Nuptse Mountain is another prominent Himalayan peak near Everest (the tallest peak in the world) in Nepal’s Khumbu region. The mountain rises high above 7,861m and can also be seen from the various trekking trails of the area. Similarly, the peak lies southwest of Mt Everest and is called a West Peak in Tibet.
Nuptse Mountain, a very beautiful peak among the Seven-thousand, ranks 20th in the list of the world’s highest mountain peaks. Its beauty is often clearly seen in almost all trekking routes of the Khumbu region. However, the peak is often considered one of the most difficult mountains to commit to due to its technical difficulties, almost equal to climbing Everest. Still, the mountains can successfully complete their expedition with our determination, time, patience, and technical knowledge. Continue reading to learn more about Nuptse Mountain.
Location and Geography of Nuptse
Mt. Nuptse, often called Nubtse, lies in the Mahalangur Himal of the Khumbu Region, particularly among the Nepalese Himalayas. To compare its closeness with Mt Everest, Mt. Nuptse lies two kilometers apart in the WSW from the tallest peak.
Considering its closeness to Mt Everest, the peak has also earned the name of Western Tibet Peak. It is actually one of the tallest peaks in the Himalayas, with a latitude combination of 27.966389 and a longitude combination of 86.889999.
If viewed from the Tengboche Monastery, Mt Nuptse appears like a giant gate in front of Mt Everest. Similary is joined by Mt Lhotse on the right.
The location of Mt. Nuptse becomes clearer when viewed from the East of the Lhotse and Khumbu area and south of Mt. Everest. Sherpa and Tibetan recognize it as the “West” peak since it appears like a jagged ridge glimpsed North ahead of Mt. Everest. Similarly, the peak standing next to the Everest base camp appears astonishing as it seems somewhat taller than Everest if views from the bottom of the camp lie next to the Khumbu Ice Falls.
Mount Nuptse is a dramatic peak that actually has seven other peaks located close to one another in its east-west ridge- Nubtse I ( 7,861 m), Nubtse II (7,827 m), Nubtse Shar I (7,804 m), Nubtse Nup I ( 7,784 m), Nubtse Shar II ( 7,776 m), Nubtse Nup II (7,742 m), and at last Nubtse Shar III ( 7,695 m).
The main ridge of the mountain, which is part of both Lhotse-Nuptse-massif, is joined to Mt Lhotse by a 7556m high saddle comprising a total of 7 peaks. It has a steep west face that drops down to the Khumbu glaciers with more than 2300m.
The Nuptse’s south face is 2500m high and stretches 5 kilometers. And the peak’s north side lies above the Western-Cwm valley along with the Khumbu-glacier’s upper part, particularly above the famous icefall. Moreover, the Nuptse’s dramatic south face with vertical relief of around 7000 feet consists of the South Pillar.
Major Climbing Expeditions on Nuptse Since 1961
The main and highest peak, Nuptse I, was first successfully climbed by the members of the British expedition, ie. Dennis Davis and Sherpa Tashi on May 16, 1961. The other mountaineers in the group were Pemba Sherpa and Chris Bonington, led by Joe Walmsley. They reached the peak the following day. The route they use to reach the top of the Mountain is called the Scott route of Nuptse Mountain.
Despite its small highest, Mt Nuptse (the sister peak of Mt Everest) ranks among the toughest technically difficult peaks to summit. With this in mind, the Mountain has witnessed a few summit numbers, around 60, with less than 10 percent being successful. Similarly, The Mountain’s south face has been attempted only 14 times since 1961.
After the successful summit in 1961, The peak witnessed another summit attempt in 1975 from the same Scott Route by A joint British/Nepalese Army team. Unfortunately, the team was hit by a stone fall or snow slide, which caused their fall from the ultimate couloir.
The Mountain did not see any summit attempts until the 1990s and 2000s when the peak again became the target of the high-standard mountaineer. This summit attempts between the 1990s and 2000s developed many routes besides the Scott route alongside the north, west, and south faces of the Nuptse mountain.
While the Nuptse mountain has the best appearance when viewed from the north or west route and appears taller from the base camp, the peak is not independent. Similarly, the peak’s topographic dominance is 319 m (1,047 ft) to 8000m. Thus the peak does not rank on the list of eight-thousanders here.
Nuptse is part of the Triple Crown” or “Everest Trilogy” expedition. This expedition was successfully first made by the Briton Kenton Coo. In 2013, he submitted Mt Everest, Lhotse, and Nuptse in one season. Still today, rather than summiting the Nuptse mountain alone. Many countries prefer to complete the Triple Crown climbing, which includes successfully summiting Everest, Lhotse, and Nuptse.
