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  SummitClimb Mt Lhotse 2005


Lhotse at 8511 meters, is the fourth highest mountain in the world, seen in a telephoto lens from the summit of Pumori, reputed to be Nepal's "easiest" 7000 meter peak. The route follows across the bottom of the western Cwm, in the foreground, then heads up the Lhotse face, to the left of centre, reaching the summit in the upper part of the photo to the left of centre. This is the same route one climbs to get to the summit of Everest, however the Everest route traverses to the left, over Lhotse's left shoulder, above the rock rib through the upper left of the photo, known as the Geneva Spur. (Photo: Erich Bonfert).

Leader: Daniel Mazur, climber-leader-organizer of Everest, K2, and 12 "eight-thousand-meter-peaks"

Jon Pratt crossing a ladder in the Khumbu ice fall at 5600 meters (Dan Mazur).

Introduction: Climb Lhotse (8,511 Meters)  

Lhotse is the fourth highest mountain in the world and is unique in that it is climbed from virtually the same route as Mount Everest. The dates we have chosen feature the best weather of the year. Our proposed schedule allows for two potential summit attempts.

This expedition to Lhotse maximizes many years of accumulated wisdom from not just reaching the summit previously with four members, but an intimate knowledge of the high Himalaya, a strong record of reaching Lhotse, Everest, K2, Kangchenjunga, and many other 8,000 meter summits, along with an intimate knowledge of the Nepalese officials who regulate the permit system.  We must also give credit to the highly experienced and hard-working climbing Sherpas, cooking and office staff.

Detailed Description

The trip begins in the ancient and colorful city of Kathmandu, and the staff will personally meet your flight at Tribhuvan airport.   You stay in a comfortable, simple, clean hotel, and sample some of the tasty Nepalese, Tibetan and Western-Style cuisine, at minimal expense.  During our free day in Kathmandu, we shall finalize arrangements, and take some time out for trinket hunting, with planned visits to explore the 17th century splendors of the Monkey Temple, the Durbar Square and old Kings Palace, as well as the ancient city of Patan.

Early the following morning we fly to Lukla at 2860 meters., where we meet our yak drivers,  and porters.  If there is time, we will trek to Monjo (2652m), and spend the night. For our full-service members, the cost of this expedition includes one of the most beautiful treks in the world.

                

Trekking in the Khumbu valley. Crossing a bridge under rhododendron forests. (DL Mazur) Our team in basecamp (DL Mazur). Anatoly Boukreev and Vladimir Balyberdin at basecamp. (DL Mazur).

We will continue our trek up to Namche Bazaar (3446m), the capital of the Sherpa Kingdom. Here we rest for a day to acclimate, then proceed up to Deboche (3757m) for a night, then to Lobuche (4930m), where we have another acclimatization day. Finally, we make the last trek to basecamp at 5300 meters. After resting, organising, and training in basecamp for a day, we will begin our climb. We start with a day hike through the awe inspiring Khumbu Icefall, followed by a trip to the plateau of the Western Cwm, for our first glimpse of Camp 1, at 5800 meters. We return to basecamp for a tasty dinner,  prepared by our skilled cooks.  

          

Diane in the icefall (Dan Mazur). Tent lashed to its platform in camp 3 at 7200 meters (Dan Mazur) Climber in the Lhotse Face (Scott Darsney). Chris Shaw on the face at 8100 meters during an early summit attempt (Dan Mazur)

 

Lhotse Peak and the couloir on the upper right of the obvious face whiches drops down the right-hand side of the photo, seen  from 8400 meters on Everest. Close-up of the couloir on the right face, Lhotse Middle on left side of photo (Dan Mazur).

Through the following weeks, we will climb up and down the mountain, exploring the route, establishing camps, and carefully and safely building our acclimatization level. From camp 1 at 6000 meters, the route traverses the flattish bottom of the Western Cwm, to 6200 meters where camp 2 is located. Camp three is on the head wall of the Lhotse face at about 7200 meters. Camp 4, located upon rock shelves in the upper Lhotse face, is the highest camp, and at 8000 meters it is a windy and cold place. We take our time, climbing up and down to acclimate, which gives us the best chance to ascend in safety and maximize our opportunity to reach the summit during the "weather windows" which generally open in May. The route to the summit winds through snow ice and rock fields, at a 10 to 50 degree angle. The final summit "gully" is a couloir which is often filled with snow, and sometimes rock. The gully ends and the final 50-100 meters mounts a "summit block" of steps and snow, which is not too technical. A very climbable route on the world's fourth highest mountain.  Welcome to our team!

