Spring 2013 | Lhotse | Summit Push and Weather Game

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. 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, but final couple of hundred meters to summit hasn’t been secured yet. Himalayan Ascent team is currently on summit push and their sherpas are hoping to finish the rope-fixing task tomorrow early in the morning.
Himalayan Ascent team left BC on 10th May and are hoping to reach summit tomorrow (13th May). They are in C4 now. Summit push is scheduled to start at 2AM tonight.

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High Camp-3; Image from Adventure Consultants

The Doubles
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 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 5th May, when strong winds forced them to turn back. The duo along with Juan Madariaga is now waiting for weather window to make another attempt on Nuptse. They will be attempting Lhotse after Nuptse climb.

5) Brazil born American Cleo Weidlich and Pemba Sherpa were all ready for 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.

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Climbing high above C3 on the Lhotse Face. Photo: Scott Smith

Other Attempts
Three Russians (Victor Koval, Sergey Kondrashkin, Alex Borodenko) from Saint-Petersburg reached the Lhotse (Everest) BC on 19th April. 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 7th May 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 green-zone. Team hopes to go for summit on 15th May. If successful, Horia and Justin would be first Romanian 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 Catalonian to summit all 8000ers.

British climber Paul Keleher is currently in C3 for better acclimatization.

Serguey Konfrashkin
Serguey Konfrashkin; Photo:Russianclimb

Teams
Commercial expeditions Himalayan Experience, Adventure Consultants and Summit Climb 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 16th May.

Current Weather
Kenton Cool just tweeted from EBC, “Huge thunderstorm in distance lighting up surrounding mountains.”

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