Mount Lhotse is the world’s fourth highest mountain, next in rank to Kanchenjunga. Unlike most mountains in Nepal, Lhotse is an independent mountain. Its highest peak is 8,516 meters above sea level. Its two other peaks, Lhotse Middle (also called Lhotse East) and Lhotse Shar, have altitudes of 8,413 meters and 8,400 meters, respectively. The mountain was first climbed by Swiss climbers Ernst Reiss and Fritz Luchsinger, scaling it through its west face.
The mountain is quite known because it is found near Mt. Everest, and its summit is connected to that of Mt. Everest by a vertical ridge over 8,000 meters high called South Col. Although Mount Lhotse is the world’s fourth highest mountain, some people do not see it as a major eight thousander because its peak is just 610 meters higher than the South Col, making it appear lower than it actually is. However, it is a challenging climb primarily because of its south face.
The mountain’s south face belongs to the biggest faces in the world, and it is also the steepest. It is known for the number of failed attempts and fatalities on it. Attempts to climb it are few. To date, the only successful climb on the south face is by a Czech expedition in 1984.
The Lhotse Face refers to the mountain’s western side. Climbers who go to the South Col on their way to Mt. Everest should climb this face, which is basically a 1,125-meter wall of glacial ice. This face is difficult to climb with its 40, 50, and 80 degree inclines. There are two rocky areas on its upper section called Geneva Spur and Yellow Band. To get through it, lead climbers and Sherpas fix ropes along the wall. They build a good rhythm for front pointing and then pulling their weight upward using the ropes to make it through successfully.
Several companies offer mountain climbing expeditions to Mount Lhotse. These can take up to 55 days to complete, depending on the route you choose. You can climb the mountain from Chhukung. You can also enter it from Everest Base Camp. And you can climb it starting at Lukla, which is at an altitude of 2,580 meters. This entry point allows you to go through Sherpa country on the way to the Khumbu Region.
The climb from Lukla proceeds to Namche Bazaar where trekkers can rest for a day to acclimatize. From Namche Bazaar, trekkers go up to Thyangboche, which lies at an altitude of 3,867 meters, and then to Pheriche, which has an elevation of 4,343 meters. Trekkers head off to Pheriche, Lobuche, and Everest Base Camp. The ascent to Mount Lhotse then begins, and this part may take up to 25 days or more. After reaching the peak, trekkers go back down to Everest Base Camp then onward to Thyangboche, Namche Bazaar, and back to Lukla.
The best time to climb Mount Lhotse is during spring and autumn. The cost for the expedition may vary depending on your what you need is, such as the number of porters you want to hire. Climbing the mountain presents a different kind of challenge because it is not climbed as often as other Nepal mountains.