A Norwegian woman and a Nepali man smashed the record on Thursday for the fastest summit of all 14 of the world’s 8,000-metre (26,000-feet) mountains, their team said in a statement.
Kristin Harila and Tenjin Sherpa – known as Lama – completed the feat in three months and one day after climbing Pakistan’s K2, the last peak on their quest and considered to be more technically challenging than Mount Everest.
The record reflects “their unwavering determination, teamwork, and sheer tenacity throughout this monumental endeavor”, the team said in a statement.
“Harila and Lama’s collaboration has showcased the essence of mountaineering unity, transcending borders and cultures to achieve greatness together,” the statement added.
The pair surpassed Nepal-born British adventurer Nirmal Purja’s record of six months and six days, set in 2019.
Both records were achieved with the help of oxygen and helicopters, which has drawn some criticism from the climbing community.
Purja is now attempting to set the record for the fastest ascent of all 14 peaks without supplemental oxygen, he said on Twitter.
Harila’s dad said: “I am both proud and moved. But I am also worried for her, and I will be very happy once she comes down and comes home. I don’t think those of us, outside of the climbing community, fully understand the breadth of what she has accomplished. And I couldn’t be more proud of her.”
Lama, who has been a guide since the age of 16, was Harila’s companion throughout their record-breaking journey.
“Lama’s invaluable expertise and profound connection with the mountains have been integral to their success in navigating treacherous terrains and facing harsh weather conditions,” the team’s statement said.
Climbing these mountains is considered dangerous by experts as mountaineers are exposed to the “death zone” – a term that describes altitudes over 8,000m where the human body is exposed to insufficient levels of oxygen.
Mount Everest, the tallest of the 14 highest peaks, issued permits for a record number of climbers this year, for this spring season’s expeditions.
According to Nepali officials as the spring climbing season came to an end in June, 12 people died and five were missing on Everest.