AN EASTLEIGH man has smashed a world record to summit the Earth’s 14 tallest mountains.

Nirmal “Nims” Purja MBE, who was originally born in Nepal, completed the climbing challenge in six months and six days after the previous record of almost eight years - taking his place in mountaineering history.

Although the mountains - all higher than 8,000m - enter the ‘death zone’, which is called that because human life cannot exist there, Nims did not let this get in his way.

Nims began Bremont Project Possible when he reached the top of Annapurna on 23rd April with a rotating support team made up of Nepalese climbers.

He has now joined a list of 40 climbers to have completed the gruelling challenge.

The clock stopped on Nims attempt at 8.58am local time as he reached the summit of Shishpangma on Tuesday October 29, beating the world record by seven years, five months and eight days.

His achievement consisted of 14 summits in 189 days, including Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Kanchenjunga, Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Nanga Parbat, Gasherbrum, Gasherbrum II, K2, Broad Peak, Cho You, Manaslu and Shishapangma.

Nims said: “I am overwhelmed and incredibly proud to have completed this final summit and achieved my goal of climbing the world’s 14 tallest mountains in record time.

"It has been a gruelling but humbling six months, and I hope to have proven that anything is possible with some determination, self-belief and positivity.

“I could not have made it happen without the unending support of my friends and family who have been in my heart this entire time.

"We started with nothing, but look how far we’ve come.”

Just days into his world-record attempt, while he was descending Annapurna, Nims led a successful rescue attempt to find fellow climber Dr Chin Wui Kin, who had been separated from an accompanying expedition and left without food, water or an oxygen bottle for 40 hours.

He added: “I believed in this project and I made sure to surround myself with people who believed in it too.

"This was never just about me, which is the reason I’ve been able to overcome some huge obstacles on this journey.

"By achieving this goal, I knew I could inspire people from all generations, across the world.”

The previous world records for one individual climbing all 14 peaks was seven years, 11 months and 14 days held by Jerzy Kukuczka in 1987, and South Korean Kim Chang-ho who beat Kukuczka’s record in 2013 by one month and eight days.

Nims' next adventure will involve climbing Ama Dablam in the Himalayas, to plant a poppy for Remembrance Day commemorations on November 11.