Nuptse or Nubtse (Sherpa: ནུབ་རྩེ། नुबचे, Wylie: Nub rtse) is a mountain in the Khumbu region of the Mahalangur Himal, in the Nepalese Himalayas. It lies two kilometres WSW of Mount Everest. Nubtse is Tibetan for "west peak", as it is the western segment of the Lhotse-Nubtse massif.

Nuptse from Lobuche, Nepal
Highest point
Elevation7,861 m (25,791 ft)
Prominence319 m (1,047 ft)
ListingList of mountains in Nepal
Coordinates27°57′59″N 86°53′24″E / 27.96639°N 86.89000°E / 27.96639; 86.89000Coordinates: 27°57′59″N 86°53′24″E / 27.96639°N 86.89000°E / 27.96639; 86.89000
Native nameནུབ་རྩེ། नुबचे (Tibetan)
English translationWest Peak
Nuptse is located in Nepal
LocationKhumbu, Nepal
Parent rangeMahalangur Himal
First ascent1961 by a British team led by Joe Walmsley
Easiest routesnow/ice climb

The summit of Nuptse is extremely dangerous due to loose snow with many hollows, and there are also weakly attached cornices of snow. This provides a barrier to climbing, yet is not sturdy enough for safe climbing.[1]

The long east-west trending main ridge of Nubtse is crowned by seven peaks:

Peak metres feet Latitude (N) Longitude (E) Note
Nubtse I 7,861 25,791 27°57′59″ 86°53′24″ The highest
Nubtse II 7,827 25,679 27°57′52″ 86°53′34″
Nubtse Shar I 7,804 25,604 27°57′41″ 86°53′47″
Nubtse Nup I 7,784 25,538 27°58′05″ 86°53′08″
Nubtse Shar II 7,776 25,512 27°57′39″ 86°53′55″
Nubtse Nup II 7,742 25,400 27°58′06″ 86°52′54″
Nubtse Shar III 7,695 25,246 27°57′30″ 86°54′42″

The main peak, Nubtse I, was first climbed on May 16, 1961 by Dennis Davis and Sherpa Tashi and the following day by Chris Bonington, Les Brown, James Swallow and Pemba Sherpa, members of a British expedition led by Joe Walmsley.[2][3] This route they took is called the Scott route for the Nuptse mountain. After this it was climbed just twice between 1961 and 1996.[4]

A joint British/Nepalese Army team attempted the Scott Route in 1975 but sadly the summit team fell from the final couloir, probably having been knocked off by a stone fall or snow slide.[5][6]

After a long hiatus, Nubtse again became the objective of high-standard mountaineers in the 1990s and 2000s, with important routes being put up on its west, south, and north faces.

While Nubtse is a dramatic peak when viewed from the south or west, and it towers above the base camp for the standard south col route on Everest, it is not a particularly independent peak: its topographic prominence is only 319 m (1,047 ft). Hence it is not ranked on the list of highest mountains.

In 2013 Briton Kenton Cool summited Nuptse as part of the"Triple Crown" or "Everest Trilogy" climb, which he achieved that year.[1] He summited Nuptse, Everest, and Lhotse in one season, supported by various climbers and using various climbing techniques.[1] During this climb, Cool tried to save the life of a climber that had come down with HACE after summiting Lhotse, but was not reachable for helicopter rescue.[7]

On April 30, 2017, famed Swiss mountaineer and speed-climber Ueli Steck died in an accident near Camp 1 off the Western Cwm, whilst on an acclimatisation climb on the north face of the Nuptse Wall.


Nubtse from Chukhung Ri (view from the south looking north)
Nubtse on the right, Everest to the left (view from the west looking east)
The low prominence of the Nuptse peak compared to its shars can be seen here, as well as Nuptse's lower height compared to Lhotse and Everest to the right.
This overhead view with notes, shows the location of Nuptse relative to main climbing routes and Everest and Lhotse


  1. ^ a b c Arnette, Alan (2013-05-29). "The Full Story of Kenton Cool and the Triple Crown". Outside Online. Retrieved 2017-06-08.
  2. ^ Walmsley, Joe (1961). "Nuptse" (PDF). Alpine Journal. Alpine Club: 209–234. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  3. ^ Bonington, Chris (1962). "Nuptse" (PDF). Journal. The Climber's Club. XIII (3): 306–312. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  4. ^ "Nuptse Overview -". Retrieved 2017-06-08.
  5. ^ Nuptse 1975 Alpine Journal
  6. ^ The Army Board of Inquiry Report into the deaths with photographs is available from the National Archives (retrieved 8/01/2020)
  7. ^ Arnette, Alan (2013-05-29). "The Full Story of Kenton Cool and the Triple Crown". Outside Online. Retrieved 2017-06-08.

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