Nuptse Expedition: A Worthy Journey
Looking at the geographical setting of Nepal, it really feels like nature has favored this small nation. Located mainly in the Himalayan mountain range section, Nepal harbors eight of fourteen tallest mountain in the world, including Everest, the colossal peak at an elevation of 8,848 meters above sea level.
Annapurna Massif and Dhaulagiri Massif are the giant massifs in Nepal which home some of the tallest mountains in the world; Annapurna I at 8,091 meters and Dhaulagiri I at 8,167 meters. Likewise, Nuptse is a great mountain range with seven glorious peaks all above 7,000 meters elevation.
Nuptse, also spelled as Nubtse is a prominent mountain in Khumbu region of Mahalangur Himal located in the vicinity of Mount Everest at a distance of about two kilometers. The name is derived from a Tibetan dialect meaning west peak, as it is in the western segment of Lhotse-Nuptse massif.
The main peak of Nuptse, known as Nuptse I ranges at an elevation of 7,861 meters above sea level, and it was first scaled on May 16, 1961. However, since its initial climb, Nuptse was climbed only twice between 1961 and 1966. Then after a long hiatus, it came under the interest of high-standard mountaineers in 1990s and 2000s.
Conquering this towering peak is considered to be a challenging as well as a dangerous task because of loose snow with a lot of hollows and weakly attached cornices of snow: this certainly provides a barrier while climbing, yet the mountain is not rigid enough for safe climbing.
Although Nuptse is a dramatic peak when viewed from south or west and it towers above the base camp of Everest, it is not a particular independent peak. It has a topographic prominence of only 319 meters; here it is not ranked on the list of highest mountains.
Difficulty in Nuptse Expedition
As mentioned above, Nuptse is a very challenging peak, but it doesn’t mean it is impossible to conquer. You will obviously require some basic mountaineering skills and good fitness level and excellent physique. Also, descending is tougher than ascending in the Nuptse expedition. As you scale higher, the level of oxygen gets thinner, and above 7,000 meters, the oxygen level is only 40% of what it is below. To make things more complicated, the weather is very moody and unpredictable. Expedition members at least need prior experience on rock and ice climbing.
Acclimatization and Altitude Sickness
Altitude sickness gets extreme with every step you take in the higher region. Headache, vomiting, tiredness, nausea, dizziness, etc. are some symptoms in the initial stage of altitude sickness, and it can even cause casualties if not taken seriously. People normally start to get altitude sickness only above 2,500 meters. However, some get affected at lower region itself.
Acclimatization is one best way to prevent altitude sickness. Your body must get adjusted in the newly found environment, so stay for a day or two in low altitude region before scaling any further. Also, gradually increasing elevation by no more than 300 meters after 3,000-meter elevation also helps. Taking an adequate amount of rest and drinking plenty of water are some other tips for altitude sickness. Once you affected by altitude sickness, the only treatments are descending to a lower altitude and sufficient fluids, so take proper care of yourself.
Best time for Nuptse Expedition
As Nuptse is quite a challenge considering with its fellow peak, we avoid trekking in risky weather like monsoon and winter. Monsoon brings constant downpour with storm and thunder making the expedition more stressful. While winter is characterized by heavy snowfall and snowstorm and temperature is usually below zero in the higher region.
Spring of March to May and autumn of September to November are the best and busiest season for trekking and mountaineering in Nepal. During this season, the temperature is mild, days are warm and night are bit chilly, you will also encounter the mesmerizing rhododendron flowers; all these features makes spring and autumn the best time of Nuptse Expedition.
Cost for Nuptse Expedition
The cost of the Nuptse expedition varies from the number of expeditors. Usually, it ranges from $6,000 to $8,000 per person depending on a number of the person on a group: larger the grouper lesser will be the cost per head. The cost includes expenses like a two-way flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, accommodation, and food through the trek, climbing permit for Nuptse, tent and guides and porters.
What cost doesn’t include is any personal equipment you want to take in climbing, personal expenses like tips to staff, porters or guides, emergency rescue evacuation, mineral water, and bar beverage and any expenses done for the personal cause.
