World

Man shatters record for scaling world's highest peaks

A Nepalese man shattered the previous mountaineering record for successfully climbing the world's 14 highest peaks, completing the feat in 189 days.

Nirmal Purja took viral photo of lengthy queue of climbers on Everest

Nirmal Purja has scaled the world's 14 highest mountains in record time. (Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters)

A Nepalese man shattered the previous mountaineering record for successfully climbing the world's 14 highest peaks, completing the feat in 189 days.

Nirmal Purja scaled the 8,027-metre Mount Shishapangma in China on Tuesday, which was the last of the 14 peaks that are more than 8,000 metres in height.

The previous record for climbing the 14 peaks was seven years, 10 months and six days. It was set by South Korean climber Kim Chang-ho in 2013.

Mingma Sherpa of Seven Summit Treks in Kathmandu, which equipped the expedition, said the 36-year-old Purja was in good health and safely descending from the summit.

Climbing experts called the record a momentous achievement in mountaineering history.

"It is a great achievement for mountaineering and mountaineers and a milestone in the history of climbing," said Ang Tshering, who previously headed the Nepal Mountaineering Association.

Purja, who served with British special forces as a Gurkha from Nepal, in May took a photograph showing scores of climbers linked up on the summit ridge of Mount Everest, which went viral exposing the traffic jam in the so-called death zone of the world's highest mountain.

This photo taken on May 22 by Nirmal Purja shows heavy traffic of mountain climbers lining up to stand at the summit of Mount Everest. (@nimsdai, Project Possible/AFP)

That photograph led the Nepali government to draft a new set of climbing rules aimed at reducing the crowd on Everest, following criticism by climbers who said it was undermining the safety and issuing permits to anyone who paid $11,000 US.

Purja struggled to get permission from the Chinese government for his last climb and was allowed only after getting help from the Nepalese government.

Here's a look at Purja's climbing timeline

NEPAL

PAKISTAN

  • Mount Nanga Parbat on July 3.
  • Mount Gasherbrum 1 on July 15.
  • Mount Gasherbrum 2 on July 18.
  • Mount K2 on July 24.
  • Mount Broad Peak on July 26.

CHINA

  • Mount Cho Oyu on Sept. 23.
  • Mount Shishapangma on Oct. 29.

With files from Reuters

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