Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Nuptse west face history: Humar and Jeglic

I thought I would post a bit of information about the route on Nuptse which I attempted in early November.
  • As illustrated here, the route basically weaves a line up the middle of the West face.

    It was the visionary alpinists Tomaž Humar in Janez Jeglič who made the first ascent (and still, to this day, the only ascent ) in 1997. They climbed in alpine style, simul soloing all of it minus the labyrinth of an ice fall at the bottom of the route. With three bivies on the face they managed to find a way to the ridge. Tomaz graded the route at 2500m 90° IV-V (50-70°, V).

    Tragically Jeglič was blown off the summit by very strong winds, forcing Humar to descend alone. It is one thing to attempt the wall – or any climb - alone; It is entirely another to have experienced such an intense climb with a partner, experience such tragedy at the summit and and have to find a way down without them, entirely alone.

    Janez Jeglic:

    Delving briefly into climbing history book of achievements in Patagonia and Slovenia you will quickly come to understand just what an amazing alpinist Jeglič was. He managed to author some of the greatest routes there. Here is a selected Biography from his wikipedia page:

    1983 : Fitz Roy '83 - / The Devil's Dihedral (VI +, A2, 850 m) column at SV

    1985 : Jalung Kang '85 - to m

    1986 : Torre Egger '86 - southeastern wall (VII +, A3, 90 st., 950 m)

    1986: Cerro Torre '86 - primarily through the east wall (

    1988 : Cerro Torre '88 - with Silvom Karom diretisima Clockwork / The Hell's Direttissima (VIII + / VII-, A3-4, 70-95 st., 1200 m) through the south wall

    1990 : Bagirati III '90 -

    1990: the international Alps-Adriatic '90 Everest Expedition

    1993 : USA '93 - the Jolly Roger Yosemite

    1994 : Cerro Torre 94 - (VIII-, A4, 90 st., 800 m) in the South wall of the Cerro Torre

    1996 : USA '96 - repeat Sea of Dreams (VI, 5.9, A5) El Cap

    Tomaz Humar:

    Tomaž was an international star and much has been written about his tremendous achievements and contribution to mountaineering. Sadly, he died while soloing Langtang Lirang in November of 2009. More information can be found about him on www.humar.comThe Slovenians have of course led the way in terms of what Himalayan alpinism (perhaps global) should be like while the Polish took the prize for who could suffer the most.

    My absolute greatest hero remains Slavkom Svetičičem another Slovenian. He was really the first one to take the idea of fast and light and solo to the biggest walls in the world. He unfortunately died with soloing the west face of Gasherbrum IV in 1995. For more information about him please see http://www.slavko-sveticic.com/

    Ok Enough history for now....time to start training and looking forward to planning some additional guiding projects, skiing, ice and mixed climbing this winter..!

    Topo photo is By Fabrizio Zangrilli

    Jeglic photo is from hi wikipedia page

    Humar photo is form his website

Monday, November 14, 2011

Kathmandu: post guiding and Nuptse

Sorry it has been a while since I have updated here, it seems to be easier to update my Facebook athlete page (fabrizio zangrilli climbing) while away in the mountains.

Guiding for the month of October was great, it was a trip based on alpine skills and while conditions were really not great after the two major snow events (first in mid Sept and then again early Oct) we managed to be flexible and found better conditions on a mountain we had not planned on climbing originally. My goal was to teach skills that would create an alpinist - for sure a solid start.
November gave me an opportunity to try something that I have been looking at for 15 years. I knew going into it that conditions were less than ideal, but it was worth giving it a go anyway. I learned a lot about the wall, a lot - and cant believe how big everything was, the adventure, the seracs, the avis, how much sugar snow can cling to steepish blue ice - everything. There are more photos here on my Facebook athlete page (there are a few hard earned secrets I will not be sharing about the first crux though) . More photos to come.....

First photo is Nuptse's west face with Everest behind, Second is my bivy/base camp - clearly not a well funded nor big expedition. I am eating everything in sight, and trying my best to get out of here which is harder than I would like so might be here for a while.

Thanks so much to Marmot, CAMP, SCARPA, Ames Adventure Outfitters and CHUCS Dive and Mountain Shop for the continued support!