Nirmal “Nims” Purja, a 36-year-old former soldier from Nepal, has broken a world record after climbing the
Purja reached the 8,027-meter-high (26,335 feet) summit of Mount Shishapangma, Tibet on Tuesday, officially knocking the previous record out by a difference of over 7 years.
So far, only 40 climbers have completed scaling the “8,000er” mountains, eight of which are in Nepal, five are in Pakistan, and one in Tibet. Mountaineers refer to the height reaching 8,000 meters as the “death zone.”
South Korean Kim Chang-ho originally held the fastest time since 2013, which stood at 7 years, 10 months and 6 days. Chang-ho had narrowly beaten the previous record of Jerzy Kukuczka from 1987 by one month and 8 days.
Purja’s amazing feat was completed in 189 days under his “Project Possible” campaign, CNN reports. He climbed the first on his list, Mount Annapurna I, Nepal, on April 23.
Purja, who served in the British military, celebrated the achievement with a post on Twitter proclaiming, “MISSION ACHIEVED!”
“I believed in this project and I made sure to surround myself with people who believed in it too,” Purja said in a statement. “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.”
Earlier this year, Purja also made headlines when he took a photo of the long queue of climbers waiting in the “death zone” hoping to reach the summit of Everest
. The resulting controversy led to the drafting of new climbing rules by the Nepali government.
Purja attributed his ability to navigate the rapid-turn-around climbs to his training in the British military. He reportedly joined the Brigade of Gurkhas in 2003 before joining the special forces unit of the U.K.’s Royal Navy.
Purja’s website states that his personal achievement wasn’t the only record set by the team. Mingma David Sherpa also became the youngest person to summit all 14 of these peaks. He accompanied Purja on nine of the climbs.
Featured Images via Instagram / nimsdai