Nirmal Purja

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Nirmal Purja
NIRMAL PURJA "NIMS".jpg
Purja in 2021
Personal information
Born (1983-07-25) 25 July 1983 (age 38)[1]
Myagdi, Gandaki Province, Nepal
Nationalityformerly Nepalese[2] now British[3][4]
Career
Starting age29/30[5]
Notable ascents
Family
Spouse
Suchi Purja
(m. 2006)

Nirmal "Nims" Purja MBE (Nepali: निर्मल पुर्जा; born 25 July 1983[1]) is a Nepalese mountaineer and a holder of multiple mountaineering world records. Prior to taking on a career in mountaineering, he served in the British Army with the Brigade of Gurkhas followed by the Special Boat Service (SBS), the special forces unit of the Royal Navy.[1] Purja is notable for having climbed all 14 eight-thousanders (mountain peaks above 8,000 metres or 26,000 feet) in a record time of 6 months and 6 days with the aid of bottled oxygen.[12] He was also the first to reach the summits of Mount Everest, Lhotse and Makalu in a time period of 48 hours. In 2021, Purja, along with a team of nine other Nepalese mountaineers, successfully completed the first-ever winter ascent of Pakistan's K2.[13][14][15]

Early life[edit]

Nirmal Purja was born in Dana, a small village in Nepal’s Myagdi district[16] near Dhaulagiri, at 1,600 m above sea level, and grew up in Chitwan District.[6] He is of Magar descent.[17][18]

Purja joined the Brigade of Gurkhas in 2003 and the Special Boat Service in 2009,[16] becoming the first Gurkha to join the unit.[1] He served in the Special Boat Service as a cold-weather warfare specialist.[1][5] Purja, coming from a poor background, was the main financial contributor to his family while serving in the military.[19] He quit the military in 2018 as a Lance Corporal[20] to focus on his mountaineering career.

He made his first major climb in 2012, reaching the summit of Lobuche East without any previous experience as a mountaineer. On 18 May 2014, he made his first ascent of an eight-thousander by summiting Dhaulagiri (8,167 metres) during a return trip of only 15 days.[21] On 13 May 2016, Purja summited Mount Everest, his second eight-thousander.[21]

On 15 May 2017,[21] Purja led the Gurkha Expedition "G200E", which summited Everest together with 13 Gurkhas to commemorate 200 years of Gurkha service in the British Army.[22] On 9 June 2018, he was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) by Queen Elizabeth II[20] for his outstanding work in high altitude mountaineering.

Project Possible 14/7[edit]

Purja in Kathmandu in 2019, after the final climb of Project Possible

With a plan to complete all 14 eight-thousand metre summits in seven months, Purja summited the first mountain on 23 April 2019 and completed the first six-summit phase of his "Project Possible 14/7"[6] on 24 May 2019: Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Kanchenjunga, Mount Everest, Lhotse and Makalu.[6] He climbed with Sherpas Mingma Gyabu “David” Sherpa, Lakpa Dendi (Zekson Son), Geljen Sherpa and Tensi Kasang, amongst other mountaineers. The last five summits were climbed in only 12 days. He broke his previous Guinness World Record by climbing Mount Everest, Lhotse, and Makalu within 2 days and 30 minutes.[21][23][24][25][26][27]

Purja completed the second phase in July 2019, climbing Nanga Parbat (8126 m, 6 July), Gasherbrum I (8080 m, 15 July), Gasherbrum II (8034 m, 18 July), K2 (8611 metres, 24 July) and Broad Peak (8047 m, 26 July), all in Pakistan.[28][29]

The third and last phase started in September 2019. He summitted Cho Oyu (8188 m, Tibet, China) on 23 September and Manaslu (8163 m, Nepal) on 27 September. On 1 October 2019, Chinese authorities agreed to grant Purja and his team a special permit to scale Shishapangma (8027 m, Tibet, China) in the fall season, at the request of the Nepali government. [30] Purja left Nepal for Tibet on 18 October 2019, leading a five-member expedition to climb the mountain[31] and completed Project Possible 14/7 with a successful summit on 29 October using supplemental oxygen.[32][7]

