The Challenging Lhotse Mountain
Lhotse Mountain makes up one of the eight highest and majestic mountains in the entire world, sitting at a formidable height of 8,516 meters above the sea level. Its most famous heritage is it’s proximity to the most graceful, but most dramatic mountain - Mount Everest. Lhotse is the main summit, but in addition there is Lhotse Middle at a height of 8,414 meters and Lhotse Shar at 8,383 meters bordering China and Nepal.
There have been many opinions on Lhotse Mountain, with some regarding it as an inconsequential eight-thousander due to its small topographic prominence amongst all the official eight thousander’s, having a rise of only 610 meters above the South Col. Although this is so, Lhotse is not to be taken lightly for many an experienced climber has had his last breaths upon this imposing mountain - keep-sakes and memories forever hidden. Lhotse’s most defining aspect is its striking peak on the south face which has been reported as encompassing a variety of marine fossils with It’s rise of 3.2 kilometers and a horizontal distance of 2.25 kilometers creating the steepest face of its kind in the world for its size. The range of the Lhotse Mountains is that of the Himalayas which are very young in comparison to some others resulting from a continental collision between India and Asia at an enormous rate, thus producing some of the highest mountains in the world. Interestingly India lay just 500 kilometers to the south 10 million years ago while the Asian plate has remained in its original position as such and so resulting in geological terms as an extremely fast rate of movement. The effect of the Lhotse Mountains is due to the Indian plate sliding beneath the Asian plate causing folding and crumpling.
The first attempt up Lhotse Mountains was made in 1955 by the ‘International Himalayan Expedition’, a year later, the first ascent was recorded up the main summit with the second attempt only occurring 25years later on the 30th of April 1981 by Hristo Prodanov of Bulgaria. It would be some time later in 1965 when the first attempt to climb Lhotse Shar would almost be completed reaching 8,100 meters, a good effort by the Japanese expedition and which would finally be fully ascended in 1979, fourteen years later. Between 1981 and 1984 there would be a second and third ascent to Lhotse Shar, which would be made by a Switzerland and Czechoslovakia. Sadly, in 1989, Jerzy Kukuczka would perish while ascending the South Face of Lhotse Mountain after his secondhand rope would break. Then in 1996 Chantal Mauduit reached the summit of Lhotse and became the first woman to do so. Interestingly Lhotse Middle would only be ascended for the first time in 2001, 46 years after the first attempt up Lhotse was made by the ‘International Himalayan Expedition’.