AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

Asia, Nepal, Attempt of Lhotse-Lhotse Shar Traverse

Attempt of Lhotse-Lhotse Shar Traverse. Jean Troillet and I established ourselves in Everest Base Camp on August 26. It was not until September 20 that our third member, Ruedi Homberger could join us at Base Camp and that kept him from doing more than getting to Camp II twice. On September 17, we made a first carry to Camp II. On the 24th, we climbed at night and spent the day there. At six P.M., we continued on up to the “Turtle” at 8000 meters to leave technical gear there. We passed over the South Col and returned to Base Camp. On September 29, Troillet and I set out to try to traverse from Lhotse’s summit to Lhotse Shar by the east ridge. We left Base Camp at 5:15 P.M. and were at Camp II at 8:30. We slept for a few hours and started at four A.M. on the 30th to get above the “Turtle” at noon. We picked up our gear and were joined by Canadian Jeff Lakes and Scot Alec McNab of the international expedition led by Ryszard Pawlowski, who were trying for Lhotse. We spent several hours in a snow hole at 8000 meters. The snow was rather bad and we estimated it would take us 15 hours to get to the top of Lhotse. We four set out at ten P.M. The wind had picked up during the day. Climbing was arduous, but we climbed faster than we had foreseen and stopped in another snow hole to prevent our getting to the summit during the night. Troillet and I started again at six A.M., but Jeff and Alex quit. In the couloir the wind was turbulent and the visibilty poor. We got to the summit at 9:10 A.M. in clear, frigid weather with violent wind. The ridge looked impracticable because of powder snow and cold. We decided to give up the traverse and to descend the normal route. During the descent, we gave a hand to Alex and Jeff, who were seriously exhausted. We got back to Camp II that day and to Base Camp on the next.

Erhard Loretan, Club Alpin Suisse