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    On Top of the World: Nepali Mountaineer Conquers 14 of the World's Highest Peaks in Seven Months

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    New Delhi (Sputnik) All the 14 highest mountain peaks in the world are located in the Himalayan and Karakoram ranges in China, India, Nepal, and Pakistan. These are the only peaks in the world that are over 8,000m (26,247 ft) above sea-level.

    In just seven months, Nirmal Purja, a 36-year-old Nepali, has smashed all previous records in the history of mountaineering by climbing all the 14 highest peaks in the world.

    Purja climbed atop Mt. Xixapangma (8,027m), his last and 14th peak in this mission, on Tuesday and took to Twitter to announce his accomplishment.

    The mountaineer set out on his quest in April 2019 and climbed Mt. Everest, Kangchenjunga, Lhotse Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Makalu in Nepal this spring before moving on to K2 in the Karakoram in Pakistan.

    Purja climbed five of Pakistan's highest peaks including Gasherbrum I, Gasherbrum II and K2, in the second phase of his mission.

    Polish climber Jerzy Kukuczka completed the same feat after seven years, 11 months and 14 days in 1987 after Italy's legendary Reinhold Messner became the first to scale the 14 peaks in 1986.

    South Korean Kim Chang-ho completed the challenge one month slower than Kukuczka. The last record holder, Korean climber Kim Chang-ho, took eight years to climb the 14 peaks.

    Known for conducting rescue operations on summits, Purja rescued stranded climbers on Everest and Annapurna in the spring.

    He climbed Annapurna I (23 April), Dhaulagiri (12 May), Kanchenjunga (16 May) both Everest and Lhotse (23 May) and Makalu (25 May). Climbing those six peaks within 31 days was itself a record. Then he went on to climb Nanga Parbat (6 July), Gasherbrum I (15 July), Gasherbrum II (18 July), K2 (24 July) Broad Peak (26 July). He came back in the autumn to climb Cho Oyu (23 September) and Cho Oyu (27 September).

    Purja, a former Gurkha Special Forces Commando in the British Navy, started a crowdfunding website for Project Possible 14/7 - Nims dai.

    "I firmly believe that everything in life is possible armed only with a measured approach and positive mind-set. My military career is behind me, I will strive to break more boundaries and help others move forward in their lives, realise their dreams and exceed my and their limitations," he wrote on his website.

    Congratulatory messages have been pouring in for Purja, ever since the announcement.

     

    ​He was awarded MBE (Member of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II) in 2016 for outstanding achievements in high altitude mountaineering such as orchestrating the rescue of a stranded Indian climber, who had succumbed to cold weather injuries in the infamous ‘Everest Death Zone’ and fixing the all-important rope lines to the summit of Everest.

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    Tags:
    Tibet, China, Pakistan, Himalayas, India, Nepal, Mount Everest
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