It would have certainly been sad if Nims Purja had come so far and wasn’t able to at least attempt Shishipanga to finish his incredible ascent of all the 14, 8,000 meter peaks in 7 months.
With undoubtably some delicate negotiations, as this isn’t exactly prime time for the Chinese in terms of P.R., this could be a small consolation for them in allowing Nims to finish off the peaks. As reported in the Himalayan Times by Dawa Sherpa:
“Chinese authorities have clearly conveyed me a message that Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu will do necessary arrangement to secure a Shishipangma climbing permit for Purja and his team of Project Possible at the earliest.”
There seems to be very little downside to providing a permit, and a little positive P.R. at this point is only a good thing for China. Shishipangma is so remote that little contact is made with anyone on most expeditions.
There will undoubtably be some that perhaps think he should not visit China considering the current events, but that has been an ongoing challenge with climbing in China for all kinds of reasons. With the Embassy closed this week for the 70th anniversary celebrations of Communist rule, the permit isn’t due to be reviewed and hopefully finally granted on 8 October.
That he is close to accomplishing this and that he will finally be allowed this attempt on Shishipangma is already a triumph of personal, logistical, financial and now political barriers that is unprecedented. And it is good to see it accomplished by one with his background and local Nepali roots.
Perhaps one of the better overviews of his humble beginings and upbringing is here. From growing up, to joining the Ghurkas, to discovering he is, to put it mildly, rather good at altitude.
Nims, as almost expected, pretty much galloped up Manaslu, last week, which has also seen a host of summits this season.
Sadly a Polish woman in the high camps died high on the peak as well.
Before he left for the heights, his UK interview provides an overview of his plans and the importance he puts on never underestimating any peak – they all take 100%. A good approach as he heads off to Shishipangma.
Of course, there were also some options for Shishipangma that due to his high profile wouldn’t have made him at all popular.
Lets hope this permit just goes through and he gets a hint of good weather in this late season to complete this amazing journey.