Kristin Harila Bags Everest and Lhotse Within Eight Hours

Kristin Harila and her team set off from Camp 4 yesterday and reached Everest’s summit in the dark at 3:45 am. They returned to Camp 4 and immediately headed up Lhotse, which they summited eight hours later, at 11:15 am Nepal time.

The fast Everest-Lhotse climb is not new to Harila. She used the same tactic last year during her first attempt to climb the 14×8,000’ers in six months. On that climb, she summited the two mountains in 8.5 hours.

At the time of writing, Harila’s tracker puts her below Camp 4, heading to Camp 3.

Harila on the summit of Kangchenjunga on May 18.

Harila on the summit of Kangchenjunga on May 18. Photo: Kristin Harila


Summit-bagging strategy

Harila’s press spokesperson only mentioned one team member by name: Tenjen Sherpa Lama. Tenjen Sherpa Lama has accompanied Harila on all six peaks during this speed record attempt. The rest of the team remains unconfirmed.

On Kangchenjunga, which she summited on May 18, she went with Tenjen Lama and Gelu Sherpa. The three of them left a bigger group of climbers behind, including the rope-fixing team, when they noticed they had mistaken the way to the summit.

Harila and her two Sherpa guides continued and covered the last sections roped up but without fixed ropes, according to her report.

Harila’s home team recently posted some pictures from the Kangchenjunga climb.

Harila and another person, both of them with faces totally covered by sun glasses and O2 masks, kneeling on a higher place.

Harila and a team member on Kangchenjunga, May 18. Photo: Kristin Harila


Harila still has Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Manaslu to climb in Nepal. It is unclear if she still has time to complete any of them before the monsoon arrives.

If not, she will need to to try them in the off-season. Manaslu is mostly climbed in the fall, so she may leave that peak for the end of her quest. However, there are few autumn expeditions to Dhaulagiri and hardly any to Annapurna, a “spring mountain.”

With speed and summits as absolute priorities, Harila will try to run up peaks once the route is fixed and well-trodden. She might find those conditions on Dhaulagiri, where climbers outfitted by Seven Summit Treks (also outfitting Harila) have been climbing over the last three weeks.

Everest and Lhotse have become the fifth and sixth stages of Harila’s 14×8,000’er project, which she hopes to complete in six months. She first attempted it last year, summiting 12 peaks before failing to secure permits to climb Cho Oyu and Shishapangma, both located in Tibet. This year, she changed the company outfitting her climbs, got the permits for Tibet, and started her project with Shishapangma and Cho Oyu. The team then moved to Nepal and climbed Makalu and Kangchenjunga before today’s double.

More Everest summiters

It has been a busy summit day on Everest, with several groups topping out. These included an Adventure Consultants team and Kami Rita Sherpa, who bagged his 28th Everest summit. This gives him the most Everest summits again, in his seesaw “battle” with Pasang Dawa Sherpa, who has 27.

Asmita Dorjee of India summited too, at 8:30 am with Lakpa Nuru Sherpa. Dorjee planned to climb without supplementary O2. But Dawa Steven Sherpa of Asian Trekking confirmed that the Indian climber finally used supplementary oxygen from the South Col to the top.

“She had not felt well on the way to Camp 4 the day before, so she made the decision to go on oxygen, bearing in mind the bitter experience last year, when she had to turn around at the South Summit, and considering the tragedy our team faced this year.”

He is referring to team member Jason Bernard Kennison of Australia, who died shortly after summiting Everest last Sunday.

Asmita Dorjee some days ago in Camp 2 on Everest.

Asmita Dorjee some days ago in Camp 2 on Everest. Photo: Asmita Dorjee

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.