Everest-Lhotse Teams Poised for Action

While a dozen commercial expeditions currently lay siege to the world’s highest mountain, two small, independent teams are poised to attempt an Everest-Lhotse traverse.

Jon Griffith and Sherpa Tenji have chosen the South Col route, while Horia Colibasanu and Peter Hamor are going via the West Ridge.

Here is the latest news on their progress:

Colibasanu and Hamor

On May 9, our last update, the Romanian and the Slovakian had returned to Base Camp after an exhausting effort to reach the West Ridge via a series of couloirs.

Since then, the duo has been down to the village of Pheriche (4,370 meters) for some light medical treatment on their knees. Colibasanu estimates they covered some 15,000 meters of ascent/descent in the days prior. They then waited at Base Camp for the five-day clear weather window required for their summit push.


Getting the knees ‘greased up’ in Pheriche. Are mountaineers’ knees getting to one Everest-Lhotse duo? Photo: Colibasanu/Hamor.


On Wednesday Colibasanu and Hamor spent six hours moving up to Advanced Base Camp (Camp 2) at 6,400 meters. Yesterday they headed back up to the couloir leading to the West Ridge but appear to have found heavy snow conditions, so, for now, have returned to Advanced Base Camp.


Griffith and Tenji

No change for the British climber and Sherpa team. The pair have remained at Base Camp, waiting on weather and for the main commercial teams to summit and return. They had planned to spend a night at the South Col on May 14, but it is unclear if they managed to do so.


Strong winds in the Western Cwm. Photo: Jon Griffith