For some people, climbing one of the world’s tallest mountains is a lifetime achievement. For Nepalese climber Nirmal “Nims” Purja, the subject of the new Netflix documentary 14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible, climbing all of them will be a good season. Purja has set a goal – what he calls “Project Possible” – to climb all fourteen of the “Eight Thousand Meters” peaks (mountains over 8000 meters tall) in a single climbing season. single mountain. Filmmaker Torquil Jones follows Purja on this mission, which, if successful, would mark the fastest achievement ever achieved.
Gist:When legendary Italian mountaineer Reinhold Messner became the first person to complete the slopes of all 14 of the world’s 14 8,000-meter peaks — a feat he accomplished in 1986, it was an astounding achievement. amazing, is the culmination of sixteen years of work. In 2019, the fastest it has ever been done is seven years. To achieve the feat in a single season would be unthinkable, but the spirit of the climber is to find the impossible and make it happen. The climbing world wasn’t familiar with Nims Purja before, but if he gets through it, he’ll instantly become a legend in the field.
What movies will remind you of?: It’s a pretty straightforward mountaineering adventure documentary, nothing fancy — it’s nuanced by Jennifer Peedom. Sherpa or the excellent Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi Meru.
Performances worth watching: There are guest interviews from celebrities in the climbing world, including Reinhold Messner himself, but Purja is the striker, center and sole star of this film; confident, calm, fully confident in her own success and represent the Nepal climbing community on the world stage.
Memorable dialogue: “Don’t be afraid to dream big. It doesn’t matter where you come from, you can show the world that nothing is impossible.” Purja’s title-giving narration opens the film and sets the tone for the entire death-defying adventure. “I was told that my project was impossible,” Purja noted, “so I named it Project Possible.”
Gender and Skin: Not available. It’s too cold up there! You will get frostbite!
Our Take: “Normally, for an eight-thousand person, it’s a big effort,” noted famous climber Jimmy Chin early on. 14 vertices. “It was a huge two-month expedition just to climb an 8,000-meter peak. But around spring 2019, the climbing world started talking about this madman from Nepal. He was someone no one had ever heard of. Everyone asked, “What the hell is Nims Purja?”
A good part of the time using the device in 14 peaks: Nothing is impossible is devoted to answering this question, and understanding the man is essential to understanding not only how such a remarkable feat could be possible, but why someone would commit to doing it. show it. Purja is a Nepalese citizen and former member of the British Armed Forces who became the first Gurkha (a term for Nepalese soldiers in the British Army) selected for the British Special Forces. He’s a fearless and accomplished man who nearly fought death during his service, a moment memorably re-enacted in an animation in the larger film.
Purja isn’t just committed to making his name known around the world – though he has plans for that. He’s also committed to advancing the careers of climbers from his hometown, home to some of the world’s highest peaks that have long seen Western climbers dominate the headlines. while relying on the Sherpas of Nepal to support their expeditions. He mortgaged his home to finance the expedition, and assembled a team of his countrymen to support his mission, knowing it would help them build their own climbing careers.
The challenges of conquering 8,000 people in a season go beyond climbing; the absolutely frustrating logistics system and narrow timeframes allow little room for flexibility and sometimes force suboptimal efforts; Bad weather forced Purja to climb Kanchenjunga—usually a four-day endeavor—in a single day, while hungover. He undertook his season-long campaign without permission from the Chinese government to climb Mount Shishapangma in Tibet; if they refuse, the completion will be out of his hands.
100 minutes may seem like a long time if you’re not a mountain climber, but it moves quickly from peak to peak, with dramatic tension increasing as the season goes on. It’s a thrilling adventure, even as a viewer.
Our call: INSTRUCTIONS IT. The best outdoor documentaries can leave you feeling like you’re in the mountains without ever having to get off your comfy couch, and 14 vertices just do it.
“I’m doing some crazy things,” laughs Purja as he stands atop one of his many summits.
Scott Hines is an architect, blogger, and Internet user who lives in Louisville, Kentucky with his wife, two young children, and a large, small dog.
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