There was a viral photo last week, showing what appeared to be hundreds of people waiting in line on the summit ridge of Mount Everest.
I won’t share that photo here, as I haven’t paid for it. A quick Google search will turn it up if you haven’t seen it yet.
The man that took that photo was Nirmal Purja, a.k.a. Nims. Nims is a Nepalese climber who served in the British Gurkhas, and has been awarded the Member of the British Empire by the Queen of England for his accomplishments in high altitude mountaineering.
You may have seen his picture. But you don’t know Nims’ name.
It’s April, which means for climbers (and the world’s ultra-wealthy), it’s Everest season!
Throughout April and May, while the hordes descend (or rather ascend) on Everest, there are bound to be an endless number of news stories about successful summits, tragedies, and plenty of puff pieces about the logistics of the whole thing.
Want to learn a bit more authentically about what goes on up there?
You should watch this Joe Rogan podcast with Jeff Evans and Bud Brutsman, two guys who discuss their experiences climbing Mount Everest and managing rescue operations on the mountain in super-fascinating levels of detail. It’s two hours long, but compelling all the way through.
As I entered the lobby of the Annapurna Guesthouse, the owner greeted me warmly. He asked about my travel and how I liked my room.
“Load shedding right now,” he said, pointing at the lights. “No power.”
I nodded, dumbly. That explained the cold shower and nonfunctional TV.
“We have generator though,” he said. “No interruption.”
I could have asked him why the power was down if his generator ensured no interruption, but I really didn’t care. A few months ago, when I was working midnight shifts for my company back in the U.S., reliable power and wifi would have been my paramount priority. Now, I had a different job, one I could work on any schedule I chose. But to be honest, I didn’t much feel like working at all in Nepal.
Why should I care if the power went out, now and then?
Isn’t that why I was here, halfway across the world: to disconnect, to see something new?