The entire route on Lhotse, showing basecamp at the lower left, the Khumbu Icefall in the centre, Everest on the upper left, Lhotse in the middle, and a bit of Nuptse on the upper right. (Photo: Erich Bonfert)

             

Camp 4 at 8000 meters seen from the top of the Lhotse Face. Looking up into the Lhotse couloir from 8000 meters on a sunny-windy summit climb. Climbing fixed lines in the Lhotse Couloir at 8200 meters. Looking down the Lhotse Couloir from 8400 meters, fixed lines on the right. This photo shows well the amount of snow in the couloir that year. Note the footprints on the right side of the couloir. Looking over at Lhotse Middle from the summit in a whiteout.  (DL Mazur) . 

 

The view from the summit, looking south to the other tops of Lhotse, looking as if the might be as high as the summit we are standing on (Scott Darsney). Looking west to Cho Oyu, Shishapangma, Pumori, and many others  (DL Mazur) .

SUGGESTED DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY FOR LHOTSE CLIMB

1. 4 April, 2004 Arrive Kathmandu (1,300 meters).  Hotel.
2. 5 April In Kathmandu; visit temples; city tour; shopping.  Hotel.
3. 6 April Fly to Lukla (2860m).  Walk to Phakding (2652m). Teahouse or camping.
4. 7 April Walk to Namche Bazaar (3446m).  Teahouse or camping.
5. 8 April Rest and acclimatization in Namche.  Teahouse or camping.
6. 9 April Walk to Pangboche (3757m).  Teahouse or camping.
7. 10 April Walk to Pheriche (4250m).  Visit the Himalayan Rescue Association health clinic. Teahouse or camping.
8. 11 April Walk to Lobuche (4930m).  Teahouse or camping.
9. 12 April Rest in Lobuche.
10. 13 April Walk to basecamp (5300m).
11. 14 April Rest, organization, and training day in basecamp.
12. 15 April Climb partway to camp 1 at 5800 meters. Return to basecamp.
13. 16 April Rest in basecamp.
14. 17 April Climb to camp 1 at 5800 meters. Return to basecamp.
15. 18 April Rest in basecamp.
16. 19 April Climb to Camp 1, sleep there.
17. 20 April Walk to camp 2 at 6200 meters, return  to camp 1, sleep there.
18. 21 April Return to basecamp.
19. 22 April Rest in basecamp.
20. 23 April Rest in basecamp.
21. 24 April Walk to camp 1, sleep there.
22. 25 April Walk to Camp 2. Sleep there.
23. 26 April Rest in camp 2.
24. 27 April Explore route to Camp 3 (7300m), return to camp 2, sleep there.
25. 28 April Return to basecamp.
26. 29 April Rest in basecamp.
27. 30 April Rest in basecamp.
28. 1 May Rest in basecamp.
29. 2 May Walk to camp 1, sleep there.
30. 3 May Walk to Camp 2. Sleep there.
31. 4 May Rest in camp 2.
32. 5 May Walk to Camp 3. Sleep there.
33. 6 May Explore route to camp 4 at 8000 meters, return to camp 2. Sleep there.
34. 7 May Return to basecamp.
35. 8 May Rest in basecamp.
36. 9 May Rest in basecamp.
37. 10 May Rest in basecamp.
38. 11 May Walk to camp 2, sleep there.
39. 12 May Rest in camp 2.
40. 13 May Walk to camp 3, sleep there.
41. 14 May Walk to camp 4, sleep there.
42. 15 May Attempt summit. Return to camp 4.
43. 16 May Return to camp 2, sleep there.
44. 17 May Return to basecamp.
45. 18 May Rest in basecamp.
46. 19 May Rest in basecamp.
47. 20 May Rest in basecamp.
48. 21 May Walk to camp 2, sleep there.
49. 22 May Walk to camp 3, sleep there.
50. 23 May Walk to camp 4, sleep there.
51. 24 May Attempt summit.
52. 25 May Attempt summit.
53. 26 May Return to camp 2.
54. 27 May Pack up camp 2.
55. 28 May Return to basecamp.
56. 29 May Pack up basecamp.
57. 30 May Pack up basecamp.
58. 31 May Trek down to Pheriche. Camp.
59. 1 June Trek down to Pangboche. Teahouse or camping.
60. 2 June Trek to Namche, Teahouse or camping.
61. 3 June Trek to Lukla. Teahouse or camping.
62. 4 June Flight to Kathmandu.  Hotel.
63. 5 June Extra day in Kathmandu, in case of delay, and for sightseeing, gift shopping.  Hotel.
64. 6 June Fly Home. Thanks for joining our expedition!

 

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