Lhotse is the 4th tallest mountain above sea level in the world. It is the 3rd tallest mountain in Nepal, just behind Everest and Kangchenjunga. Its highest peak (Lhotse Main) summits to 27,940 feet, however its lower peaks are not far behind. Lhotse Middle has a high point of 27,605 feet, and Lhotse Shar has a high point of 27,503 feet. If you are planning a trip to Lhotse, this article is for you. In this article, you will read about its history, summits, indigenous peoples, and much more.
Lhotse is in the Sagarmatha National Park, Nepal. It is part of the Everest Massif and connects to Everest through the South Col. The South Col is the last base camp before reaching the Summit of Everest or Lhotse. Lhotse is on the border of Nepal and China in the eastern region of Nepal.
Lhotse Main Climbing History
Lhotse’s main peak was officially first summited on May 18, 1956 by Ernst Reiss and Fritz Luchsinger. Sepp Mayerl and Rolf Walter were the first 2 people to officially summit Lhotse Shar. They did so on May 12, 1970. Lhotse Middle remained unclimbed until May 23, 2001. A Russian team including Eugeny Vinogradsky, Sergei Timofeev, Alexei Bolotov, and Petr Kuznetsov were the first people to officially climb Lhotse Middle.
Since 1956 about 373 people have summited Lhotse main. About 21 people, who have attempted Lhotse’s summit, have died. The fatality to summit ratio is about 0.06.
The standard climbing route to reach the summit of Lhotse Main follows the same route as the main trail to Everest’s South Col. Climbers headed toward Everest will make a left, while climbers headed toward Lhotse will turn right.
Turning right will lead climbers to Lhotse Face. Lhotse Face is a 3,690-foot wall of ice, which is known as the Reiss couloir. This section of the trail is slanted 40 to 50 degrees with the occasional 80-degree push.
Best time to summit
Most people summit Lhotse in May. This time allows for the best conditions including good views and warm temperatures. After May, October is the second-best time to climb Lhotse.
If you are interested in only viewing Lhotse from a distance, the best time to go is in the fall. However, I prefer the winter as there are fewer people and the views are just as good.
People in Sagarmatha National Park
Sherpa, Tamang, and Sunwar are the primary ethnic groups of the Sagarmatha area. There are also other indigenous groups, which include Bhote, Jirel, and Thami. However, I do not have any information on the last three groups.
Sunwar people are from eastern Nepal. They primary follow animism, which is similar to shamanism. There are 52 different subgroups or clans of Sunwar people. Sunwar means gold.
Sherpas are one of the most famous groups of Nepal, receiving notoriety for their ability to live in high altitudes. They are hired to carry equipment for people who attempt to summit Everest. The word Sherpa means Eastern People, which describes where they live and where they come from. Sherpa people speak a dialect of Tibetan. There are many sub-groups or clans of Sherpa people.
The Tamang are an indigenous group of people in the north east area of Nepal. Their name means horse trader in Tibetan. Tamangs are divided into several subgroups or clans. They have their own language that is similar to Tibetan-Bhurmese like the group Gurung. Most Tamangs follow Buddhism.