Nuptse: Summit Push Begins at Last

Finally there’s news from Nuptse. Or rather, a tracker shows Tim Mosedale and Jay Whiting moving up the mountain. Presumably, a third member, Steve Graham, is also on the team.

Graham shared the trio’s plans on social media, which involve Nuptse’s main summit — and more!

Traverse to a first ascent

Steve Graham, currently on Nuptse with Tim Mosedale and Jay Whiting. Photo: Steve Graham

 

“First, we will make an attempt on Nupste (7,861m). Second, we will drop down from Nuptse, traverse a heavily corniced ridge and attempt to climb Nuptse West 1 (7,784m),” Graham said. “We won’t know if this is possible until we get to the ridge — and this will be a first ascent!

“Lastly, if I have enough left in the tank, we will have a crack at Lhotse (8,516m), the world’s fourth-highest mountain.”

Jay Whiting, with Ama Dablam behind him, during the approach trek some days ago. Photo: Jay Whiting

 

Graham pointed to May 4-6 as possible summit days. But their live tracker suggests that it may take them two or three days longer than expected.

It is also possible that they have company. Garrett Madison and some of his clients may have begun heading up Nuptse today, according to word from Base Camp. ExplorersWeb has asked Madison for confirmation.

About the Triple Crown and records

Then, there’s the question of the unclear Everest’s Triple Crown. Should Kenton Cool and Alex Txikon’s 2013 Nuptse ascent be considered a summit, although they stopped 30m shy because of a dangerous cornice?

In our previous story, we had Txikon’s version. Kenton Cool has now shared his point of view with ExplorersWeb as he rested in Namche Bazaar en route to Everest. Cool is aiming to bag his 16th summit of the mountain while guiding Rebecca Louise and Elia Saikaly.

Kenton Cool some days ago near Everest Base Camp. Photo: Kenton Cool

 

About the summit accreditation for his 2013 Nuptse climb, Cool admits that it was a long time ago and that an incident occurred some days later on Lhotse that “cast a dark shadow over those days.”

He is referring to Chinese climber Xiaoshi Li, who died at around 8,000m of AMS on Lhotse.

“Alex and I have never spoken about that day,” said Cool, “and I’ve only seen him once since. Such a humble, amazing man. Neither did I ever speak to Liz Hawley (or indeed Billi) about the day…

“So when a few years ago, Tim said that the HDB [Himalayan Database] had no record [of our climb], it was a surprise. But we don’t climb for records or paperwork, we climb for joy and freedom. For me, Alex summed up the day all those years ago [in ExWeb’s earlier article] and it was profound and meaningful….representative of the man he is.”

Added Cool: “Isn’t it a shame that firsts and national firsts can cloud our wonderful sport?… I’m not really interested in who did what first, especially in this commercial manner. We shouldn’t be governed by who did what, who was the youngest, the fastest, the oldest. Those who really embrace the sport don’t care for such things. They look more for the spiritual release that the mountains give us.”

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides is a college-graduated journalist specializing in high-altitude mountaineer and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.