Nirmal Purja breaks world record | Climbs all 8,000 meter peaks
Climbing an 8000m peak is by no means a cakewalk, let alone climbing all fourteen 8000m peaks of the world, but that’s exactly what Nirmal Purja, a 35-year-old Nepali Mountaineer made it seem like when he summited all 14 eight-thousanders in a span of six months and six days- a cakewalk. He broke the world record of Korean Kim Chang-ho for achieving the feat of climbing fourteen of the highest peaks in the world in the shortest span of time; it took Kim seven years, 10 months and six days to climb all 14 peaks.
With an impressive record of having 7 World records on 8000m peaks under his belt, Nirmal Purja created history on 29 October 2019 when he reached the summit of Shishapangma (8,013m) in Tibet and became the 43rd person to ascend all 14 eight-thousanders.
Following the footsteps of his father, Nirmal had joined the elite special forces of the British Royal Army at the age of 18. It was only in 2012, on an expedition to Everest Base Camp, that Purja fell in love with the mountains. At the time, he said, “I got a taste for what it’s like to stand on a peak and have this view.”
In March of this year, Purja quit the military, abandoned his pension, remortgaged his house, and started a fundraising campaign for what he called Project Possible, a mission to climb all 14 of the world’s biggest peaks in seven months. The main aim of Project Possible was to inspire people to tap into their potential, as well as to show the world just how strong and capable Nepalese climbers are. “I climb with a Nepalese team purely because these guys are the best climbers,” Purja told Outside last spring. “They’re the only ones who can keep up.”
Project Possible consisted of three phases. During the first, Purja climbed Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Kanchenjunga, Everest, Lhotse, and Makalu over the course of 30 days in April and May, while the second stage of his project consisted of climbing Nanga Parbat, Gasherbrum I and II, K2, and Broad Peak. He summited those five peaks in a little over three weeks, which is almost superhuman in its own right.
Phase three began on September 23, when Purja summited Cho Oyu in Nepal and just four days later, he was standing on top of Manaslu.
“I am overwhelmed and incredibly proud to have completed this final summit and achieved my goal,” Purja said after the completion of his mission. “It has been a gruelling but humbling six months, and I hope to have proven that anything is possible with some determination, self-belief, and positivity.”