Threatened on canvas, world’s fastest climber defends himself after Sherpa’s death: “We did our best”

With his Nepalese guide Tenjin Sherpa, the Norwegian climbed these 14 peaks in three months and one day (92 days), taking away the world record held by Nepalo-British Nirmal Purja on 27 July.

But that achievement has only now been tarnished by controversy. Drone footage shared by other climbers shows him and his team passing the visibly injured body of another team Sherpa, Mohammed Hassan, who died shortly after climbing the world’s second-highest peak to break the record.

They were at the bottleneck of K2 at the time, on a narrow and very dangerous footpath, overlooked by the sera of a snow field 400m below the summit.

According to Kharar Haidari, secretary of the climbers club, about 100 climbers reached the summit of K2 that day.

Pakistan tourism officials in Gilgit-Baltistan, which issues climbing permits, announced on Friday that they had launched an investigation into the death.

Death of hiker surrounded by 50 others sparks outrage: ‘What happened there was outrageous’

“Nobody will remember your sporting success, only your inhumanity,” one user wrote on Instagram.

“Sherpa blood is on your hands,” added another.

Christine Harila was criticized for celebrating her climb after returning to base camp at the foot of the mountain.

Late Thursday, the 37-year-old athlete took to Instagram to say he had “done everything for him (Mohammed Hasan)” and condemned the “death threats” he had received since the accident.

She confirmed that two others, including her cameraman Gabriel and “a friend of Hassan’s”, spent “an hour and a half” trying to retrieve him after his fall. It was not specified where the Sherpa group was, but several climbers were “behind them,” the Norwegian said.

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The climber continued on his way after an avalanche warning sent by his crew.

Gabriel stayed with Hassan, who shared his oxygen and hot water with him.

After another hour, the cameraman decided to leave because he needed “more oxygen for his own safety”.

When they got down, they found Mohammad Hassan (27) dead.

But his team of four “couldn’t safely lower his body” because it would have taken at least six people to do so, the Norwegian said, noting that the Sherpa n was not properly equipped.

His death was “really sad (…) and I’m very sad for the family”, she reiterated, but “we did the best we could, especially Gabriel”.

Many users have come to Harila’s defense, noting the dangers involved in such a boom. One internet user condemned the unequal treatment between Western mountaineers and Sherpas, while others wondered why the Sherpa was not properly equipped: “Life is cheap for the locals”.

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