|Nirmal Purja, scaled 14 peaks in 7 month time. /english.alarabiya.net|
|ace mountaineer Nirmal Purja,independent.ie|
Ang Tshering, former head of the Nepal Mountaineering Association said, “It is a great achievement for mountaineering and mountaineers and a milestone in the history of climbing,”
Purja joined the British army in 2003 and left the job earlier this year with a view to pursuing his dream mission of climbing all the 14 highest peaks in the record time. He began his odyssey of dangerous mission (dubbed “14/7” - “Project Possible'') to scale 14 tough peaks on April 23 with a climb of Mt. Annapurna in Nepal. He then scaled Mt. Dhaulagiri on May 12, Mt. Kanchenjunga on May 15, Mt. Everest on May 22, Mt. Lhotse on May 22, Mt. Makalu on May 24 and Mt. Manaslu on Sept. 27.
In Pakistan, he successfully stood atop Mt. Nanga Parbat on July 3, Mt. Gasherbrum 1 on July 15, Mount Gasherbrum 2 on July 18, Mount K2 on July 24 and Mt. Broad Peak on July 26. The final ones being Mt. Cho You on Sept. 23 and Mt. Shishapangma on Oct. 29, both in China. As China refused to give him permission, he sought the help of the Nepalese government and later got the permit for him to climb the mountain.
About his record-breaking 14 peak in less than 7 month period Mr Purja said, It had been a “gruelling” six months, but he was “overwhelmed and incredibly proud” to have completed the challenge. His early adventures were marked by a series of dramatic rescues of stranded mountain climbers. In 2016 he rescued a climber left in the Everest “death zone”, brought her down from 8,450m to safety alone. She is happily living in India.
Records are not new to this man whose spirit of adventurism in the midst of risks to life is unrelenting. He was the first Gurkha to have climbed Everest while serving the British military. The Queen awarded him an MBE in 2018 for his achievement in extreme high-altitude mountain climbing. Mr Purja already held three Guinness World Records for the fastest consecutive summits of Everest, Lhotse and Makalu in five days, the fastest time from the summit of Everest to the summit of Lhotse, and he was the first person to summit Everest twice, Lhotse once and Makalu once, in the same season. His 14/7 14 peak mission saw him breaking another six world records, including the most 8,000m-plus mountains scaled in both a spring and summer season. He broke his own record for the fastest consecutive summits of Everest, Lhotse and Makalu down to just 48 hours. Yet another interesting fact is one of his Sherpa guides during the mission,Mingma David, became the youngest person on Earth to have scaled all the 14 tallest mountains.
|Mt. Everest 2019 season: traffic jam of climbers. .bendbulletin.com|
Many people may not be aware of the traffic jam on Everest during this year's mountain climbing season that provided just two short weather windows in the death zone. It meant the climbers had limited time near the summit. It was Purja’s stunning photo of a long line of climbers just below the Mt. Everest summit went viral that brought to light the over-issue of permits to the climbers by the Nepalese govt. This forced them to wait long hours in the death zone to wait for their turn. Stuck in the traffic in a rugged terrain with depleted oxygen about 14 climbers people died on the higher slopes. This tragedy raised the eyebrows of the public and professional climbers. In the media world over, over-crowding on Everest became a serious subject of debate and discussion about the numbers of climbers attempting the world’s tallest mountain. In the future, the number of prospective climbers to M. Everest will be under check.
His great achievement will give inspiration to the youths world over who want to try their luck in mountaineering. Nirmal Purja's motto is : ''It is about trusting your ability.”