259: Kristin Harila Podcast

September 9, 2022

Kristin Harila: Amazing conversation with Kristin who is from Norway and attempting to climb the 14 highest mountains over 24,000′. What an accomplishment! She just got off of K2 and the other mountains in Pakistan, and now has 3 left. Will China let her into the country? Tune in and find out…
Listen to “Kristin Harila: Eleven 8 Meter Peaks down, 3 to go towards setting a world record” on Spreaker.

Show Transcript

Hey everybody, it’s Mark Pattison and back again with another great episode of Finding Your Summit. All about people overcoming university and finding their way. Certainly applies to this guest today. I can’t wait to get to but before we do that I want to talk about my website, www dot mark pattison, NFL dot com. There’s a lot of stuff going on there, including over two seventy podcasts I’ve done with just incredible people doing amazing things. So you can check that out. Please go into apple anytime give the show a ratings and review so we can get and find more viewers and listeners that can actually be inspired by again these incredible people. Also, alongside that is my movie emmy winning searching for the summit, best picture done by the NFL. You can check that out. It’s really cool or inspirational and all about my everest journey with the person and talked to today, which is really cool. And then, last but not least, I continue to raise money for higher ground um through my campaign and millions ever us. We’ve done all kinds of different events, raised thousands of dollars and it goes to a great cause for people who have have to overcome, mostly military people, cognizant things and adaptive issues, Um, and trying to get those people literally back on their feet and confidence in life again.

Collage image with mountainous background displaying Finding Your Summit logo, episode number and photos of both Mark Pattison and Kristin HarilaOkay, on that note, let’s talk to I guess she this is their third time she’s been on the podcast. Is the world record. Her name is Kristin. Kristen, how you doing great? Yeah, I’m backy Katmandu and that’s Um. Always feels good to be back here. Well, last time I was in Katmandu I was with you, and so so let’s I want to give the audience a set up, right. So, just in case people don’t know, and then you know, this amazing thing, and this is kind of chapter really too. Maybe it’s three Um of of talking to you about what you’re trying to achieve and all those different things. And specifically I want to get into this kind of this whole last round in Pakistan, which was just insane. Um. And so again, number one, Um, you and I were teammates on Mount Everest. You were able to go up and down not only Mount Everest but Lotsi, which I was not able to do, but you did it. You pulled it off. Um. And then I remember on their last podcast that you’re saying. Um, I couldn’t wait to get the hell off the mountain. I was so fried in every way. And when you got back down to camp two, or you were, you were almost depressed and sad because you couldn’t wait to go back from another mountain, I was just like you go, girl that I’m out on that. But you know, kind of at that moment, I think, Um, is the point of of reflection that you said I want to do something much more grand. This movie four teen peaks came out. We’ll get into that in just a second. But Um, Christen, first of all, welcome to the show. And number two is, let’s let’s set up kind of your master goal that you drama watch. You got back to camp two, when you and I were on average together, and and and kind of we’re like, we’ll kind of go through these mountains one by one now that we’re in Pakistan, but kind of let’s bring us up to speed, like what was the big goal? Yeah, so when I came to camp to you on Everyge, the first thing I was I was doing, I was calling back to my father and saying I’m going to climb kid two next summer, and then I was starting to think more and more about this eight thousand meter and that I wanted to climb them all. And it’s fourteen of them and normally or normally, it’s only like forty people in the world that has done all of them. So not many people have done it. And then I knew Nim stid it in two thousand and nineteen in six months, and I was like, okay, I’m thirty five now and I want to have kids and yeah, and I was thinking, okay, I want to try to do it now and want to do it fast, to take to take the record, also because I had felt that this sport and this brands and the industry behind this sport was very far from equal. So I was thinking, okay, the best way to do something with that is to show that we are just as capable as men to climb. So then then this project started. Of course, it was a long and very chalishing job to to find enough money to do this, maybe the hardest part about this project. But yeah, but in Mars I was in Nepal and I was like, okay, decided, okay, I will, I would try not to do all of them in one season. Okay, so let’s let’s let me just back up just a little bit so people understand what you’re talking about. Okay, so number one, uh, doing fourteen eight meter peaks means that you’re climbing the fourteen highest mountains in the world that are over two feet. So I was just interpreting from from meters two feet. Okay, that’s number one. Number two is there’s a guy named Nim’s Day. I don’t know if I’m pronounced that right, but he worked with Jimmy Chan and created this really cool film called fourteen peaks. I actually met him and no mache when we were there. I didn’t realize he was up to all this, but they came up with a really cool film and it just really talked about how a napoleones really Badass. Dude. You know, I