A former special forces soldier has taken the notion that “records are meant to be broken” to a whole new level.
Nepalese climber Nirmal “Nims” Purja smashed the record for taking the shortest time to climb all 14 of the world’s 8,000-meter-high mountains (about 26,300 feet).
The previous mark was just under eight years, but Purja took six months and six days, even finding time to rescue several fellow climbers. He also had to contend with having his oxygen stolen while on Lhotse, a neighboring peak to Mt. Everest.
Earlier this year, Purja shot to prominence when he photographed the “traffic jam” on the upper slopes of Everest (8,848m/29,029 feet) — bringing global attention to the mountain’s overcrowding.
But during his expeditions, the 36-year-old Purja says has also became acutely aware of the environmental changes the world is undergoing.
Over the space of a few years, the Nepalese has climbed several mountains in the Himalayas more than once. In doing so, Purja says he has seen the damaging effect of global warming.
“I climbed Dhaulagiri (8,167m) in 2014 and I went back again this year, the glacier is melting,” Purja told CNN Sport. “You can see a huge difference. And even on Everest as well, the Khumbu glacier.