Home Features Nirmal Purja: A world record holder for peaks above 8,000 meters
November 3, 2019

Nirmal Purja: A world record holder for peaks above 8,000 meters

  • Sushant Lama
Nirmal Purja
Nirmal Purja MBE

Ex-British soldier and Nepal born-Nirmal ‘Nims’  Purja MBE-stepped on the peak of 14th mountain, Shishapangma in China, on October 29, 2019, setting the world record for being the fastest person to ascend all the 14 mountains over 8,000 meters in just six months and six days.

Nirmal ‘Nims’ Purja is a Nepalese mountaineer born in 1982 in Myagdi District near Dhaulagiri and grew up in Chitwan District. Following in his father’s footsteps, Purja joined the Brigade of Gurkhas, band of Nepali soldiers within the British Army, in 2003, joined the Special Boat Service in 2009, and quit the military in 2018 as Lance Corporal to focus on his mountaineering career.

Nirmal Purja
Nirmal Purja MBE

“Everything in life is possible armed only with a determined approach and a positive mindset. Failure will never overtake me because of my determination to succeed”, said Nirmal Purja MBE after creating the world record in mountaineering.

He happens to be the same Everest climber whose traffic jam photo went viral and landed on the homepage of The New York Times, Washington Post and other newspapers in the last spring time.

Nirmal Purja MBE
Nirmal Purja MBE

Purja went to the Everest Base camp trekking for the first time in 2012. Inexperienced Purja convinced the guide to take him up the non-technical Lobuche east (6,119 m). After two years on May 18, 2014, he attempted his first 8,000 meters peak, Dhaulagiri. “That’s where I discovered that I actually did well at high altitude,” he says. From that time onwards he started heading towards the Himalaya on every holiday from the special force.

On May 13, 2016, he ascended Mt. Everest and on May 15, 2017, he led the Gurkha Expedition “G200E” for ascending Mt. Everest with the other 13 Gurkhas to commemorate 200 years of service to the British Army. For his outstanding achievements in mountaineering, Purja was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) by the queen on June 9, 2018.

“I have bled from every angle and it’s been a horrifically amazing journey,” Nirmal Purja MBE 

Bremont Project Possible 14 peaks/7months

There are only 14 mountains over 8,000 meters in the world and with a plan to complete 14 summits in seven months he divided his ‘project possible’ into three-phase, first, second, and third phases.

Nirmal Purja MBE
Nirmal Purja MBE

About the Project he said that this project will establish a paradigm shift in the perception of the human potential. It will raise awareness about global warming and will do justice to all the Sherpa climbers or the Nepalese climbers who have always been the frontier of 8000 meters.

During his first phase, he completed the expedition of Annapurna (8,091 m) on 23 April, Dhaulagiri (8,167 m) on 12 May, Kanchenjunga (8,568 m) on 15 May, Everest (8,848 m) on 22 May, Lhotse (8,516 m) on 22 May, and Makalu (8,485 m) on 24 May. He climbed the mountains with Mingma David Sherpa, Gesman Tamang, Galjen Sherpa, Lakpa Dendi Sherpa and Halung Dorchi Sherpa.

Nirmal Purja with his friends
Nirmal Purja with his team

During this phase, he broke his previous Guinness World Record by climbing Mt. Everest, Lhotse, and Makalu within 2 days and 30 minutes.

During his second phase he ascended Nanga Parbat (8,126 m) on July 6, Gasherbrum I (8,010 m) on July 15, Gasherbrum II (8,035 m) on July 18, K2 (8,611 m) on July 24 and Broad Peak (8,047 m) on July 26 which are located in Pakistan.

Nirmal Purja
Nirmal Purja

On his third and final phase which started in September 2019, he submitted Cho Oyu (8188 m), Tibet, China on September 23, Manaslu (8,163 m) on September 27 and his final summit Shishapangma (8,027 m), Tibet, China on October 29 completing his Project Possible 14 peaks/ 7 months successfully and becoming a world record holder for becoming the fastest man to summit all mountains over 8,000 m in just six months and six days.

Nirmal Purja MBE
Nirmal Purja MBE

Nirmal Purja’s own website says that the previous record-holder was a Polish climber Jerzy Kukuczka, who completed the challenge in 1987 in 7 years, 11 months and 14 days but an article on the British Mountaineering Council’s website says that the record-holder was the South Korean Kim Chang-ho, who finished the challenge in 7 years, 10 months and six days.

After completing his final journey he said,” The journey of 14/7 has tested us all the way though at many levels. Together we have been through so much, we climbed not only as a team but as brothers with one sole goal to make the impossible possible pushing the human limitations to next level. Now, the BROTHERHOOD that we share between us is even STRONGER!”

All photos are taken from Purja’s facebook page.

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