Nirmal Purja: Only three are missing

Nims Purja (4th from l.) and his “Project Possible” team (in K2 Base Camp)

Phase two of his “Project Possible” has now also been successfully completed. Two days after the summit success on K2, Nirmal, called “Nims” Purja, also scaled the 8051-meter-high Broad Peak today. Within about three months, the 36-year-old Nepalese stood on eleven eight-thousand-meter peaks, within a good three weeks on all five eight-thousanders of Pakistan – even though he had arrived late due to financing problems.

Now Purja “only” needs to climb the eight-thousanders Shishapangma and Cho Oyu located in Tibet as well as Manaslu in Nepal to complete his project as planned next fall: to scale the 14 highest mountains in the world within only seven months.

Six eight-thousanders in just over a month

Nirmal Purja on the summit of Kangchenjunga

In spring, Nims had summited six eight-thousanders in Nepal within one month and one day: Annapurna (23 April), Dhaulagiri (12 May), Kangchenjunga (15 May), Mount Everest (22 May), Lhotse (22 May) and Makalu (24 May). He ticked off the last three of these summits within 48 hours and 30 minutes. He and his Sherpa team climbed with bottled oxygen on the normal routes. At times the climbers were flown by helicopter to the various base camps. This was not possible in Pakistan.

As strong as an ox

Even those who turn up their noses at Nims’ climbing style have to admit that the former soldier of the British Gurkha regiment is not only fast on the mountain but also as strong as an ox. This was proved beyond doubt especially by his climbs on Dhaulagiri – in difficult conditions he and his team managed the only summit success of the spring season on this mountain – and on K2, where he and his companions prepared the way for more than 20 other climbers to follow in their footsteps.

“Determination and positive mindset”

Broad Peak

Purja also climbed Broad Peak as fast as a fire brigade. He only had nine hours of rest in K2 Base Camp. Then he climbed up to Camp 1 on Broad Peak at about 6,000 meters and after a few hours rest in one push to the summit. This is only possible if someone has a very strong physical condition – and a will that can literally move mountains. Nims described it to me before his departure for Pakistan as follows: “What makes it possible is the ethos I live by. I firmly believe that everything in life is possible armed only with a determined approach and positive mindset. I am determined and I have a positive mindset.“

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