Spring 2013 | Lhotse | Wrap Up

Despite being the fourth highest peak in the world, Lhotse has been historically overshadowed by Everest. Even its name ‘Lhotse’, a Tibetan word, means South Peak (of Everest). In recent years, the mountain has started catching fair attention for various reasons, like crowd on Everest or double headers attempts.

Due to lack of snow, the corridor leading to Lhotse summit kept showering rocks on climbers, this year. Italian climber Marco Confortola received several of them on his helmet during summit push. In an earlier report, details were presented about prominent Lhotse climbers and teams, this season. The route to the top was fixed on 13th may, when four Himalayan Ascent members reached the summit. Afterwards, two independent climbers from Russia and an Indian made it to the top, as well. Since then, there have been several summits on fourth highest peak in the world.

Glowing Lhotse west face; Image: Paul

58 years old Chinese climber Xiaoshi Li attempting Lhotse, died on 20th May after suffering altitude sickness for two days. He got sick at the altitude of 8000m and died in C4 despite efforts of many climbers to save his life. Li was part of a six member Chinese expedition team led by Wei Zhang.

No Oxygen
On the morning of May 21st, five strong Europeans reached the summit of Lhotse, without using supplemental oxygen. Romanian Horia Colibasanu, Slovak Peter Hamor and Spanish Jorge Egocheaga were first to reach the summit at 07:15AM. Basque climber Alex Txikon topped around 45mins after the trio and spent 90 minutes on summit waiting for last individual of the group, Italian Marco Confortola. The descent was difficult and Alex Txikon finally reached CII at around 9PM local time.

It was Horia Colibasanu’s sixth eight-thousander; also making him first Romanian to summit Lhotse. He already holds the distinction of being first Romanian to summit K2 (2004), Manaslu (2006), Dhaulagiri (2007) and Annapurna (2010) - all without supplemental oxygen. In 2009 he attempted Shishapangma but couldn’t reach the true summit, while his 2011 Makalu attempt was successful.

Slovak Peter Hamor is approaching the milestone of climbing all eight thousanders. Lhotse was his eleventh eight-thousander. Featured climbs in Peter’s resume include Annapurna via new route in 2006, alpine style GI traverse in 2007 and solo climb of Kangchenjunga in 2012. He also holds the honor of summiting Annapurna from both sides.

Lhotse was thirteenth eight-thousander for Jorge Egocheaga. He has now only Kangchenjunga left to complete 14x8000er journey.

Alex Txikon climbed Nuptse just before Lhotse. Later climb marks the tenth eight-thousander for Alex. He would be attempting K2 in summer, this year.

Italian Marco Confortola had a tough day during Lhotse summit push but eventually made it to his eighth eight-thousander summit. He reached the top at around 0900AM. Marco lost toes of his feet during 2008 K2 tragedy. He attempted Lhotse in 2010 but pain in recovering feet forced him to abort the attempt at 7700m.

On 22nd May, Catalonian Ferran Lattore and Enrique Llonch too summited without oxygen. It was Ferran Lattore’s eighth eight-thousander summit.

After returning to BC, Ferran Lattore, Alex Txikon and Jorge Egocheaga joined rescue efforts to save Juanjo Garra who was injured at 8000m on Dhaulagiri.

Alex Txikon with Alexey Bolotov and others.

More Honors
On 23rd May Wim Smets became the most successful Belgian eight-thousander climber, reaching the summit of fifth eight-thousander. He was also the first Belgian at the top of Lhotse. His previous eight-thousander summits include Cho Oyu (2006) Mount Everest (2007), Broad Peak (2011) and Manaslu (2012)

British climber Kenton Cool completed the mission of climbing Nuptse-Lhotse-Everest trio, when he reached the top of Lhotse on May 20. He was the first person to do so, without returning to BC.

Two summits
Mike Roberts, Tendi Sherpa, Thomas Stromstedt, Dean Staples, Woody Bailey, Garrett Madison, Karma Sarke Sherpa, Ang Passang Sherpa, Guide Ben Jones, Michael Grigsby, Martin Grieder and Dorje Gylgen are reported to have summited both Everest and Lhotse without returning to BC.

No Summits.
Kevin Farebrother summited Everest but couldn’t reach the top of Lhotse due to deangerous route conditions. UK based climber Paul Keleher also had to abort his attempt after catching a virus during acclimatization phase.

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