Second failure in a matter of months
Joe was asked to join an expedition to a mountain called Nuptse in the Everest region in the autumn of 1978 with Doug Scott and Mike Covington. At 25, 850 feet it is one of the three peaks of the horseshoe of mountains which includes Everest and Lhotse. It left him with only 3 months in England after K2 which resulted in the departure of his then girlfriend! The expedition was dogged by heavy snow and Mike’s critical illness. Jo and Doug spent days in the Western Cwm encircled by the mountains as the snow pied deeper and deeper over the tents.
The attempt was abandoned and only 2 of them returned to England when Mike announced he was going to stay and marry the Sherpa girl who had nursed him while he was sick!
This trip left Joe disillusioned and dissatisfied and doubting the strength of his resolve when things got tough. Future expeditions would dispel this feeling.