Kristin Harila and Tenjen Sherpa Summit K2 in Risky Conditions

The long, hazardous journey for the rope-fixing team on K2 is far from over. They have worked through the night and dealt with lots of heavy snow and its natural consequence: slab avalanches. The avalanches hit around midnight, Lakpa Sherpa of 8K Expeditions reported from Base Camp, but there were no injuries.

Progress was slow, and the sherpa rope fixers only reached the top at around 10:30 am Pakistan time. Kristin Harila and Tenjen Lama Sherpa, supported by the biggest team of their entire project, topped out soon after. Harila missed her self-imposed deadline to speed-climb the 14×8,000’ers within three months by just one day.

Regardless of style, the physical and logistical feat is remarkable. Counting this year and her previous attempt in 2022, Harila has summited 26 8,000’ers in less than two years.

Kristin Harila and Tenjen Sherpa "Lama" (center) last week on GII.

Kristin Harila and Tenjen Sherpa (center) last week on Gasherbrum II. Photo: Seven Summit Treks


Harila’s outfitter, Seven Summit Treks, has posted a summiter’s list that also includes 17-year-old record-seeker Nima Rinji Sherpa, Chhiring Namgel Sherpa, Mingma Tenjen Sherpa, Ang Dawa Sherpa, Muktu Lakpa Sherpa, Lakpa Thendu Serpa, and Phurba Sherpa.

The clients listed were Sarah Adbovais of Iran, Josette Valloton of Switzerland, and Fedor Kuprichenkov of Russia. In addition, Pasang Nurbu Sherpa, Mingtemba Sherpa, and Ngima Dorchi Sherpa joined the rope-fixing team.

Another outfitter, 8K Expeditions, working with Summit Karakoram, has put over 40 climbers on top.

But not all teams that started the summit push have continued. Furtenbach Adventures eventually aborted its summit push because of “extremely dangerous avalanche conditions above the shoulder,” owner Lukas Furtenbach told ExplorersWeb. A Madison Mountaineering team also aborted.

Meanwhile, Mingma G of Imagine Nepal confirmed that they put a nine-person team on the summit (four clients, four sherpas, and one Pakistani climber). Two other clients and their two sherpas gave up below the Bottleneck because of the avalanche risk.

Traffic jams and heavy snow ahead

While expedition companies are hurrying to announce their teams’ achievements, the summit day is far from over, and conditions should not be taken lightly. Nearly 200 climbers are queuing up on the fixed ropes.

Alexander Abramov, a leader at 7 Summits Club, confirmed that the rope fixers were not able to pitch Camp 4 because of too much snow. Climbers heading down will need to go all the way to Camp 3 (around 7,300m) to find a tent and supplies.

K2 from Base Camp last night.

K2 from Base Camp last night. Photo: Mingma G/Imagine Nepal


“One single summit window and over 180 climbers in the same night; I hope everything goes well,” Mingma G of Imagine Nepal posted from Base Camp yesterday. Mingma G noted that climbers started leaving Camp 3 at 6 pm. His own team set off at 11:30 pm.

Lakpa Sherpa of 8K Expeditions reported a foggy morning but very little wind.

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.