The South Face of Lhotse as seen from the climb up to Chukhung Ri
Highest point
Elevation8,516 m (27,940 ft)[nb 1]
Ranked 4th
Prominence610 m (2,000 ft)[1]
Coordinates27°57′42″N 86°56′00″E / 27.9617°N 86.9333°E / 27.9617; 86.9333[1]
Lhotse is located in Nepal
Lhotse (Nepal)
Lhotse is located in Tibet
Lhotse (Tibet)
Parent rangeMahalangur Himal, Himalayas
First ascent18 May 1956
Fritz Luchsinger, Ernst Reiss
(First winter ascent 31 December 1988 Krzysztof Wielicki)[2]
Easiest routeglacier/snow/ice climb
Traditional Chinese洛子峰
Simplified Chinese洛子峰
Kangshung Face as seen from the ISS

Lhotse (Nepali: ल्होत्से, romanized: L'hōtsē [lotse]; Standard Tibetan: ལྷོ་རྩེ, romanized: lho tse, lit.'South Peak' [l̥otse]; Chinese: 洛子峰) is the fourth-highest mountain on Earth, after Mount Everest, K2, and Kangchenjunga. At an elevation of 8,516 metres (27,940 ft) above sea level, the main summit is on the border between Tibet Autonomous Region of China and the Khumbu region of Nepal.

With Everest to the north and Nuptse to the west, Lhotse forms the apex of the massive horseshoe-shaped arc of the Everest massif. Despite the tremendous vertical relief of its South and Northeast Faces, it is the least prominent of the eight-thousanders due to the great height of the South Col between it and Everest. Lhotse's Western Face, recessed behind the head of the Khumbu Glacier in the Western Cwm, plays an integral part in the standard routes of ascent for both peaks. The name Lhotse, which means "South Peak" in Tibetan, further emphasizes the close relationship between the two.

The main ridge of the mountain features four distinct summits: Lhotse Main at 8,516 m (27,940 ft) AMSL, Lhotse Middle (also called Lhotse Central I or Lhotse East) at 8,414 m (27,605 ft), Lhotse Central II at 8,372 m (27,467 ft), and Lhotse Shar at 8,383 m (27,503 ft). Though Lhotse Main is considered to be an intermediately difficult eight-thousander when ascended from the standard Reiss Couloir route, its secondary summits and extremely steep South Face are regarded as some of the most difficult and dangerous climbs in the world.[3][4] Its icy North East Face remains unclimbed.[5]


An early attempt on Lhotse was made by the 1955 International Himalayan Expedition, headed by Norman Dyhrenfurth. It also included two Austrians (cartographers Erwin Schneider and Ernst Senn) and two Swiss (Bruno Spirig and Arthur Spöhel), and was the first expedition in the Everest area to include Americans (Fred Beckey, George Bell, and Richard McGowan). The Nepalese liaison officer was Gaya Nanda Vaidya. They were accompanied by 200 local porters and several climbing Sherpas. After a brief look at the dangerous southern approaches of Lhotse Shar, they turned their attention, during September and October, to the Western Cwm and the northwest face of Lhotse, on which they achieved an altitude of about 8,100 metres (26,600 ft). They were beaten back by unexpectedly strong wind and low temperatures. Under Schneider's direction, they completed the first map of the Everest area (1:50,000 photogrammetric). The expedition also made several short films covering local cultural topics and made a number of first ascents of smaller peaks in the Khumbu region.[6]

The main summit of Lhotse was first climbed on 18 May 1956, by the Swiss team of Ernst Reiss and Fritz Luchsinger, members of the Swiss Mount Everest/Lhotse Expedition.[7][8]

On 12 May 1970, Sepp Mayerl and Rolf Walter of Austria made the first ascent of Lhotse Shar.[9]

On 12 May 1999, Czech climber Soňa Vomáčková reached the main summit and thus became the first woman to reach it without supplemental oxygen.[10]

Lhotse Middle remained, for a long time, the highest unclimbed named point on Earth; its first ascent was made on 23 May 2001 by Eugeny Vinogradsky, Sergei Timofeev, Alexei Bolotov and Petr Kuznetsov of a Russian expedition.[11]

The Lhotse standard climbing route follows the same path as Everest's South Col route up to the Yellow Band beyond Camp 3. After the Yellow Band, the routes diverge with climbers bound for Everest taking a left over the Geneva Spur up to the South Col, while Lhotse climbers take a right further up the Lhotse face. The last part to the summit leads through the narrow "Reiss couloir" until the Lhotse main peak is reached.

By December 2008, 371 climbers had summited Lhotse while 20 had died during their attempt.[12] Lhotse was not summited in 2014, 2015, or 2016 due to a series of incidents. It was next summited in May 2017.[13]

Nuptse Ridge, Everest, Lhotse, and Lhotse Shar peaks


The Western Cwm. The Lhotse Face (centre right) is connected to Mount Everest (centre left) by the South Col (centre, lowest point on horizon).

Lhotse Face

The western flank of Lhotse is known as the Lhotse Face. Any climber bound for the South Col on Everest must climb this 1,125 m (3,690 ft) wall of glacial blue ice. This face rises at 40 and 50-degree pitches with the occasional 80-degree bulges. High-altitude climbing Sherpas and the lead climbers will set fixed ropes up this wall of ice. Climbers and porters need to establish a good rhythm of foot placement and pull themselves up the ropes using their jumars. Two rocky sections called the Yellow Band and the Geneva Spur interrupt the icy ascent on the upper part of the face.

