Written by Reuters
21 Nov, 2019 | 3:58 pm
Reuters – Nearly a month after he smashed the world record for climbing the world’s highest 14 mountains in just over six months, Nirmal “Nims” Purjal, is still on top of the world as he recounts his daunting journey which took him more than 8,000 meters (26,000 feet) above sea level 14 times in 189 days.
The Nepalese mountain climber and former British soldier told Reuters on Wednesday (November 20) he had initially sought leave from the armed forces to climb five of the tallest mountains in 80 days.
When his leave request was denied, Purjal, who served in the elite Royal Marine regiment, decided to resign giving up his pension and financial security to chase a dream to climb the 14 tallest mountains instead of just five.
Purjal said finances were one of the most difficult parts of his adventure saying that he had to sell his home to help pay for the gruelling expeditions.
Things got off to a harrowing start on the opening climb of Mount Annapurna – the 10th highest in the world – when Purjal and his crew successfully rescued a stranded climber while descending from the summit on April 23 of this year.
The climber, Dr. Chin Wui Kin, had been separated from his team and was without basic essentials for 40 hours during the descent of Mount Annapurna.
The rescue mission cost Purjal vital time, but he said given his background and training, there was never any question what he was going to do.
From his vantage point on top of the world, Purjal said it was clear to him that global climate change “is a very serious matter of concern”.
“I’ve seen the changes and I think we as human beings have to do something about it because the earth, the planet, is our home,” he said.
Purjal had a rotating support team made up of exclusively Nepalese climbers. He is one of just 40 climbers who have scaled the world’s 14 highest peaks.
Previously, the world record for an individual climbing all 14 peaks was 7 years, 11 months and 14 days held by Jerzy Kukuczka in 1987, before it was beaten in 2013 by just 1 month and 8 days as South Korean Kim Chang-ho took Kukuczka’s record.
Purjal climbed the 14 summits in 189 days:
1. Annapurna summited 23rd April
2. Dhaulagiri summited 12th May
3. Kanchenjunga summited 15th May
4. Everest summited 22nd May
5. Lhotse summited 22nd May
6. Makalu summited 24th May
7. Nanga Parbat summited 3rd July
8. Gasherbrum I summited 15th July
9. Gasherbrum II summited 18th July
10. K2 summited 24th July
11. Broad Peak summited 26th July
12. Cho You summited 23rd September
13. Manaslu summited 27th September
14. Shishapangma summited 29th October
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