The 2019 spring Himalayan climbing season is well underway and if you’ve been reading my regular updates here on The Adventure Blog you’ve probably seen the name Nirmal “Nims” Purja come up a few times already. That’s because he’s the climber who launched Project Possible 14/7, which is an attempt to summit all 14 8000-meter peaks in a seven month period. If he pulls that off, it will easily be a new record for the fastest time to every climb all of those mountains. It would also set a mark for the most 8000-meter peaks in a single year as well. But should Nims falter in his pursuit of this goal, there is another climber who could end up claiming that record instead.
ExWeb has posted a profile of Catalonian alpinist Sergi Mingote, who also has ambitious plans for the year ahead. Sergi is currently in Nepal where he just wrapped up a trek with a group of disabled hikers to reach the monastery at Tengboche. After seeing that group back to Kathmandu, he’ll now turn his attention on his climbing goals over the next few weeks. Those include summiting both Everest and Lhotse without oxygen, as well as Kangchenjunga provided he has enough time and the weather holds out. After that, he hopes to travel to Pakistan in the summer where he has set his sights on bagging Gasherbrum I and II, which would give him an impressive five 8000-meter peaks in a matter of months.
According to ExWeb, last year Mingote managed to summit K2, Broad Peak, and Manaslu, which has put him on a good path to eventually getting all of the 8000-meter mountains. But, if successful on Everest and Kangchenjunga this spring he’ll have climbed the three highest peaks on the planet in less than a year. That would be a Guinness Record too, besting the previous mark of three years and 74 days set by Silvio Mondinelli. Adding Lhotse to his resume would give him the fourth highest mountain in the world too.
Mingote says that he knows this will be a tough challenge, as climbing both Everest and Lhotse without oxygen will take a lot out of him. That may not give him enough to time to recover for Kangchenjunga, which is a formidable mountain in its own right. Still, he is ready to give it a go and even if he doesn’t get Kangchenjunga this spring, he could always come back in the fall or even in 2020, with plenty of time to break the record.
Of course, whether or not that record still stands remains to be seen. If Purja is successful in his project he’ll have knocked off six 8000-meter peaks this spring alone, including Everest and Kangchenjunga. He’ll head to Pakistan in the summer to attempt K2, which if successful would lower the mark to just a few months. That’s a lot of “ifs” however and it remains to be seen whether or not he can actually pull off this big goal.
Either way, we’ll be following both of these guys to see how they do. Stay tuned!