Purja, a former member of the Gurkhas — a brigade of Nepalis in British army famous for their fearlessness — as well as the elite Special Boat Service, kicked off “Project Possible” in April.
In the first part of his record attempt, Purja ticked off Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Kanchenjunga, Everest, Lhotse and Makalu in just one month.
He was not alone on Everest, reaching the summit on May 22 with 320 others and snapping a photo of a traffic jam of climbers on the world’s highest mountain that went viral.
This season a record 885 people climbed the famous mountain. A total of 11 people died, with at least four of those deaths blamed on overcrowding.
A month later, Purja headed to Pakistan for the second part, where he first tackled the notorious Nanga Parbat at 8,125 metres.
Battling sleep deprivation to meet his target, Purja said he was almost sprinting up and down five of Pakistan’s highest peaks including Gasherbrum I, Gasherbrum II and K2, the second highest in the world.
Twenty-three days later he was standing atop Broad Peak, his fifth and final mountain of the second phase.
Purja began his final push in September, reaching the tops of Cho Oyu and Manaslu within a week.
Tuesday’s summit of Shishapangma was the final hurdle.
When he first told others about his new quest, “everyone was laughing at me,” Purja told AFP in a recent interview in Kathmandu as he awaited permission from the Chinese government to tackle Shishapangma.
He said then he wanted his feats to inspire the next generation of Nepali climbers to break his records.
Sherpas — Nepalis who often work as guides for foreign mountaineers — are the backbone of the lucrative climbing industry, but don’t attract anywhere near the same amount of attention or accolades as their international companions.