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Nepali climber pushing for record 14 peak record attempt

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The current record for climbing the world’s 14 tallest peaks is almost eight years. Now Nepali climber, Nirmal Purja, who served in the British special forces, has set a target of just seven months.

Purja arrived at the advance base camp of the 8,201-metre Cho Oyu yesterday, ready for the final phase of the last three peaks in his feat of astonishing endurance.

“Nobody believed I could do this when I first said it… I’m so glad to be inspiring generations of all ages through this endeavour. This is what keeps me going,” Purja told AFP by phone.

“This is not about me… it is to show what the human body can do. To establish a paradigm shift in perception of human potential,” Purja said.

Only a teenager when he joined the British Gurkhas, Purja or “Nims dai” climbed both the 8,848-metre Everest and Lhotse at 8,516 metres in a record 10 hours and 15 minutes in 2017.

This inspired the 36 year old to start “Project Possible”, scaling the 14 peaks, all higher than 8,000 metres, in seven months.

But doing so is radically ambitious. In the 1980s, it took Polish climber Jerzy Kukuczka seven years, 11 months and 14 days.

South Korean climber Kim Chang-ho managed it in about a month less – although he did, unlike Kukuczka and Purja, do it without supplementary oxygen.

Before he set off on his first expedition, Purja had a detailed tattoo of the 14 mountains engraved on his back, with colourful prayer flags tracing his journey to the peaks.

Sprinting up K2

Swapping his army boots for crampons, Purja quit the military after 16 years of service and re-mortgaged his house to begin his expedition and start raising funds.

Purja began his attempt in April with the 8,091 metre Annapurna, checking the illustrious “8,000ers” Dhaulagiri, Kanchenjunga, Everest, Lhotse and Makalu off his list in only a month to finish his first phase.

A month later, he was heading to Pakistan for the second part of his mission where he first tackled the notorious Nanga Parbat at 8,125 metres. 23 days later he was standing atop Broad Peak, his fifth and final mountain of the second phase.

Battling sleep deprivation to meet his target, Purja said he was almost sprinting up and down five of Pakistan’s highest peaks including K2, the second tallest in the world.

“I felt like this is one down and next to go (with every summit). We still have another to climb,” Purja said.

On track to make climbing history, the phenomenal mountaineer has in the process also set several speed climbing records this year.

This included his summits of Everest, Lhotse and Mount Makalu, three of the world’s five highest mountains, in a record 48 hours – and despite the deadly overcrowding this season on the planet’s top peak.

Purja also made headlines with his miraculous rescue operation of a Malaysian climber from Mount Annapurna after two nights in the open above 7,000 metres.

“It is only a matter of time until he completes his project, he has already proven his amazing capability,” said Mingma Sherpa of Seven Summit Treks, Purja’s expedition operator.

No flip-flops

Raised in a village in the northwest district of Chitwan, Purja said he did not even have flip-flops growing up.

“My life story tells anyone who doesn’t have privilege to dream about bigger things. Anything is possible if you put your heart and mind and give 100 percent to it,” he said.

He also hopes to lift the standing of Nepali climbers – Sherpas who often work as guides for foreign climbers in the Himalayas – as he feels they are not “given the right credit”.

But there is a potential spanner in the works. The Chinese government’s decision to close Mount Shishapangma for the season could potentially stymie Purja’s plans. But efforts are underway to seek a special permission for him.

“Dealing with all sorts from admin, logistics, fundings and politics; now my climbing mode is ON.”

SOURCE: Agence France-Presse

PHOTO below: National Geographic

Nepali climber pushing for record 14 peak record attempt | News by The Thaiger

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Thailand

HRH Princess Chulabhorn released from hospital

Jack Burton

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HRH Princess Chulabhorn released from hospital | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn was discharged from Chulalongkorn Hospital yesterday after successful surgery, according to the Bureau of the Royal Household. The Princess entered hospital on June 15 after she developed numbness in the fingertips of her right hand.

Doctors found the numbness was caused by a membrane compressing the nerve below her elbow, and recommended surgery, which was conducted the following day. A statement from the Royal Household Bureau said there were no complications and the Princess’s condition steadily improved until she could perform her duties as normal.

HRH Princess Chulabhorn was hospitalised in March of last year for cataract surgery and treatment of back pain.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Crime

Prosecutors say it’s police’s duty to find wanted Red Bull heir

Jack Burton

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Prosecutors say it’s police’s duty to find wanted Red Bull heir | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Chiang Rai Times

Prosecutors have reminded Thailand’s constabulary that it’s the their responsibility to speed up finding and arresting Red Bull heir Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya, who is wanted in a high-profile 2012 hit-and-run case, before the case expires. He fled to an unknown destination on a private plane 2 days before he was due to face charges. There had been a series of delays and miss-steps by Thai police, either by design or incompetence, leading up to Vorauth’s disappearance. Vorayuth managed to delay court hearings 7 times.

