Hairy at the Top: New Line Established on Nuptse

Climbing? It’s “an aesthetic massacre” according to ‘Le Gang des Moustaches’, three French climbers who have just completed the second ever alpine style ascent of the south face of Nuptse Nup II in the Nepalese Himalayas.

The Mustache Gang of Frederic Degoulet, Benjamin Guigonnet and Helias Millerioux were inspired by Stephane Benoist, who had made the first and only ascent of the route in the alpine style back in 2008. Two unsuccessful attempts to replicate the feat followed, first by Benjamin and Helias in 2015, and then by the full trio in 2016.

The alpine style is extremely light, with no fixed ropes, no oxygen, and an emphasis on speed. Returning to Nuptse for a third crack at the ascent they started on October 14th and took just 6 days to summit on October 21st. Speaking to Natalie Berry of UK Climbing, the group’s leader Frederic Degoulet described finally reaching the 7742m summit as an “explosion of emotion” for the three climbers. In the wide-ranging interview Frederic describes both their route and their mustaches in some detail.

The team summited from their 5th camp at 7443m with Frederic describing segments of the line as uncertain, “we had to follow our noses”. They were rewarded with incredible views of Everest and the full width of the Himalayan range before making a descent Frederic described as “long, dangerous and rough at the beginning”.

Happily the gang made it down in one piece and with facial hair intact, you can read the full interview here.