French alpinist Trio opened new route on South Face of Nuptse

Dream Wanderlust | Oct 28 , 2017


French alpinist Trio (Hélias Millerioux, Niçois Benjamin Guigonnet and Frédéric Degoulet), nicknamed as "Le Gang des Mustaches", opened a new route on the South Face of Nuptse in alpine style and reached the western summit of Nuptse Nup II (7742m) on 19 October, 2017 at 3pm.

Millerioux and Guigonnet have done this after two previous attempts in 2015 and 2016. In 2015 they attempted via the 1961 British-Nepalese route, where they joined Colin Haley and Ueli Steck, who died last spring (30 April, 2017) while acclimatizing on Nuptse. In 2016 they attempted again with Robin Revest and Frédéric Degoulet. They reached 7450m.

The team took the same route this year. Only the last 300m was new. The south face of Nuptse is a steep wall of height 2500m (11000 feet) covered with rock and ice. Out of the seven peaks on Nuptse ridge, Nuptse I (7861m) is the highest point. After the summit the Base Camp team posted on their social profile "...I just had Frédéric on the phone, calling from the summit of Nuptse 7.742m...", actually the summit of Nuptse Nup II.

Nuptse South Face - Some Notable Ascents:

In 1961, Nuptse I (7861m) was first climbed by a British-Nepalese expedition team led by Joe Walmsley via South Face. Sir Chris Bonington was one of the summit members of that expedition. [Alpine Journal 1961, Climbers' Club Journal 1962, bonington.com]

In 1986, First alpine attempt southeast buttress of Nuptse by Jeff Lowe and Marc Twight. They reached 6700m. [American Alpine Journal 1987]

In 1994, Frenchmen Michel Fauquet and Jean-Christophe Moulin reached 7500m* of the South-East Pillar of Nuptse.

In 2002, Barry Blanchard (Canada), Steve House (USA), Marko Prezelj (Slovenia) attempted the South Face of Nuptse. According to the "Beyaond the Mountain" book by Steve House, they reached approx 20000 ft via a new route on the South Face of Nuptse. ["Beyond the Mountain" - Steve House]

In 2003, two Russians Valery Babanov and Yury Koshelenko first ascended the southeast buttress of Nuptse East (7804m) via the South Pillar. The route is named as "Moonlight Sonata". [American Alpine Journal 2004, babanov.com]

In 2008, two French climbers Stéphane Benoist and Patrice Glairon-Rappaz opened another new route on the South Face of Nuptse in alpine style. They reached the summit ridge at 7700m from where they followed the 1961 British-Nepalese route. [Alpine Journal 2009, American Alpine Journal 2009]

In 2008, Spanish climber Jordi Tosas made a solo attempt to the South Face of Nuptse via a new route and reached around 6500m* where he followed the 1961 British-Nepalese route.

In 2010, Graham  Zimmerman (NZ/US), Hayden Kennedy (US) Cory Richards (US) attempted a new route on the Cobweb Wall of South Face of Nuptse. They abandoned the expedition due to difficult route and snow conditions. [Alpine Journal 2010-11]

Route map of "Le Gang des Mustaches" in the South Face of Nuptse

"Le Gang des Mustaches" on the Nuptse Nup II summit

* Data is not verified.
Photo Courtesy: legangdesmoustaches.com

This news was revised on 16-11-2017

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