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A record-breaking conquest of all 14 of the world’s 8,000m ‘Death Zone’ peaks in 7 months: Nirmal (‘Nims’) Purja tells his remarkable story.



Hachette are excited to announce the publication of Beyond Possible: One Soldier, Fourteen Peaks — My Life In The Death Zone by Nirmal (‘Nims’) Purja, due to release in September 2020.


Nims Purja MBE has spent 16 years serving in the UK military: six in the elite Gurkhas and ten in the secretive world of the UK’s Special Forces. He is also an extraordinary mountaineer and in 2019, Nims resigned from the special forces, sacrificing his pension and the security of his family, in pursuit of a unique and inspiring goal: a record-breaking conquest of all 14 of the world’s 8,000m ‘Death Zone’ peaks in under 7 months (the previous record was nearly 8 years).


In Beyond Possible, Nims will tell the story of his extraordinary life and this incredible accomplishment, for the first time. He will provide insight into how his tough Nepali upbringing and the lessons learned in his army life shaped his determination and allow readers into the gritty realities of a journey that is beyond the realms of possibility for most people. As one commentator remarked, his achievement was ‘like swimming to the moon.’

Nims says: ‘My comfort zone begins where most individuals quit. I want to establish a paradigm shift in the perception of human potential. My book will show everyone what happens when ambition meets limitless imagination. Beyond Possible is my gift to everyone who believes in doing the impossible – whatever kind of life they lead’.

  • Beyond Possible - Nirmal Purja

    My account of life in the death zone, and how my time in the Gurkhas and Special Boat Service prepared me for a record-breaking conquest of all 14 of the world's 8,000m peaks in under 7 months. My comfort zone begins where most individuals quit. As a kid in Nepal, I went barefoot because my family had nothing. That's how I developed the resilience I needed for joining the Gurkhas - one of the most fearless forces in the British Army. Then against all odds, I became the first ever Gurkha soldier in more than 200 years of history to join the Special Boat Service where I served in the some of the world's most dangerous warzones, kicking down doors to capture enemy gunmen and terrorist bomb makers. But elite combat wasn't enough. I wanted more of a test. That's where my next project came in, something nobody thought possible - to climb all fourteen "death zone" mountains in seven months. The previous standard for conquering the world's most dangerous peaks was seven years, ten months and six days. I smashed through that achievement in six months, breaking several world records in the process. I'd have been even quicker had I not been called in to lead four perilous, high-altitude rescue missions. I knew that to quit on the mountain was to die. Even though I'd only started my climbing a few years earlier, as a hobby, I found I was able to adapt quickly to the deadly conditions. I was rarely phased by the lung-burning temperatures or brutal winds and fatigue seemed to pass me by. Fear became irrelevant because I had belief. In the death zone, I came alive. There were intimidating challenges to negotiate away from the mountains, too. Financial hurdles had to be overcome in order to fund an expedition with a six-figure price tag. Political negotiations with the Chinese government were required to ensure my entry to Shishapangma. And as I broke several world records, my mother was hospitalized. As the youngest son in a Nepalese family I was duty bound to care for her. My world fell apart. But this is what happens when ambition meets limitless imagination.

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