RunOut #32: Nims Conquers All

11.21.2019 - By The RunOut Podcast

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On October 29th, Nirmal Purja Magar—aka, Nims, as he likes to be called–reached the top of Shishapangma. And with this summit he also achieved a goal that had long been considered logistically, if not physically, impossible: climbing all of the world’s 14 8,000-meter mountains in a single year.

In fact, Nims needed just seven months to do it.

8,000-meter peak bagging is sport unto itself. These mountains attract a certain type. Most of us might guess that type to be C-level executives at fortune 500 companies, or perhaps descendants of British colonialists and African safari hunters who razed down black rhinos on Kenyan plains just for fun. There’s a certain European stuffiness to the club of 8,000-meter conquistadors.

Nims is not really part of that club, which perhaps explains why his style was so heavily critiqued in the aftermath by the in-crowd. Nims used all the means necessary to get the job done: fixed ropes, helicopter rides between peaks and base camps, Sherpa support, and oxygen.

It’s hard to know what to make of any of this, especially given how little Chris and I fucking care about 8,000-meter climbing. Which is why we brought in some help, our good friend and fellow journalist Freddie Wilkinson, who interviewed Nims at Everest base camp earlier this spring.

This is Andrew Bisharat, and I’m here as always with Chris Kalous, and you’re listening to the Run Out. Please enjoy our conversation with the always entertaining and informative Freddie Wilkinson.

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