Monday, November 30, 2015

Himalaya Fall 2015: South Korean Team Prepares for Summit Bid on Lhotse

While those of us living in the U.S. celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday, the South Korean team on Lhotse was busy pressing forward with their efforts to climb that mountain. While there hasn't been a lot of news to report in recent days, the team has continued to make progress and they are now set to make one final push to the top later this week.

According to ExWeb, the Koreans managed to establish a new high camp at 8200 meters (26,902 ft) that will serve as the launching pad for this final summit push of the season. They built that camp amidst high winds over the past week following a failed summit bid earlier in November. The location of their new Camp 4 will provide more shelter and a better spot to rest before their summit push, making it somewhat easier to go for the top, weather permitting of course.

After establishing C4 last week, the squad descended back to Base Camp where they rested for a few days prior to setting out once again. According to reports, they left BC on Saturday and are now making their way back up the mountain. The plan is to be in position by Wednesday, and make an attempt on the summit on Thursday, December 3.

Of course, the weather will ultimately dictate their chances, and while things look promising for later in the week, high winds have been the norm at higher altitudes on Lhotse in recent days. Still, if Korean team can catch a break, they may yet stand on the summit this fall. And if they do succeed, it will be due to their determination and persistence. They've been on the mountain for weeks now, and have remained focused on their goal despite the fact that many other teams climbing in the Himalaya this fall have gone home without achieving much success.

Other than Lhotse, the rest of the Himalaya has gone most silent this fall. There are still a couple of teams out in the mountains attempting to climb some big peaks, but with winter now closing in quickly, most of the climbers are now looking ahead to the spring of 2016, with a few very hearty souls planning big winter climbs as well. I'll continue to keep any eye on the Koreans' progress on Lhotse, as it now looks like it'll be the last major expedition of the season, and will likely close down the climbing scene in Nepal before what promises to be a very interesting spring.

Stay tuned for more later in the week.

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