Other than the fastest ascent with supplemental oxygen of the 14 tallest mountains in the world, Purja broke the following records: most 8000 m mountains in the Spring season, climbing six; most 8000 m mountains in the Summer season, climbing five; fastest summit of the three highest mountains in the world, Everest, K2 and Kanchenjunga; fastest summit of the five highest mountains in the World, Everest, K2, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse and Makalu; fastest lower 8000ers, Gasherbrum 1, 2 and Broad Peak; fastest higher 8000ers, consecutive summits of Everest, Lhotse and Makalu in 48 hours (beats his own previous record of 5 days).[6]

Whilst attempting Project Possible in 2019, a photo taken by Purja of the overcrowding on Mount Everest went viral and was shown in The New York Times.Cite error: The <ref> tag has too many names (see the help page).

First winter ascent of K2[edit]

Nirmal Purja, along with nine other Nepali mountaineers, made history on 16 January 2021 as the first to ascend K2 in the harsh weather conditions of the winter. His team consisting of Mingma David Sherpa, Mingma Tenzi Sherpa, Geljen Sherpa, Pem Chiri Sherpa, Dawa Temba Sherpa and himself, joined by the team of Mingma Gyalje Sherpa (Mingma G), Dawa Tenjin Sherpa and Kilu Pemba Sherpa, and Sona Sherpa from Seven Summits Treks and successfully ascended K2 at 16:58 local time in Pakistan.[33][13][14][15] This is the first successful K2 winter expedition after numerous attempts since 1987. Purja was the only team member to summit without the use of supplemental oxygen,[17][34] becoming the first individual to do so.

After terrible weather conditions hit the lower camps at the foot of K2[35] and some equipment was lost, Nepali mountaineers of these three teams decided to join efforts and climb the peak together, as a team.