A spokesman for the Office of the Attorney-General says they cannot extradite the suspect until police determine which country he’s living in.

35 year old Vorayuth, who has been spotted at sporting events and elsewhere abroad, is accused of being behind the wheel when his Ferrari hit and killed a motorcycle policeman on Bangkok’s Sukhumvit Road on September 3, 2012. Police have 7 years left to find Vorayuth before the statute of limitations for the most serious charge, reckless driving causing death, expires. A speeding charge was dropped when the 1 year statute of limitations expired in 2013, and a second charge, failing to stop and help a crash victim, expired in 2017.

“Don’t forget that the extradition is possible only while the statute of limitations for this charge still is valid. And it’s the police’s responsibility to first locate him.”

When Vorayuth’s country of residence is discovered, the OAG will find out if that country has a criminal extradition pact with Thailand. If not, a diplomatic approach will be adopted instead, according to the spokesman.

Previously, an investigation by the National Anti-Corruption Commission found that there had been an effort to exempt Vorayuth from prosecution on charges of drug abuse and speeding, by officers at Bangkok’s Thong Lor police station.

It was not until April 27, 2017 that prosecutors finally charged him with reckless driving causing death and failing to help a crash victim.

in 2018, the Interpol “Red Notice,” (a worldwide request to find and arrest an individual pending extradition) for Vorayuth disappeared from the Interpol website. It was unclear when the notice went missing and why, but there was immediate speculation that powerful interests had intervened on Vorayuth’s behalf.

Meanwhile, the media have been able to track him down, and photograph him, since he’s been on the run, achieving something an entire police force has been unable to recreate.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Chiang Mai

Stranded Russian and friends help monk build houses in Chiang Mai – VIDEO

Jack Burton

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Stranded Russian and friends help monk build houses in Chiang Mai – VIDEO | The Thaiger
PHOTOL Nikita Proshin and "Chongmia" - Nikita Proshin

When Nikita Proshin left his home in Russia in January to travel for a year, he had no idea he would spend the last 5 months in Thailand. Although he ended up stranded in the Kingdom, through a work-exchange program, he’s helping a Buddhist monk build houses. The 25 year old says he doesn’t know what will happen next, but he plans to “go with the flow” to meet his 2020 goal of travelling a year without going home.

When the virus began spreading across the world, borders closed, flights were cancelled, and travel, for most people, was put on pause. While many travellers packed their bags and headed back home while they could, Proshin decided to continue his adventure, even if it meant staying in a single destination for months. He settled in Thailand, where he’s recently moved into a monk’s home to help him build houses.

Originally from Omsk, Russia, Proshin travelled to China 5 years ago where he discovered his passion for exploring.

“An average vacation, like 2 or 3 weeks long, is not enough for me. I wanted more.”

Check out the video, it’s very entertaining…

He lived in China for 4 years, eventually travelling back home. This year he made a New Year’s resolution to travel for the entire year. He left with a few thousand dollars with a plan to journey across Asia and Europe.

As the coronavirus spread, countries began closing their borders. Proshin needed to choose a destination where he could stay and ride out the closures in safety. He initially planned to visit Vietnam, but because he was travelling from China, Vietnam wouldn’t let him in. So he headed to Thailand at the beginning of February. He travelled around the country and eventually settled in a hostel in Chiang Mai.

“I made a promise to myself that I would travel the entire year, and I didn’t want to break it.”

While he had some savings, he was quickly running out of money staying at the hostel. A few new friends he’d made at the hostel heard about a work-exchange program outside the city. So they all packed their bags and moved into a local Buddhist monk’s home.

Work exchanges are common for travellers because they offer a chance to learn about a region’s culture through experience. In exchange for a room and food, the traveller offers work. In this case, Proshin and his friends would build homes.

Proshin says the monk, ‘Pongmia’, heard about the travellers’ struggles getting flights home due to the coronavirus. Many were getting stuck in Thailand with no place to stay and dwindling budgets. Pongmia launched a work-exchange program to help. Currently, there are about 10 travellers living with the monk’s family.

Every day starts before sunrise. On a rotating chore chart, Proshin makes breakfast several times a week with the monk’s mother, and although they don’t speak the same language, Proshin says they can still understand each other.

SOURCE: insider.com

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