Lhotse, meaning “South Peak” in Tibetan, 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, the peak is connected to Everest via the South Col. The summit is on the border between Tibet and the Khumbu region of Nepal.
The main summit of Lhotse was first climbed on May 18, 1956, by the Swiss team of Ernst Reiss and Fritz Luchsinger.
The mountain’s western flank is known as the Lhotse Face. Any climber bound for the South Col on Everest must climb this 1,125 m (3,690 ft) wall of glacial blue ice. This face rises at 40 and 50-degree pitches with the occasional 80-degree bulges. The 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 main peak is reached.
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