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  Lhotse Shar 8400 meters 2003 expedition

Lhotse Shar is the far right peak

copyright@Ray Yeritsian

The above picture by Ray Yeritsian show the famous South Face of Lhotse with Lhotse Shar on the right. This autumn the 2003 Korean Lhotse Shar Expedition is being led by the famous climber Mr Um, who has reached the summits of the 14 8000 meter peaks. Mr Um's expedition has 7 climbers from Korea. He previously attempted Lhotse Shar in 2001 (see his report below).

Lhotse Shar was first summited by Zepp Maierl and Rolf Walter in 1979. With a ratio of almost 1 death for every 2 summits Lhotse Shar is an extremely dangerous mountain. Climbers such as Nikola Gagar, Joseph Fauchere, Antoni Sors, Francisco Poras, Serchio Escapera, Antonio Ciniones, have all gave their lives on Lhotse Shar.

Lhotse has three "Summits": Lhotse East or Middle (8414 meters) is situated on the ridge between the Main summit of Lhotse 8516 meters and summit Lhotse Shar 8400 meters.

Update: Sadly, two more climbers have gone missing on Lhotse Shar from an avalanche at the 8250-meter height of the Lhotse Shar at 12:40 PM on 5th Oct. 2003.

1.  Mr. Joo Hoon Park

Date of Birth :         27 December 1968

Nationality :            Korean


2.  Mr. Sun Dug Hwang

Date of Birth :         10 September 1977, Seoul

Nationality :            Korean

The seven members expedition team was permitted to climb 8400 meter high  Mt. Lhotse Shar from South East Route for the period of 75 days from 25th August 2003 under the leadership of Mr. Hong Gil Um, mountaineer Seoul Korea.

EverestNews.com has held this information, giving the families time to be notified.....

2001 Korea Lhotse Shar Lhotse

Two members and one Sherpa of the 5 member 2001 Korea Lhotse Shar Lhotse  team led by Um Hong Gil, 40, of Seoul, Republic of Korea were successful in reaching the summit of 8511 Mt. Lhotse  on the 16th May via the normal West Face route.

With a plan to attempt both Lhotse Shar 8400m Lhotse Shar and Lhotse 8511, The 2001 Korea Lhotse Shar Lhotse had first arrived at the Lhotse Shar base camp situated at 5200 on 24th March, near Imjatse ( Island) which is among the most popular of all trekking peaks of Nepal.

Overcoming some rock section, they established their first camp at 5600 m on the 28th March. Above Camp I they encountered ice and snow sloped with some crevasses to set up Camp II at 6000m on the 2nd April.

Though no great technical difficult faced, in order to get higher they came up  with snow and ice mixed steep faces leading to rock faces and then to sharp ridges.  On the 8th April Camp # III was set up at 6500 meter.

On the 19th of April a deposit camp was set up at 7000m where they carried all gear and food necessary for their last camp which was to be set up at 7500m.  However, a big avalanche hit this deposit camp in which they lost 3 tents, 4 oxygen cylinders, utensils, fuel and sleeping pad.  The impact of the avalanche had some of the snow stakes broken in pieces.

Having lost the deposit camp, on 22nd April two Korean climbers, Mr. Um and Kwan Ju Ra, supported by Sirdar Ang Babu, Sherpas Pasang, Lhakpa and Pemba climbed direct from  Camp II to  7500m and back  carrying equipment and food to set up Camp IV. It took them more than 10 hours climbing through deep snow in a weather that was cold, windy and cloudy to 7500m and  2 hours to return to Camp II.

Next day, all Korean climbers and the Sherpas descended to base camp for a good rest to make  their summit attempt from the Camp IV at 7500m.  Having rested a few days at the base camp, on the 27th April Korean climbers Mr. Um and Kwan with Sirdar Ang Babu and 3 Sherpas climbed to Camp II with a hope to make a summit bid around 30th of April. On the 28th they climbed from CII to CIII. Arriving at the Camp III. On 29 April at Camp III  they weather turned very bad with visibility limited to 5~10 yards.  This day they rested at Camp III with hope the following day will be a good day to push to their final camp at 7500m.  Following, the weather did not improve and they tried climbing up a few hundred meters and then gave up the effort and decided to go down to base camp and save their effort for Lhotse via the West Face (normal route).

The main reason for their failure to climb the mountain is attributed to weather.  They weather generally went bad after 10 am resulting to severe white out conditions above 6000m followed by snow fall every day.  This was a local weather for this side of Lhotse only as the climbers could see fine weather around the Makalu area.

Lhotse 8511m  via the West Face

Having left the Lhotse Shar base camp on the 3rd May, the Korean Climbers  and the Sherpas arrived at their next base camp on 05 May which is also the base  camp for all Mt. Everest Climb from the Nepal side.  On the 6th May, they had a short Pooja ceremony at the base camp and following day they were up at Camp II in the Western Cwm,

On the 10 May, Mr. Um, Mr. Kwan, Sirdar Ang  Babu supported by Sherpas: Pasang, Lhakpa and Pemba climbed direct from the Western 

Cwm Camp at 6500m direct to their final camp at 7500 m placed near the Yellow Band that is on the South Col route to Everest from  the SE ridge.

On the 11 May, although the weather was not that good, Um, Kwan and Ang Babu climbed about 300 m above their Camp IV for a summit push before they were turned back by strong wind and snowy condition.  Returning to Camp IV, and being very tired from their effort the trio decided to descend down to Camp II for a more comfortable rest.

Having taken it easy on the 12 and 13 May, the trio climbed up to Camp IV on the 14th May for another shot at the summit.  However, the following day did not look encouraging either.  The day started with frequent thunderstorm in the morning.  The climbed for 2 hours for the summit but fearing the thunder storm to produce electrical current in their bodies, they decided to return to their camp. 

On the 16th, they were prepared by 3.30 am for yet another go for the summit.  The day looked calm and clear.  It looked liked the break they had hoped to climb it all the way to the summit.  Consequently, after about a 9 hr. climb traversing a wide snow field leading to the main gully that takes a workable to route to the  summit, Mr. Um Hong Gil climbing in pair with Sirdar Ang Babu was able to reach the summit around 9.15 An hour later, Korean climber Kwan Ju Ra also arrived at the summit.  After the traditional hoisting  of flags, prayer flags and picture taking ceremony, the 3 climbers made  their way down to Camp IV which they arrived around 2.15pm.  After a brief rest and  they decided to go down Camp II arriving there at 5.30 pm.

On the 17 May, they descended to base camp and  on the 19 the they left base camp for Kathmandu.  On the 21 May, they were able to take a helicopter to fly them all the way to Kathmandu from Syangboche. Report from Mr. Um and Ang Karma

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