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Updated: October 2011. Click on an image to see the FULL size with a caption.
The following reference information is included:
My rating scale: Excellent ; Very Good ; Good ; Fair ; Poor.
by Albert Eggler. The book describes the first ascent of Lhotse Main by Ernst Reiss and Fritz Luchsinger on May 18, 1956, and the second ascent of Everest by Ernst Schmied and Jurg Marmet on May 23 and Dolf Reist and Hansrudolf von Gunten on May 24. There is 1 colour photo and 24 pages of bw photos. See Lhotse First Ascent Photos.
Reiss: "On that savagely sculptured summit there was neither room to sit nor to put a rucksack down. We stood, holding on to the rim of the summit, looking at Everest's mighty south-western precipice and, near by, the rocky summit ridge of our own peak, plastered with ice crests and cornices."
This very successful Swiss expedition is described in a straightforward manner. The author spends too much time on the preparation. There is a good chapter on the Sherpas.
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by Reinhold Messner. Published in English in 1977. The book describes Messner's 1975 attempt on the Lhotse South Face and and his successful ascent of Gasherbrum I (Hidden Peak) on August 10, 1975 with Peter Habeler. Lhotse has 7 pages of colour photos, 1 page bw photo, 8 bw photos in line with text, 1 map, and 1 climbing route. Gasherbrum I has 9 pages of colour photos, 6 pages of bw photos, 13 bw photos in line with text, and 1 map.
From March to May 1975, Messner joined an Italian team led by famed mountaineer Riccardo Cassin to attempt to climb the Lhotse South Face along a route between Nuptse and Lhotse. "I had to crane my neck around to see up the 3,500 metre vertical wall to the summit. The upper half consisted of dark rock, criss-crossed by fine white veins, the lower section of rock ribs, ice capades and smutty-grey runnels left by falling rocks."
Excessive snow and avalanches ended any chance at the summit. "He gasped in terror as he saw in place of the Lhotse Face, just one mighty avalanche. The sky was filled with the seething turbulence, as high as the mountain, as high as you could see. Like an atomic mushroom the pulverized snow hung in the air."
I liked Messner's writing in this book. His conversations with his teammates bring an immediacy and intimacy to the storey. He describes his feelings, his longing for his wife but also passion for mountain climbing. The photos are very good.
by Reinhold Messner. Published 1998. In German. There are 32 pages of colour photos, 4 pages of bw photos, 33 bw photos in-line with text, 9 routes, and 1 map.
The first section (47 pages) describes Messner's 1975 attempt on the Lhotse South Face. There are 4 pages of colour photos, 4 bw photos in-line with text, and 1 route. The story is from Messner's book The Challenge except the first part of the story is skipped. Some of the photos are the same as The Challenge.
The second section (85 pages) describes Messner's ascent of Gasherbrum I with Peter Habeler on August 10, 1975 via the Northwest Face. There are 11 pages of colour photos, 1 page bw photo, 18 bw photos in-line with text, 1 route, and 1 map. The story is from Messner's book The Challenge except the first part of the story is skipped. Many of the photos are different from The Challenge.
The third section (13 pages) describes Messner's ascent of Gasherbrum II with Sher khan and Nazir Sabir on July 24, 1982 via the Southwest Ridge. There are 5 pages of colour photos, 1 page bw photo, 7 bw photos in-line with text.
The fourth section (28 pages) describes Messner's traverse of Gasherbrum II (June 25 1984) and Gasherbrum I (June 28 1984) with Hans Kammerlander. There are 9 pages of colour photos, 2 pages of bw photos, 4 bw photos in-line with text, and 1 route.
The book closes with 6 bw routes showing the different ascent routes on Gasherbrum I and Gasherbrum II and who climbed them first.
If you can't read German, it's better to buy either The Challenge. The photos are very good.
by Jaryk Stejskal and Milan Vranka. Published 1989 in Slovak. This book describes the first ascent of Lhotse Shar in May 1984, the first ascent of Dhaulagiri West Face in October 1984, an alpine winter ascent of Cho Oyu in December 1985, and an attempt on Everest in Spring 1987. There are 32 pages of colour photos, 14 pages of bw photos, 56 bw photos in-line with text, and 2 maps.
