Challenges are ever-present in life. At almost every twist and turn, you must make some type of decision. The spectrum of these decisions vary in size. It might be deciding what to have for breakfast in the morning. God forbid, it could even be picking the time to end a relationship with that special someone. The simple truth is that life offers many ongoing challenges, where humans face daily obstacles that they must overcome.
The majority of inhabitants on earth will not willingly seek out these challenging obstacles. Then again, when you consider his achievements, It’s hard to believe that someone like Nirmal Purja is even of this world. Last year, for example, the superhuman mountaineering expert played out Project Possible, where he summited all of the 14 highest mountains in the world in a total of six months and six days (obliterating the previous record, which was just shy of eight years).
“He summited all of the 14 highest mountains in the world in a total of six months and six days”
With 2021 looming, he is planning his most challenging climb yet. The former Gurkha is gearing himself up with Osprey to take on a feat regarded by the experts as one of the most dangerous mountain challenges in existence. A climb to the summit of K2 In winter still remains unaccomplished, but Nirmal ‘Nimsdai’ Purja MBE is challenging himself to change all of that as he attempts to scale the famous 8,000 metre peak this season.
We caught up with the man of the moment himself for a short but impactful Q&A that will make you realise just how much of a challenge Nirmal Purja is facing on K2 this winter.
The daunting challenge of K2 in the winter has been announced – can you sum up for us exactly how you’re feeling about it right now?
Yeah, it’s the last remaining mountaineering challenge and really gives me a fire in my chest. It excites me, and I’m thrilled and equally a bit nervous to go and take on this huge mammoth challenge ahead.
The cold winters and temperatures are down to -65 degrees celsius. Being brutally honest, this is what excites me – the extremities of what lies ahead.
“The cold winters and temperatures are down to -65 degrees celsius”
You’ve said in the past ‘Everything in life is possible armed only with a determined approach and positive mindset’” How do you maintain this outlook when you’re faced with some of the toughest conditions on this planet?
I have climbed in some of the toughest conditions on the planet during the Bremont Project Possible, so I will face this challenge with the same mindset.
I delve deep into this topic within my book, Beyond Possible. It’s such a huge topic that I could discuss for some time.
George Mallory was once asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest, he replied with “because it’s there” So I ask you Nirmal – why do you want to climb K2 in the winter?
For me, when there is a challenge, when there is uncertainty and when there is risk – this is what excites me.
The extreme cold and weather conditions and the high altitude keeps me alive. I live my life in the moment. For me, this is like a meditation. The K2 Winter project reason is personal, but also, I’m representing the Gurkhas and the Nepalese climbing community.
Equally, I want to raise awareness in terms of how we need to act now to make a change when it comes to our climate and sustainability.
“The extreme cold and weather conditions and the high altitude keeps me alive. I live my life in the moment”
Do you think people underestimate Mount Everest?
Yes, I think people underestimate Mount Everest.
It is a fact that when I had a conversation with Reinhold Messner. I said if you removed all the Sherpas and manpower on Everest, then it will still be the hardest 8,000m peak to climb.