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British ex-soldier climbs Everest, 13 other highest mountains in 7-month

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"Nirmal
Nirmal Purja reaching the summit of the world’s ninth-highest mountain, Nanga Parbat, in the western Himalayas in July. It was the seventh peak on his list. PHOTO: NIMS DAI

A former British Marine, Nirmal Purja has surpassed an eight years record after climbing Mount Everest and thirteen other highest peaks in the world ― within seven months.

Purja, 36 years old, reached the top of his 14th mountain, Shishapangma in China, on Tuesday morning.

The mountaineer joined the British Army in 2003 and became a Royal Marine in 2009.

Purja climbing career began when he walked to Everest base camp in 2012 and, instead of returning as planned, decided to climb the entire mountain.

He was already the holder of numerous records – including the fastest “double-header” of two mountains higher than 8,000 metres – and was awarded the MBE, a civilian honour, by the Queen in 2018, BBC reported.

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Nepalese soldiers have served in the British Army – specifically the Brigade of Gurkhas – for more than 200 years.

There are 14 mountains in the world higher than 8,000m, and the previous record for climbing them all was almost eight years, achieved by Polish climber Jerzy Kukucza in 1987.

Purja began his campaign in Nepal in April, and climbed Mount Everest in May. There, his picture of the queue at the top of the summit gained worldwide attention.

During his climbs, he rescued four other climbers – three of which he called “suicide missions” – and has, in his own words, “bled from every angle”.

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But it wasn’t non-stop work. In August, he told the BBC’s Colin Murray he climbed Everest, Lhotse and Makalu in five days, but it could have been three – had he not stopped for two nights “to have a drink”.

In September, his challenge was held up while he waited for permission to climb the final mountain, Shishapangma, in the Tibetan autonomous region of China.

Purja’s permit was granted on 15 October after the Nepali approached the Chinese government on his behalf.

In order, the 14 mountains were:

  • Annapurna, Nepal, summit reached 23 April
    Dhaulagiri, Nepal, 12 May
    Kanchenjunga, Nepal, 15 May
    Everest, Nepal, 22 May
    Lhotse, Nepal, 22 May
    Makalu, Nepal, 24 May
    Nanga Parbat, Pakistan, 3 July
    Gasherbrum 1, Pakistan, 15 July
    Gasherbrum 2, Pakistan, 18 July
    K2, Pakistan, 24 July
    Broad Peak, Pakistan, 26 July
    Cho Oyu, China, 23 September
    Manaslu, Nepal, 27 September
    Shishapangma, China, 29 October

Vanguard News Nigeria.

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