In the spring of 1984, a Czech-Slovak team took 51 days to push a route up the south face to make the first ascent on Lhotse Shar. The route followed the distinct southwest rock buttress that gave very hard, but relatively avalanche-free, climbing. On May 20, 1984 four men left their top camp. Three gave up because of wind and cold, but Zoltan Demjan continued to the Lhotse Shar summit. The next day, May 21, 1984 Peter Bozik, Josef Rakoncaj and Jaryk Stejskal also reached the Lhotse Shar summit. There are 8 pages of colour photos, 4 pages of bw photos, 22 bw photos in-line with text, and 1 map.
Even if you can't read Solvak, the photos are very good.
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Lhotse is also featured in many general mountaineering books. Here are my favourites:
by Richard Sale, John Cleare ((Photographer). Published 2000. Highly recommended! The book details the exploration, first ascent, and other major ascents of all 14 8000m peaks, including spectacular photos.
by Simone Moro. Published 2008. In Italian and English. This coffee-table size book features excellent photos from all 14 8000m peaks. Each 8000m peak has a brief history, a photo of each face showing the climbing routes, and lots of excellent photos.
There are 9 pages on Lhotse. Simone Moro's first 8000m success was on Lhotse without oxygen on October 11, 1994. Starting from 6330m, Moro took just 17 hours in total to reach the summit of Lhotse. Actually he stopped just 10m below the summit due to cornice danger. On May 26, 1997 Simone returned to the summit of Lhotse, including the last 10m he didn't climb in 1994, again without oxygen, this time with Anatoli Boukreev.
Simone Moro stopped his Lhotse summit bid on his planned Lhotse-Everest traverse in 2001 to help injured climber Tom Moores. "It is no problem. In the future I can still climb and you can still climb and that's more important than any summit." For this demonstration of true climbing spirit, Simone was conferred the David A. Sowles Memorial Award by the American Alpine Club in February 2002. In January 2003, he also received the Gold Medal for Civic Value from Italian president Carlo Azeglio Ciampi for his "noble example of civic virtues and exemplary spirit of solidarity" for this successful rescue effort, as well as the “Pierre de Coubertin International Fair Play Trophy” in Paris.
The photos and route diagrams are excellent.
by Reinhold Messner. Published 1999. One of Michael Chessler's Top 100 Mountaineering Books. Messner briefly details his ascents of all 14 8000m peaks, documented with his photos. He also includes route diagrams and some basic history of the first few ascents. Messner was the first climber to summit all 14 mountains over 8000 metres in height, beginning with Nanga Parbat on June 27, 1970 and finishing with Lhotse on October 16, 1986.
On October 16, 1986 Messner and Hans Kammerlander completed the eight ascent of Lhotse, Messner's fourteenth 8000er. Messner thus became the first climber to summit all 14 8000m mountains.
The photos are very good.
by Stefano Ardito. Publishd 1993. This is a large coffee-table style book with excellent photos, briefly listing the most challenging mountains on each continent, including Everest, Annapurna, Nanga Parbat, K2 and the Trango Towers in the Himalaya, and K2, Denali and Aconcagua, and Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn.
The photos of Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse are spectacular. The front cover photo shows the final steps to the summit of Everest with Lhotse behind. There are three full page photos and one smaller photo of the Lhotse South Face. There's also a full page photo of the Lhotse Face.
The photos are excellent.
photographs by Ed Viesturs, text with Peter Potterfield. Released in early 2003, this book presents photographs with some basic text descriptions of Viestur's ascents of 11 of the 14 8000ers. After this book was published he reached the summit of Nanga Parbat in June 2003, Broad Peak in July 2003, and on May 12, 2005 he reached the summit of Annapurna, becoming the first American to reach the summit of all 14 8000ers, all without oxygen.
