An ex-British Forces soldier has shattered a world record for mountaineering after he scaled the world’s 14 tallest mountains in just 6 months and 6 days.
Nirmal “Nims” Purja broke the previous record of almost eight years, climbing 14 peaks all of which were higher than 8,000m, entering what is known as the “death zone”. Nims joins a list of just 40 climbers throughout history to complete the challenge. Born in the Dhaulagiri region of Nepal at an altitude of 1,600m, Nims joined the Brigade of Gurkhas in 2003 before passing the UKSF selection in 2009. His climbing career began in December 2012 where he set out to trek to Everest Base Camp. Once he arrived, he made the bold choice to summit Lobuche East without any previous climbing experience.
The task was undertaken under the name Bremont Project Possible, which saw the British luxury watch brand sponsoring the expeditions. The previous world records for one individual climbing all 14 peaks was seven years, 11 months and 14 days held by Jerzy Kukuczka in 1987, and South Korea's Kim Chang-ho who beat Kukuczka’s record in 2013 by just one month and eight days. The clock stopped on Nims’ attempt as he reached the summit of Shishpangma on 29 October at 8:58 local time, beating the world record by a stunning seven years five months and eight days.
The summits were Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Kanchenjunga, Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Nanga Parbat, Gasherbrum I, Gasherbrum II, K2, Broad Peak, Cho You, Manaslu and Shishapangma.
“I believed in this project and I made sure to surround myself with people who believed in it too. This was never just about me, which is the reason I’ve been able to overcome some huge obstacles on this journey. By achieving this goal I knew I could inspire people from all generations, across the world. I hope to have shown that anything is possible when you set your mind to it,” added Nims.
Nims also achieved a further six world records in the process, including the most 8000m-high mountains summited in the Spring season and the fastest summit of the three highest mountains in the world.