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7 summits and other mountain stuff => Questions => Topic started by: jedi-knight on Jul 7 2007, 17:13

Title: Everest: Lhotse wall vs North Col
Post by: jedi-knight on Jul 7 2007, 17:13
I've just watched the Discovery channel documentary on the Himex Everest expedition last year. The documentary is certainly an eye-opener for those who have not been on Everest.

Here's a question for those who have been up Everest.

Which is physically tougher? The Lhotse wall or North Col?
I know both are tough, but which is tougher to climb?

I saw the North Col, and holy cow....it looks very tough.

Title: Re: Everest: Lhotse wall vs North Col
Post by: 7summits on Jul 12 2007, 13:49
Hey JK, I have not been up the Lhotse Wall, but on any mountain in general a snow/iceclimb is much easier than a rockclimb, as long as the snow is not deep.
There is a good track on the Nepal side, so it is relatively easy. There are dangers lower down: the Khumbu Icefall is precarious and many accidents have happened.

On the North side the dangers are higher: the summitday is very long as the ridge is not steep at all, so it takes a long time, also because of the 3 rock Steps.
I noticed a big difference between going up after snow vs a 'dry year'. With some snow the track gets many times easier, but the Steps -and the altitude- remain...
Title: Re: Everest: Lhotse wall vs North Col
Post by: Veronika on Aug 8 2007, 01:28
I just climbed Everest in May from the North (Tibetan) side, but I don't personally know the South route. I really think that the two "normal" routes are more or less equally demanding.
North: Usually exposed to strong winds. Technically not (so) difficult with the exception of the three "steps". The First Step at 8550 m was rather easy this year thanks to a lot of snow but in 2003 (when I needed to return because of storm) it was strenuous rock climbing although it's "only" 3rd degree. The Second Step is really hard and you must not be afraid of the abyss beyond you. The Third Step is not so difficult but you would be glad if it would not be there. And after the Third Step you are not yet on the summit! The last part is rather exposed. However, the summit day is not that long.
South: Usually better weather conditions. The icefall at the beginning is dangerous. The route is longer than the North route. On the summit day approx. 900 m need to be climbed vs. 500 m on the North side. But the last camp is lower (so you sleep better  ;)). The Hillary Step is easier than the Second Step.
I really enjoyed the climb!