Nims Conquers World's 14 Highest Peaks In Six Months
General News | Nov-19-2023
Himalayan and Karakoram ranges house the eight-thousanders – mountain peaks standing over 8000 meters. This is also called the “Death Zone”. This is where the oxygen level is insufficient to sustain human life.
October 29, 2019, marked the day when Nepalese mountaineer Nirmal "Nims" Purja, allied with the elite group of mountaineers when he reached the 8,028-meter peak of China's Mt. Shishapangma. Purja accomplished this extraordinary task in just six months and six days, sooner than his set target of seven months and far surpassing late South Korean climber Kim Chang-ho's 2013 who finished the same climb in 7 years, ten months, and six days.
Purja released a statement saying that he feels overwhelmed and proud of accomplishing his goal of climbing the world's 14 tallest mountains in record time. He also shed light on how physically, and mentally grueling it was and how accomplishing it has humbled him Purja's "Project Possible" started to become a reality on April 23, 2019, after he successfully peaked Nepal's 8,091 meters tall Mt. Annapurna. He then rapidly completed the next five mountains, including Mt. Everest, within a short span of four weeks. Five more peaks were dominated in July and the last three mountains were scaled during September and October.
The adventurer was joined by teams of Nepalese climbers for each of his quests and experienced numerously memorable as well as tense moments during his epic journey. On April 23, 2019, while climbing down Mt. Annapurna, Purja and his team learned about a Malaysian climber who got separated from his group with no survival substance like food, water, or supplemental oxygen for over 40 hours. They trekked back up to 7,500 meters, to find him. Though they succeeded in locating and getting him airlifted to a hospital, Dr. Chin did not survive. On May 15, 2019, Purja's team also helped three stranded climbers on Mt. Kanchenjunga by giving them their supplemental oxygen. Purja's photo of the "traffic jam" of climbers trying to get to the top of Mt. Everest on May 22, 2019, also went viral, sparking extensive discussions to restrict the number of climbers allowed to attempt the peak annually.
Along with the physical challenges, Purja also had to overcome the financial drain of this expedition. Climbing is expensive. For a single expedition, the cost can go upwards of $65,000, and then multiply that by 14. The initial funds were raised by taking a second mortgage on his house. The rest was arranged through sponsorship from British watchmaker Bremont, a crowdfunding campaign, and also by taking paying customers along for a few of his climbs.
Purja said his primary purpose for undertaking this enormous task was to show the world that anyone can attain greatness if they put their minds to it.
The mountaineer rose to initial fame in 2017 after scaling Mt. Everest and the neighboring Mt. Lhotse and Mt. Makalu in a record-breaking five days. On November 18, 2019, the adventurer announced that he would be leading climbers along an uncharted Nepalese route to the Cho Oyu, in 2020. Cho Oyu is the world's sixth-highest mountain, which is currently accessible only through Tibet.
By: Deeksha Goyal
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