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.
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”.
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