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Nirmal Purja makes history by climbing all 14 peaks above 8,000 meters in 190 days

Sangam Prasain

The Kathmandu Post/Asia News Network

 /  Tue, October 29, 2019  /  03:08 pm
Nirmal Purja makes history by climbing all 14 peaks above 8,000 meters in 190 days

Congratulations have been pouring in for Purja on social media platforms after he announced that he has successfully scaled the peak. (facebook.com/NimsPurja/File)

Nirmal ‘Nims’ Purja stepped onto the summit of Shishapangma on Tuesday and made history in mountaineering by scaling all 8,000-metre peaks in the shortest span of time—190 days.

Mingma Sherpa, Chairman of Seven Summit Treks, the agency handling Purja’s climb, told the Post that Purja made it to the summit at 8:58 am local time. The agency said that Purja claimed the summit with Mingma David Sherpa, Galjen Sherpa and Gesman Tamang.

Congratulations have been pouring in for Purja on social media platforms after he announced that he has successfully scaled the peak.

“MISSION ACHIEVED !” a post on his Facebook page said on Tuesday morning. “At 8:58 hrs local time, Nims and his team reached the summit of Shisha Pangma.”

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Shishapangma, at 8,027m, in China was the last among the world's 14 eight-thousanders in Purja's list. With this ascent he snatched away the record from South Korean climber Kim Chang-ho.

Kim Chang-ho, the first South Korean to climb all eight-thousanders without using supplemental oxygen, accomplished the feat in 2013, taking seven years, 10 months and six days. He was killed in a snowstorm at the base camp of Mt Gurja in Myagdi district in western Nepal in October 2018.

Read also: Everest summits smash records amid deadly bottlenecks

Polish Jerzy Kukuczka is the first mountaineer to climb all 14 eight-thousanders, a feat he achieved in seven years, 11 months and 14 days in 1987.

Chinese authorities had granted Purja and his expedition a special permit to scale Shishapangma in the fall season at the request of the Nepali government. Purja left Nepal for Tibet on October 18, leading a five-member expedition to climb Shishapangma and complete Project Possible.

The 36-year-old is also widely known for his May 25 photo of the 'traffic jam' on Mt Everest that went viral across the world.

Purja has already climbed Annapurna I (8,091m), Dhaulagiri I (8,167m), Kanchenjunga (8,586), Everest, Lhotse and Makalu in May. In the following month, he scaled Nanga Parbat (8,126m), Gasherbrum I (8,080m), Gasherbrum II (8,036m), Broad Peak (8,051) and K2 (8,611m), Manaslu (8,163m), Cho Oyu (8,188m).

In May, Purja climbed Everest (8,848m), descended to South Col and climbed adjoining Lhotse (8,516m), then flew to Makalu base camp and climbed that peak (8,481m) too—all in 48 hours. He broke his own previous world record for the same three peaks, taking five days in 2017.

Former Gurkha and Special Boat Service soldier, an elite special forces unit of the United Kingdom's Royal Navy, Purja started his mission, Project Possible, earlier in the spring to climb all 14 of the world’s highest peaks within seven months.

Purja's climbing record:

  • Annapurna (8,091m, Nepal, April 23)
  • Dhaulagiri (8,167m, Nepal, May 12)
  • Kanchenjunga (8,586m, Nepal, May 15)
  • Everest (8,848m, Nepal, May 22)
  • Lhotse (8,516m, Nepal, May 22)
  • Makalu (8,481m, Nepal, May 24)
  • Nanga Parbat (8,125m, Pakistan, July 3)
  • Gasherbrum I (8,080m, Pakistan, July 15)
  • Gasherbrum II (8,035m, Pakistan, July 18)
  • K2 (8,614m, Pakistan, July 24)
  • Broad Peak (8,051m, Pakistan, July 26)
  • Cho Oyu (8,188m, China/Nepal, September 23)
  • Manaslu (8,163m, Nepal, September 27)
  • Shishapangma (8,027m, China, October 29)
This article appeared on The Kathmandu Post newspaper website, which is a member of Asia News Network and a media partner of The Jakarta Post