Fans of Nirmal “Nims” Purja were overjoyed by the news that came yesterday that China would grant him a permit to climb Shishapangma this fall, despite the mountain being closed to everyone else. Nims himself has yet to acknowledge this update, although it is widely being reported around the Internet from a variety of sources, including the well placed staff at The Himalayan Times. But according to Alan Arnette, Nims will have to wait a bit before he can begin his Shishapangma expedition, as China celebrates 70 years of Communist rule.
Currently, the Chinese embassy in Nepal, which is where Nims will collect his permit, is closed until October 8 to commemorate the anniversary of the Communist takeover. That means that Purja will get some time to rest after summiting both Cho Oyu and Manaslu this fall. It also means that it will likely take a few days to travel to Shishapangma, so look for climbing operations to start late next week. That still gives him plenty of time to summit the mountain by November 23, which is seven months after his first summit on Annapurna. Nims’ Project Possible goal has always been to get all 14 8000-meter peaks in under seven months time.
We’ve followed Nims for the entirety of that journey and The Adventure Blog was one of the first sites to report on his audacious mission way back in February. Now, as he gets closer to his goal, you can certainly bet that we’ll be watching this last climb closely and keeping our fingers crossed that everything goes according to plan. Stay tuned for updates when we know more.
The news of Nims’ Shishapangma permit isn’t the only update to share. Over on Dhaulagiri a number of climbers have launched their summit bids in an attempt to climb the mountain before poor weather arrives. So far, it has been a trying season on that mountain, with nearly constant snow and rainfall making it difficult on the climbers. Still, Sergi Mingote, Carlos Soria Fontán, Chris Jensen Burke and others are currently on the move with the hope of completing the climb in the next few days. Mingote posted an update earlier this morning indicating that the team was on its way up to Camp 3. If they can maintain their pace and the weather grants them access, that should mean they’ll top out around Friday of this week.
Finally, over on Everest, the Madison Mountaineering team is still in place, although it is down to just a single client now. The serac that has been hanging over the Khumbu Icefall also remains in place, but the group continues to hold out hope that it will tumble down the side of the mountain and create a safe path through the icefall. The latest dispatch from Garrett Madison indicates that the sun has finally shone its face in Base Camp, which has been a rare site so far this fall. He also says that Kilian Jornet is still on the mountain as well and is actually up in Camp 1 at the moment acclimatizing. Right now, there are no summit plans in place as they sit, wait, and watch the serac. Hopefully they’ll get a chance to go up higher soon.
That’s it for today. More soon.
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- Nepal’s ‘Road to Everest’ Isn’t What You Think - November 12, 2020