Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Himalaya Fall 2017: Climbers Open New Route on Nuptse

While most of the attention is directed towards 8000-meter peaks in the Himalaya during the spring and fall climbing seasons, there are always plenty of interesting projects taking place on other mountains throughout the region too. Case in point; three climbers have completed a new route on Nuptse's South Face, climbing a 7742-meter (25,400 ft) big wall to reach the summit of Nuptse II. 

Stefan Nestler has all the details on his adventure sports blog, but in a nutshell French climbers Helias Millerioux, Frederic Degoulet and Benjamin Guigonnet – who call themselves the "mustache gang," spent six days on the wall before topping out last Friday. Their ascent of the South Face of the mountain is one of just a handful to ever be completed, with the first taking place back in 1961 and being led by none other than Sir Chris Bonington himself. 

News of the successful summit was announced on Facebook, where details of the climb were revealed. In that post, we learned that the technical challenges of the climb, mixed with the high altitude, had the team moving at a pace of just 50 meters per hour. At the time, the trio were still on the mountain, but had planned to descend back to one of their lower camps for the night, before beginning the two day descent off the mountain. That should have put them in Base Camp yesterday, where they are probably now packing up and preparing to head home. 

Meanwhile, one of the other major stories still unfolding in the Himalaya this fall is the return of legendary climber Hans Kammerlander to Manaslu. The 60 year old mountaineer hasn't been on that mountain since 1991 when he tragically lost two of his best friends there. But, a film crew is accompany him to the mountain as they create a documentary about his life. Kammerlander also hopes to summit the mountain and descend by skies. 

The Himalayan Times has a all the details on this story, including Kammerlander's sad history with this mountain. From the sounds of things, the team is still in Kathmandu, but will be making their way out to Manaslu in the next few days. From there, it will be a few weeks of acclimatization and preparation, along with filming, before they launch a late-season summit bid. This will no doubt be another interesting story to follow throughout November. 

And of course, we should see the launch of a summit bid on Lhotse within the next few days, weather permitting. In other words, the season may be winding down, but it isn't quite over just yet. 

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