South face, 2,200m, WI6 M5+.
October 14-21 round trip from base camp.
The immense south face of Nuptse will always provide a difficult, high-altitude challenge. Even the unrepeated route of the 1961 first ascent is widely regarded as one of the first, if not the first, technical big faces climbed in the
Himalaya. Benjamin Guiguonnet and Hélias Millerioux tried a new line on the left side of the face in 2015 and '16. On their second attempt they were accompanied by Frédéric Degoulet, reaching 7,400m before bailing. Tenacity paid off in 2017, when all three Frenchmen completed the line and reached the summit of Nuptse Northwest (climbed several times previously from the opposite side). Their route was a bold outing with much steep and difficult terrain. It was committing, not without objective hazards, and required highly technical ice climbing, with at least a dozen pitches of WI5 and above. The climbers bivouacked five times on the ascent and once during the descent (largely by rappel) of their route. This ascent may be destined to gain iconic status in the realm of modern technical Himalayan climbing.