Asia, Nepal, Lhotse Shar

Publication Year: 1971.

Lhotse Shar. The east peak of Lhotse, Lhotse Shar (27,504 feet) was climbed by an Austrian expedition from the Tirol led by Siegfried Aeberli. Base Camp was at 17,150 feet on the western lateral moraine of the Lhotse Glacier. They approached the southeast spur from the west and the col between Lhotse and Island Peak and climbed up the south face to the crest of the spur. Camp I was at 19,700 feet, Camp II at 22,000 feet, Camp III at 23,300 feet above the “roof” of the face on the spur’s crest and Camp IV at 25,000 feet. All camps had snow caves for shelter. Almost the whole of the route from below Camp I to Camp III was fixed with rope as climbing was very difficult. As high as Camp III they found signs of the Japanese attempt of 1965, which failed at 26,000 feet. The summit pair, Josef Mayerl and Rolf Walter, left Camp IV on May 12. A broad slope without real difficulties led to a false summit at 26,000 feet, which they reached in three hours without oxygen to save it for the last part. There they were separated from the final face by a wild, corniced ridge, up which they front-pointed on good snow. After reaching the face, they continued up equally steep slopes. A long traverse left took them to rock, which saved much step-kicking. The final hundred feet were even steeper ice and then soft, rotten snow. At 12:30 they broke through the cornice to the summit. The descent was made in nearly zero visibility in clouds. The next day a second summit attempt by Walter Larchner and the Sherpa Urkien was stopped 800 feet below the top when oxygen equipment iced up. Other members of the expedition were Rudiger Lutz, Dr. Gerd Garbeis and Hansjörg Köchler.