Nepal | December 12, 2019

China to allow Nirmal ‘Nims’ Purja to climb Shishapangma

Rajan Pokhrel

KATHMANDU: China’s mountaineering authorities reportedly agreed to issue a special climbing permit to Nirmal ‘Nims’ Purja allowing him to scale Mt Shishapangma, this season.

China’s positive signal comes at a time when former UK’s special forces member Purja, who climbed Mt Manaslu as his 13th eight-thousander last week, wanted a permit to attempt to climb Shishapangma by this November to complete all 14 peaks above 8,000 metres in just seven months, expedition agency officials said.

Dawa Sherpa, Managing Director at Climbalaya Treks told THT that he received a message from China and Tibet Mountaineering Association that Purja-led team would get a special permit for Mt Shishapangma at the request of Nepal’s government.

“Chinese authorities have clearly conveyed me a message that Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu will do necessary arrangement to secure a Shishapangma climbing permit for Purja and his team of Project Possible at the earliest,” Sherpa, who runs mountaineering expeditions in Tibet, said.

Purja’s issue was carefully handled by the governments of Nepal and China, Sherpa quoted Chinese officials as saying.

As the embassy remains closed for a week to mark 70 years of Communist rule, a process to issue permit would start after October 8.

Purja, who is now at Samagaun waiting for a chopper flight to Kathmandu, made it to the top of Mt Manaslu, the world’s eighth highest peak, completing his 13th eight-thousander in 158 days.

Sharing his plan ‘B’, Purja earlier told THT that he might go for the 15th tallest peak — Gyachung Kamg (7,952 m) if China refused him permit to scale Mt Shishapangma (8,013m), this season.

The former UK’s Special Forces member began his ‘Project Possible’ in April to complete all 14 peaks by November.

If he succeeds in scaling Mt Shishapangma by November he will conquer all 14 peaks in seven months.

The current records for such attempt are seven years, 10 months and six days by Korean climber Kim Chang-ho in 2013 and seven years, 11 months and 14 days by Polish climber Jerzy Kukuczka in 1987.

Mountaineering world believes that Purja’s project is one of a kind which will test the human endurance to its limit.

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