was able to climb these four teen peaks that you just mentioned in record time, which was six months. So then you came down and said, not only do I want to become the first woman to do this, Um, but I want to do it in the fastest time. And so, Um, there you you’ve you’ve kind of like chunked this in the first chunk. Last time we talked, you just kind of got done doing the whole Himalaya part of this. I think you had six mountains under you. Yeah, okay, so, yeah, yeah. So then the second part of that, and this is where we’re getting caught up today, because I want to get into this because I you know, I was watching you every single move. You know, I’m your biggest fan and and and so the whole idea was to do, I think it was another five or six mountains in Pakistan, right, and five mountains right. So now you have three, I think, to go um right, which now requires cooperation from the Chinese government and all that stuff, which we’ll get into in just a second. So okay, let’s let’s let’s start with K two. You know, one of the things for me, you know, very aware K to Um and a lot of people, Um, you know, have died on the mountain and they’ve died because it’s super steep from beginning to end. There’s a lot of rockfall that comes down and there’s just a whole lot of danger that you don’t get on other mountains. And so let’s talk about K two first. So what was your experience there? Well, I have to say for me K two it wasn’t the hardest mountain at all and I didn’t feel it was very dangerous either. For me, I think K two probably was the easiest mountain we did of the five we did in Pakistan. Wow. Yeah, so it’s a little bit because of a lot of people on k two and of course there were some rock falls, which we also had Annga and rock peak. But most of all, like when it’s a lot of people, it’s like it’s fixed ropes all the way people. Yeah, and it’s good steps, which also makes it so much easier than if you go along on the mountain in deep, Deep Snow and very short summit pushed only five hours up six hundred meters. And Yeah, it was some rock falls, but but not the hardest mountain for sure. And did you have any fear? There’s a as you’re a cameram where they call it, but as you’re as you’re going for the summit peak, you have to go under that big corners. There have been points in time where that thing’s color ups and taking out climbers. Um. Is that a scurry or was that scary moment for you? It wasn’t. I was just like focusing on getting up there as fast as possible. So and of course we started there in the night when the ice is cold, and moving faster is, of course reducing the risk. So for me it was like, okay, just get up there and get past this big Iraq in the bottle neck and and and when I started I was like almost in front and I was passing some people and then I was able to just go in my pace and and and reach the summit after only five hours. So so I was like, Oh, it’s it’s done already. And and actually we we we had just totally dark on the summit. I wished summit to thirty in the morning and then it was like no chance I can wait here for daylight, because wait for two hours and eight thousand six hundred meter it’s too long to stay up there. So so I reached the summit and I was like okay, I would wait for some friends coming up, and we had like almost old Madison team that we were with last year, and Kab came up and not sure him up and and we just had a lovely time on the summit. But there were no chance waiting. So we started to climb down and of course, early in the morning the the’s rock the big ice block is it’s cold after the night because the sun hasn’t been hitting there. So it’s safe to go in the night and early, early morning. If you go after the Sun has been on the ice all day, it’s much more risky for ice. Oh Yeah, ice block coming down. Yeah, that’s incredible. I don’t think Garrett climbed to the top and the sharp correct. Garrett stayed in base camp and I was talking with him the day before we went up and I said, okay, I think your mother and your father is happy that you’re staying down. He’s he’s more than proved himself as you know. Okay, so we knocked off Katie. What was in the second amount of you went. So so the first one was actually Nana, which I found much harder and and I shouldn’t say much more dangerous. But we had a lot of rock falls on on Nanga and I was actually hit by a big rock hit my my leg. We were done with the summit and we were almost in based camp and it’s just totally smashed my phone, but maybe my phone stayed my leg, but I had to go to hospital and had pain for two weeks. But we were a little bit lucky because I got a heavy I got a right Helly from Scott Du to K to base camp and we got some bad weather. So I had like two, two and a half week just resting after this rock hit me. Did it? Catcher didn’t catch a leg up and there just heavy bruise. Yeah, just heavy bruise. But I wasn’t sure all the time. I was like, Oh, it’s it’s like it was very swallow and very big the first couple of days, but then he went down and I had more pain inside and I was like, Oh, I’m not sure how this would be climbing with so so. But it was like good for me that we that we got some time with bad, bad weather, because I could rest them. Yeah, okay. So then we was okay, so now we go. So Katie was number two on this one and you just had I was number one and number two, number number. What was number three? That was broad peak, just after like a week after Katio, with some of the broke peak and that that and that’s adjacent from K two. Correct. Yeah, yeah, it’s very, very close and we had the same base camp and yeah, so we rested one day in base camp and then we started to climb on on broad peak, and also a lot of rock falls on broad peak and not so much people. So and a lot of like snow and avalanche. So actually in the in the summit push when we were climbing, I was suddenly standing in an avalanche and there came a lot of them, but they were small, but when they’re coming you never know how big is it. And and broad peak is also like him. I think there was four people dying on K two and four on broad peak this year. So it’s also a dangerous mountain. And we have a very, very long Summit Ridge Um with no ropes and that, and we had like eleven hours up and that makes like broad peak harder than K two. For me, keep deep snow no ropes. It’s like totally different to go without ropes. I have to say I wouldn’t want to go without ropes. Number One, I mean it’s very dangerous, as you know. And number two, it’s, like you said, when you’re having to break your own snow and you’re up to your waist, you know that is physically taxing. That’s tough. Yeah, it is, and it’s it’s so different from going where you can go like almost on the trail and you have the rope and it’s people in front of you breaking chains, so it’s so much easier. So so yeah, Brook Peck was it was harder for me and also had like a couple of situations where we were like really having a lot of rock falls just around us. So yeah, that was also like dangerous. And then we had to wait because we got bad weather again. So we had to wait some days for moving to Gusha Broom, another base Camp Along Day walking and then we were in the base camp there and they shared camp one, Gosha broom one and two. So we had to go to an ice fall and when we moved up the ICE FAOL was okay, it was like some place. It was the rope that we had fixed, but most of the time no ropes there and it was harder than the Kumbo ice fall. Actually you were talking about now mountain four and five. Yeah, mountain four and five in Pakistania. But but we had like an easy walk up and then we we they went for Gasha Room to first and a very, very long summit push, like six actually, like kt for example, was six hundred summit push. Yeah, so much longer summit push and also no ropes there, and of course that’s what are you climbing? What are you climbing? No robes, because there’s no people there. So Um that you’re climbing with your you’re talking about effects, so you know you’re you’re probably roped into your your guide, right. Yeah, so my two shirt PAS POSTAVA DABA. When it’s deep or when we are on the ice fall or something, of course we have one rope between us and I clipped into that. But like on everyest in K two, the fixing team or a team of shirts go in front of the climbers and set rope into the ice or into the mountain and the climbers that come after we can put this dumor on and pull ourselves up and we are, of course, more safe, so we don’t fall down compared to when it’s no ropes there. So when it’s no rope, we have a rope between us. And we used the Isaacs to climb okay. So of the of the five mountains, and then then you climbed in Pakistan. and which ones were the most challenging? Well, I can say which ones. What was the most challenging? Yeah, maybe I should say g one the last one just because we had no ropes from camp tree to the summit and it was like very steep with blue ice under. When we had to go down, we have to go backwards with ice ax and of course that’s very tiring. It’s very scary too. Yeah. So that’s why it’s a lot like you and I going up the loaty face, which I can and eagine doing with no rope. I mean it’s just you fall and you’re that’s it. Yeah, it’s just like that. It’s deep, like the looks so well and I see like that and it’s it’s tiring and it’s yeah, you have to be like prepared and you have to be awake and you have to make sure that your ice x are in ice and and make good steps. And sometime you have snow and you have ice under. So so it’s so much harder. Yeah. So, so I have to say, Gosh, broom one, but also Naga was Um, yeah, yeah, and that was the one you had to break up of snow. Yeah. Yeah, and we had also there, like no robes from camp four to the summit and and a long, long traverse there. But also, like Nuga was probably the part where we had the most like technical climb of all the mountains I have done so far. We have this Kink, chauffer wall, it’s called. It’s just a big, big wall, rock wall, but we have to plan. So yeah, so Nanga and and G one, I have to say, crazy, crazy, okay. So, so your overall experience, you know, as an American, you’re Norwegian Um, but as an American going to Pakistan isn’t always the great, you know, best idea. But from your perspective of flying in there, going to the big busy city and then going out Um to base camps, to these different places, what was your experience in the country of Pakistan? Yeah, I have to say, like I’ve never been to Pakistan before, and Nepal I have been to so many times and I know so much people and I know the food and the mountains and it’s so much more like I know this country and Pakistan was like totally different and and it’s not like I felt safe most of the time and we had this legal officer from from the army in base camp, but for me it’s like the food was different and I had like three or four rounds with food poisoning, like really bad and and the logistic is so much harder. Um, like moving from Nanga to K two base camp. It’s not very easy. I was hit by this rock. Still I had to walk out twelve hours and at one point I was walking one kilometer in thirty minutes. And then we had to drive on these crazy roads. And now Pakistan have a lot of rain and floating there and we can see how how far they are from like the Western world in in safety on the roads and, yeah, and how much they are hurting now with this floating. So so Pakistan was different, but also, like the logistic things, it’s so much harder there than in a Paul. Yeah, and Nepal has his challenges to Um. Okay. So, uh, we’re moving into kind of the last phase of this right. So the phase first phase again with the Himalaya, which is in Nepal. The second phase was in Pakistan’s he had another five months to go and now we’re really in the phase three. From the Norwegian wonder woman there. She is right there. So let us know that. That the three mountains that you have left, number one, and then also let’s talk about your the you know, like within the six months, because you’re trying to beat that record. Um, where do you fall in that whole timeline of trying to be the fastest person ever, you know, pull this thing off? Yeah, so we have to be finished the fourth of November to take the record, and and that’s possible as we are now. But there’s one big problem and that’s the per permit to time. She hipang Mancho. You that it’s in Tibet of China, and it’s also the visa, like the visa to get into China. So that’s the two big problems that. Why are they? Where are the China? Okay, so for everybody out there, UM, so China controls type that, and so you’re not going through type that, you’re going through China, and China basically is a big pain in the ass. So why? Why are they so difficult to work with and something that is actually such a normal, authentic, amazing goal to go after? Why wouldn’t they want you to go after that goal? Yeah, that the problem is covid and and for us, like in normal or normally, we lived like totally normal and we forgot covid and so so the problem is that they have been closed all since covid came and and they are very strict on that. So they haven’t giving given anyone like visa to for tourism. They’re they’re only given some business visa, but only since June or July this year. Actually. They have been closed all the time. So they have been very strict on that. And now there is a problem again because they got more cases, also in Tibet. So that’s the reason why they won’t let us in. So we already got no from this China Mountaineering Association and then we have to ask the government to give us the permit to go. And of course we had said, like, no problem, we can quarantine and we can test and whatever you you want us to do, we will of course do that. So we have a couple of options. Now we will start with Mana salute that is in Nepal and a mountain. There will be a lot of people on this year because so many people want to go to the real summit. So for years people have been walking to a summit that is a little bit lower than the real summit. They are very close, but you cannot follow the ridge. You have to go a little bit down and up to reach real summit. So we think it would be a lot of people on Mana slew this year. But yeah, we are sure that we can can do that and when we are finished with Manas Lew, if we have the permit and the visa, we will of course go over to Tibet and try Jim show you. But if we don’t have it in time, we will try to do show you from Nepal side, and it has never been climbed from the pull side, but it is possible. So yeah, we just have to see how we are standing after Manaslui is done when I was landing and cut do today actually, and I have a friend here with me and she is going to started tracking in two days. I will be in Katmandu to work with the permits for another week actually, and then I will fly up to two Monasley based camp, because I’m still acclimatized, so I can go a little bit higher than she can, and then we will try to summit between September twenty and twenty five or something. Yeah, so we still have a couple of weeks to get the permit. But I know when Nimesti also did this here, he also had problems, and that was before covid because China has been closed or the heck closed. She said, Pangma. Yeah, well, you look uh, you know, a lot of not. I don’t think this was talked about a whole lot, but I remember when you and I went to the top of Everest and we were still in the midst of all this covid stuff. They literally, I don’t know if he’s all this, but they literally, you know. Well, first of all let me describe for people who, most people haven’t been on tough amount ever, but it literally looks like a pointed roof. So it’s one angle on this side, which goes down and falls down into China, and the other side that falls down into to Nepal. And on the very crease of the very top, Um, they had a red line that was painted all the way across that permitted prohibited you to go onto the China side, like you couldn’t even like put your foot over on the other side. Like theoretically you could, because WHO’s gonna, you know, telling you, but it was supposed to be like don’t enter, you know, this the zone and you guys stay on the the pull side, which we did. Um, but it’s, you know, fingers crossed for you. It sounds like when you take on Mandela, which is Um this next amount you’re gonna do roughly. I’ll I will be somebody in the matter Horn in Switzerland, so I’m gonna get to give you a big shout out when I’m up there. That’s great. Yeah, I haven’t planned it, but it’s really my list looks really beautiful. Well, fly from the top of that and meet me on the top of the man. Yeah, so who are you climbing with me? Yeah, yeah, who are you? Are you having alone? or I’ve got an alpine a sense person. I just want to but yeah, you know that. You know that. I mean maybe it’s different for you because you’re younger, but being the like the old guy in camp and nobody will climb with me. No, no, no, you’re not the old guy. Yeah, well, you know, nobody will climb with me, so I have to. You know, I do these things about myself. Man. Well, I would love to come to use and climb with you. I haven’t climbed any mountain us, so it’s about time. Yeah, yeah, well, let’s let’s let’s wrap this up. Okay. So, so back, let’s let’s let’s plan for success really quickly. Okay, and when? When? Let’s just assume that you can pull this up by, I think you said, in November, six or five, Um. What? What? What happens after that? What? What? What? What do you want to happen? How do you see your life? Well, best case scenario, we are finished mid October. But yeah, worst case, of course, worst case we don’t get the permission. But, like you say, we have to be finished in October Um, and then I’m sure I will be pretty busy with we’re making a movie and books. So and I actually like, I already had planned a trip to us right after and a trip to Italy. So I’m sure it will be pretty busy. But I also thinking, I’m thinking more and more about everything looks. And so, yeah, I was thinking about it last year on Weeklan also like, Oh, look at it looks so beautiful. Yeah, so maybe next year and for sure I’m going to start to run more, because I off to run and I’m twenty six now. So it’s it’s about time to go home and get kids. You still go to the grocery store. Help right. So so that’s my that’s my plan to to have a little bit more normal life and hopefully get to get a family. I hope so. But for sure I will do more running and do more races in the mountain, like both on ski and and like Ultramorrowton and sky racing, and so that’s my plan the next couple of years to do that. But what I’m thinking about every look. Well, I mean I might have you thrown a big event here in some valley. I might have you come PSP. Yeah, it would be great. Yeah, for sure. I love to be in the US and I haven’t I haven’t traveled so much around, but I really love when I have been there. No, I live in a magical place in Valley Idah. Yeah, I have been your pictures. They’re insane. Yeah, yeah, so, you know, look, you never know what’s going to happen. I’m writing a book right now and I have no idea how that’s all going to go. I have a ghostwriter Um that’s helping me out with that. And then you know the movie that the NFL shot, which you know you’re in it. When we we know right, it’s so amazing. When Emmy for best picture of yeah, I mean like who knew? When we’re up there? And Yeah, for all of our struggles and you know, a little scene with you inside your tent and all that kind of stuff. That was cute. Um, you just you just never know where these things go. And so, you know, fourteen peaks turned out to be a brilliant movie and, you know, I hope nothing but successful luck for you, not only in accomplishing this amazing feat, but also just, you know, for you out there inspiring especially other women, you know, going forward. And I think it would be really cool for you to have you at this event next June here in Saville Yatta. That would be great. So I hope also can can use the project and work with the brands in the industy street to make it more equal. So that’s my goal lefter also. Yeah, yeah, no, I love it. Okay, well, listen, Um, where can people find you? Can and where I normally find you and follow you as on Instagram, and look, everybody that’s out there. This is going to come out in a week or two and you need to follow this chick. She’s a Badass, Um. She’s a little five ft two, five, I don’t know whatever. You are just power upon. She kicked my ass on on Everest, but at the same time she’s always got a smile on her face while she’s kicking people’s ass going up and and I will never ever forget, like one of my most point in moments, mainly because I felt so great and it was such an important part of the mountains, when we’re on Um Everest and we’re climbing up the loadsy face in that crazy, you know, snowstorm and you and I just kicked ass going up and we were taking pictures of each other going up the most dangerous part, you know, that you could possibly match, and it was just a lot of fun to do that with you and be part of that Expedition Party. But, you know, as always, working. So back to the question. Where can people find you? On instagram? Yeah, so on Instagram and Christine doty lot. So that’s where I’m mostly updating and also when I’m offline, I have some people home that’s taking care of giving information out how it’s going as we climb. This is this is on facebook, this is basically on instagram. They are connected. So so you get the information there. So yeah, that’s the easiest part to get the newest information about how we are climbing and how we are doing. Yeah, that’s awesome. Okay, look at nothing but the best, and I’m actually gonna have you on for a record fourth time. If you pull this thing off right, maybe great, but I know that you can do it and it’s you know, some of these things, like Mother Nature and covid another things, sometimes you’re just out of your control and there’s nothing much you can do about it right now, the Chinese government, it is what it is. So, Um, you know, you just use your charm like you always do, and you know, use your persuasive abilities to hopefully change the government’s decision and stance on not allowing you into that company country to actually climb the mountains. Yeah, I have to just do that and pray for the best and if not, I’m coming, coming to your podcast, and it will be crying. I love that. I love that. Okay, all right, listen, everybody there. She is the one, the only wonder woman of Norway, Kristen Harila, good luck to you and can’t wait to hear your your next adventure. Okay, thank you. Right on, PA

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