KATHMANDU: With an aim to set an enviable world record in the history of mountain climbing, a former UK’s Special Forces member today left for Tibet leading a five-member expedition to the world’s 14th highest peak.
Nirmal ‘Nims’ Purja (36), along with his team of Project Possible, aims to complete all 14 peaks above 8,000 m in just over six months making his final attempt on Mt Shishapangma (8,027 m) next week.
“We are on our way to Nepal-Tibet border,” Purja told THT while leaving for the mountain this afternoon. Purja and his team obtained a special climbing permit from China Tibet Mountaineering Association to complete his third phase of the Project Possible. China has closed Shishapangma for other climbers this season.
Renowned climber Mingma David Sherpa, Gesman Tamang, Gyalzen Sherpa and Jangbu Sherpa will accompany Purja on Mt Shishapangma. Managing Director at Climbalaya Treks Mingma Sherpa will look after the base camp management while logistic support was provided by Seven Summit Treks.
“If the weather allows, we will attempt to climb the mountain by October 23,” Purja said. “This project was never about me and I truly believe that’s the reason why I have been able to overcome some of the biggest obstacles during the evolution. This only happened through the support of our friends and followers across the globe,” Purja earlier stated in his social media posts, adding, “finally, we have obtained the visa to China this morning and in few hours we will get the wheels rolling towards our final mission.”
Purja, who climbed Mt Manaslu as his 13th eight-thousander in just 158 days last month, has already set multiple world records in the history of mountain climbing.
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 October 23 he will conquer all 14 peaks in just six 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.