Climber Nirmal “Nims” Purja had quite the year. The former U.K. special forces officer spent most of his time in 2019 climbing up and down some of the biggest peaks in the world—setting an incredible record in the process. His milestone? Climbing 14 of the world’s tallest peaks in less than 190 days, shattering the previous record of seven years, 10 months, and six days.
“When I came up with this project, no one could imagine that I could do it,” Purja previously told Men’s Journal in an interview after accomplishing the record. “The whole project has inspired our generation and will inspire the future generation. Nothing is impossible; you are only limited by your imagination. Before 2017, I could not even have imagined this project. Now it’s the truth. Many years ago, when people looked at the moon from the Earth, no one imagined that it was possible to get over there. And it happened. I am so glad and humble to show the power of the imagination and possibilities.”
Purja, who also took that now-infamous photo of the line going up Mount Everest, took some time to reflect on that accomplishment on December 11 in honor of International Mountain Day, which was established by the United Nations to promote the importance of mountains, as well as “mountain peoples and environments around the world.”
Purja wrote on Instagram about his life over the last decade, going from a United Kingdom Special Forces officer to a professional climber. He started climbing in 2012 and continued to do it when he was on leave from his officer job, but now, he’s a full-time climber, having resigned his officer position to focus on his adventure work.
“As of March this year, I have now officially become a professional mountaineer, I hope to give more to the mountain community henceforth. Happy International Mountain Day folks,” Purja wrote on Instagram.
Here’s the post:
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. A lot of people ask me why I climb mountains? . To be honest, when you served for 10 years with United Kingdom’s Special Forces and with the stuffs you have done and you have achieved; you think you are invincible but the mountains has always put things into prospective for me. I only started climbing from Dec 2012 and after that I fell in love with the mountains as brings me peace and happiness. I continued to climb here and there during my leave whilst serving within the Special Boat Service #sbs .This year, I resigned my #UKSF career, sacrificing my full pension to establish a paradigm shift in perception of human potential by climbing all the Worlds 14 highest mountain within 7 months; breaking the previous record of nearly 8 years. As of March this year, I have now officially become a professional mountaineer, I hope to give more to the mountain community henceforth. Happy International Mountain Day folks 🤙🏼 . . . #nimsdai #nimspurja #uksf #mountaineering #bremontprojectpossible #thrudark #silxo #ospreyeurope #extremehighaltitude #everest #lhotse #k2 #alwaysalittlehigher #elitehimalayanadventures
In honor of International Mountain Day, here are some great travel locations, climbing spots, and climbing advice for you from Men’s Journal:
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