Nirmal Purja (NIMSDAI) – The immortal Mountaineer!
“Birth and death are given; what you do in between makes you immortal.”
These lines are taken from Nirmal Purja’s Instagram page Nimsdai. And we feel that he is the immortal mountaineer. So, who is Nirmal Purja and why are we using the adjective immortal for him? Hikers; mountaineers need no introduction and fondly call him Nims. But for rest of us; here is a little bit of introduction.
Nirmal Purja was born in the Myagdi district in Nepal. He joined the Brigade of Gurkhas; one of the most fearless forces in the British Army in 2003. Then he became the first-ever Gurkha soldier in more than 200 years of history to join the Special Boat Service in 2009. He later served in the special-forces as a cold-weather warfare specialist.
During an expedition to Everest Base Camp in 2012; Purja realised the intensity of his love for the mountains. He said, “I got a taste for what it’s like to stand on a peak and have this view.” And probably this is how his journey of exploring the mountains began.
Without any previous experience as a mountaineer; he made his first major climb in 2012 and reached the summit of Lobuche East. In 2014 he made his first eight-thousander journey by conquering the Dhaulagiri range (8167 meters). The second eight-thousander was the mighty Mount Everest in 2016. He soon realised that he wanted to give more time and energy to his mountaineering dreams and challenges. To achieve this, he founded Elite Himalayan Adventures which is a platform for those who seek to push their limit on extreme adventures.
The world got to know about him when his Project Possible; 14/7 dream i.e. 14 summits in seven months became a hard-hitting reality. He created a new world record by beating the last record of seven years, 11 months and 14 days. He touched the world’s 14 highest mountains; all being eight-thousanders:
1) Annapurna, Nepal (23 April)
2) Dhaulagiri, Nepal (12 May)
3) Kanchenjunga, Nepal (15 May)
4) Everest, Nepal (22 May)
5) Lhotse, Nepal (22 May)
6) Makalu, Nepal (24 May)
7) Nanga Parbat, Pakistan (3 July)
8) Gasherbrum 1, Pakistan (15 July)
9) Gasherbrum 2, Pakistan (18 July)
10) K2, Pakistan (24 July)
11) Broad Peak, Pakistan (26 July)
12) Cho Oyu, China (23 September)
13) Manaslu, Nepal (27 September)
14) Shishapangma, China (29 October)
in a record time of six months and six days.
Wait! This isn’t the end of it. In his book Beyond Possible: One soldier, Fourteen Peaks- My life in the Death Zone; at one point he says “I was raised in the Gurkhas and made in the British Special Forces. But I became a badass in the mountains.” We totally believe him. Because only a badass like Purja could break these records too:
- He has climbed the most 8000 metres mountains in the spring season.
- Climbed fastest summit of Everest, K2 and Kanchenjunga; the three highest mountains in the world.
- Climbed fastest summit of Everest, K2, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse and Makalu; the five highest mountains in the world.
- By climbing Gasherbrum 1, 2 and Broad Peak, he created a record of fastest lower 8000ers.
- Climbed consecutive summits of Everest, Lhotse and Makalu in 48 hours creating a record of fastest higher 8000ers and here he beats his previous record of 5 days.
He finally quit the military in 2018 as a Lance Corporal to engage with mountaineering on daily basis. In the same year, he was awarded the MBE (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for his outstanding work in high-altitude mountaineering. We feel that Nims genuinely celebrates his life every day and fills it with adventures as much as it is humanely possible.
The badass Nims not only creates consistent records but creates stories that touch hearts too.
He is a true humanitarian- hero. These are my personal picks from Project Possible series:
· The climb to Dhaulagiri was purely a test of human strength, determination and will power. There were adverse weather conditions including winds up to the speed of 70 km per hour.
· The descent journey of Annapurna was a test of both human strength as well as the heart. The team stumbled upon the ailing Malaysian climber and his Sherpa, they halted their journeys just to rescue the mountaineers. Even though they succumbed to their injuries later, the team did whatever it could despite their target mission.
· We listen to the stories of the mountaineers who give up on the climb to Kanchenjunga which is the world’s 3rd highest mountain and has its challenges. The climb was equally tough for Project Possible team. Within a few hours, they had to consistently ascend and descend between the base camps of Dhaulagiri and Kanchenjunga because of various challenges. They finally summitted Kanchenjunga but during the journey, few mountaineers (including a Sherpa Guide) were in urgent need of help. Despite a large number of climbers around the summit, no one came forward to provide some help. At last, the team decided to give their oxygen cylinders to save their lives and again sidelining their own needs.
· Do you remember about a viral photograph of a traffic jam of mountaineers near the summit of Mount Everest last year? Any guesses about the person who clicked it? Nirmal himself. In an interview, he said, “I just took that picture as evidence and I’m glad in a way that I took that picture because it’s helping to change the rules and regulations with the Nepalese government policy.” This reflects his love for the mountaineering, the mountaineers and the mountain itself in purest of senses.
One of his recent post on Instagram posted on 19th September 2020 says- “I thought I would go and learn something new and perhaps relax in the French Alps. What I didn’t realise is that I would end up throwing myself into the world of paragliding and ultimately learn speed flying…Challenge yourself! Keep your motivation high!” We hope Nims keeps on living, exploring and inspiring. While he explores Alps; let us explore some desi locations with Togedr.