Camp 3 at 7,100m and will likely spend the night there. Kristin Harila is already in Base Camp at 5,800m.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.