Lhotse climb- summit day, 17th
May, 2006 : As the Summitclimb -Lhotse team, (after the US climber Steve
Hodges left the mountain) I, Tunc Findik was the only member left of the
Lhotse expedition. So, together with my team Furwa Sherpa, Phuri Sherpa and
Maya Sherpa (who aimed to be the first Nepalese women to climb Lhotse) we
moved as a four person team to camp IV of Lhotse (7850 m.) on 16th may, 2006.
The weather was not very good, with clouds, wind, spindrift and some new snow
on the ground. After a brief, short rest for the night, we moved to begin to
climb around 3.30 AM, 17 may 2006, climbing the snowfields to enter the
couloir of Lhotse which was full of mostly deep, unconsolidated snow.
The weather was cold and
mostly windy. By midday, we had reached 8300 meters, a very narrow point of
the couloir and it was slow and potentially dangerous progress up the couloir
because of avalanche danger and deep snow. The Sherpas were, by now, very
tired because of breaking trail all night long and they would not want to move
higher any more- soon Maya and Phuri decided to head down. Deciding not to
give up soon, I had to break trail in waist deep snow for some time after
that, only then reaching more consolidated snow with harder blue ice lying
underneath higher up, where the gully widens a bit. Soloing this last section
with no ropes or safety except my ice tools and crampons, I have reached the
Lhotse notch and the summit's 8516 m. rocky bulge at the left, at around 14.35
PM. Visibility was approx. 400 meters, with slight mist and clouds and light
snowfall. On the last, easy rocky section I have encountered the black, thin,
new rope (I guess left over from the Chilean expedition) for maybe 60 meters.
The ascent, more than I have
anticipated, took 11 hours because of deep snow! I retraced my steps down the
couloir to meet Furwa Sherpa who was patiently waiting for me 200 meters below
the summit. Before the evening the same day, I have descended down to the
relative safety of the Camp II, 6400 meters.
TUNC FINDIK, TURKISH CLIMBER,
Expedition leader: ARNOLD
Lhotse PICTURES COMING SOON!!!