Gusty strong winds may have forced Nirmal 'Nims' Purja to shelve his plans to paraglide from the summit of K2 to the base, but the seasoned mountaineer is in seventh heaven as he stands on top of the second-highest peak in the world.
Nirmal's extraordinary effort assumes great significance as scaling the mountain was an uphill task as the temperature dipped to minus 65 degree Celsius. But he had to abort paragliding halfway through the decent as winds were blowing at a speed of 100km per hour in the area where avalanche claimed 29 lives a few years ago. Later, Nirmal had to trek down the mountain that stands tall at 8,611m.
The mountaineers are in awe of Nirmal's endeavour as he had climbed the peak without supplementary oxygen. With this stupendous effort, the former British Special Forces solider has entered the record books as the first to conquer the second highest peak in the world during winter.
Nirmal was born in the backyard of the Himalayas, Nepal, and this pedigree stood in good stead for him while overcoming the treacherous terrain of K2 mountain during the harsh winter in the month of January. In a bid to make the climb safe, Nirmal had selected a small group of sherpas, who are known for their mountaineering skills, to accompany him.
“The dangers are manifold in January. Even during non-winter days, 29 out of 100 people lose their lives in their quest to conquer the K2 summit,” the sherpas warned Nirmal.
A calm and collected Nirmal replied, “Friends, I am 37 years old and was born and brought in this tough terrain. My legs got stronger walking in this gruelling topography and used to run 40km daily even after joining the British army. My goal is to stand atop K2 peak in January.”