Nimsdai sets two new world records without oxygen – all while guiding and leading expeds.

May 18, 2022

14 Peaks and K2 Winter leader Nimsdai has set two new world records for climbing without oxygen – while guiding and leading expeditions with 100% success rate with his Elite Exped team.

Between May 7th and May 16th, 2022, he set the record for summiting three higher 8,000m peaks - Everest, Lhotse and Kanchenjunga - in 8 days, 23 hours and 10 minutes without oxygen and for completing the Everest to Lhotse traverse without oxygen in 26 hours.

Two new records set in under nine days

Nimsdai said that the records were not something he was aiming for because he was focused on guiding - so it was all done in a ‘very chilled’ manner.

Nimsdai said of the new records: “As I was focused on guiding and helping our team achieve their new possible, it was all in a chilled manner. My mission has always been to inspire people and to show what human beings are capable of, that’s what gives me the energy and excitement – showing people that nothing is impossible. I’m trailblazing and I want to inspire everyone to know they can achieve their dreams too.”

Timeline to adventure

The team started with Kanchenjunga – and summited 10.50am on 7th May. 

Here’s how they did it:

  • 5th May – The team climbed from Base Camp to Camp 2 
  • 6th May – The team started the summit push (* with a few hours break at Camp 3) and summited Kanchenjunga at 10.50am on 7th May. 

Then on to Everest. The team summited at 8 am on 15th May.

Here’s how they did it:

  • 10th May – Everest Base Camp. The team left to go to Camp 2 at 3am on 11th May.
  • 11th May – Camp 2
  • 12th May – Camp 2
  • 13th May – Camp 3
  • 14th May – Left South Col at 11pm.
  • The team summited at 8am on 15th May. (*Just 9 hours to summit – a super quick time.)

Finally, on to Lhotse.

Here’s how they did it:

  • 16th May – The team left the South Col around 3:30 am and reached Lhotse summit around 10am on 16th May.

(* Nimsdai Record Number 1- Submitting three higher 8,000m peaks - Everest, Lhotse and Kanchenjunga in 8 days, 23 hours and 10 minutes without oxygen. Record Number 2- Everest to Lhotse traverse without oxygen in 26 hours.)

The first and second attempt on Kanchenjunga

This season’s Everest good summit window has been over a week, meaning it has been one of the most successful seasons recently. However, that doesn’t mean it always goes to plan.

Nimsdai explained that the team did two attempts on Kanchenjunga, and on the first attempt they had to turn back, so used a helicopter to return from Camp 2 to Base Camp as the summit push was void anyway.

He said: “The first time on Kanchenjunga we had to turn back only a few meters away from the summit. I used oxygen from 8,300m onwards on that attempt as I was guiding, it was getting dark and there was a misunderstanding with the route, and it wasn’t straight forward. We got a helicopter back to Base Camp on that occasion – because the summit didn’t happen anyway. But on the second attempt on Kanchenjunga, we went from Base Camp to the summit and then from the summit back to Base Camp. For the second attempt we did not use a helicopter and I did it all without oxygen.

“On Kanchenjunga we also helped a bit to support Mingma G to fix lines. Mingma G and his team did 90% of the line fixing but we assisted and Lakpa Dendi Sherpa (*14 Peaks Challenge) from my team joined Mingma G to fix lines.”

Once the team had successfully summited Kanchenjunga on the second attempt, they descended to Camp 3 and the next day returned to Base Camp.

Playing the piano at the top of the World – Everest

On May 10th the team started their push for the Everest summit from Base Camp. Nimsdai again didn’t use oxygen and was still keeping up with the fittest of the team who were using oxygen. This is despite getting Khumbu cough before Kanchenjunga. Khumbu cough is caused by low humidity and the temperatures experienced at such high altitude. It doesn’t go away until the person returns to sea level – but despite this, Nimsdai felt good and continued to lead – making sure all his clients were safe and feeling good. He said that at each camp, he was checking on the Elite Exped team, making sure everyone was fed, safe and feeling well, as well as managing the Sherpa guiding team.

On May 14th the team left the South Col at 11pm and summited Everest at 8am the next day – a quick summit push of only nine hours.

Among the team, Nimsdai was 1:1 guiding Mexican climber Juan Diego Martinez Alvarez – who climbed without prior acclimatisation and became the youngest Mexican to summit  Everest at just 19 years old. (*Just a few hours later, he would also become the youngest Mexican to ever summit Lhotse and the youngest to do the double-header of climbing both Everest and Lhotse when the team summited Lhotse.) Juan also played a piano piece at the top of the world, breaking the record for highest altitude piano/keyboard performance. Nimsdai praised the young climber saying: “He was one of the strongest young climbers I have ever seen, to do Everest without prior acclimatisation, to play a piano piece up there – it’s super impressive. Very proud we could help you achieve your new possible.”

The team then returned from Everest summit to the South Col on 15th May. The next day, they did the traverse to Lhotse, leaving the South Col around 3:30 am and reached Lhotse summit around 10am on 16th May.

Juan Diego Martinez – the youngest Mexican to summit  Everest at just 19 years old.

No oxygen, proper summit routine and Nothing Is Impossible.

All of the three summits were done without oxygen. Nimsdai said: “I was leading and guiding without oxygen – I was checking in and making sure everyone was ok, fed and rested and strong. And for me when I do a summit push it is from Base Camp to the summit and then from the summit back to Base Camp. For me that’s the only way to do it. It has to be authentic – no helicopter lifts back to Base Camp – unless the summit is void or there’s an emergency situation or rescue and someone needs a helicopter.”

Nimsdai said that the best part of the expedition for him was seeing people achieve their new possible and although setting new records had not been on his mind when climbing because he was guiding, it was good to know that there were still more ways to inspire.

He said: “For me one of the best bits is to be with the best Sherpas and I’m climbing with no oxygen, but I’m still in control and running the show – keeping up with the fittest clients I have ever worked with – it shows nothing is impossible.

“Some people will always be negative, they can’t think outside the box - they can’t believe these things can be done – but we are in a different league here, and I am proud to be inspiring people to achieve their own dreams.

“This is for the whole climbing community. If the younger generation, and the Nepal climbing community, see these achievements being done, it shows it can be done. Before #14Peaks, no one believed all 14 x 8,000m peaks could be done in six months and now people are looking at it and going ‘I could do that.’ They can follow that inspiration and vision to achieve their own goals – I’m proud to be helping to inspire people like this. Nothing is impossible.”

Keep reading

Achieve Your New Possible