Rescued Climber Dies; ‘Nims’ Headed to Mountain #2 of 14
Nirmal 'Nims' Purja and his team summited the first '14/7' peak, Annapurna I, on April 23rd. The very next thing we heard, on April 25th, was that they were suddenly involved in an emergency rescue mission.
A Malaysian climber named Chin Wui Kin had reached the summit but was stranded on the way down. He was alone above camp 4 somewhere at around 24600ft (7500m) elevation.
Nims and his team were at camp 4 (23300ft, 7100m) but they needed 6 bottles of oxygen in order to perform the rescue. Somewhat surprisingly, the contracted rescue company, Global Rescue, refused to supply the oxygen tanks, stating that they were not in the business of mountain logistics and that had to be the job of the trekking logistics company. Not that they were in the right, but it should be mentioned that the business of high-altitude mountaineering is rife with insurance fraud scandals.
Nims held his own team at camp 4 for a long but unspecified period to no avail. Nims eventually decided that the long wait at such a high altitude was jeopardizing the safety of his team. They descended and Nims held onto the last bit of hope as the last to leave.
They reached base camp on the evening of the 26th and the next morning rescue helicopters were dispatched to take the team up to camp 3 from where they climbed several hours to reach Kin.
Kin had been stranded on the mountain for an incredible 43 hours without oxygen, food or water. He was in dire condition but amazingly still alive. The team executed a successful rescue operation (see video) and got Kin down the mountain and transported out by helicopter.
Unfortunately Kin died from his injuries in a Singapore hospital on May 2nd. The situation has generated a lot of controversy and discussion, particularly about Global Rescue.
Now Nims is on his way to climb Mount Dhaulagiri, his second peak out of the 14 he aims to climb in 7 months. He has divided his prospective climbs into 3 groups. This first group of climbs on which he is currently active also includes Everest, Lhotse, Kanchenjunga, and Makalu and he aims to complete them by June 1st. It does seem ambitious but he boasts to have climbed Everest, Lhotse and Makalu all within 5 days while even taking two of those days out to celebrate 'Everest Day'.
His second group of climbs includes the peaks in Pakistan such as K2 and Nanga Parbat, but he says he is currently struggling to get funding to even pay his sherpas salaries, purchase fixing gear, visas, airfare and food for example. Nims' determination seems to be unbreakable so we will certainly have more details in the next update.