The four episode series follows five female climbers as they aim to reach the summits of the 14 highest mountains in the world

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BBC World Service has released details of a new season of its Amazing Sport Stories podcast series, called Chasing Mountains.

It follows five female climbers as they aim to become the first woman to reach the summits of the 14 highest mountains in the world.

Journalist Joanna Jolly and rock climber Kathy Karlo co-present the four-part series.

The climbers risk their lives for the ultimate challenge, with all 14 peaks being more than 8,000 metres high in the Karakoram and Himalayan mountains, comprising some of the harshest environments on Earth.

In the series are mountaineers Edurne Pasaban from Spain, Gerlinde Katlernbrunner from Austria, and Nives Meroi from Italy. They are joined by South Korean climbers Oh Eun-sun and Go Mi-young.

Joanna Jolly is a writer, producer, and former BBC correspondent in Nepal, while Kathy Karlo is a rock climber, podcaster and writer.

Jolly said: “Back in 2010 when I was in Nepal reporting on this story, I was focused on who was going to win the race. But Chasing Mountains tells the story of the enormous mental and physical challenges that these women overcame – and it’s made me realise that being first isn’t that important.”

Karlo adds: “As climbers, we are inviting risk every time we go into the mountains. Mountaineering’s path asks us to gamble a thread, in order to receive everything in return. ‘Chasing Mountains’ speaks to the transformative power of passion for a sport, and how our greatest challenges and pains can reveal our truest selves.”

The first episode of Chasing Mountains will be available as a podcast on BBC Sounds on Monday 15 April, and more widely available on other podcast platforms from Monday 22 April. Episodes will be released weekly.

Chasing Mountains will also air weekly on BBC World Service radio from Wednesday 26 June.

Amazing Sport Stories: Chasing Mountains is a Bespoken Media production for the BBC World Service.

Series information

Episode 1

A near death experience motivates a mountaineer to scale the world’s highest peaks. But two others are trying at the same time. They say this isn’t a race but they are locked in competition to be the first woman to reach the summit of the fourteen peaks.

Episode 2

Then there were five. Two super-fast new challengers are powering up the peaks and the pressure is on. Edurne Pasaban, Gerlinde Katlernbrunner and Nives Meroi have been climbing the world’s highest mountains at a rate of around one a year. With the arrival of the South Korean climbers – Oh Eun-sun and Go Mi-young - the stakes are supercharged.

Episode 3

The mountaineers are climbing the final peaks and three of them are neck and neck. The other two are close behind. They say it’s not a race but their sense of competition is intense. Can they all make it and is the lead climber about to take the title?

Episode 4

We have a winner – or so we think. Questions are being asked, as an earlier climb comes under scrutiny. If you don’t actually reach the summit, can you still claim the title of first woman to scale the fourteen highest peaks? The mountaineers risked their lives on the ultimate challenge – can they make peace with what has happened?