Mount Lhotse has often been compared to Mount Everest for a very long time. While the neighboring mountains have been considered the same part of the bigger mountain, it is not entirely true. Lhotse has an identity of its own as an individual and independent mountain. One very common thing, however, in the minds of anyone who wants to expedite both the mountains is whether Lhotse is easier or harder to climb than Everest.
And the answer is quite simple, it completely depends on the climber and his potential. To be real and honest, Everest is comparatively a little harder to climb than Lhotse, given that Everest is the tallest mountain in the world, with a height of 8848 m. But, this does not make climbing Lhotse any easier, even though shorter, as it is the fourth tallest mountain in the world, standing tall at 8,516 m.
There are a lot of things that make Lhotse and Everest both similar and different. Stay tuned till the end of this article to know more about how Lhotse is easier or harder to climb than Everest and what makes these two mountains similar yet different.
Mount Everest Vs. Lhotse
Many climbers, throughout the years, have made double expeditions to both Mount Everest and Lhotse as they are neighboring mountains. The route to both mountains is the same till Camp III. While summiteers who want to peak Mount Everest head towards the northern side of the mountain, the ones looking to climb Lhotse go to the southern side. An interesting fact about Lhotse is that it has been given the name because, in the Tibetan language, Lhotse refers to South Peak.
To climb Mount Everest, one has to go through the Lhotse face. Further complications on the way come from the Geneva Spur and the Yellow Band, which only adds to the difficulties of the climbers. As opposed to this, when you climb Lhotse, you will have to go through Camp IV to peak the mountain finally.
You will likely reach the peak earlier than the summiteers trying to peak Mount Everest. Moreover, you can get a beautiful view of Mount Everest quite clearly when you reach the top of Mount Lhotse.
Challenges of climbing Lhotse and Mount Everest
Both Mount Everest and Lhotse are two of the world’s tallest mountains. And, you can really never undermine the challenges that will come your way when you are trying to climb the highest peaks in the world. Both Lhotse and Mount Everest have their own difficulties.
One of the biggest challenges in climbing Lhotse is the rock and ice falls in the mountains.
The steep nature of the mountain, once you are across Camp IV, invites nothing but dangers and tests the ability of climbers to avoid them. One of the main things you need to keep in mind, as a mountaineer, on your way to climb Lhotse is that your foot placements should be given extra care. You can use both your hands and legs when you’re at it. If you are not careful enough, the chances of perishing in the mountain are very high.
Similarly, Mount Everest is one of the deadliest mountains in the world, with recorded several hundred deaths throughout the years. You just can’t undermine the steepness and the chances of icefalls, avalanches, and blizzards at the peak. If a mountaineer does not carry enough oxygen cylinders, gear, porters, and even warmer clothes, chances are, he will not survive the cruelty of the mountain.
Therefore, it would be wrong to say that only one mountain is safer than the other because, in reality, both mountains have their challenges and dangers. And anyone looking to summit either of the mountains must keep these things in mind before they attempt to climb them.
Climbing Lhotse and Mount Everest at the same time
Climbing Lhotse and Mount Everest is possible. If you have enough expertise and experience as a mountaineer, you can make both expeditions simultaneously. Lhotse and Everest are situated very close to each other and are neighboring mountains. Hence, when you are on your way to Everest, you can return from the tallest mountain in the world to summit the fourth tallest mountain. The returning route of the mountain is also the same.
Everest is a taller mountain, hence, when you climb Mount Everest before Lhotse, you get enough time for acclimatization. But keep in mind that the dangers of climbing Mount Everest are just as high. And, by more acclimatization, we don’t mean that safety increases in this expedition. When you climb Everest, first, you have to go through Lhotse’s face in the Everest. This face includes blue ice glacial packed walls in the western part of Lhotse. Going to the South Col requires climbing the 1,125 m (3,690 ft) tall ice wall.
You can, then, descend from Everest and head south. You will reach Camp IV at a height of 7850 m above sea level. The mountain gets steeper from here. So, you need to be very careful as to how you work your entire body throughout the climb. If you take the suggestion of climbing Everest before Lhotse, you are likely to be habituated to the altitude and the physical work required to climb tall mountains as these. Hence, the success rate will also be just as high depending on how good of a mountaineer one is!
Is Lhotse easier to climb than Everest?
In terms of the time and effort taken to climb both mountains, Mount Everest might be a little tougher to ascend. Lhotse, on the other hand, takes a shorter time to peak. And, the success rate of climbing Lhotse, despite not being a top-class mountaineer, is higher than climbing Everest as one.
One must remember, whatsoever, that Lhotse also has its own set of challenges, as do Everest. Hence, underestimating Lhotse will be nothing but foolish. The ice walls and hard rocks in Lhotse can be fatal to many. Likewise, footwork and perfect synchronization are very crucial when a mountaineer is on his way to climb Lhotse. Difficulties arise once a summiteer crosses the Camp IV and the mountain gets steeper. An increase in the altitude above 8000 meters, otherwise known as the Death Zone, will increase the hardships of a climber in Lhotse.