Extremes of human potential


I have always been interested in survival and endurance documentaries. That is how I ended up watching many documentaries on mountaineering and expeditions to 8000’ers like Mount Everest. I have not physically witnessed these huge ice rocks. But, in my imagination I feel I have an idea of the magnanimity in comparison to the mountains I have seen on the way to Vasudhara falls, Badrinath. Atleast, I was awestruck by the ones I saw.

This picture speaks for itself for the trials and tribulations. Image courtesy, https://www.redbull.com.

Last year, I bumped into the instagram profile of Nirmal Purja, who has got immense respect in the mountaineering community. I did follow him, but was never aware of the fact that he completed 14 8000er summits in mere 6 month 6 days and the closest anyone to perform this feat was 7 years. This was a shocking revelation for me. These humanly impossible feats make me curious to know the behind the scenes.

To my angst, I got to know about the 14 peaks documentary release on 29th November a month back. At last I was able to see it two days back.

Personally, I liked it, not sure how many people would actually prefer seeing it. Some people may say why should one risk his life to climb and come back, some may say it is easy. Unless you are able to imagine the hardships involved, you cannot get connected to it. Moreover, at one point, documentary picks up pace like summit 1 done, summit 2 done, summit 3 done. It might seem unrealistic probably. But, I suggest to see considering the inspiring personality Nirmal is. The quote by him “I want to show the world what the human body is capable of doing“, should clarify what he is up to via Project Possible.

I want to mention, the true high moment for me in sequence. I suppose this is not a spoiler, but if you feel so, just head over to Netflix.

Generally, to summit Mount Everest alone, the mountaineer takes on an average 30 to 60 days. Moreover, it is completed in four stages with stays in four camps along the way to summit. Majority of the time is spent in round trips across the camps to acclimatize over the new altitudes. Just for your information there are two more 8000m mountains around Everest, Mt. Lhotse and Mt. Makalu. Just on tallying the best way to summit all it would take 2 to 3 months.

Nirmal’s target was to complete (drumroll) in mere 48 hours and he did it. World record! This is a herculean feat. Apart from pushing the limits of human abilities, his acts of helping out fellow mountaineers in the death zones risking his life sets him out of the league. In his own words, I have no fear.

I would say must watch, if not for him, at the least for the stunning visuals.


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