“Just one week after summitting Shishapangma – a mountain Kristin has never climbed before – Harila reached the summit of Cho Oyu, marking the end of her journey in Tibet,” reports the team of Norwegian Kristin Harila today. “After reaching the top of 12 mountains [higher than 8000 meters] last year, it’s a relief for Harila and her team alike that the two mountains she did not get to summit in 2022 have finally been reached.” Nepalese expedition operator Climbalaya confirmed the Norwegian’s summit success and informed Harila was accompanied by Nepalese guides Ngima Rita Sherpa and Tenjin Sherpa.
Operator and Sherpas changed
Last year, the Chinese-Tibetan authorities had not granted the 37-year-old permission to enter Tibet because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now she has completed her eight-thousander collection.
During the first twelve ascents in 2022, she had been a client of the Nepalese operator 8K Expeditions and had been regularly accompanied by Pasdawa Sherpa and Dawa Ongju Sherpa. The latter had complained bitterly in mid-April that they had both been booted out after their success on Manaslu last fall: “It greatly saddens us that in the middle of the project, after the three of us had gone through extreme hardship and had overcome the most dangerous of life-threatening situations while climbing, these 8000m giants, Kristin Harila suddenly decided to sever any ties with us.” According to Dawa’s words, the two Sherpas had even been put obstacles in the way to complete the project of the 14 eight-thousanders on their own.
Harila denied the allegations. It had simply no longer fit for her with the old operator, “for both logistical and other reasons,” Kristin wrote on Instagram adding that she was not responsible for the two Sherpas not receiving visas for Tibet: “I really wanted them to join me. (…) I am disappointed and sorry it ended this way.”
Bottled oxygen used on Shishapangma
Harila has announced that she plans to repeat her attempt to scale the world’s 14 highest mountains in less than six months in 2023. In this respect, she considers Shishapangma and Cho Oyu not so much as number 13 and 14 of her 2022 project, but number 1 and 2 of her renewed endeavor. Originally she had planned, according to her own words, to climb all eight-thousanders without bottled oxygen this time. On Shishapangma, however, she had resorted to the breathing mask above Camp 3, according to her own account: “(We) realized we were using too much time and it was very windy so I started to use my emergency oxygen from C3,” Kristin wrote on Instagram afterwards. Whether she also used bottled oxygen on Cho Oyu or climbed without it, is not yet known.