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Beyond Possible

Beyond Possible

One Soldier, Fourteen Peaks My Life In The Death Zone

by Nirmal Purja

Paperback / softback Publication Date: 10/11/2020

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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 fazed 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.

Beyond Possible: One Soldier, Fourteen Peaks - My Life In The Death Zone is the inside story of my incredible adventure.

ISBN:
9781529312256
9781529312256
Category:
Travel writing
Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
10-11-2020
Language:
English
Publisher:
Hodder & Stoughton
Country of origin:
United Kingdom
Pages:
352
Weight:
0.3kg
Nirmal Purja

Nirmal ('Nims') Purja MBE was born in Nepal.

He served as a Gurkha and in the elite Special Boat Service (SBS) before leaving to concentrate on his passion for mountaineering and exploration.

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