Purja Reaches Shishapangma; Off to ABC Today

Visa in hand, Nirmal Purja checked in from Shishapangma’s Base Camp today. Over the weekend, he and his team got their documents, crossed the border and drove all the way to the mountain, which rises on the lonely, windswept Tibetan plateau.

Purja, Mingma Gyabu “David” Sherpa, Ges Man Tamang and Gelje Sherpa reached lower Base Camp yesterday and pitched the tents just before a snowfall covered the place in white. “[It’s] only 20km to Advanced base Camp, we should reach there no problem,” Purja nevertheless announced cheerfully. 

With no trail or fixed ropes, weather conditions will be key on Shishapangma. Meteoexploration forecasts very high winds on the summit for the entire week, so it is unlikely that even Purja will be able to rush up before October 23. So he may need a shade more than six months complete his 14 x 8,000m quest. Not that it matters. The feat, physically, psychologically and logistically, would still be unparalleled.