American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Nuptse Attempt by Canadians

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1982

Nuptse Attempt by Canadians. Jim Elzinga, leader, Rusty Baillie, Dwayne Congdon, John Laughlan, Dave McNab, Lauri Skreslet and I attempted Nuptse from the south. A high avalanche hazard kept us from trying the original south-face route of Bonington’s. We requested and received permission to attempt the west ridge from the south face, a new route. We climbed a 3000-foot buttress on the western section of the south face and fixed rope to 21,000 feet to just below the west-ridge crest; Camp I was at 20,000 feet. The buttress gave us difficult mixed climbing over steep rock steps and unstable ice-and-snow mushrooms. On October 28 a severe storm and heavy snow necessitated a retreat to our 17,000-foot Base Camp. The following day an immense rock slide wiped out our Advanced Base at 18,000 feet at the foot of the buttress, resulting in the loss of equipment and food, but fortunately no loss of life. The camp was covered by a 30-foot layer of loose rock! The expedition was then abandoned after we had retrieved from the mountain as much of the gear as possible.

William March

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