More DW Blogs DW.COM

Adventure Sports

with Stefan Nestler

Success on Everest and Lhotse w/o O2, three 8000ers in 25 days

Tenjing Sherpa climbing Everest

The good weather window in the Himalayas is impressively long. Since this spring’s first ascent of Mount Everest on 13 May by the Sherpa team that had fixed the ropes up to the summit on the south side of the mountain, climbers have reached the highest point at 8,850 meters day after day. Several hundred summit successes have since been counted. Today, Tenjing Sherpa also succeeded, without bottled oxygen. The 26-year-old wants to climb directly afterwards the neighboring eight-thousander Lhotse, if conditions allow it. According to Iswari Poudel, managing director of the expedition organizer “Himalayan Guides”, Lakpa Dendi Sherpa, just like Tenjing, reached the summit without breathing mask today. It was already Lakpa’s third (!) Everest ascent this season, Poudel said.

Colibasanu and Hamor give up

Horia Colibasanu (r.) and Peter Hamor (l.)

Briton Jon Griffith, who accompanied Tenjing Sherpa to the summit as a photographer and filmmaker, used bottled oxygen on his ascent. They see their expedition as a tribute to their friend, the Swiss top climber Ueli Steck who fell to death a year ago on the nearly-eight-thousander Nuptse. In 2017, Ueli and Tenjing had planned an Everest-Lhotse traverse without bottled oxygen via the Everest West Ridge. That’s exactly what the Romanian Horia Colibasanu and the Slovak Peter Hamor wanted to tackle this spring. They declared their expedition over today. The avalanche danger on the route was too great, Horia explained the decision. They had climbed up to an altitude of 7,500 meters.

Lämmle without breathing mask on Lhotse

Thomas Lämmle on top of Lhotse

Already last Sunday, the German climber Thomas Lämmle reached the 8,516 meter high summit of Lhotse, just eight days after his success on Makalu. “Same style: Solo, without oxygen and carried all equipment (tent, stove, food, sleeping bag, etc.) by my own,” ​Lämmle wrote yesterday on Facebook. For the 52-year-old from the city of Waldburg in Baden-Württemberg, Lhotse was the seventh eight-thousander after Cho Oyu (in 2003), Gasherbrum II (in 2005 and 2013), Manaslu (in 2008), Shishapangma (in 2013), Mount Everest (in 2016) and Makalu.

Three of the four world’s highest mountains in 25 days

Nima Jangmu Sherpa

An extraordinary feat was also achieved by Nima Jangmu Sherpa. The 27-year-old reached yesterday as the first woman from Nepal the 8,586 meter high summit of Kangchenjunga. Thus the Sherpani scaled within 25 days the three highest mountains in Nepal, which are three of the four highest in the world. On 29 April, Nima Jangmu had stood on top of Lhotse, on 14 May on the summit of Mount Everest – with breathing mask. In 2008, the Frenchwomen Elisabeth Revol had also scaled three eight-thousanders in one season. Only 16 days had lain then between her ascents of Broad Peak, Gasherbrum I and Gasherbrum II, without bottled oxygen and Sherpa support.

Besides Nima Jangmu Sherpa, another female climber from the team of the Nepalese expedition operator “Imagine” managed a Kangchenjunga summit success yesterday: Chinese Dong Hong Juan stood on her 13th eight-thousander.

Update 25 May: According to Iswari Paudel, Managing Director of Himalayan Guides Nepal Treks & Expedition P. Ltd., Tenji Sherpa decided after his yesterday’s Everest summit success not to climb Lhotse and instead descend to BC.

Update 1 June: Billi Bierling told me that Tenjing had used bottled oxygen above the South Summit (8,750 m), Lakpka Dendi above the South Col (7,900m). Means: No Everest ascent without breathing mask this spring.


24. May 2018 | 14:02