#123: Record-breaking Mountaineer Nimsdai Purja MBE On Climbing K2 In Winter


This week’s guest is none other than record-breaking mountaineer and elite soldier Nirmal Purja MBE. With a humble upbringing in Nepal, Nimsdai had an early desire to become a Gurkha in the British Military. After achieving this, Nimsdai set his challenges higher, becoming the first ever Gurkha to serve in UK Special Forces (SBS) unit, which led to his interest in Mountaineering. Nimsdai now holds a coveted MBE title and 10 Guinness World Records – most notably for climbing the world’s 14 highest summits in under 7 months, an achievement that defeated a previous world record of 8 years.

Now, Nimsdai is speaking with me about his bid for a K2 Winter 2020/21 ascent to claim one of the last remaining grand prizes in mountaineering, a feat regarded by so many, for so long as impossible. In this inspiring episode, Nimsdai explains his motivation to complete the K2 summit in Winter, his experience of writing his recent book ‘Beyond Possible’ and how his positive mindset has helped him achieve the impossible.

Show Notes

[3:12] Nimsdai is welcomed onto the show, sharing some struggles of his early life growing up in Nepal, and speaks about his early desire to become a Gurkha.

[5:02] Nimsdai shares insights of his personal drive from an early age to be successful by being active, utilizing a positive mindset and natural competitive nature to allow self-belief.

[10:57] Nimsdai shares further experiences training as a Gurkha, investing in himself with dedication to discover his best abilities and natural talents.

[13:19] Nimsdai explains how working within the special forces and being surrounded by a multitude of different talents and skills, kept him humble and grounded.

[15:37] Nimsdai discusses the differences and draws on comparisons between working in the Gurkha’s in Nepal and the Special Forces in the UK, explaining how he had to work twice as hard to prove his abilities.

[17:08] Nimsdai shares examples of personalities that have inspired him, his career and determination to succeed as a mountaineer.

[21:24] Nimsdai shares details of his first 8k summit just 6 years ago, being the world’s 7th highest mountain in the world located in his village, that he climbed in just 14 days.

[23:40] Nimsdai recounts his goal to complete all 14 highest summits, including Mount Everest in just over 6 months, and other goals he has set aside of this achievement.

[26:47]  Nimsdai explains his motivation to complete the K2 summit in Winter (the most dangerous time) and touches on his challenges finding financial support to fund his expeditions due to his lower profile at the time.

[30:39] Nimsdai shares how his expeditions have made him more connected to the challenges that our planet is currently faced with, and his firm belief that it is our duty to protect and preserve planet Earth.

[34:50] Nimsdai and Spencer discuss and their experiences climbing, and the magic, peace and connection to Earth and nature these adventures can bring. 

[40:31] Nimsdai closes the interview talking about his experience writing his recent book release ‘Beyond Possible’, with a goal to educate others on the mindset required to achieve the impossible.


“I was a very competitive person. I had to be the best, I had to be the number one”. [7:16]

“Along as everyday I’m improving, and I’m better than who I was yesterday – That is my goal”. [9:28]

 “You don’t need rich parents, you don’t need to have all of the facilities, everything doesn’t have to be given. You can create your own opportunity”. [20:50]

“For me, I absolutely believe that planet Earth is our home”. [30:50]

“With a positive mindset, you can achieve the impossible”. [41:36]

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