Lhotse is the fourth highest mountain in the world at 8,516 metres (27,940 ft), after Mount Everest, K2, and Kangchenjunga. Part of the Everest massif, Lhotse is connected to the latter peak via the South Col. Lhotse means “South Peak” in Tibetan. In addition to the main summit at 8,516 metres (27,940 ft) above sea level, the mountain comprises the smaller peaks Lhotse Middle (East) at 8,414 m (27,605 ft), and Lhotse Shar at 8,383 m (27,503 ft). The summit is on the border between Tibet and the Khumbu region of Nepal.
The Lhotse South Face is also one of the largest mountain faces in the world. The section during the climb, which has been unanimously declared the most dangerous, is the Khumbu Icefall. Both Mt Everest and Lhotse share the same base camp. In fact, Lhotse is a part of Everest massif itself. Mt. Lhotse is becoming famous for its tremendous and dramatic South face. The South face raises 3.2 km and is 2.25 km wide making it the steepest face of this size in the world. Hence it is registered as one of the most extremely difficult climbs and is rarely attempted. The Lhotse standard climbing route follows the same path as Everest's South Col route up to the Yellow Band beyond Camp 3. After the Yellow Band the routes diverge with climbers bound for Everest taking a left over the Geneva Spur up to the South Col, while Lhotse climbers take a right further up the Lhotse face. The last part to the summit leads through the narrow "Reiss couloir" until the Lhotse main peak is reached.
The main summit of Lhotse was first climbed on May 18, 1956, by the Swiss team of Ernst Reiss and Fritz Luchsinger from the Swiss Mount Everest/Lhotse Expedition. On May 12, 1970, Sepp Mayerl and Rolf Walter of Austria made the first ascent of Lhotse Shar. Lhotse Middle remained, for a long time, the highest unclimbed named point on Earth; on May 23, 2001, its first ascent was made by Eugeny Vinogradsky, Sergei Timofeev, Alexei Bolotov and Petr Kuznetsov of a Russian expedition.
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