Nirmal Purja aka Nims Dai (Mountaineer) Biography

nirmal purja

Nirmal Purja aka Nims Dai is a well-known Nepalese mountaineer, actor, and former Gurkha soldier. He holds a number of world records in mountaineering and is best known for his world record of climbing 14 peaks over 8000 m in just 6 months and 6 days.

Quick Facts About Nirmal Purja

Real nameNirmal Purja
NicknameNims Dai
Birth date25 July 1983
Birth PlaceMyagdi, Gandaki Province, Nepal
Current residenceUK
Nationality Nepali
Heightin inches feet – 5 “8”
in centimeters – 173 cm
Hair colorBlack
Eye colourbrown
Zodiac signLeo
UniversityLouborough University
Qualification for educationDiploma in Security and University Management
SchoolSmall Heaven School, Myagdi
Marital statusMarried
SpouseSuchi Purja
Filmography14 Peaks
Notable worksFastest ascent of all fourteen eight-thousander mountains, with a record time of six months and six days (supplemental oxygen aid)
Fastest ascent of Mount Everest, Lhotse and Makalu, in 48 hours
First winter ascent of K2

Nirmal Purja | Early Life

Nirmal Purja was born in July 1983 in a small village named Dana in Nepal. The village was situated at 1,600 m near Dhaulagiri in the Myagdi district. Life was hard there so his family moved down to Chitwan when Nims was four years old. Nim’s father was a Gurkha soldier and her mother was a housewife who usually looks after the farm.

Nim’s parents had an inter-caste marriage and thus, was cut off from their family. It was hard for Nims’s parents to sustain themselves financially and socially. Nims had three older brothers who became Gurkha soldiers and because of them, Nims was able to pursue good education at boarding school. Along with his studies, Nims was also good at kickboxing.

Nirmal Purja |Military Career

In 2003, Nims joined the Brigade of Gurkhas alike his brother and father. In 2009, He was accepted into the Royal Navy’s Special Boat Service (SBS) becoming the first Gurkha to join the elite British Unit. He was appointed as the cold-weather warfare specialist in Special Boat Service.

In 2018, he resigned from the SBS as a Lance Corporal. He wanted to do something new and it was pursuing his mountaineering career.

Nirmal Purja |Mountaineering Career

Nims had his first major Himalayan climb in 2012, reaching the summit of Lobuche East without any previous experience as a mountaineer.

Then in 2014, he made his first ascent of an eight-thousander by summiting Dhaulagiri (8,167 meters) in just 15 days. Two years later, he summitted the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest. In 2017, he again summitted Mt. Everest with 13 other Gurkhas.

In 2018, He was appointed as a member of the order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II for his outstanding work in high altitude mountaineering.

Project Possible 14/7

Nims Purja had a goal to ascend 14 mountain peaks over eight thousand meters in just seven months. It seemed impossible because climbing mountain is not a piece of cake and that also mountains over eight thousand meters. But, naming the project as Project Possible 14/7, Nims wanted to convert that impossible to possible.

Purja summited the first mountain on April 23, 2019, and completed the first six-summit phase of his goal. He successfully summited Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Kanchenjunga, Mount Everest, Lhotse, and Makalu on May 24, 2019.  He climbed with mountaineers such as Mingma Gyabu “David” Sherpa, Lakpa Dendi, Geljen Sherpa, and Tensi Kasang.

The final five peaks were reached in under 12 days. In 2 days and 30 minutes, he climbed Mount Everest, Lhotse, and Makalu, breaking his previous Guinness World Record.

Purja completed the second phase in July 2019, ascending Nanga Parbat (8126 meters), Gasherbrum I (8080 meters), Gasherbrum II (8034 meters), K2 (8611 meters), and Broad Peak (8047 meters), all in Pakistan.

The third and final phase began in September. On September 23, he summited Cho Oyu (8188 m, Tibet, China), and on September 27, he summited Manaslu (8163 m, Nepal).

Purja and his team were granted a special permit to climb Shishapangma (8027 m, Tibet, China) in the fall season on October 1, 2019, at the request of the Nepali government. He left Nepal for Tibet on 18 October 2019, heading a five-person expedition to climb the mountain, and successfully completed Project Possible 14/7 on 29 October with the use of supplementary oxygen.

First winter ascent of K2

Nirmal Purja and nine other Nepali mountaineers created history on January 16, 2021, when they became the first to summit K2 in tough winter weather conditions.

His crew, which included Mingma David Sherpa, Mingma Tenzi Sherpa, Geljen Sherpa, Pem Chiri Sherpa, Dawa Temba Sherpa, and himself, was joined by Mingma Gyalje Sherpa (Mingma G), Dawa Tenjin Sherpa, and Kilu Pemba Sherpa from Seven Summits Treks, and Sona Sherpa from Seven Summit.

After multiple tries since 1987, this is the first successful K2 winter trip. Purja was the only team member to reach the summit without using supplementary oxygen, making him the first person to do so.

14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible

The Netflix documentary 14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible was released on November 26, 2021. This film follows Nirmal Purja ‘Nimsdai’ as he embarks on a  mission to break a new mountaineering record.

In the seven months, it took Nimsdai to climb all 14 summits above 8,000 meters, the documentary garnered a total of 12,170,000 hours of viewing time.

In 45 countries, Torquil Jones’ film was among the top ten films on Netflix, including the #1 spot in Slovakia, Slovenia, or Switzerland.

The documentary film is based on 100 hours of footage shot by Nimsdai and his colleagues during their attempt on the world’s highest peaks, which took place between April and October.

The film garnered 9.5 ratings out of 10 in IMDB and is ranked No. 7 on the Netflix Global Top 10 movies list.

Records set by Nirmal Purja

  • Most 8000 m mountains climbed in the Spring season
  • Most 8000 m mountains climbed in the Summer season
  • The fastest summit of the three highest mountains in the world, Everest, K2, and Kanchenjunga
  • The fastest summit of the five highest mountains in the world, Everest, K2, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, and Makalu
  • The fastest lower 8000ers beating his own previous record of 5 days.

Nirmal Purja | The man behind the viral video

Purja’s snapshot of Mount Everest’s congestion went viral and was featured in The New York Times while attempting Project Possible in May 2019. The video showed the traffic jam at Mt. Everest which raised concerns on the safety and permits to ascend Mt. Everest.

Purja’s snapshot of a traffic jam at Mt. Everest became viral.

Nirmal Purja’s Wife

Nirmal Purja, also known as Nims dai, is married. In 2006, he married his long-time girlfriend Suchi Purja. They had been in a long-distance relationship for many years.

Nirmal Purja
Nirmal Purja with his wife Suchi Purja.

Lesser known facts of Nirmal Purja

  • Nims Dai has a pet dog named Enzo.
  • He was almost killed while serving in the British army. The sniper’s bullet brushed away Nimral’s gunstock which had aimed his neck.
  • His lucky color is gold.
  • He had to sell his house in Britain to collect funds for the mountain expedition.

Nirmal Purja | Social Media

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