Everest and Lhotse, Which is the Most Difficult?

Everest Lhotse double expedition is one of the most thrilling and ultimate adventures in the Khumbu region. Popular among mountaineering enthusiasts who want to set their name in mountaineering history as the world’s highest double peak summiter. Mt. Everest at an elevation of 8,849 meters ( 29,032 feet), is the tallest mountain in the world, and Mt. Lhotse at an altitude of 8,516 meters (27,940 feet) is the fourth tallest mountain in the world.

The scaling of these two mountains in the 8,000-meter class in no way is an easy feat, however, as both of these glorious peaks in the Himalayas share the same climbing route, Everest and Lhotse summits at once has become a popular sport in the mountaineering community. Especially popular among the mountaineers who are on their way to completing the ‘14-Peak’ challenge, Everest and Lhotse expedition lets climbers scale two of the 14 highest peaks in the world within 24 hours.

Lhotse- The Other Everest?

Lhotse- The Other Everest

Lhotse Face Everest- Although every climber on the expedition to scale the tallest mountain in the world know that the ‘Lhotse Face’ on Everest is a difficult section to overcome. Many often miss that the Lhotse Face is also part of the fourth tallest mountain in the world, the western flank of Mt. Lhotse is also known as the ‘Lhotse Face’ that climbers must ascend to reach the Sout Col.

This beautiful mountain peak shares the climbing route with the tallest mountain in the world is gaining popularity among climbers in recent years. Although it explores and passes through the same trekking and climbing route to the Yellow Band from the southeast ridge of the Everest expedition and requires the same amount of scaling time. The cost factor of Lhotse is almost half compared to Everest climbing giving it a slight edge and popularity among the mountaineering enthusiast in the Everest and Lhotse strife.

Now, the Lhotse expedition is commercialized and as popular as the Everest expedition, as the climbers don’t miss out on much if they switch to the Lhotse climbing because it follows the same climbing route and offers a similar over-the-top view as Everest. The fourth-highest mountain expedition has been growing rapidly over the years.

Considering the neighboring mountains shared common areas, the climbing communities have started referring to the Lhotse as the other Everest.

Everest and Lhotse, Which is the Most Difficult?

Everest and Lhotse, Which is the Most Difficult?

To be blunt, climbing none of the mountains is easy, the steep paths, the harsh alpine climate, life-threatening risks, and of course the demand for technical skills to successfully scale a mountain make any summit attempt a challenging and risk-filled adventure. And the expedition on two of the highest 14- 8,000 meters class mountains in the world is certainly not an easy feat.

On face value, Mt Lhotse has been awarded an ‘Intermediate’ expedition whereas Mt. Everest has received ‘Difficult and Challenging’ grade. Due to its significant altitude, the summit day of the Everest expedition is also quite longer and there is this ‘2 p.m.’ rule (give up on the summit push after 2 p.m. or it will be life-threatening) which all climbers should abide by.

In comparison to that, the Lhotse expedition is shorter which means it doesn’t require as much time for the push summit as in the Everest expedition where the climbers have to spend a significant amount of time in the ‘Death Zone’ (dealy altitude above 8,000 meters on the mountain where the oxygen saturation is at 34%).

The Geneva Spur on the Lhotse Face separates the identical route to the summit of the highest peaks in the Himalayas and then leading to the summit of Lhotse follows the steep icy and rocky face. So, none of these expeditions are easy as you will spend a significant amount of time in the death zone and will require a significant amount of skill to overcome the technical segments in the mountain.

Note to Self


So, if you are up for an adventure in any of these peaks don’t jump to conclusions just considering the face value. Prepare yourself properly, both physically and mentally which will significantly reduce the difficulty level of scaling any of these 8,000-meter class mountains. (Note: Nepali government has now made it mandatory for climbers to have previous experience in climbing at least 6,500-meter class mountain in the Himalayas before climbing Mt. Everest).

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Why Everest and Lhotse at Once Though?

Mount Lhotse Climbing Routes

The average death rate on Mt. Everest is 6.2% and it’s at 3% on Mt. Lhotse, so the combined death rate of these neighboring peaks is 9.2%. Thus any sane person might say its ‘bonkers’ to try and scale both of these 8,000-meter class mountains at once, which it is, but, remember, the mountaineers are built differently.

These adrenaline junkies who weeks thrill on the icy slopes of the highest natural snow-clad structures live and die for their passion. So this double summit challenge isn’t particularly anything new in the mountaineering community, it’s just a bar they set for themselves.

But, it is still not entirely based on the insane endeavors, probably, there is more logic behind this Everest and Lhotse double summit. As both of these Himalayan massifs share their climbing route upto Yellow Band, in particular, Geneva Spur on the Lhotse Face, the climbers on both of these expeditions are halfway there to the summit of both peaks no matter which they are pushing for the summit.

So, the mountaineers who have already settled in with the high altitude environment, acclimatizing properly, they would make to make double effort from the base, if they want to summit the other peak some other time (generally climbers scale Mt. Everest first then Mt. Lhotse). Thus, it is considered a wise move to scale Mt. Lhotse, if you are already halfway there, makes sense. Plus, the cost-benefit isn’t a feint point in this double expedition, climbers save a significant amount of money in a single double push than the individual expeditions.


Traveller, Travel Blogger and SEO Expert who combines his love for exploration with his talent for writing and digital marketing.

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