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Record-breaking Norwegian mountaineer gets hero’s welcome in Nepal

AFP
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Record-breaking Norwegian mountaineer gets hero’s welcome in Nepal
Norwegian climber Kristin Harila (right) and Nepali guide Tenjin Sherpa (centre) pictured upon their arrival at the Tribhuvan International airport in Kathmandu. Photo by Prakash MATHEMA / AFP

Norwegian climber Kristin Harila and her Nepali guide Tenjin ‘Lama’ Sherpa were greeted with a hero’s welcome in Nepal on Saturday after the pair became the fastest people to summit the world's 14 highest mountains last week.

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The Norwegian climber and her Nepali guide set the record last month for the fastest summit of all 14 of the world's 8,000-metre mountains, completing the feat in only 92 days.

The pair surpassed Nepal-born British adventurer Nirmal Purja's 2019 record of six months and six days.

Sherpas performed religious rites and a band played songs as the team arrived in Kathmandu while several hundred well-wishers held out flowers and waved national flags.

The pair, joined by other record-holding climbers, stood on a van adorned with garlands and took a victory tour around the city.

"I don't think I will climb any eight thousand metres for a while," Harila told the crowd.

"I will be outside and come back to Nepal again, but not in this way."

READ ALSO: Record-breaking Kristin Harila prepares for life back in Norway

Harila is a native of Vadso, on the Barents Sea in Norway's northernmost reaches, where the highest point is just 633 metres.

In her race to the record, Harila had to repeat the summit of 12 mountains, including K2, after delays in securing visas from China to climb Shishapangma and Cho Oyu.

Lama, who has been a guide since the age of 16, was Harila's companion throughout her record-breaking journey.

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More than 40 people have summited the world's top 14 peaks, but only a few of them are women.

"If you go and look at history, it's been all about men," Harila told AFP in an interview last week.

"I haven't been thinking too much about the record," she added. "For me, I wanted to change something."

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