The mission to recover the body of Michael Matthews serves as the focus of ‘Finding Michael,’ a Disney+ documentary that is sure to take you on an emotional journey. One of the task’s most crucial members was Nirmal “Nims” Purja, AKA Nimsdai Purja. The mountaineer was contacted by Spencer Matthews due to his expertise in climbing heights greater than 8,000 meters above sea level. The skills showcased by Nims in the movie have made him a household name, and many people are eager to learn more about him and his current whereabouts. So, let’s explore it all together, shall we?
Who is Nims Purja?
Born on July 25, 1993, in Myagdi, Nepal, Nims Purja grew up in a loving Hindu family of Magar descent. His father was a Gurkha soldier, while his mother came from an agriculture-based family. The difference in the caste of his parents meant that Nims’ extended family had cut all ties with them. “We came from a really poor family,” he told National Geographic. “As a kid, I remember I didn’t even have flip-flops.” In order to help the young Nims in his education, three of his older brothers funded his schooling at an English-speaking boarding school using their income as Gurkha soldiers. During his time as a school student, he became proficient in kickboxing.
In 2003, Niims followed in his father’s footsteps and became a part of the Brigade of Gurkhas. This led to his subsequent admission into the Royal Navy’s Special Boat Service(SBS) in 2009, where he worked as a cold-weather warfare specialist. Though unable to share details of his military missions, the mountaineer has admitted that he was responsible for patching up the wounds of fellow soldiers and was himself shot by a bullet in the face. After becoming a Lance Corporal, Nims declined to join the Special Air Services(SAS) in 2018 and resigned from his post in the SBS.
As for Nims’ connection with the mountains, having been born near Dhaulagiri, the world’s seventh highest peak, seemingly forged a bond between the former soldier and the Himalayas. Some of his major accomplishments include climbing Lobuche in 2012, scaling Dhaulagiri in 2014, and winning over Mount Everest on May 13, 2016. He was also the leader of the Gurkha Expedition G200E, a trek to celebrate the involvement of Gurkhas in the British Army. For his accomplishments as a mountaineer, Nims was declared a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) by Queen Elizabeth II on June 9, 2018.
However, Nims’ primary source of fame is perhaps the completion of Project Possible 14/7. As a part of this mission, he planned on climbing atop all 14 mountains above 8,000 meters within 7 months. Done in three separate phases within the given timeframe, the accomplishment made the former soldier a legend among mountaineers. He is also the first person to ever ascent K2 during winter. In May 2022, he climbed Kangchenjunga, Mount Everest, and Lhotse without oxygen in less than 9 days.
Where is Nims Purja Now?
Presently, Nims Purja is a proud British citizen who has set many records as a mountaineer. In fact, as of March 2022, he holds four different Guinness World Records. During the production of ‘Finding Michael,’ he once again ascended Mount Everest, a mountain he has scaled six times as of writing. When he was approached by Spencer Matthews regarding the retrieval of the body of Michael Matthews, Nims had doubts regarding the success of the mission, given the vast area that he and his team would have to cover.
Nevertheless, Nims assembled a team of skilled mountaineers to undertake the mission. Though the team could not achieve its original goal, they succeeded in retrieving the body of Wong Dorchi Sherpa, a guide who had passed away just above Camp Four in May 2021. Interestingly, ‘Finding Michael’ is not the first documentary that the mountaineer has been featured in as he was also a part of Netflix’s ’14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible.’ As of writing, Nims is primarily based in Hampshire, England, along with his wife, Suchi Purja, and daughter, Himani Purja.
Read More: Where is Spencer Matthews Now?