On 19 May 2016, a high-altitude mountain worker, Ang Furba Sherpa, died when he slipped and fell down the Lhotse face.[34]

Chomo LonzoMakaluEverestTibetan PlateauRong River (Tibet)ChangtseRongbuk GlacierNorth Face (Everest)East Rongbuk GlacierNorth Col north ridge routeLhotseNuptseSouth Col routeGyachung KangCho OyuFile:Himalaya annotated.jpg
Southern and northern climbing routes as seen from the International Space Station. (The names on the photo are links to corresponding pages.)

From Gokyo Ri

Annotated image of Lhotse and surroundings as seen from Gokyo Ri

See also


  1. ^ An elevation of 8,501 m (27,890 ft) is sometimes given, but official Nepalese and Chinese mapping agree on 8,516 m (27,940 ft).


  1. ^ a b "General Info". 8000ers.com. Retrieved 20 December 2009.
  2. ^ Detienne, Herman (1989). "Asia, Nepal, Everest Attempt, Tragedy and Winter Ascent of Lhotse". American Alpine Journal. #31 (63): 203–204. ISBN 9780930410391. ISSN 0065-6925. Retrieved 20 May 2024.
  3. ^ "Lhotse FAQ: 27,940 feet (8,520 meters)". AlanArnette.com. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  4. ^ "Lhotse Shar 8400 meters 2003 expedition". Retrieved 31 March 2024.[dead link]
  5. ^ "The Expedition Archives of Elizabeth Hawley". Retrieved 31 March 2024.
  6. ^ a b Dyhrenfurth, Norman G. (1956). "Lhotse, 1955". American Alpine Journal. 10 (1). American Alpine Club: 7. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  7. ^ a b "The Swiss Mount Everest/Lhotse Expedition 1956". Swiss Foundation for Alpine Research. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  8. ^ Marmet, JÜRG (1957). "Everest — Lhotse, 1956". American Alpine Journal. 10 (2). Translated from German by H. Adams Carter. American Alpine Club: 121. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  9. ^ "Lhotse Shar". old.risk.ru. Retrieved 17 January 2011.
  10. ^ "Výstupy na Lhotse". Goat.cz. Retrieved 29 June 2023.
  11. ^ a b Koshelenko, Yuri (2002). "Unraveling the Mystery of Lhotse Middle". American Alpine Journal. 44 (76). American Alpine Club: 166. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  12. ^ "Lhotse statistics". 8000ers.com. Retrieved 20 December 2009.
  13. ^ Pokhrel, Rajan (16 May 2017). "Mt Lhotse records first successful ascent after three years". The Himalayan Times. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  14. ^ "Lhotse Shar". Climbs And Expeditions. American Alpine Journal. 17 (2). American Alpine Club: 434. 1971. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
  15. ^ a b "Ascents of Lhotse". peakbagger.com. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  16. ^ a b "Jerzy "Jurek" Kukuczka". everesthistory.com. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
  17. ^ Cheney, Michael J. (1981). "Lhotse Tragedy". American Alpine Journal. 23 (55): 254. ISBN 9780930410773. ISSN 0065-6925. Retrieved 31 March 2024.
  18. ^ a b Morgan, Ed (2016). Lhotse South Face- The Wall of Legends. Bee Different Books. p. 73. ISBN 978-0-9935148-0-7.
  19. ^ "Christo Prodanov". everesthistory.com. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
  20. ^ a b c d "Lhotse – Historical Timeline". summitpost.org. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  21. ^ Sujarwo, Anton (2018). MAHKOTA HIMALAYA: Kecamuk kompetisi para legenda dalam perebutan 14 puncak gunung tersulit di dunia. Anton Sujarwo. p. 222. ISBN 978-602-07-1306-9.
  22. ^ "Krzysztof Wielicki sounds off on Shisha winter climb!". mounteverest.net. Archived from the original on 12 May 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
  23. ^ Cesen, Tomo (1991). "South Face of Lhotse, 1990". The Himalayan Journal. 47. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
  24. ^ Cesen, Tomo (1991). "A Look into the Future, Lhotse's South Face". American Alpine Journal. 33 (65). Translated by Maja Košak. American Alpine Club: 1. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  25. ^ a b Pratt, Jonathan (1998). "Lhotse 96: Controversy in the Shadow of Everest" (PDF). Alpine Journal: 93–96. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  26. ^ "Hero of Everest Tragedy Was Climbing Prodigy". adventure-journal.com. September 2016.
  27. ^ Hawley, Elizabeth (1998). "Lhotse Intermediate, Attempt and Tragedy". American Alpine Journal. American Alpine Club. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  28. ^ "Lhotse Middle (8414 m)". russianclimb.com. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  29. ^ "Famous female Nepal climber dead". BBC News. 23 May 2007. Retrieved 20 December 2009.
  30. ^ "Everest and Lhotse in Less Than 21 Hours". Climbing.com. Archived from the original on 20 September 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  31. ^ "Young Indian mountaineer scales Mt Lhotse". The Times of India. 20 May 2011. Archived from the original on 5 November 2012. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
  32. ^ "Mexican climbs the Everest and Lhotse in less than a day". 27 May 2018. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  33. ^ Brown, Julie. "How Hilaree Nelson and Jim Morrison Skied Lhotse". Outside Online. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  34. ^ "Over 200 summitting Mount Everest today; a Sherpa guide dies". The Himalayan Times. 19 May 2016. Retrieved 14 December 2020.

Further reading