Gasherbrum I Becomes Harila’s 12th 8,000’er This Year

Kristine Harila and Viridiana Alvarez summited Gasherbrum I today with a strong sherpa team. Harila has now climbed the same number that she did on her first attempt last year to summit all 14×8,000’ers in record time. However, the odds are much more in her favor now.

As on previous occasions, Harila’s group was the first of the season to reach the top. The eight-member support team fixed ropes as they went. Harila, Alvarez, Gabriel Tarso of Brazil, and Adrian Laza of Romania summited Gasherbrum I beginning at 5:10 am.

Their support team included Nepalis Tenjen Lama Sherpa, Pasang Nurbu Sherpa, Nima Rinji Sherpa, Chhepal Sherpa, Ming Temba Sherpa, Lakpa Temba Sherpa, Ang Tenji Sherpa, Pasang Dukpa Sherpa, and Pakistan’s Yousuf Ali.

Back to 12 out of 14

In 2022, Harila’s record quest stalled when she couldn’t get permits to climb the two 8,000m peaks located in Tibet. This year, supported by Nepal’s biggest expedition operator and better contacts, she received the permits, climbed the peaks, and has a chance to finish even more quickly than last year’s six-month target. It is possible that she’ll finish in half that time.

She spent the spring focusing on Tibet and Nepal. Now in the summer, she has moved to Pakistan. Seven Summit Treks can provide the logistics easily because they had expeditions to all the peaks.

Harila summited Shishapangma, the first 8,000’er in her current quest, on April 26, 83 days ago. She still has until next Tuesday, July 25, to complete the challenge within the 90-day mark.

Harila and her team’s endurance is impressive. Tenjen Lama Sherpa has led the way on all 12 peaks.

Harila attaches a sleeping mat to a bulky backpack, a small yellow tent behind.

Harila during a climb in Pakistan this season. Photo: Kristin Harila’/Facebook


Looking good for Broad Peak and K2

They now have only Broad Peak and K2 remaining. Unlike her attempt last year or Nirmal Purja’s climbs in 2019, the question is not if she will make it. Rather, the question is, why not? Climbs on Broad Peak are currently underway, with ropes fixed to above the Col. With skilled guides, the final summit ridge can be done without fixed ropes. Harila’s team has been efficient on unroped terrain before.

Meanwhile, on K2, the rope-fixing teams should be on their way to Camp 4. Summit pushes are expected to begin today. The forecast suggests that the weather is about to improve.

And then what?

Harila’s feat further opens the market for similar multi-climbs in the Himalaya and Karakoram, a trend that is already increasing. Increasingly, the 8,000m list targets a small but wealthy niche of clients looking for mountain trophies beyond Everest.

On the other hand, the general interest in 14×8,000m speed records is bound to decrease as more clients show that three months, or six months, for all 14 peaks is not superhuman but possible, given enough money, logistics, and cooperation from the weather.

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.