Expert mountaineer and star of Netflix’s ’14 Peaks: Nothing is Impossible’ Nirmal Purja was injured on Monday, September 19th after a paragliding accident near the Manaslu Base Camp. Purja was airlifted to a hospital in Kathmandu, but is reportedly alright, with doctors only recommending a few days of rest.
“We had two wonderful flights down to the village of Samagau. On the second flight I took a small tumble at the take off, nothing major.” – Nirmal Purja
The accident occurred while Purja was attempting to take off from the base camp, colliding with a rock. According to Explorersweb, the mountaineer’s group, Elite Exped, currently has permission from Nepal to experiment with paragliding down from the county’s 8,000 meter peaks. Apparently, paragliding is becoming more and more popular as a form of mountain descents among climbers.
Paragliding from high altitude peaks is definitely restricted to experienced flyers, but it could have the potential to change the types of tourism available in Nepal if allowed by the government, as pointed out by Purja in an Instagram post earlier this month.
“This project would definitely bring completely new tourism in Nepal. This is for the people of Nepal. With time we need to change and adapt, otherwise we will be behind again and again. With new innovations and technology nowadays you can get a complete set of paragliding equipment for less than 3kg.” – Nirmal Purja
First of all, definitely glad Purja is totally fine after the accident. Second of all, this is super cool. Purja is sponsoring this experiment on his own, which alone is impressive, and he’s also putting his own life and body on the line to show what paragliding can bring to Nepal. I don’t know much about mountaineering, but I have to imagine the introduction of paragliding equipment would make expeditions a lot safer in general, as you could eliminate a significant portion of the descent. Altogether, this is super neat.
Image Credit: Nirmal Purja via Instagram