Autumn 2014 | No Summit Push on Makalu, Canadians on Nuptse South Face

Yesterday, British Makalu team decided not to go for the summit. They are getting off the mountain and preparing to leave Base Camp. With the exception of Korean team on Lhotse South Face, the eight-thousanders are empty now. Nevertheless some climbers are still active on lesser peaks. One such team is the Canadian pair, Ian Welsted and Jason Kruk, on South face of Nuptse (7861m).

Makalu Southeast Ridge
Makalu Southeast Ridge is a long route, with considerable time to be spent at around or above 8000m. Despite the efforts of Sherpa and climbers, the British team wasn’t in a position to launch the final summit-bid. Without specific details, the last dispatch from the team announces the retreat.

“Unfortunately, time, weather, and the debilitating and degrading effect of working such a challenging and problematic route has got the better of us, and forced a retreat off the mountain. With the onset of poor weather and the expedition time limitations, the reluctant decision to get everybody safely off the mountain and call it a day has been made!”

British BC at Makalu's Southeast Ridge; Source

Nuptse South Face
Canadians Ian Welsted and Jason Kruk arrived in Khumbu valley at around mid-September to climb the challenging Nuptse South Face in alpine style. They acclimatized on nearby crests and ridges before actual onslaught. However, their first attempt on Nuptse failed because of bad ice conditions. The two climbers are still at BC, awaiting improvement in conditions to launch another summit push.

Nuptse South Face; Source

Ian and Jason have been tested by adverse weather, alike the Koreans on nearby Lhotse South Face. The weather had continuously been snowy, and the situation was further worsened by cyclone Hudhud’s offshoots.

“Crazy, convoluted snow climbing, messed-up, massive cornices, make these the most heinous features to climb in the Himalaya,” commented Jason Kruk. “The Cyclone Hudhud dropped a ton of snow on an already snowy October. We've decided that the open snow slopes and ice lines are currently suicide.”

The climbers eventually decided to launch the summit attempt at the start of this week, only to be turned back next day. “We were forced down on day two of an attempt by poor steep ice conditions.”

The expedition, however, doesn’t end here. Jason wrote on Facebook, “Nuptse South Face is a hard mountain... I guess that's why it took the most prolific Himalayan climber alive, Valeri Babanov, three trips here to send... And he fixed rope...

We've resolved that despite the difficulty of the line, it's our only safe option for an ascent. As I type this (on Oct 22nd) it's currently snowing (again) on our mountain. This time we'll trade out some ice screws for more rock gear and give 'er hell.”

Ian Welsted on Nuptse South Face; Source
Jason Kruk on Nuptse South Face; Source

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