Another thing to remember is the garbage deposit amount. The amount will not be refunded to you if you don’t take back the garbage to base camp and Kathmandu. You will also have to pay extra cost if there is any refill of an oxygen cylinder.
OVERVIEW OF NUPTSE EXPEDITION
The adrenaline adventure to the peak of Nuptse begins with a flight to Lukla from Kathmandu and landing in one of the dangerous airports in the world. Now, we head towards the gateway of Everest, Namche Bazaar also known as unofficial Sherpa capital. Namche is a picturesque village serving all the needs of trekkers and mountaineers from gears to an internet café.
Stay a day for acclimatization in Namche, we pave our way to Tengboche through a stunning forest of rhododendron and pine and viewing the enticing scenery of Nuptse, Everest, Lhotse, Kangtegs, Thamserku and others. Approaching near to Tengboche, we will get a glimpse of Tengboche monastery and later pay a visit and receive the blessing from high priest lama.
From Tengboche, we move towards Dingboche where we will spend a day for acclimatization. Nuptse expedition has a flexible itinerary with adequate acclimatization and hiking in some of the beautiful and quaint villages of Nepal. Arriving at the base camp of Nuptse, we will spend a day preparing ourselves for the next big step.
Attending the summit of a mountain is never easy, and even simple action of one team member can jeopardize the whole expedition plan. So, you be confident and calm, and as always our experts will be there to guide you. After conquering this tough peak, we will descend towards Khumbu valley with the towering peak around us.
Now, even after reaching the ultimate destination of the expedition, we will take our time in descending as well, because there is something called reverse altitude sickness as well. As we are also a responsible traveler, we will clean up our camp in the base camp and head back. So, after a flight to Kathmandu from Lukla marks the end of this overwhelming adventure.
Well, if you too want to experience this once in a lifetime adventure, then let us know. We will help you organize the safe journey full of exploration and new experience.
THINGS YOU MUST REMEMBER CARRY IN NUTPSE EXPEDITION
You will possibly remember to bring everything that is needed for the expedition, however here is the list of things which you can easily skip your mind, but are very important to carry.
We have all heard about how mountaineers and trekkers left a water bottle in route and polluted the area; now we certainly don’t want to one of them. Instead, of buying several bottles, which costs money and hampers environment too, you can just bring a water bottle and keep refilling on the way.
Water purifying tablets
Do not forget to carry water purifying tablets. Drinking untreated water can cause diarrhea, cholera and many other water-borne diseases. In such a height, catching one of this disease will make everything worse. You can buy these tablets in any pharmaceutical in Kathmandu.
Sun protection cream and hat
In the Nuptse expedition, we have to walk for hours in the sun. It will exhaust you for sure, but it can also harm your skin if you aren’t careful enough. So, bring sun cream and apply in your face, hands, neck, and back areas well. The hat will give you extra protection to your face area.
Nowadays almost every one of us owns a sunglass or two, and while scaling Nuptse, you will need it more than ever. The more we scale the height, the more UV rays are found. Those rays are very harmful to our eyes. It can even lead to short-term vision loss. Sunglass will protect you from these rays and dusty wind as well.
Now, your expedition team will have a medical kit of their own. But it will be best if you carry something of your own as well. Not all the team members have the same health hazards, so keeping in mind about your health, take a personal medical kit.
Most of us rely on our ATM/Debit/Credit card nowadays, and they are very useful and scientific too. But up there when you are in your way to Nuptse that scientific way won’t serve the purpose. You need to know that there won’t be any banks to help you. So you better carry a good amount of money before embarking in this expedition.
Wind and water-proof jacket
You will surely carry all the warm and comfortable clothes in this expedition after all you are going to climb a mountain. In the haste of packing all these clothes, do not forget the wind and water-proof jacket. They are easily available, very warm, light to carry and serves two purposes.
Camera, charger, and adapter
After taking the risk and effort, we don’t want to miss a chance to capture the mesmerizing moment of life, do we? So for a good quality picture carry a camera, so you can capture the memorable moments and reminisce them later. Another important thing is the charger. Power-cut is very common in Nepal so best to carry an adapter as well.
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