Today marks the 1 year anniversary of when the superhuman Nims Purja completed his first climb as part of Project Possible, taking on Annapurna in Nepal. In just under 7 months Nims broke world records to become the fastest person ever to climb all 14 of the world’s 8,000m plus peaks.
We spoke with Nims to look back to that first summit and how he remains positive in the face of many challenges, including isolation.
Take us back to the summit of Annapurna, how did you prepare for this climb?
“Honestly I didn’t have much time to prepare! My sole focus and all my time and energy was spent on trying to raise the funding for the project. Just to give you an idea when I left for Annapurna I only had 15 percent of the total funding I needed so I had no time to focus on my training unfortunately.
However, with over 16 years in the British Military, including Special Forces roles, and more than 6 years of Mountain Guiding and Expedition Leading I had a lot of experience already under my belt.”
How did you feel when you reached the summit?
“It was incredible, I felt like I was on the start line, ready to get set and GO for the summits of the other 13 mountains I had to climb. I was excited to tackle the challenges I would need to take on and knew that I needed to stay determined.”
Looking back, would you change anything?
“Nothing. The journey and challenges to taking on this incredible feat were so rewarding even with all the ups and downs. I do wish I had full funding before in hand as I believe I could’ve completed this challenge within less than 4 months.”
How are you coping with isolation? What does your daily routine look like?
“I’m trying to stay as active as possible, exercising twice a day at home and outside when possible. The lockdown has given me the opportunity to focus on working on my book about Project Possible which I am very excited to share. My book is currently due to be released in September.”
What expedition are you planning for when the lockdown has been lifted?
“As we are currently missing climbing season I am struggling with our guiding company, however this has bought a new opportunity for me to seize. I am now looking to guiding an expedition to Everest in autumn, very few people have summited Everest in autumn so this will be an exciting new challenge.”
How do you remain positive during challenging times (COVID &/or during Project Possible)?
“I have always been a positive person, however when times are tough I sometimes have to steer my thinking and intentionally have to inject positive thinking into my outlook. I take each day at a time and I try to make the best out of that day.”
What one piece of advice would you give to our audience to stay positive during challenging times?
“When I’m going through a challenging time I think back to other tough times I have managed to overcome. For me, I think of a difficult night I had while on an expedition when I was shivering intensely from the cold, where you can actually feel the pain in the bones, but I kept going, just thinking that soon there would be a sunrise.
The power of hope is so immense, when you have been through the toughest of times whatever that is for you, it ultimately makes you a stronger person. So stay positive and there will be a sunrise to end your challenging time.”
To celebrate the year anniversary of the first completed summit of Project Possible we’re giving you the chance to win a bundle of kit signed by Nims himself.
You could win a men’s Aether Pro 70, a women’s Ariel Pro 65 and Osprey merchandise.
To enter, head over to our Instagram @ospreyeurope, give us a follow and like the competition post.