KATHMANDU, Oct 2: Nirmal Purja, who had already climbed 13 peaks above 8000 meters, is likely to get permit to climb Mt Shishapangma, the last hurdle lying ahead of accomplishing his mission of climbing all 14 peaks above 8000 meters.
Purja, who is popularly known as Nims dai, had started a mission in April to climb all 14 mountains above 8000 meters within seven months.
Although he climbed all 13 mountains under Project Possible, it was not sure whether the climber would get permission to climb the last remaining mountain due to the dilly-dallying of Chinese Mountaineering Association and Tibet Mountaineering Association to issue climbing permit for Mt Shishapangma.
The associations were not responding to the requests from Purja's expedition company, Seven Summit Treks, for weeks as China was preparing to mark the 70 anniversary of communist rule.
“China has responded positively,” said Mira Acharya, director at the Department of Tourism, adding, “We are hopeful China will allow him to climb Shishapangma soon.”
Upon request from the Department of Tourism, the government of Nepal had reportedly urged the Chinese government to issue special climbing permit for Purja through diplomatic channel. Purja and his team had urged former Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, Tourism Minister Yogesh Bhattarai and other government officials to push for his summit plan. But China did not respond for weeks.
As China didn't respond, Purja climbed Choyu by abandoning his plan to climb Shishapangma.
Since the start of his campaign with the ascent of Mt Annapurna on May 19 this year, Purja has climbed 13 mountains in just five months.
Other mountains he has scaled include Dhaulagiri, Kanchenjungha, Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Nanga Parbat, G1, G2, K2, Broad Peak, Choyu and Manaslu.
If he succeeds to climb the last peak above 8000 meters within a few weeks, the former special force member of the British Army will be the first climber to scale 14 peaks in seven months.
It takes years to climb all peaks above 8000 meters scattered in various parts of the world. Previously, polish Jerzy Kukuczka had climbed all the 14 peaks in seven years, 11 months and 14 days.