Conference programme closed on top topic

Norway’s record mountaineer Kristin Harila climbed the Treasury 360° Nordic stage at Copenhagen Airport on Thursday, to host the closing plenary presentation. Almost no climbers have conquered all the world’s 14 highest mountains in less than eight years. Kristin Harila, with guide Tenjen Lama Sherpa, did it in 92 days.

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“What it takes to reach the absolute top – repeatedly” was the title of Kristin’s performance with the conference.

A good team, well prepared, can do anything. Or this was what she set out to prove as she, together with Nepali guide Tenjen Lama Sherpa last year, embarked to conquer all the world’s 14 peaks of over 8,000 metres in a record-short span of time. Their spectacular race of only 92 days halved the previous world record, set in 2019, of 6 months and 6 days (which in turn had surpassed a previous world’s-fastest that took nearly eight years).

Since resigning from a management job in 2019, Kristin has dedicated her life to the outdoors.

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Hearing Kristina Harila, it is clear that she is frustrated with the differences in the attitudes that meet female versus male climbers, and she seems to gain inspiration from helping to prove people wrong. At one of the locations, locals observed that male climbers used to come with an attitude that “I can do this”, while female climbers actually came well prepared. Then, as her completion of the record coincided with the revealing of who is her boyfriend, it was the boyfriend rather than the record that made the largest headlines.

One in four die

Whether well or poorly prepped, each of the summits on the list will present a high risk of dying – many taking the lives of 20–30 percent of everybody who tries to mount them.

One particularly sad story came to involve Kristin Harila directly. Spreading drone video of people walking past a dying porter near a peak, other climbers claimed – without factual foundation, according to herself – that she was in the picture. This led to massive hate against her in social media.

So what are the keys? Going with your genuine motivation is one, setting up and properly equipping your team is another.

“I would never have managed the record without Lama,” says Kristin Harila.

In an accident 2023, Tenjen Lama Sherpa came to pass away, as others in his family have also done. For Kristin Harila, this has only added to her motivation in working to further promote equality, sustainability and safety.

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