Details regarding Kristin’s New World Record

Summit Success

After her successful summit of Cho Oyu on May 3rd 2023, Kristin Harila has set the new “True Summit Speed Record with Oxygen” by climbing all 14 mountains above 8000 in only 1 year and 5 days. In addition, she is the first Norwegian to have ever been on top of these 14 peaks, and also the first Scandinavian.

Kristin has beaten Nimsdai’s 14x 8000m True Summit Record With Oxygen

In 2019, Nimsdai Purja, a Nepalese mountaineer, climbed Manaslu’s Fore Summit as part of his ‘Possible Project’, making the official record for the fastest ascent of all 14 peaks above 8,000 meters in less than seven months. This record was for the Fore Summit of Manaslu, not the True Summit. 

Nimsdai did also hold “True Summit Record with Oxygen” at 2 years, 5 months and 15 days. This is the record that Kristin beat on May 3rd 2023, by completing all True Summits in 1 year and 5 days only.

The debate about True and Fore Summit

In recent years, there has been a debate about what constitutes a True summit versus a Fore Summit, and what this means for mountaineering records (see MarkHorrell, ExplorersWeb and OutsideOnline). 

Manaslu, the eighth highest mountain in the world, has been the main mountain in this debate. It has a Fore Summit and a True Summit, and the difference in elevation between the two is 3-6 meters. The first time Manaslu’s real summit was achieved by an expedition led by Aritsume Maki from Japan in 1956.

Many climbers opt to stop at the Fore summit, considering it as their summit, while others go on to the True summit. This has led to confusion and controversy when it comes to mountaineering records. As of 2022, the Himalayan Database has announced that only the true Manaslu summit will count as a valid climb, says Angela from ExplorersWeb.

The Fore Summit is also a summit

Climbing to the Manaslu Fore Summit is, by no means, simple, but it is still considered one of the “easiest” 8000m peaks, which is why many non-seasoned climbers ascend this peak as a preparation for Everest. The True summit is also quite avalanche prone, which increases the risk and danger for climbers who want to reach the top of Manaslu.

Many climbers opt to stop at the Fore Summit, considering it their summit. For years, the Fore Summit was also considered the highest point you could reach on Manaslu, because of the difficulties getting across the ridge to the True Summit.

The Manaslu True Summit

The last section, between the Manaslu Fore Summit and the True Summit is a climb where you first go down a few meters, then across a ridge for then to climb up again. It is highly technical when no fixed ropes have been installed by a Sherpa. For years, no one made an effort to double check whether the ridge would continue or not. It was only when Mingma G reached the True summit in 2021 that people noticed. Thus, it was Mingma G’s True summit that began the wave of checking if past expeditions had been to the True summit or Fore summit of Manaslu. Since the real summit in autumn 2021 of Mingma G, almost 200 climbers have reached the real summit.


The use of supplemental oxygen in climbing

When it comes to breaking or achieving mountaineering records, there is often a debate about whether to use supplemental oxygen or not. Supplemental oxygen is a common aid used by climbers to help them acclimatise and reach higher altitudes more quickly, but some argue that it diminishes the achievement of reaching a summit (National Library of Medecine). 

The debate about oxygen use in mountaineering records is not new and has been discussed for decades. Some climbers argue that using supplemental oxygen is not in the true spirit of mountaineering. Others argue that oxygen use is a necessary aid that allows climbers to reach higher altitudes more quickly and safely, and that climbing with it is still a huge achievement. 

Mountaineers Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler first proved that humans could climb to the top of Mount Everest without using supplemental oxygen in 1978. But as of 2019, only 208 individuals have ever achieved this feat—2.1 percent of the more than 10,000 people to reach earth’s tallest peak.


Both Kristin and Nimsdai used supplemental oxygen for the 14 Peaks Speed Record

When Nirmal Purja broke the record by climbing all 14 peaks in just 189 days, he used supplemental oxygen. 

For Kristin, she had wanted to attempt to climb all 14 peaks in 2023 without oxygen, however quickly realised that this feat might take a larger toll on her body than anticipated. Thus, after summiting Shishapangma with the help of oxygen she decided she would not force herself to do all 14 without oxygen but instead will try to use as little of it as possible – as a personal challenge to herself. 


With supplemental oxygen, it IS a DIFFERENT KIND of achievement

There are climbers who have achieved impressive feats without the use of supplemental oxygen. For instance, Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler made together the first ascent of Everest without bottled oxygen. This achievement was celebrated by many in the mountaineering community as a true feat of Alpinism, and as a testament to the strength and will of climbers who chose to forgo the aid of supplemental oxygen.

To be clear, climbing with and climbing without bottled oxygen are two very different endeavours and they require different sets of skills. The endurance and perseverance needed for climbing the 8000m peaks without supplemental oxygen often require longer rests and breaks atop the mountain. Many impressive mountaineers, both male and female have climbed all 14 peaks without supplemental oxygen. This list includes the impressive Reinhold Messner, Ed Viesturs and Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, the first woman to climb all 14 peaks without oxygen.

It should be said that comparing the achievement with bottled oxygen to the one without is a futile task. They are two very different ways of climbing and each deserves their own record and acknowledgement.

Record Claims Requires Transparency and Honesty

Ultimately, when going for a record, climbers should be clear about what type of summit they have reached. If the mountain has a Fore and a True Summit, it is a climbers duty to know which one has been reached and share the tracking data accordingly.

Also, the choice of whether to use supplemental oxygen or not should be left up to the climbers themselves, as long as the achievement is not misrepresented. 

Kristin shares her tracking data openly, and she is open and honest about when she uses and not uses supplemental oxygen.


Other Achievements

As of the 23rd of May 2023, Kristin beat her own world record as fastest woman to climb both Everest and Lhotse in less than 8 hours.
And as of the 29th of May 2023, Kristin and Lama (Tenjen Sherpa) became the only people on earth that have summited 7 8000-ers in only 1 month and 3 days.



This is a great achievement for Kristin but also all those who have helped her climb throughout the last few years. Kristin wishes to extend huge congratulations to Dawa and Pasdawa from 8k Expeditions who climbed with her throughout the entirety of last year, as well as Lama and Ngima from Climbalaya and Seven Summit Treks who helped her achieve Shishapangma and Cho Oyu this year. She also wishes to show appreciation to Nimsdai for paving the way for her and many other climbers to try and push their limits.



“The Debate Over Whether Climbing 14 8,000-Meter Peaks in 7 Months Is Possible Without Supplemental Oxygen” by Kelly Cordes, Climbing Magazine, 2019

This new record achieved by Kristin has been confirmed by multiple sources, including, ExplorersWeb and AlpineMag.

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