Next summit attempt on Lhotse
Will there be another successful eight-thousander expedition at the end of this fall season in Nepal? Actually, we can answer this question with Yes. Because it already deserves a big round of applause what the South Korean Sung Taek Hong and his team of four Sherpas have achieved so far under difficult conditions in the South Face of 8,516-meter-high Lhotse. In strong winds, the five climbers opened a partially new route up to an altitude of 8,200 meters. Two summit attempts failed: the first at 7,850, the next at 8,000 meters. This weekend Sung and Co. will set off again. If everything goes well this time, they could reach the highest point on Thursday of next week. But this is anything but self-evident.
Sung’s third attempt
“Now I think can I fully understand how climbers overcome hunger, cold, pain and fears”, Sung wrote in his expedition diary according to explorersweb.com. “I gave Mt. Lhotse all she could have asked of me to reach this point.” In fall 2014, the 49-year-old, along with a Korean team, had tackled Lhotse South face for three months but got not higher than 7,800 meters. In November 2013, Sung’s attempt to solo climb the fourth highest mountain via the normal route had failed. Ten years ago, the Korean adventurer had completed his collection of the “three poles”. In 2005, he reached the North Pole, the South Pole in 1994 and 1997 and the “third pole” Mount Everest from the Tibetan north side in fall 1995.
Pioneers in the wall
The Lhotse South Face was first climbed in 1990. In spring 1990, the Slovenian Tomo Cesen said, he had solo the wall. But he was not able to prove his success. First doubts about the details Cesen had given were expressed by the Ukrainian Sergej Bershov and the Russian Vladimir Karatayev who climbed through the wall on a different route later that year. At the end of 2006, members of a Japanese expedition succeeded in climbing Lhotse South Face for the first time in winter. They had to return 41 meters below the summit, but had reached the summit ridge and thus climbed the entire wall.
Date27. November 2015 | 11:42