Written by 18:40 World

For Women Mountain Climbers, Dangers Go Beyond Avalanches and Storms

In a memoir published in December, the professional mountaineer and former Miss Finland Lotta Hintsa briefly described an upsetting incident with a “very famous male climber” whom she didn’t name.

During a March 2023 business discussion in the man’s hotel suite in Kathmandu, Nepal, he “kissed Lotta completely without warning,” Ms. Hintsa and her co-author wrote in the Finnish-language book, “The Mountains of My Life 2.” “The situation was absurd, unreal and unpleasant.”

But in interviews with The New York Times, Ms. Hintsa said her experience was more disturbing than she had described in the book. And her story highlights a concern that women in the climbing world are starting to talk about more openly.

Ms. Hintsa said the man was Nirmal Purja, whose successful 2019 quest to climb all 14 of the world’s 8,000-meter peaks in record time was chronicled in a popular Netflix documentary. She said he led her to the bedroom, pulled off her shirt, trekking shorts and underwear and tried to remove her bra. She said she repeatedly told him no and offered excuses to get him to stop without agitating him. The episode ended with him masturbating next to her, she said.

“I just need to get out of this and pretend that it never happened,” Ms. Hintsa, 35, recalled thinking at the time.


Last modified: 3 June 2024