Harila Hurries to Squeeze in Annapurna, Grace Tseng on Kangchenjunga

The monsoon may reach Nepal a little late, and record seekers are seizing the opportunity to bag last-minute summits. Kristin Harila will try for her 8th 8,000’er in less than two months on Annapurna, and Grace Tseng of Taiwan is high on Kangchenjunga.

Tight schedule

Kristin Harila has a tight schedule if she wants to summit all 14 8,000’ers in six months, but she is also ticking off the peaks with amazing efficiency. In 46 days, she has completed seven of them, a remarkable pace.

Winter Manaslu summiter Tenjen “Lama” Sherpa has accompanied her on all of them, with one or two more sherpas joining them on each climb. Dhaulagiri, which she summited on Monday, was her latest success. Below, her summit video:

Harila is still in Nepal and wants to finish the season with the always risky Annapurna, her home team told ExplorersWeb. Then she heads for Pakistan’s five 8,000’ers, before returning to Nepal in autumn for the final one, Manaslu.

Kangchenjunga climbers approach summit

Flor Cuenca said yesterday that the EliteExped team reached the mountain three days ago. Their sherpas were waiting for them. With the route fixed, camps pitched, and enough oxygen deposited on the mountain, they need just a few good days to make it happen.

Among them is Grace Tseng of Taiwan, already acclimatized after her attempt on Everest. Today, she progressed swiftly toward Camp 3, according to her tracker:

Grace Tseng's tracker on a map of Kangchenjunga.

Grace Tseng’s tracker located her at 7,300m (Camp 3) at 4:45 pm Nepal time.


Tseng climbed Kangchenjunga in the fall of 2019 but 8000ers.com later confirmed that she and her sherpa guides had not reached the peak’s main summit. The Taiwanese climber vowed to return and climb the mountain again, to its true summit this time.

There is also American climber Eric Gilbertson, progressing without supplementary oxygen but with personal sherpa support. Gilbertson wants to summit the highest peak in every country with his twin brother, Matthew Gilbertson. Kangchenjunga, right on the border with Sikkim, is the highest in India. This season, Eric Gilbertson attempted Everest without O2 but didn’t reach the summit, Carlos Garranzo told ExplorersWeb.

These two climbers reached the mountain with the rescue team assigned to search for Luis Stitzinger, who was found dead at 8,400m. They are now in Camp 2 and could launch their summit push tonight or tomorrow.

Tseng in dim light high up on everest, Makalu in background, without O2 or backpack.

Grace Tseng above Camp 4 on Everest some days ago. Photo: Grace Tseng/Facebook


Nepal closing as Pakistan opens

The season has ended on Everest with what seems to be a record number of summits but also record-high fatalities. We will recap the final figures shortly.

On Makalu, the last-known summits occurred on May 29. That day also saw the latest casualty, a Nepali worker who died in Base Camp.

A green line marks the normal route on a photo of Nanga PArbat's diamir side. the higher camps and the summit are marked with dots.

The Kinshoffer route on Nanga Parbat. Photo and route line: Summit Karakoram


Most commercial teams are now on their way to Nanga Parbat, a peak typically attempted in June. Some are already in Base Camp. Karakoram Expeditions has confirmed that they have fixed ropes 400m above Camp 1 on the normal, Kinshoffer route. They expect to reach Camp 2 tomorrow.

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.