Who is Nirmal Purja? Mountaineer, Family, Military Service, Family, Biography & More

Nirmal Purja (nicknamed Nims or NimsdaiMBE) is a naturalized British mountaineer who was born in Nepal and has a number of world records. Prior to pursuing a career in mountaineering, he served in the British Army with the Gurkha Brigade and then the Royal Navy’s Special Boat Service (SBS), a special forces outfit. Purja is famous for climbing all 14 eight-thousanders (mountain peaks higher than 8,000 meters or 26,000 feet) in a record-breaking six months and six days using bottled oxygen. He was also the first person to summit Mount Everest, Lhotse, and Makalu all on the same day. Purja and a group of nine Nepalese mountaineers achieved the first-ever winter ascent of K2 in 2021.

Nirmal Purja Biography

Real Name Nirmal Purja
Profession Ex-Special Force (British)
Wife Suchi Purja
Date of Birth 25 July 1983 (age 38)
Birth Place Nepal
Website www.nimsdai.com/
Film 14 Peaks
Book Beyond Possible

In 2012, he made his first large Himalayan climb, summiting Lobuche East without any prior mountaineering expertise. He achieved his first ascent of an eight-thousander on May 18, 2014, when he summited Dhaulagiri (8,167 meters) in under 15 days. Purja reached the top of Mount Everest on May 13, 2016, his second eight-thousander.

Purja led the Gurkha Expedition “G200E” to the summit of Everest with 13 Gurkhas on May 15, 2017, to honor 200 years of Gurkha service in the British Army.

For his remarkable contribution in high altitude mountaineering, Queen Elizabeth II named him a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) on June 9, 2018.

Project Possible | Nirmal Purja

Purja in Kathmandu in 2019, after completing Project Possible’s last climb.

Purja summited the first mountain of his “Project Possible 14/7” on April 23, 2019, and completed the first six-summit phase of his “Project Possible 14/7” on May 24, 2019: Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Kanchenjunga, Mount Everest, Lhotse, and Makalu. Mingma Gyabu “David” Sherpa, Lakpa Dendi (Zekson Son), Geljen Sherpa, and Tensi Kasang were among the mountaineers he climbed with. The final five peaks were reached in under 12 days. In 2 days and 30 minutes, he climbed Mount Everest, Lhotse, and Makalu, breaking his previous Guinness World Record.

Purja completed the second phase in July 2019, ascending Nanga Parbat (8126 metres), Gasherbrum I (8080 metres), Gasherbrum II (8034 metres), K2 (8611 metres), and Broad Peak (8047 metres), all in Pakistan.

The third and final phase began in September of this year. On September 23, he summited Cho Oyu (8188 m, Tibet, China), and on September 27, he summited Manaslu (8163 m, Nepal). Purja and his team were granted a special permit to climb Shishapangma (8027 m, Tibet, China) in the fall season on October 1, 2019, at the request of the Nepali government. Purja left Nepal for Tibet on October 18th, 2019, heading a five-person expedition to summit the peak. Purja completed Project Possible 14/7 on October 29th, using supplementary oxygen to reach the top.

14 Peaks : Nothing Is Impossible

14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible is a documentary directed by Torquil Jones and produced by Noah Media Group, Little Monster Films, and Torquil Jones, with executive producers Nirmal Purja, Jimmy Chin, and Elizabeth Vasarhelyi. The film follows Nepalese mountaineer Nirmal Purja and his colleagues as they seek to climb all 148,000er peaks in under 7 months, setting a new world record (the previous record was over 7 years).

Nirmal Purja documentary
Nirmal Purja documentary

The expedition team shot most of the material, but the director added additional photographs and interviews later, including interviews with Reinhold Messner (who termed the achievement “a unique statement in the history of climbing”), other important high-altitude mountaineers, and Purja’s family (including his wife and brothers). The film had its world premiere at the DOC NYC Film Festival, and on November 29, 2021, it was distributed on Netflix.

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