Lhotse is the fourth highest mountain on Earth (after Mount Everest, K2 and Kangchenjunga) and is connected to Everest via the South Col. In addition to the main summit at 8,516 metres (27,940 ft) above sea level, Lhotse Middle (East) is 8,414 metres (27,605 ft) and Lhotse Shar is 8,383 metres (27,503 ft). It is located at the border between Tibet (China) and the Khumbu region of Nepal.
Lhotse is best known for its proximity to Mount Everest and the fact that climbers ascending the standard route on that peak spend some time on its northwest face; see below. In fact Lhotse has the smallest topographic prominence value of any official eight-thousander, as it rises only 610 m (2,000 ft) above the South Col. Hence it is often seen as a minor eight-thousander.
However, Lhotse is a dramatic peak in its own right, due to its tremendous south face. This rises 3.2 km (2.0 mi) in only 2.25 km (1.4 mi) of horizontal distance, making it the steepest face of this size in the world. The south face has been the scene of many failed attempts, some notable fatalities, and very few ascents (one of them, by Tomo Česen, unverified).
The western flank of Lhotse is known as the Lhotse Face. Any climber bound for the South Col on Everest must climb this 1,125m (3,700 ft) wall of glacial blue ice. This face rises at 40 and 50 degree pitches with the occasional 80 degree bulges. High altitude climbing Sherpas and the lead climbers will set fixed ropes up this big wall of ice. Climbers and porters need to establish a good rhythm of foot placement and pulling themselves up the ropes using their Jumar. Two rocky sections called the Yellow Band and the Geneva Spur interrupt the icy ascent on the upper part of the face.