Nepal | May 20, 2019

Ex Gurkha soldier heads to Annapurna camp III for summit push on April 22

Rajan Pokhrel

KATHMANDU: A former Gurkha soldier, who is on his mission to climb the world’s fourteen highest mountains in just seven months, has left for Camp III of the tenth highest mountain in the world.

“If weather allows, our team will try to make a final summit push on Mt Annapurna (8,091m) on Monday,” Nirmal ‘Nims’ Purja, 34, told THT before leaving for the higher camps from the base camp yesterday.

Annapurna Base Camp. Photo courtesy: Nima Gyalzen Sherpa

Purja, who has spent 16 years in the British Army, said that they had already set up Camp III to prepare for the final summit push. “We need to fix route from Camp III to the summit point,” a record holder climber Mingma David Sherpa, who has been accompanying Purja, shared.

Seven Summit Treks in association with Elite Himalaya Adventures has been providing logistic support to the ‘Project Possible’ expedition on Mt Annapurna.

Purja wants to break the mountaineering world record by climbing all 14 peaks in the next seven months. Korean climber Kim Chang-ho holds the current record by completing all peaks in seven years, 10 months and six days in 2013.

During the first phase, Purja plans to climb the first six peaks including Mt Everest by June 1. He will then attempt to climb six other mountains including Mt K2 in the second phase by August 1. Then, the final attempt will begin in September with plans to climb the remaining three peaks by November 1.

Purja, a permanent resident of Myagdi, is the first Gurkha to climb Mt Everest while serving the British Military and current holder of multiple World Records for the fastest ascent of double and triple header mountains in the higher than 8000m category. He also quit the most prestigious job in the British Army to break more boundaries and help others move forward in their lives, realise their dreams and exceed limitations.

Purja said he has already re-mortgaged his Hampshire home to collect the fund for ‘Project Possible’.

According to the Department of Tourism, at least 23 members of three different expeditions obtained climbing permits for Mt Annapurna this season.


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