Tuesday Aug 16, 2022
Tuesday Aug 16, 2022

Nepali mountaineers who climbed K2 return home, receive grand welcome


Nepalnews
2021 Jan 26, 12:50, Kathmandu
Nirmal Purja, aka Nims Dai receives heroic welcome at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, on Tuesday, January 26, 2021. Purja, along with nine other team members who ascended K2 the second highest mountain in the world after Mount Everest returned home on Tuesday. Photo: NepalNews

A team of 10 Nepali mountaineers who made history by scaling the world’s second-highest peak — Pakistan’s K2 — in the winter season arrived home today.

Nirmal Purja, aka Nims Dai receives heroic welcome at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, on Tuesday, January 26, 2021. Purja, along with nine other team members who ascended K2 the second highest mountain in the world after Mount Everest returned home on Tuesday. Photo: NepalNews
Nirmal Purja, aka Nims Dai receives heroic welcome at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, on Tuesday, January 26, 2021. Purja, along with nine other team members who ascended K2 the second highest mountain in the world after Mount Everest returned home on Tuesday. Photo: NepalNews

Mountaineers, supporters, friends and family lined the Kathmandu airport to greet the climbers with garlands and cheers as a police band played tunes. They were then driven around the city in open trucks this morning.

The Nepali team made history by scaling the K2 in harsh weather conditions, on January 16, at 17:00 local time. At 8,611 metres (28,251 feet), K2 is the most prominent peak on the Pakistani side of the Himalayan range, and the world’s second-highest after Mount Everest.

The winter climb marks another achievement for Nepali climbers who for decades worked as porters and guides for foreign mountaineers but now are setting their own records and running expeditions on the highest peaks.

‘This expedition has raised the status of Nepali climbers to a new height, which is an achievement for all the mountaineers and shows that there is nothing that we cannot achieve if we attempt,” Mingma Sherpa, who organised the expedition said.

Responding to mediapersons, the leader of the 10-member Nepali team, Nirmal Purja, aka Nims Dai, expressed his pleasure that not only he but the whole team worked hard at the same level to make the ascent successful. “We all took a big risk with our lives. We felt like it has to be justice for every team member,” said Purja, adding, “Sherpas are not only supporting staff, they are always the leaders of thousanders,” Nims Dai said.

He also drew attention towards global warming and COVID-19 pandemic suggesting that if we unite we can make the impossible possible. “Although we are from a developing country we have a big heart,” Purja said.

He praised Pakistan’s military and civil authorities and said the people there were kind and humble to them, adding, “They made us feel like we were at home.”

The Nepali climbers had held a meeting with Pakistan’s army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.

Pakistani authorities provided security to the mountaineers when they reached the country about a fortnight ago.

It has been reported that a security team remained present at their base camp until the mountaineers returned after scaling K2.

K2 was the only mountain in the world that had remained unclimbed in the winter despite numerous attempts since 1987. Purja was the only team member to summit the mountain without the use of supplemental oxygen, becoming the first individual to do so.

Since the maiden attempt back in 1988, just a handful of winter expeditions have been attempted on the storied peak in the Karakoram range along the Chinese border that leads into the Himalayas.

Nimsdai Purja has set the world record scaling all 14 mountains above 8,000 metres in just over six months.

Moreover, he has set multiple world records in the history of mountain climbing.

Purja, a former member of the UK’s Special Forces, began his ‘Project Possible’ in April to complete all 14 peaks by November. He was the first Gurkha to join the elite Special Boat Service and already has multiple world records for speed climbing to his name.

Purja’s project is one of a kind which tests human endurance to its limit. He has pushed the limits of human potential in mountaineering.


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