(Raheel Adnan) Lhotse (8516m) is the fourth highest peak in the world and is connected to Everest via South Col. (‘Lhotse’ is a Tibetan word that means ‘South Peak’). Everest South and Lhotse standard route (West face couloir) teams share Base Camp and climbing route till C3 from where Everest teams turn left while Lhotse climbers go right to their respective summits. The South face of Lhotse is steep, challenging and is seldom attempted.
Rope Fixing and Summit Push
Although ropes on Lhotse were fixed to 8300m in first week of May, the final couple of hundred meters to the summit hasn’t been secured yet. Himalayan Ascent team is currently on a summit push and their sherpas are hoping to finish the rope-fixing task tomorrow early in the morning.
Himalayan Ascent team left BC on May 10th and is hoping to reach the summit tomorrow (May 13th). They are in C4 now. Summit push is scheduled to start at 2AM tonight.
Many Lhotse climbers are attempting two peaks this season.
1) Peak Freaks Everest Expedition member, Kevin Farebrother from Perth, Australia is attempting Lhotse and Everest without oxygen. He is planning to climb Lhotse first and then go for Everest summit without returning to BC. The team is currently at BC and is still calculating the dates for the summit push.
2) Garrett Madison and five other members of Alpine Ascents are also planning a Lhotse/Everest double-header.
3) British climber Kenton Cool is evaluating weather conditions for his 11th Everest summit but he has a bigger plan; climbing Lhotse and Nutpse before returning to BC. If successful in his bold attempt, he would become the first person to summit of Everest, Nuptse & Lhotse in one climb.
4) Spaniards Alex Txikon and Jose Carlos Tamayo were only 300m short of Nuptse summit on May 5th, when strong winds forced them to turn back. The duo along with Juan Madariaga is now waiting for a weather window to make another attempt on Nuptse. They will be attempting Lhotse after their Nuptse climb.
5) Brazil born American Cleo Weidlich and Pemba Sherpa were all ready for a Shishapangma summit push couple of weeks back. At the moment, it’s not known whether they reached the top or not. Cleo and Pemba’s plan is to attempt Lhotse after Shishapangma.
Three Russians (Victor Koval, Sergey Kondrashkin, Alex Borodenko) from St Petersburg reached the Lhotse (Everest) BC on April 19th. They are currently resting and getting ready to work on the route. They are climbing without sherpa support (trio tried going up Lhotse face on ‘brawl day’ but were instructed not to climb). After spending a night at 7700m, they tried to set up C4 at 7850m on May 7th but strong wind forced them to retreat to BC.
Romanian/Slovak team of Horia Colibasanu, Justin Ionescu and Peter Hamor are attempting Lhotse without oxygen or support. They are done with acclimatization and are currently resting in the green-zone. The team hopes to go for the summit on May15th. If successful, Horia and Justin would be first the Romanians to climb Lhotse. Italian Marco Confortola is also climbing with the group.
Ferran Lattore has completed acclimatization and is in BC now. He is climbing Lhotse without oxygen as a part of CAT14x8000er project. His aim is to become first the Catalonian to summit all 8000ers.
British climber Paul Keleher is currently in C3 for better acclimatization.
Commercial expeditions Himalayan Experience, Adventure Consultants and Summit Climb's teams are also done with acclimatization. They are waiting for summit window. Meanwhile the team from Pune India has left BC today, hoping to reach summit on May16th.
Kenton Cool just tweeted from EBC, “Huge thunderstorm in distance lighting up surrounding mountains.”
Based in Lahore, Pakistan telecom engineer and mountaineering enthusiast Raheel Adnan is contributing reporter for ExplorersWeb's mountaineering sections. He shares regular updates on Twitter and runs his own blog at AltitudePakistan posting initiated climbing news from Himalaya and Karakoram
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