Climbing Expedition: A Challenging Endeavor
Nuptse mountain, which resides in the shadow of other famous neighboring peaks like Everest and Lhotse, is no small feat to conquer. Despite not being listed as an eight-thousander, The Nuptse summit is a challenging climb with danger all of its own. Therefore this climbing expedition is suitable for those avid mountaineers seeking to conquer a mountain somewhat similar to Everest.
Its jagged ridges, unstable ice faces, and exposure to the elements require expert skills. Similarly, the mountaineers on the Nuptse expedition must be quick decision-makers to make rational and fast decisions in precarious situations. Therefore, summiting Nuptse is a genuine mountaineering accomplishment.
For this climbing expedition, first, make a team with like-minded adventurers. As they say, there is more safety in numbers than going alone, and you’ll need all the help you can get. Moreover, hire the best services of the guides and Sherpas who know the routes of the mountain like the back of their hand. Plan your climbing expedition in detail and train hard with your team to avoid altitude sickness while climbing.
The climb is brutal since the mountain has many technical challenges.
You will need to trek almost for days through the rough terrain of places like Lukla, Phakding, Tengboche, Dingboche, and Lobuche just to reach the mountain’s base camp. After reaching the base camp, you must set up an advanced camp for acclimatization.
You make your ascend after taking some acclimatization day at base camp. The ascent grows increasingly steep, with narrow ridges and unstable icefalls. Therefore, one must be cautious as a tiny wrong step can lead to a deadly drop here.
After tackling all the technical difficulties en route, you finally reach the summit where your reward will be a view like no other. Gaze out wonderfully at the majestic Himalayas, with Makalu and Everest dominating the horizon. After the successful ascend begins a descent, which in many ways is far more dangerous than the climb.
Why Everest Often Overshadows Nuptse
Nuptse Mountain is part of the Triple Crown or Everest Trilogy. Still, it’s often overlooked compared to other parts of Triple Crown mountains like Everest and Lhotse.
Though Nuptse is the 20th highest peak in the world, its long, sustained steepness and difficulty discourage most climbers from ascending it. In fact, mountaineers generally climb Nuptse mountain just to complete their Triple Crown expedition, which involves summiting Everest, Lhotse, and Nuptse in one season. Some of the reasons why Everest often Overshadows Nuptse are-
In the Shadow of Everest
Everest’s recognization as the tallest mountain in the world means it generally hogs all the spotlight, leaving the Nuptse Mountain obscured in its shadow. Similarly, when the British first surveyed the Nepalese Himalayas, Eveerst was quickly recognized as the tallest peak, becoming an instant obsession and conquest among people. The same sister mountain of Everest Nuptse was simply dismissed as another normal mountain in the range.
— iceDoor (@PureiDiott) November 3, 2021
A Difficult Climb
Nuptse is not quite tall as Mt. Everest; still, it is a formidable peak to summit for mountaineers. The mountains comprise treacherous slopes with loose rock and avalanche-prone snowfields. And the Nuptse climb is made more dangerous due to the frequent bad weather and high winds. Therefore, only the mountains with vast experience ad skills have reached their summit. The very first ascended to Nuptse was made in 1961. But due to the challenges of the climb, Nuptse has witnessed a few successful ascents till now.
A Photographer’s Paradise: Capturing the Nuptse Panorama
Nuptse may not be the tallest peak, but it offers some of the most stunning panoramic views that even Everest can’t match. In fact, Nuptse Mountain is a Photographer’s paradise that yields dramatic results if captured correctly from different places and elevations. There are man-perfect vantage points like Everest base camp in the region, where you get the perfect shot of the Nuptse Mountain. The other two viewpoints are-
Kala Patthar (18,514 ft)- This challenging climb just above the Everest base camp rewards you with panoramas of the peaks like Everest, Lhotse, and Nuptse. This place is the best vantage point in the Everest region, where you can capture the swirl of snow and rock leading up to Nuptse’s icy summit.
Gokyo Ri (17,575 ft): If you take the alternative trek through the Gokyo valley from the Everest base camp, then climb Gokyo Ri. At 5,357 m (17,575 ft), Gokyo Ri provides stunning views of green-blue Gokyo lakes in the foreground and Nuptse dominating the skyline. This place offers a more remote vantage point than the Everest base camp.
So here it is, the inside look at the majestic Nuptse mountain lying just next to Everest. Nuptse Mountain may not claim all the fame and glory as Everest and Lhotse. But its steep slopes and solitude hold an appeal all their own. The mountain offers a great experience of the Himalayas, especially for those climbers willing to brave its technical difficulties.