Mount Everest and Lhotse: summit pushes and speed attempt brewing

Posted: Oct 04, 2012 07:40 pm EDT

(Newsdesk) Manaslu, Makalu, and Dhaulagiri are not alone in the current summit drive. While there's no word on expeditions to Shishapangma, Annapurna and Cho Oyu this fall; there's action on Lhotse and Everest.

A 10 member Korean expedition is attempting Everest normal route. One Japanese climber is for the West Ridge.

A Polish 7-member team and an international 2-member expedition are attempting Lhotse. The Polish reached camp 4 (7800 meters) by September 30 and are ready for a summit push.

Typical for off season (Everest and Lhotse share route up to camp 3) the climbing has been challenging.

The icefall wasn't fixed by the Doc until around September 19 so for acclimatization mountaineers had to climb as it was being secured. With few Sherpa hired, the Poles fixed C2-C3 by themselves and carried ropes to fix route to camp 4.

Leader Artur Hajzer told ExplorersWeb that one of the goals of the current climb is to prep young climbers for future winter expeditions.

This was also the aim of the Polish Makalu expedition last fall. That climb included Adam Bielecki in his first 8000er experience. Adam later went on to summit K2 this summer with an international team.

The current team is made up of Agnieszka Bielecka (Adam Bielecki's sister), Krzysztof Starek (member of the BP winter 2010/11 attempt); and three high Himalaya newbies: Artur Małek; Mateusz Grobel and Mateusz Zabłocki.

Andrzej Bargiel finally will attempt to speed climb Lhotse from BC to summit below 16 hours. So far Andrzej has averaged 2 hours between camps. Bargiel bagged the Elbrus Race record in 2010, improving Urubko’s time to 3,5 hour from Azau to the top.

Stay tuned for more. Similar to Makalu and Dhaulagiri the Polish plan around October 8 for summit push. The team uses 2 Sherpas and no oxygen support.

Movies and pics can be found here and here.

The project, dubbed “Polish Winter Himalaism 2010-2015” is a tribute to outstanding Polish Himalayan history. A number of Polish climbers managed first-, solo-, and winter ascents in the 80's largely outside of the spotlight.

Incidentally, Lena Laletina from RussianClimb sent over word recently about the latest International Elbrus Race.

"The organizer and head of the Polish group well-known Himalayan mountaineer Artur Hajzer went to the International Elbrus Race in 2010," she recalled, "with a youth mountaineering team to train it before high-altitude ascents."

"His task is to build a strong young team similar to the Polish strong team in  80-s," she reminded. "Elbrus speed climb is a good opportunity to test your endurance before going on a real high."


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Polish Adam Bielecki bagged the latest virgin winter ascent and followed up with a summer summit of K2.
Image by courtesy Artur Hajzer, SOURCE
Image of the Elbrus 2012 race. Bargiel bagged the Elbrus Race record in 2010, improving Urubko’s time to 3,5 hours from Azau to the top.
Image by courtesy, SOURCE
Speed climber Bargiel and his Polish friends planned to set off for Lhotse summit push on Friday morning.
Image by Andrzej Bargiel courtesy, SOURCE