Nepal’s government is distancing itself from Nirmal Purja

Nirmal Purja
Nirmal Purja

While the summer season has started in the mountains of the Karakoram in Pakistan, the past spring season is still being dealt with in Nepal. Nepalese mountaineering star Nirmal Purja is in a lot of trouble. According to the newspaper “The Himalayan Times”, the Department of Tourism within the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation recommended strict action against Purja and his commercial expedition company Elite Exped.

Both had violated several mountaineering rules of the Nepalese Tourism Act in the past season, it is said. “Now the ball is in the Ministry’s court,” the newspaper quotes a source from the Department of Tourism. Among other things, it is responsible for issuing permits to climb the high mountains of Nepal.

Illegal helicopter flight, permit fraud?

Purja is accused of having himself and a client flown by helicopter from base camp to Camp 2 at 6,400 meters on Mount Everest. Helicopter flights above the base camp are generally only permitted for rescue missions – and in exceptional cases, only with the permission of the authorities, also for transporting equipment. In addition, a group from Elite Exped is said to have stayed in Everest high camps, although their permits were allegedly only valid for a nearby lower and therefore cheaper mountain.

Sunrise on Mount Everest
Sunrise on Mount Everest (in fall 2019)

Two passes since 2012

According to the ministry, Purja had also paid too little tax. The mountaineer’s reasoning: although he is Nepalese, he is not a resident of his country of birth. Since 2012, the former soldier of the British Gurkha Regiment has held a British passport in addition to his Nepalese one. Purja lives in the UK with his wife and child.

And finally, the Tourism Department accuses the mountaineer of bringing the local mountain industry into disrepute with a misleading Everest video that he shared on social media. In the video, Purja claimed that the fixed rope had been cut in the summit zone. Other climbers had denied this.

The Nepalese Tourism Act stipulates that foreign teams or individuals can be denied entry to the Himalayan state for up to five years if they violate the mountaineering rules. The “mountain offenders” can also be banned from mountaineering in Nepal for up to ten years.

Allegation of sexual harassment is in the air

Nirmal Purja denies all allegations – including that of sexual assault. Speaking to the New York Times, a Finnish and an American female climber accused the 40-year-old of sexually harassing them. As a result, some of his sponsors cancelled or suspended their collaboration with him.

Purja has been one of the stars of the high-altitude mountaineering scene since 2019, when he “ticked off” all 14 eight-thousanders in six months. In Nepal, he enjoyed the status of a national hero. However, Purja’s image has also been tarnished in his native country. The Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), the Expedition Operators Association Nepal (EOA) and the Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN), among others, have called for legal action to be taken against Purja for tarnishing the reputation of the country’s mountain industry.

One Reply to “Nepal’s government is distancing itself from Nirmal Purja”

  1. It is salient that so far nobody has bothered to ask who is behind the NYT story. It was in all likelihood not the two ladies. Least of all the American female. Is it not rather unconventional to send a commercial expedition organizer a pic showing you in a bikini when looking to be hired? The commercial exped biz has a lot of competition and certainly not a clientele that books four 2-week-beach vacations every year with a discounter. Nuff said and time to think beyond the ordinary.

Comments are closed.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial

Notice: Undefined index: sfsi_riaIcon_order in /home/www/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-social-media-icons/libs/controllers/sfsi_frontpopUp.php on line 165

Notice: Undefined index: sfsi_inhaIcon_order in /home/www/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-social-media-icons/libs/controllers/sfsi_frontpopUp.php on line 166

Notice: Undefined index: sfsi_mastodonIcon_order in /home/www/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-social-media-icons/libs/controllers/sfsi_frontpopUp.php on line 177

Notice: Undefined index: sfsi_mastodon_display in /home/www/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-social-media-icons/libs/controllers/sfsi_frontpopUp.php on line 276

Notice: Undefined index: sfsi_snapchat_display in /home/www/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-social-media-icons/libs/controllers/sfsi_frontpopUp.php on line 285

Notice: Undefined index: sfsi_reddit_display in /home/www/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-social-media-icons/libs/controllers/sfsi_frontpopUp.php on line 282

Notice: Undefined index: sfsi_fbmessenger_display in /home/www/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-social-media-icons/libs/controllers/sfsi_frontpopUp.php on line 279

Notice: Undefined index: sfsi_tiktok_display in /home/www/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-social-media-icons/libs/controllers/sfsi_frontpopUp.php on line 273

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)