Viesturs briefly documents his ascent of Lhotse with Rob Hall on May 16, 1994.
Ed's photos are excellent.
by Reinhold Messner. Revised in 2001. Messner briefly details the big mountain walls in the world in the Himalayas, the Karakorum, the Alps, South America, Alaska and the Caucasus.
It includes a photo and two pages on climbing Lhotse South Face, two pages on climbing Lhotse Shar South Face, and a photo of Lhotse and Everest East Face.
I like this as a reference book. The photos are very good.
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Lhotse is also featured in many general mountaineering books. Here are my favourites:
by Koichiro Ohmori. Published 1998. One of Michael Chessler's Best Mountain Photo Books. This book features 44 spectacular 2-page aerial photos of the 8000m Nepalese mountains - Kangchenjunga, Makalu, Everest and Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Manaslu, Annapurna and Dhaulagiri (cover) - and several others, including Jannu, Nuptse, and Ama Dablam. Route diagrams and some basic history of the first few ascents are also included.
There are seven 2-page photos of the Everest, Lhotse and Makalu region - Everest is in 6 of the photos, Lhotse in 5, Makalu in 5, and Nuptse in 3.
by Jon Krakauer. Published 1997. The illustrated edition was published 1998. One of Michael Chessler's Top 100 Mountaineering Books. My personal favourite mountaineering book of all time. Krakauer provides a day-by-day journal to tell the chilling, harrowing and controversial story about the 1996 Everest season when 12 climbers were killed. He describes the trek to Everest Base Camp, the acclimatization climbs to Camps One, Two and Three, the final climb by 34 climbers towards the Everest Summit, the descent to the South Col, the killer storm, the rescues and failed rescues, and the descent off the mountain. The Illustrated Edition contains almost 250 b/w photos to bring the story to visual life. The photos are by Jon Krakauer, Neil Beidleman, Klev Schoening, Scott Fisher and others.
Although this book is about Everest, there are many excellent photos of Lhotse.
by Richard I'Anson. First published 2007. A large coffee-table type book featuring over 400 photos from renowned photographer Richard L’Anson. Chapters include Kathmandu and Kathmandu Valley (112 pages), Chitwan (20 pages), the Annapurna Circuit and Sanctuary (54 pages), Upper Mustang (20 pages), and the Mount Everest Khumbu region (51 pages).
The Everest chapter includes Phakding, Namche Bazaar, Thami, Khumjung, Phortse, the Gokyo Valley, and the views from Gorak Shep and Kala Pattar. There are photos of the Mani Rimdu festival from both Chiwang and Tengboche. In addition to Everest, there are photos of Cholatse and Tawachee, Ama Dablam, Lhotse, Nuptse, Pumori, Makalu, and Cho Oyu. There are three photos of Lhotse - from Gokyo Ri, on the way to Dingboche, and from Dingboche.
This is my favourite Nepal photo book. It features all of the main tourist areas. The photos are excellent.
by Shiro Shirahata. Published 1983. One of Michael Chessler's Best Mountain Photo Books. A large, heavy quality paper, coffee-table type book featuring 115 spectacular photos, over half double-pages, of the 8000m Nepalese mountains - Kangchenjunga, Makalu, Everest and Lhotse (cover), Cho Oyu, Manaslu, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and many others, including Jannu, Nuptse, and Ama Dablam.
There are 32 pages with 18 photos of the Everest region - the cover is a beautiful 2-page photo of Everest, Nuptse and Lhotse at sunset. There's also a 2-page photo of Lhotse Shar and Everest, and two 2-page photos of the Lhotse South Face. There are also excellent photos of Nuptse and Ama Dablam.
by Leo Dickinson. Published 1993. Also available as a video, this book tells the story of the author's quest to be the first person to fly a balloon over Mount Everest. The book starts with getting the expedition financed and then trekking to Gokyo. They wait over three weeks for the right winds, and then the two balloons took off from Gokyo on October 21, 1991.
