Lhotse (8,516m)

The fourth highest mountain in the world 

Latitude: 27° 57’ 45” N, Longitude: 86° 56’ 03” E

Mt. Lhotse is connected to Everest via the South Col and is the fourth highest mountain in the world. The main summit is 8,516 m while Lhotse Middle (East) is 8,414 metres and Lhotse Shar is 8,383 metres. Very often, climbers making an attempt on Everest, go up the Lhotse to acclimatize. In fact, the usual route leading to Everest starts up the northwest face of Lhotse and then cuts across to the more famous mountain. An early attempt on Lhotse was made by the 1955 International Himalayan Expedition. It was led by Norman Dyhrenfurth and also included two Austrians, Erwin Schneider and Ernst Senn as well as two Swiss climbers, Bruno Spirig and Arthur Spöhel. It was also the first expedition in the Everest area to include Americans: Fred Beckey, George Bell, and Richard McGowan.

They climbed up the West Cwm and the northwest face of Lhotse reaching an altitude of 8,100 metres. They were beaten back by unexpectedly strong wind and cold temperatures. Working under cartographer Schneider’s direction, they completed the first map of the Everest area. They also made several short films on local cultural topics. Besides trying to summit Lhotse, the expedition also made a number of first ascents of smaller peaks in the Khumbu region. On this mountain, it was the Swiss who were victorious. Victorious-- because in the 1950s, there was much competition between nations to summit a virgin peak before the others. On 18th May 1956, a Swiss team of Ernst Reiss and Fritz Luchsinger from the Swiss Mount Everest/Lhotse Expedition reached the summit becoming the first climbers to do so. Lhotse Shar was summitted on 12th May by Zepp Maier and Rolf Walter of Austria. It was some time before Lhotse Middle was climbed, and for many years remained the highest unclimbed, named point on Earth. It was only on 23rd May 2001, that members of a Russian expedition made it to the top of this peak. The victorious team members were Eugeny Vinogradsky, Sergei Timofeev, Alexei Bolotov and Petr Kuznetsov. The first winter ascent on Lhotse was made by a Polish climber named Krzysztof Wielicki on 31st December 1988 and the first Nepali to climb it was Urkien Tshering Sherpa on 8th May 1977.

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