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Nirmal Purja Summits World’s 14 Highest Peaks in 189 Days

He required a special permit to complete his goal because China had closed one of the peaks for the year

‪“Mission achieved!” Nirmal “Nims” Purja reported from the summit of Shishapangma with his teammates Mingma David Sherpa, Galjen Sherpa and Gesman Tamang. The Nepalese former British soldier has climbed the 14 8,000-metre mountains in only seven months.

His record-breaking 189-day accomplishment often takes other climbers years, if not decades, to achieve. It was Purja’s photo earlier this year of a queue of climbers close to the summit of Everest that went viral and brought attention to the dangers on the world’s highest peak.

The first climber to climb the 14 8,000-metre peaks was Reinhold Messner in 1986, who also climbed them without supplemental oxygen. Purja used supplementary oxygen for his ascents. “I have to get back down, so that I can reach the next mountain. I listen to my body. You must have humility so that you can get home. You can always go again without oxygen if that is what is so important, but you can’t if you’re dead.”

Purja began his seven-month challenged, named Bremont Project Possible, when he climbed Annapurna on April 23 this year. On May 22, he reached the summit of Mount Everest along with 320 other mountaineers.

Purja and his team were required to obtain a special permit from the China Tibet Mountaineering Association because China had closed Shishapangma this year.

Purja was also involved in four rescues during his climbs this year. In April, he led a rescue of Dr. Chin Wui Kin on Annapurna. Then on 15 May, after climbing Kanchenjunga in 21 hours, he and his team rescued a two climbers from 8,400 metres.