"I looked straight down into the Western Cwm, with the summit of Everest rising up ahead of us, Nuptse now to my left. If I leant back a little, I could also get Lhotse in the viewfinder. The balloon was at 33,000 feet."
Leo Dickinson was in the first balloon, and everything went well until the end, when they crash landed in Tibet, spinning violently. The second balloon got in terrible early when their burners failed several times as they flew towards the Western Cwm. They managed to relight them each time and landed safely in Tibet.
The photos of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Cho Oyu and Makalu are excellent, taken from an overhead angle I have not seen before. There are 18 photos containing Lhotse.
by Colin Monteath. Details 12 of Colin's treks over the years - Greenland, climbing Chongtar near K2 North Face, New Zealand Alps, Everest Kangshung East Face, Mount Kailash and Gurla Mandhata, northern Bhutan. Mongolia's Altai mountains, South Georgia on Shackleton's route, Tibet's Kangri Garpo mountain, ski traverse of Mount McKinley, Nepalese side of Kangchenjunga, and Tiera del Fuego and Patagonia.
There is a 20-page chapter on the trek from Kharta up the Kama Valley to the Lhotse East Face and the Kangshung East Face of Everest. There are also great photos of Makalu and Chomolonzo from the trek.
Colin's photos are excellent, especially a 2-page photo spread of Makalu, Chomolonzo, Lhotse and Everest.
by David Paterson. First published 1990. This large coffee-table photo book features Kathmandu and the author’s treks from Lamosangu to Lobuche Base Camp and Everest in 1979, the Annapurna Sanctuary in 1979, Rolwaling and the Tesi Lapcha pass to Gokyo in 1981, the Annapurna Circuit in 1984, Ganesh Himal in 1987, the Arun Valley from Hille to Makalu in 1988.
You can see some of David Paterson's photos at his website wildcountry.uk.com.
The photos are very good, especially Ama Dablam, Taweche, Gokyo, Lhotse South Face, and Everest. There are also photos of the Manu Rimdu festival at Tengboche.
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Lhotse expedition news:
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In addition to youtube.com videos, I found the following DVDs.
By Fulvio Mariani. 49 minutes. In Italian with French subtitles. Filmed 1989. Released 1990. Mariani follows two 1989 attempts on the Lhotse South Face: Reinhold Messner in the spring and Jerzy Kukuczka in the fall.
Reinhold Messner's Spring 1989 attempt on the Lhotse South face includes high profile climbers Hans Kammerlander, Christophe Profit and Krzysztof Wielicki. Kammerlander looks forward to the Lhotse South Face as he treks to Base Camp, where we see the puja. There are some climbing scenes, panning to show the size and danger of the Lhotse South Face, and the relative insignificance of the climbers. The four famous mountaineers meet in their Base Camp tent to discuss (in English) their different views of the climb. Bad weather hits and we see tremendous avalanches coming down the face. After reaching about 7200m, they had to give up due to bad weather.
Jerzy Kukuczka arrives a few months later at Lukla. Jerzy talks about climbing McKinley in 1974 and Lhotse in 1979, his first 8000m peak. There are a few Base Camps scenes showing prayer flags, Jerzy playing chess, and watching the climbers using binoculars. They climb snow, snow and rock, and grapple with rock in crampons, as they set up fixed ropes, descend and then climb back up again to set up more fixed ropes and camps. The climb ends in tragedy on October 24, 1989 at an altitude of about 8200m when a second-hand rope Kukuczka had picked up in a market in Kathmandu joining Kukuczka and his partner Ryszard Pawlowski snapped, plunging Kukuczka to his death.
Bonus features include Mariani's commentary (49 minutes), interview with Mariani (4 minutes), each 14 8000m peak and when Messner and Kukucaka climbed them (3 minutes), and a photo gallery.
The video quality is very good, not perfect. The filming is very good. The story itself is fairly straightforward. It was good to see such a famous mountaineer as Jerzy Kukuczka interviewed and in action. The avalanche scenes are very good showing their danger. There are some beautiful sunset views of Ama Dablam and Lhotse.
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