Norwegian female climber Kristin Harila is all set to summit K2 and Nanga Parbat, in her attempt to scale five 8,000-metre peaks in Pakistan in two months.
The mountaineer arrived in Pakistan as part of her quest to beat the time record to summit the globe’s 14 highest peaks in six months.
Harila has already climbed six mountains over 8,000 metres (26,250 feet) high, including Everest, in the last two months.
The 36-year-old hopes to match or surpass Nepali adventurer Nirmal Purja and his ground-breaking 2019 record of six months and six days — an achievement that smashed the previous record and was profiled in a popular Netflix documentary — to change how the mountaineering world views women athletes.
“In history and until now, it has been the strong macho men going out climbing mountains,” Harila told AFP earlier.
“When I talk to people that are not in this sport, they believe that men are more capable than women… If we are going to change, we need to get attention and show that women are just as capable.”
Male climbers and guides far outnumber women in the top tier of the sport, with only a handful of women mountaineers getting attention and sponsorships for their expeditions.
Out of nearly a thousand climbers who visited Nepal’s famed Himalayan peaks this year, only around a fifth were women, according to Nepali government data.
Harila’s first notable climb was on Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro in 2015, but she made headlines last year for becoming the fastest woman to travel between the summits of Everest and Mount Lhotse in Nepal.
She accomplished that feat in 12 hours, but broke her own record this year, knocking four hours off her time.
But neither record was enough to convince major sponsors to back her current endeavour.