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.
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
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
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.