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes Ref(s)
2021 14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible Himself [36]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Nirmal Purja". RedBull. Archived from the original on 30 October 2021. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  2. ^ "Appointment of Director". Companies House. Retrieved 31 October 2021.
  3. ^ "ELITE HIMALAYAN ADVENTURES PRIVATE LIMITED". find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk. Retrieved 31 October 2021.
  4. ^ "Change of Particulars for Director". Companies House. Retrieved 31 October 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Nirmal Purja: Nepali climber carving mountaineering history". Sportstar. Archived from the original on 30 October 2019. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d e ""Project Possible" webpage". Archived from the original on 26 May 2019. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Nirmal "Nims" Purja Summits All 14 8,000 Meter Peaks in Just 6 Months 6 Days, Shattering Former Record by Over 7 Years". Rock and Ice Magazine. 30 October 2019. Archived from the original on 29 October 2019. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  8. ^ BBC News. "Nirmal Purja: Ex-soldier climbs 14 highest mountains in seven months". BBC News. Archived from the original on 29 October 2019. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  9. ^ "Nirmal Purja climbed K2 in winter without supplementary oxygen". PlanetMountain.com. Archived from the original on 27 January 2021. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  10. ^ "First winter ascent of K2 achieved by Nirmal Purja and fellow Nepalese". South China Morning Post. 16 January 2021. Archived from the original on 28 January 2021. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  11. ^ "Nirmal Purja's K2 winter summit proves ANYTHING is possible". Red Bull. Archived from the original on 25 January 2021. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  12. ^ "Moving mountains". The Week. Archived from the original on 16 January 2021. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  13. ^ a b Welle (www.dw.com), Deutsche. "Nepali mountaineers make first K2 winter ascent | DW | 16 January 2021". Deutsche Welle. Archived from the original on 16 January 2021. Retrieved 16 January 2021.
  14. ^ a b "Nepalese team makes first successful winter ascent of K2". The Guardian. 16 January 2021. Archived from the original on 16 January 2021. Retrieved 16 January 2021.
  15. ^ a b "Nepali mountaineers achieve historic winter first on K2". Adventure. 16 January 2021. Archived from the original on 16 January 2021. Retrieved 16 January 2021.
  16. ^ a b "Meet the man who climbed 14 mountains in six months and stunned the world". Red Bull. Archived from the original on 29 October 2019. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  17. ^ a b Sangam Prasain (19 January 2021). "My body was freezing. I told my teammates I couldn't move". The Kathmandu Post. Archived from the original on 2 February 2021. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  18. ^ Adam Skolnick; Bhadra Sharma (19 January 2021). "How Climbers Reached the Summit of K2 in Winter for the First Time". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 29 January 2021. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  19. ^ "BBC Sport: Nimsdai Purja". 30 November 2021. Retrieved 3 December 2021.
  20. ^ a b "The London Gazette: Nirmal Purja MBE". 9 June 2018. Archived from the original on 26 May 2019. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  21. ^ a b c d Dream Wanderlust (24 May 2019). "Nirmal Purja summits 5th eight-thousander in 12 days, ends 1st phase of 'Project Possible'". Dreamwanderlust.com.com. Archived from the original on 27 May 2019. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  22. ^ "Gurkha Everest Expedition – Himalayan Odyssey". Archived from the original on 26 May 2019. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  23. ^ Rakhan Pokhrel (15 May 2019). "Nirmal Purja stands atop Kanchenjunga after heroic ascent of Dhaulagiri, Annapurna". The Himalaya Times. Archived from the original on 26 May 2019. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  24. ^ "Primeras cimas de la temporada en el Annapurna, Nirmal Purja tacha el primer 8.000" (in Spanish). Desnivel.com. 24 April 2019. Archived from the original on 26 May 2019. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  25. ^ "Nirmal Purja aclara que sí hizo cima en el Dhaulagiri… ahora va a por Everest, Lhotse y Makalu" (in Spanish). Desnivel.com. 20 May 2019. Archived from the original on 26 May 2019. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  26. ^ Isaac Fernández (23 May 2019). "Nirmal Purja corona Everest y Lhotse en el día… y hoy intenta el Makalu" (in Spanish). Desnivel.com. Archived from the original on 23 May 2019. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  27. ^ Isaac Fernández (24 May 2019). "Nirmal Purja completa sus 6×8000 de primavera con el Makalu" (in Spanish). Desnivel.com. Archived from the original on 26 May 2019. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  28. ^ Rajan Pokhrel (7 July 2019). "Nirmal 'Nims' Purja scales Nanga Parbat to complete his seventh 8000er". The Himalayan Times. Archived from the original on 29 July 2019. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  29. ^ Angela Benavides (26 July 2019). "Breaking: Nirmal Purja Climbs Broad Peak". Explorers.web. Archived from the original on 28 July 2019. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  30. ^ "China to allow Nirmal 'Nims' Purja to climb Shishapangma". Archived from the original on 1 October 2019. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  31. ^ "Nirmal 'Nims' Purja leaves for Shishapangma to complete 14 peaks in 6 months". Archived from the original on 22 October 2019. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  32. ^ Rajana Ppokhrel (27 September 2019). "Nirmal 'Nims' Purja sets world record scaling 13 peaks in five months". The Himalayan Times. Archived from the original on 30 September 2019. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  33. ^ "K2: Nepalese mountaineers claim historic first winter ascent". planetmountain.com. Archived from the original on 28 January 2021. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  34. ^ Nirmal Purja (18 January 2021). "Update 11 – With or without O2 ?". nimsdai.com. Archived from the original on 28 January 2021. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  35. ^ Tomlinson, Hugh. "Storm wrecks bid to reach K2 summit in winter". ISSN 0140-0460. Archived from the original on 16 January 2021. Retrieved 16 January 2021.
  36. ^ Remley, Hilary (3 November 2021). "'14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible' Trailer Reveals a Man's Pursuit to Climb Every Mountain". Collider. Retrieved 15 November 2021.

External links[edit]