Always a little higher
Nirmal Purja was born in Nepal in 1983 and, during his time as an elite soldier from 2003 to 2018, worked his way up to "Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE)"the fifth-highest rank in the British Army. He first pursued his quest for altitude, #alwaysalittlehigher, in 2012 when he climbed Lobuche, a 6,000-metre peak in Nepal - without any major alpine experience. Numerous other mountains and ascents followed. In 2019, Nims, as he is also known, became known worldwide for his "Project Possible". He became the 39th person to climb all 14 of the world's eight-thousanders - in what was then a record time of under seven months.
With his experience from numerous expeditions at high altitudes, Nims now inspires people of all generations. As a sought-after speaker, he motivates audiences that anything is possible with the right attitude, planning and a good team.
Nirmal Purja already has two successful careers on his CV: First he served as a soldier for 16 years in the Nepalese elite unit "Gurkha" and later in the "Special Boat Service" of the British Armed Forces, then he became one of the best extreme mountaineers in the world. He is now regarded as the leading mountaineer of his generation and can look back on a series of historic first ascents, from the first ascent of K2 in winter to the ascent of all 14 eight-thousanders in the world in less than seven months. With his organization "Nimsdai Foundation", he is also committed to education, technology and infrastructure projects in Nepal, to environmental protection and to ensuring that untouched mountain ecosystems are preserved for future generations.
Nirmal Purja founded his new company "Nimsdai Foundation" in March 2020. His goal? To share his knowledge and approach to high alpine climbing and give something back to the mountain communities in his home country of Nepal. He offers 1:1 support for expeditions and helps with the planning of special projects. One of the foundation's projects is the "Big Mountain Clean Up". Nirmal is committed to environmentally friendly, low-waste mountaineering and the sustainability of the expedition culture.
In November 2021, the documentary "14 Summits: Nothing is Impossible" was released on Netflix. The film follows Nirmal Purja on his "Project Possible", the daring mission from 2019 in which he climbed all 14 eight-thousanders in seven months. A spectacular record at the time, which was not broken until 2023 by Norwegian Kristin Harila and Nepalese climber Tenjen Lama Sherpa, who has since died.
"Beyond Possible" is the literary counterpart to Nirmal's adventure "Project Possible" and was published in 2020. In it, he talks about how he grew up, his simple life and his dramatic rise to become a mountaineering icon. His extraordinary style motivates thousands of readers - it is not without reason that the book has been described by the British press as an "inspiring study of leadership and a powerful testament to the human spirit at its best".
Nirmal Purja is now the founder and managing director of the British-Nepalese mountain agency "Elite Himalayan Adventures". He founded the agency with Mingma David Sherpa and Mingma Tenzi Sherpa. Together they offer services for incredible experiences, such as mountain expeditions and summit climbs or extreme sports at high altitudes. As with his foundation, Nirmal Purja and his colleagues attach great importance to the protection and respectful treatment of nature as well as safety.
How could it be otherwise with adventurers like Nirmal Purja: an extraordinary "hobby" is not enough. Nirmal has been a parachutist since his time in the British Army. But in October 2022, he had a serious accident. Together with his friend Dean Walton, he jumped from a height of 4,500 meters. Their parachutes became entangled and they both crashed to the ground. Nirmal had the presence of mind to cut himself out of the ropes and release the reserve parachute, but was unable to help his comrade. Sergeant Major Dean Walton did not survive.
After "Project Possible" and in addition to the ongoing "Big Mountain Clean Up" project, Nirmal Purja climbed the "Savage Mountain" K2 with his team in 2021 in winter at temperatures as low as minus 65 degrees - and once again achieved the impossible.
But he doesn't just climb to prove it to himself. In 2018, he climbed the 6,814-metre-high Ama Dabalm, the "Matterhorn of Nepal", at the eleventh hour, on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, to pay tribute to the fallen comrades of the British Army on Remembrance Day.
All beginnings are difficult and why exactly should brands sponsor the first ascent of a then still unknown Nirmal Purja? While he still had to mortgage his house for this, he is now getting more support from brands. Nims is a Bremont ambassador for the Bremont S300 White, #ospreyathlete and a member of the Scarpa athlete team. Things can only go uphill from here.
|July 25, 1983
|Place of birth:
|Suchi Purja (wife), Himani Purja (daughter, born July 2022)
Climbed all 14 eight-thousanders in a time of 189 days (with additional oxygen support) Record from 2019 to 2022
Fastest ascent of Mount Everest, Lhotse and Makalu in 48 hours
First winter ascent of K2
On November 24, 2023, Nirmal Purja will be awarded the ISPO Cup 2023 as part of the Deutscher Nachhaltigkeitspreis (German Sustainability Award). With his foundation, the Nimsdai Foundation, the Nepalese is committed to the protection of the Himalayas, the promotion of biodiversity and the population in the mountain communities of his home country.
You can discover more about ISPO's exciting collaboration with the Deutscher Nachhaltigkeitspreis and other inspiring personalities at ISPO Munich 2023, so come along!