Purja, 36, crowdfunded his climbs through Project Possible and is also raising money for charities, including for the welfare of Gurkha veterans and their families and the group Chora Chori which runs a shelter for trafficked children in Kathmandu.
Most people had not heard about Nims Purja’s audacious attempt to climb all the world’s highest peaks in record time until his famous photograph of the ‘traffic jam’ on Mt Everest this spring went viral on the Internet.
In an interview with Nepali Times after his Everest climb and before heading off to Pakistan in April, Purja said: “Yes, the traffic jam happened because all climbers wanted to get to the top at the same time. The crowd must be managed. For example, we climbed Annapurna in April. Maybe Everest climbing season can be opened up earlier too. Nature is for everyone, and climbing mountains shouldn’t be reserved for the rich.” (Read full interview below)
Besides climbing all those mountains, Purja also managed to carry out some high altitude rescues of stranded climbers on Annapurna and Kanchenjunga this spring.
Originally from Myagdi district in Nepal, Purja joined the British Army Special Forces in 2003, the first Gurkha to do so. But climbing mountains was more important to him than a well-paying job, so he quit in March 2019 to begin his climbs.
He climbed Annapurna I (23 April), Dhaulagiri (12 May) Kanchenjunga (16 May) both Everest and Lhotse (23 May) and Makalu (25 May). Climbing those 6 peaks within 31 days was itself a record. Then he went on to climb Nanga Parbat (6 July), Gasherbrum I (15 July), Gasherbrum II (18 July), K2 (24 July) Broad Peak(26 July). He came back in the autumn to climb Manaslu (23 September) and Cho Oyu (27 September).