KATHMANDU: A 36-year-old Nepali became the fastest climber to scale the world’s 14 highest mountains on Tuesday, climbing all the peaks in just over six months, his hiking agency said, it took several years to complete a feat other climbers.
Nirmal Purja scaled Mount Shishapangma at 8,027 meters (26,335 feet) in Tibet, six months and a week after his first campaign climb, Mount Annapurna I, started his “Project Possible.”
Mingma Sherpa from the Seven Summit Treks agency providing logistics to Purja’s team said he was accompanied to the Sishapangma Summit by three sherpa climbers.
“Mission accomplished,” Purja posted from the top in Tibet, the 14th highest mountain in the world, on his Instagram.
Official Sherpa of the organization said all summiters were on their way to base camp and planned this week to return to Kathmandu. “It’s the history of the world,” he said.
Purja took the other “8,000ers” on April 23 after scaling Annapurna, the tenth highest peak, climbing Dhaulagiri, Kanchenjunga, Everest, Lhotse and Makalu the following month.
He then flew to Pakistan, climbing Nanga Parbat, Gasherbrum I, Gasherbrum II, K2, and Broad Peak.
In Nepal, Purja climbed two more peaks–Cho Oyu and Manaslu before heading to Tibet, officials said climbing.
South Korean Kim Chang-ho, who completed all “8,000ers” in seven years, 10 months and six days, has previously held the record for the fastest climb, said blogger Alan Arnette.
Purja, who served as a Gorkha from Nepal with British special forces, took a photograph in May showing scores of climbers linked up on the top ridge of Mount Everest, which virally exposed the traffic jam in the so-called death zone of the highest mountain in the world.
The photograph prompted the government of Nepal to draft a new set of climbing rules aimed at reducing the crowd on Everest, criticized by climbers who said it threatened security and granted permits to anyone who paid $11,000 (8,559.65 pounds).