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Asia, Nepal, Lhotse

Lhotse. An international expedition was highly successful on the west face of Lhotse. Leader Oskar Kihlborg and Mikael Reuterswärd of Sweden were the first Scandinavians on the summit, arriving on May 9. Mexican Carlos Carsolio was back in Kathmandu after his rapid ascent of Cho Oyu and flew by helicopter to the Everest-Lhotse area, getting to Base Camp on May 6. On May 13, he made a fast ascent of Lhotse in just under 24 hours, including rests totaling three hours in two camps on the way up. The Swedes and Carsolio contributed a footnote to the Tomo Cesen-Lhotse South Face saga of 1990. They noted that despite Russian claims to the contrary, it is possible to see part of the Western Cwm from Lhotse’s summit, and they have photographs to show it. Russian climbers have cited what they said was an erroneous claim by Cesen to have looked down into the Cwm as one of the reasons to doubt his having made the solo ascent. Carsolio has succeeded by the age of 31 in scaling eight of the fourteen 8000ers and is only the fourth person to have climbed the five highest. The first three climbers were Reinhold Messner, Pole Jerzy Kukuczka and Slovene Viktor Grošelj. After their ascent of Everest, New Zealander Rob Hall and American Ed Viesturs joined this expedition on Lhotse. Well acclimatized, they made a rapid three-day ascent, getting to the top on May 16. [See Viestur’s report below.] They are the fourth and fifth persons to climb both Everest and Lhotse in the same season.

Elizabeth Hawley