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with Stefan Nestler

First summit attempt on Lhotse failed

High up in the Lhotse South Face

Once again, the Lhotse South Face in Nepal was a too hard nut to crack. A first summit attempt of the South Korean Sung Taek Hong and the Spaniard Jorge Egocheaga in early November ended in Camp 4 at 8,250 meters. This is what Kyu-po Pyun, spokesman of the expedition, writes to me. Hong and his team entered the wall on 29 October. The South Korean had hoped that the sun and wind would have removed the snow out of the wall. Instead, according to Pyun, it was unexpectedly snowy on 30 and 31 October so that the climbers first had to free the ropes that they had fixed during the previous ascent from snow and ice. The team therefore made slow progress, the work tired them. Then the next setback: The tents in Camp 2 (at 7,200 m) and Camp 3 (7800 m) were ripped, the poles broken, the food and gas cartridges which they had deposited there before were blown off the mountain.

At most one last attempt

Lhotse South Face

Nevertheless, Sung Taek Hong ascended to Camp 4 on 1 November. Because of too strong winds and too much snow, the expedition leader then, however, stopped the summit attempt and safely returned to the Base Camp one day later, writes Kyu-po Pyun. According to him, Hong is preparing for a second and definitely last summit attempt. The possible summit day is still open, but will be certainly by 15 November. After that, according to Pyun, the expected jet stream with wind speeds of more than 100 km/h will scupper any summit chance Sung Taek Hong has literally got stuck into this ambitious project. The 50-year-old Korean is tackling the Lhotse South Face already for the fifth time.


9. November 2017 | 17:43