What was your strangest scariest mountaineering experience

Nobody is faster up: Mountaineers from Nepal are making history

"He doesn’t talk around the bush for long and say openly what he thinks - often completely unfiltered," says Canadian mountaineer Don Bowie, who met Nims on the climb to Annapurna, his first 8,000-meter summit in Nepal . “But he laughs a lot and is disarmingly friendly,” adds Bowie, “and he exudes this constant excitement that infects everyone around him. In fact, one can only admire it for its rare authenticity. "

An epic spring

About twelve hours before he wants to leave base camp to climb Mount Everest, Nims welcomes me in his tent for a cup of coffee.

"How are you?", He asks me to greet me and then says, before I could have even answered a word: "I feel good, brother!"

At 1.74 meters, it is significantly smaller than you would expect from its heroic social media profile. There is a hint of working class in his English and it is full of words like "Mate“, „Brothers" and "Buds". Although a media team is bustling around in the background, typing on laptops and waving cameras, he seems completely relaxed.

"The biggest challenge for the project so far has been the rescue operations that we had to carry out," he says. “They weren't planned. Evacuating people at 8,450 meters is much more difficult than climbing a mountain. Apart from that, everything is fine, brother. "

In fact, the trio that Nims had just climbed at the time of our meeting - Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Kanchenjunga - would be a climber's career highlight under almost any circumstances. And the circumstances for Nim's rise were anything but ideal. On Annapurna, the same day Nims reached the summit, Malaysian doctor and climber Wui Kin Chin was reported missing:

“We got back to base camp around 10 p.m. Of course, because we had reached the summit, we had reason to celebrate. Some friends waited with whiskey, we drank until about 3:30 in the morning, ”he says. “At 6 o'clock in the morning the helicopter comes and says that the doctor is alive. So I called my team together ... We were taken to Camp 3 by the helicopter rescue team. From there it would normally take more than 16 hours to get to where it was. We did it in four. "

Still, they didn't come fast enough: Chin was evacuated alive to Kathmandu and then to Singapore. But there he died a few days later.

From Annapurna, Nims flew on by helicopter to Dhaulagiri, where very bad weather conditions awaited him and his team. “We climbed Dhaulagiri around 6:30 pm, under the worst conditions ever. It was tough. ”Nims and his team, four other Nepalese mountaineers, dismounted in the dark to be at base camp the next morning. Another helicopter was waiting there to fly them to Kathmandu.

"We spent one night in Kathmandu, but unfortunately it wasn't so relaxing because many of my friends wanted to drink beer," says Nims with a wink. The next day we went to Kanchenjunga.

For the ascent to Kanchenjunga, Nims and his most important partner, Mingma David Sherpa, decided to walk from the base camp to the summit in just one tour. The plan: they wanted to leave at 1 a.m. and reach the summit at 11 a.m. the next day. For this ascent, they took a second Sherpa to support them, Gesman Tamang. On the descent, the three of them came across a mountaineer from India, Biplab Baidya, and his guide Dawa Sherpa, who had run out of oxygen at 8,450 meters. They gave the two men two of their spare bottles and began helping them descend. But only a little further on they came across a second Indian climber, Kuntal Karar, who had also run out of oxygen and was left alone. Nims gave him his own oxygen bottle.

"Buddy, we've asked for help a million times ... we've asked for rescue and support, and people kept saying they were sending someone. At seven o'clock it got dark and there were no headlights to be seen far and wide, ”he says.

Shortly after the oxygen Nims had given him ran out, Karar died. The team tried to help Baidya with the descent until Nim's companions, Mingma David and Gesman, began to show signs of mild cerebral edema. This forced them to descend quickly.

Baidya ultimately died less than 200 meters from Camp 4, where dozens of climbers pitched their tents that night. The day I met Nims in his tent, it was only a week ago. You can still see how hard the events hit him: “People call themselves height experts, solo climbers, all that kind of thing, buddy, but no one came to help… The saddest thing is that they continued to lie and claim have sent three people. To be untruthful in such a case is really a thing. "

Despite the sad ending, Nims sees what happened on Kanchenjunga as confirmation of the way he climbs mountains. “If I hadn't been on the road with oxygen, I wouldn't have been able to give them oxygen,” he says.