While we await an update from Shishapangma on the progress of Nirmal “Nims” Purja, we can read a brief, but enlightening interview he gave recently to Men’s Journal. In that interview you’ll learn more about the man who is about to smash the record for completing all 14 8000-meter peaks in the fastest time ever, while also managing to redefine what we though was possible in the High Himalaya. As we speak, he’s looking to finish the last of those mountains, bringing an end to a six-month quest that has been exhausting to watch unfold, let alone actually do do.
The interview was actually conducted prior to the start of Purja’s fall climbing push, which included Cho Oyu and Manaslu, as well as Shishapangma. If you’ve been following his progress over the course of the year, you already know that Shishapangma had been in question for some time due to the fact that the Chinese government in Tibet had shutdown the mountain this year. Fortunately for Nims, some back office lobbying on his behalf by the Nepali government has allowed him to get a permit anyway, which is why he is in Base Camp on that final mountain now and preparing for the last hurdle.
Despite the fact that the interview is a bit older, there are still some interesting tidbits to be gleaned from it. For instance, Nims tells us that his favorite, most essential piece of gear is his down suit from ThruDark. He also notes that he has outstanding gear from Black Diamond and a great pack to carry everything in from Osprey as well. He also tells us his preferred expedition food is dahl bhat, which is a staple amongst the Sherpa people living in the Himalaya. His favorite celebratory drink? A good gin & tonic of course.
When asked which of the mountains he’s climbed have been the most memorable, Purja says Annapurna ranks high because of the level of danger that it brings. It is amongst the most dangerous mountains in the world and it was the first peak that he summited on his Project Possible initiative. He also adds K2 to that list because of how difficult it was to climb this season, while Kangchenjunga makes the cut because of an important rescue operation that he helped conduct on that mountain.
The final question that MJ asks is about the advice that he has received and what advice Nims gives to other climbers. Unsurprisingly, he tells others to chase their dreams even when others might be telling them to give them up. He also advises climbers to listen closely to their bodies and play it safe when their instincts are telling them to turn back. Usually those instincts are right.
You can check out the entire interview here.
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