Kristin Harila Warms Up For the Karakoram with her Summit of Nanga Parbat

Off to a very quick start for the Karakoram, Norwegian wunder-climber Kristin Harila has summited Nanga Parbat, with her Sherpa Team of Dawa Ongju Sherpa and Pasdawa Sherpa.

Kristin Harila with her Sherpa climbing team Dawa Ongju Sherpa 
and Pasdawa Sherpa

This was the first of the 8,000 meter peaks she needs to climb in her quest for all 14, with K2, Broad Peak and then Gasherbrum 1 and 2 to follow.

She reportedly summitted amidst a group of 8, including 6 Sherpas, along with Taiwanese climber Grace Tseng.

Kristin has already rapidly ascended six of the 8,000 meter peaks this spring in Nepal, so is now halfway through the list. Whether that is halfway through the challenges may be another matter.

An ever relaxed Garrett Madison, right, and I – another one of those incongruous mountaineer meetings, on the Baltoro. Photo: Victor Saunders

Over on G2, David Hamilton, the UK’s most experienced high altitude guide, reports deep snow and challenging climbing, with continued warm weather and sunny skies. Having arrived first in Base Camp, their quiet time is soon ending as over 1,000 climbers and support staff flood into the upper reaches of the Baltoro Glacier.

The Karakorum is so busy this year that porters, mules and support staff are at a premium and many teams are already behind schedule as they struggle with logistics assisting the teams and their myriad of supplies up the Baltoro Glacier.

Perhaps one of the more important pieces of high altitude gear this year? Photo: Robert Anderson

Unlike Nepal with an infrastructure of luxury lodges, mules, yaks, porters and, if all else fails, hefty helicopter support, the Karakorum is still very much a man and animal powered journey, with little more than established camps for your tent along the way that most use. And even these can prove tight on space at times.

Winter K2
Turn left at Concordia, amble past Broad Peak Base Camp, and you get the ever memorable K2 towering at the head of the glacier. Photo: Robert Anderson

The challenges Kristin will face on the rest of the peaks will be the ever present need for good weather, good conditions, dodging lines of people and hoping as the season progresses, that the ropes and steps up into the heights can aid her passage.