American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Nupchu

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1963

Nupchu. Nupchu (23,059 feet) is located 18 miles northwest of Kangchenjunga on the border of Nepal and Tibet. The first but unsuccessful attempt to climb the peak was made by a Swiss expedition in 1949 from the Tibetan side. (See Berge der Welt 1950, pp. 33-9.) The University of Osaka Prefecture Himalayan Expedition scaled the mountain though its original purpose was to carry out a scientific research in northeast Nepal. The expedition, led by S. Nakao, included eight other members: K. Nishioka, Mrs. S. Nishioka, T. Yasuda, T. Tsubaki, M. Nakuda, F. Nishida, M. Hirano and T. Kano. The Nepalese liaison officer was Bahrat Prasad Prajuli. We engaged Sherpa Chotale as sirdar, Ira Tenzing as cook and two other Sherpas in Kathmandu. We left Darjeeling on April 17 and entered Nepal through Sukiapokhari and Pashpati. The route to the base camp at Kambachen ran through Ilam, Tharpu, Yambodin, Hellok and Ghunsa. At Ghunsa we met the French Jannu expedition and obtained five more skilled Sherpas. We found that there was no alternative access to Nupchu other than the Nupchu Glacier. The real glacier began at 16,240 feet at the end of the valley. From this point one moraine ridge led to the broad expanse of white glacier. At the junction of the moraine and glacier Camp I was built. Camp II was at the height of 21,175 feet and Camp III at 22,145 feet. From this point it was not hard to climb to the top of Nupchu. On May 20 T. Tsubaki and Sherpa Chotale reached the top. The following day five other members and two Sherpas reached the summit too. Later the expedition broke into three groups to do scientific research in various fields, including botany, entomology and soil science. The groups made their home-bound trip through Biratnagar.

Sasuke Nakao, University of Osaka Prefecture

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