Lhotse Expedition, fourth highest peak in the world, supplies you with enough skill and climbing technique to ascend Mount Everest.
Mt. Lhotse situated at 8,551m, famous for proximity to Mt. Everest, is the fourth highest peak in the world and third highest peak in Nepal. It is connected with Everest by Mt. Everest South route. Lhotse is located on the border of Nepal and Tibet. Lhotse consists of three major peaks, all of which are above 8000m - Lhotse Main (8551m), Lhotse Shar (8,383m), Lhotse middle/East (8,413m). The West Face of Lhotse is ticked by a deep scar, an icy gully known as the Lhotse Couloir. This couloir is the crucial test to the Lhotse climb because the climbing conditions of the couloir are affected by weather and seasonal snowfall. Lhotse is called 'South Peak' in Tibet and it is sometimes mistakenly taken as the south peak of the Mt. Everest. Expedition to Lhotse was given no much attention till Mt. Everest was ascended for the very first time in 1953. After 1953, climbing to Lhotse has been taken as practice ascent to climb Mt. Everest and has been attempted many times.
THINGS TO OBSERVE
Lhotse expedition allows you to observe the natural beauty, glorious views of magnificent peaks like Mt. Everest, Mt Cho-Oyu, Mt Ama Dablam, Mt Nuptse, Mt. Pumori, Island Peak, Thamserku etc., exploration of different ethnic groups and their culture, tradition and lifestyle. Mt. Lhotse offers you to enjoy in Khumbu ice falls and breathtaking views from the peak along with the other several giant summits. You will also get a chance to observe Tibetan plateau striking mountain scenes. Daily walk with traditional and cultural sherpa villages to high altitude adventure to Everest Base Camp will make your Lhotse expedition memorable for lifetime. You will also get a chance to explore alpine woodland and land full of glaciers, ice and rock.
After several attempts were made, Lhotse expedition was first climbed in 1956 by a group of Swiss expeditions. The Climb to Lhotse Sar expedition was attempted by many Japanese, South Koreans and Germans from various routes. However, Lhotse Sar was first climbed by an Austrian expedition in 1970. Polish and Italian also ascended the Lhotse summit and so did the German expedition in 1977. There was no definite route in the region before 1977. It was the German Expedition who had established the comfortable route to summit the peak in the year 1977. The south face route of this peak is considered very dangerous and was successfully climbed from this route only in 1990 by a solo expedition from Yugoslavia after making many attempts.
Lhotse Expedition is a cheaper alternative to Mount Everest ascent, with similar conditions which followed the same route as for climb on Mt. Everest. The Lhotse expedition follows the standard route of Everest South Col by progressing through the Khumbu icefall. Up to a point above the yellow band, just beyond Everest's Camp III, Lhotse follows the same path as the standard Everest ascent. Then, the routes diverge- Everest climbing parties head to the left of South Col, and Lhotse climbers turn right. Route for 3 main peaks are;
Lhotse main-west face
Lhotse middle - via Lhotse main
Lhotse Shar - south face
The weather of Lhotse is mostly cold and windy. The temperature ranges from 22 degree celsius to -24 degrees celsius. The best season for Lhotse expedition is late spring season also known as pre monsoon season (April to May). At this time, it is safer, warmer and stable to climb. Also, post monsoon seasons (September to November) are also great to climb Lhotse, however, it is a bit colder than re monsoon.
According to 2008 data, about 300 people have summited Lhotse and around 22 died while making their attempt. Lhotse was not ascended in 2014, 2015 and 2016 because of some major unavoidable incidents. It was again opened for expedition in May 2017 but after it only a few people have tried for it because of its past dangerous accident.
The whole expedition, normally, would take about 56 to 60 days. Kathmandu is the starting and ending point of the whole journey. Your Lhotse Expedition starts from Lukla and passes through Phadking, Namche Bazaar, Tengboche, Dingboche, Duglha, Lobuche, Lhotse Base Camp, Mt Lhotse, and finally back to Kathmandu.
There are several requirements for climbing Mt. Lhotse and they are;
Technical Climbing Skills- Mt. Lhotse is a technical mountain which demands technical climbing skills and if you don't possess this skill then Lhotse is not safe for you.
Fitness Certificate: Climbers should submit their fitness certificate in order to avoid future damage and to make sure that they are ready for adventurous activities like expedition.
Experienced: In order to climb Mt. Lhotse, you must climb other mountains with height in between 6000m to 7000m.
Travel Documents: PP size photos, valid passport, insurance paper, family members contact address etc.
Climbing Equipment: Climbing helmet, Down suit, Crampons, Hardware, Ice axe, Harness, Tape slings, Snow google etc.
Other equipments: Foot wear, gloves, sleeping bags, Bag packs, Sun stuff, Medical, Eating and Drinking stuffs, Toiletries, Fleece hat, Lower body stuff (down pants, waterproof pants etc.), upper body items (Thermo coat, Fleece Jacket, Cotton Tee etc.) and so on.
The total cost for Lhotse expedition ranges from USD 10,000 to USD 20,000 depending upon whom you choose as your agency, guide and it also varies as per your chosen services and facilities.
PERMIT AND REGULATIONS
You have to take permits from following authority by paying certain charges;
Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS)- NRS 1000 (USD 9) per person if you go in a group and NRS 2000 (USD 18) per person if you independently and individually.
Sagarmatha National Park Permit- It charges certain amount of money which varies as per season and conditon.
Lhotse Climbing Permit- USD 1800 for spring, USD 900 for autumn and USD 450 for winter/summer.
Permit should be taken from Government of Nepal since height above 8000m peaks permit are given by them. This permit will be taken by your trekking company and will charge a specific amount of money. Without a valid permit you are not allowed to climb Mt. Lhotse Peak. Also, one needs to pay fees for Liaison Officer, his/her insurance, food allowance, Insurance of whole Nepali staff including porters in order to obtain permit and Garbage Deposit at ministry.
In Nepal, climbing Mt. Lhotse imposed certain kind of age, health restrictions and they are;
Age- Minimum 16 and no restriction has been set in upper age till now
Health- Should have a strong body, risk taking mindset and health should be free from any kind of sudden attack diseases.
NOTE: Till now in Nepal, permits to climb mountains in Nepal are issued by Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) to 33 peaks and rest of others permits are issued by the Government of Nepal, Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation.