Nuptse shares in the glory of the Everest Massif and is the southern border of the Western Cwm. Viewed from the Thangboche Monastery it appears as a massive wall guarding the approach to Everest. It is joined on the right by Lhotse. Just southwest of Mount Everest. The Tibetan name, Nup-tse, means west-peak.
Part of the Lhotse-Nuptse-massif, the main ridge is joined to Lhotse by a 7556m high saddle made up of 7 peaks and goes west-northwest. Its steep west-face drops down more than 2300m to the Khumbu-glacier. The south-face of Nuptse is 2500m high and 5 kilometers wide. The north side is above the Western-Cwm valley with the upper part of the Khumbu-glacier above its famous icefall. The main summit Nuptse I (7861m) was first sumited by a British expedition on the north-ridge (Scott-route) on May 16, 1961 by Dennis Davis and Sherpa Tashi. Notably Sir Chris Bonington was also a member of the FA expedition. The main summit until September 1996 received only two more visits.
In October 1997, Slovenian climbing legend Janez Jeglic and fellow countrymen, Tomaz Humar ascended Nuptse's 8000 foot West Face. It turned to be Jeglic's last climb. Rushing to beat an impending storm, Humar arrived on Nuptse's summit fifteen minutes after his partner. Jeglic's tracks in the snow abrubtly ended. Apparently, Jeglic had been blown off of the summit. With Jeglic was all of the duos protection. This forced Humar to descend terrain rated at WI 5 and 5.7 with little more than a 50 meter remnant of rope and his tools and crampons.
The dramatic south face with 7000 feet of vertical relief boasts the South Pillar. A feature that captured the interests of climbers such as Jeff Lowe, and Mark Twight who once described the line as having the "elegance of a Halston dress and the abrubtness of of a metal-studded dog-collar." During spring 2002, an expedition led by Steve House attempted a line to the west of the South Pillar. Although joined by Canadian Barry Blanchard, Steven Koch, and Slovenian Marko Prezelj their attempt was dashed.
An excellent article was published in issue 7 of The Alpinist regarding Nuptse in Winter 2003-04.
Fly to Kathmandu. Then by plane or overland to Lukla at 9,350 ft.
The following times are estimates and a lot will depend on how one acclimitizes. Slowly decend 2 hours to Phakding at 8,700 ft. This is a frequent overnight stopping location.
The next morning after about 2-3 hours you will pass through Jorsale 9,100 ft. . Here is where you will pay a fee and enter the Sagarmatha (Everest) National Parkand. You will then continue for another 2-3 hours up hill to the main Village of Namche Bazaar 11,300 ft. This is quite an elevation gain especially for those who have flown in. You should rest here one to two days, and make small side trips to acclimitize.
The next day will take you through Shyangboche at 11,800 ft. and then onto the village of Khunde at 12,600 ft. Following this one continues onto Khumjung (12,400 ft.) then decends to near the river crossing at 10,650 ft. Cross over at Pungo Tenga. Then it is uphill for two hours to Tengboche. This is another good rest spot.
The following day continue east out of the settlement and down 1.5 hours to Pangboche 12,800 ft. (keep right). Continue for 1.5 hours till you reach a fork in the trail. Go left down to the river and cross over and uphill to the village of Pheriche (13,950 ft.). Stop here for the night. There is a hospital run by the HRA for treating altitude illnesses.
The next day go north along the valley floor to the end and then up to the north-east along the glacial moraine past Dunhla (15,075 ft.) (Climbers memorials) to the Village of Labouche (16,175 ft.). Another 2-4 hours beyond this will bring one to Gorak Shep. From Gorak Shep you can go to Kala Pattar (18,450 ft.) or Everest Base Camp (17,575 ft.). If you are going to Nupste you will have to cross the moraine to it’s base.
Like the rest of the world, this once peaceful kingdom has beeen suffering recently from bouts of violence. Several hunderd police and military have been killed by ambushes in the past year. Visitors should be warned that they may be approached by bandits and taxed. Your Guides or Sherpas will inform you on where and where not to go in Nepal. Even the school courriers that run between Lukla and the school in Khundi ( run by the Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation) have been stopped and robbed. Let us all hope that this terrible situation clears itself up soon.
Yes there are permits required as on all peaks in Nepal. This is one of the nations major sources of foreign currency.
When To Climb
The best months are as on Everest the months of April, May, September and October which coincide with the pre- and post- monsoon periods.
Major Himalayan peak with all the conditions related to high altitude expedition climbing.
Partial Equipment list info:
Here is a brief incomplete list for you. Minus the Climbing gear
2-pairs of shorts for the walk in
3-pairs t-shirts for the walk in
2-bandanas or a sun hat too keep off the sun
Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen plus zinc
Good sturdy Hiking shoes
1-sleeping bag (as warm as you can get)
1-sleeping pad (your choice the more comfortable you are the better you sleep the more energy you will have) you can get a Crazy Creek chair that goes with your pad this is a good investment.
2-expedition weight Patagonia long underwear tops (or 1 depends on how dirty you like to be)
1-expedition weight Patagonia long underwear bottom
1 lightweight fleese bottom
1-heavy weight Patagonia or similar fleese jacket
1-Gortex shell jacket
1-Gortex shell pants (full length zippers)
1-Down filled jacket liner from Feathered Friends of Seattle, (optional but I always end up using it)
1-Downfilled Gortex guides Parka 1-Warm hat with ear flaps
2-pair of heavy duty mittens (in case you lose one pair up high)
1-pair fleese gloves 1-pair ski gloves
1-pair of Koflach double plastic boots, One Sport (warmer)($$$) or Asolo (I prefer Koflach, I find them more comfortable)
1-pair of gaitors
1-pair ski poles
1-pair of sharp crampons (test them on your boots before you leave and make sure they fit perfectly)
1-headlamp with extra batteries
1-cup with spoon attached
1- stove of your choice (I use Markhill stormy hanging stone with Blueway cartridges, you will have get fuel in China or Nepal as it is difficult to fly over) allow at least 1 canister per day for up high per 2-man tent.
3-tents one set up at base camp. One at camp3. and One for the south col.
3-1-litre waterbottles with insulators (drink at least 5 litres a day to help acclimitise)