American climbers begin a record ski descent after scaling Mt Lhotse

KATHMANDU: Four American climbers along with two climbing Sherpas successfully climbed Mt Lhotse this afternoon, according to the expedition organiser.

“James White Morrison, Hilaree Nelson, Dutch Michael and Nicholas Kalis along with Ila Nuru Sherpa and Fu Tashi Sherpa stood atop the world’s fourth highest mountain at 1:27 pm,” Pemba Sherpa, co-founder of the Xtreme Climbers Treks and Expeditions, said.

Morrison-led team has also started making a record ski descent from the summit point, Sherpa quoted the team leader as saying. If successful, the team would be the first in the world to make a ski descent from Mt Lhotse using a route eluded by mountaineers for several decades.

“The team made it to the summit point after Urken Lendu Sherpa and Palden Namge Sherpa fixed a route to the summit last evening,” he said, adding that Urken became the first climber to scale Mt Lhotse this autumn while Palden reached a few metres below the summit point.

After several days of struggle and hard work, the team supported by two icefall doctors – Yangda Sherpa and Nim Dorchi Sherpa – had opened a climbing route above the Base Camp by placing ropes and ladders on the treacherous section of the Khumbu icefall, Sherpa said.

According to him, the climbers have now been attempting the first ski decent of the dream line on Mt Lhotse.

Among the climbers, Nelson had climbed Mt Everest and Mt Lhotse in 24 hours, becoming the first woman to climb two 8,000- in a single day in 2012 while Morrison skied Mt Cho Oyu earlier this year.