While the Everest – Lhotse combo has become more popular, reaching the top of the world one day and going for the top of the worlds’ fourth highest peak the next is far from a given for anyone.
And doing it in 8 hours, top-to-top – phenomenal.
If you have been following Kristen’s climbs, you will know she has polished off Shishapangma, Cho Oyu, Makalu, Kanchenjunga – and now the Everest-Lhotse combo, since her start less than a month ago in Tibet.
While the times and dates provide an outline for her speed of ascent, it is in her summaries that we see the ongoing and very real challenges the peaks are still posing, and yet climbing on relentlessly anyway.
From going up, going down, and going up again on Shishapangma, to feeling less than ideal on a 13 hour summit push on Makalu, to getting lost high on Kanchenjunga and having to go back and find the right way, there have certainly been, despite the timeline, some very real and very large challenges.
She has been accompanied for the most part on these by an obviously very strong pair of Sherpas, Tenjin and Gelu Sherpa.
There are another three peaks in Nepal, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Manaslu. Kristin had hoped to climb Manaslu first, but deep snow and avalanche conditions not being ideal, moved on to Shishapangma.
Winds are going up and the monsoonal snows will be moving in soon, it will be interesting to see if there is time to fit these final Nepal peaks in, or if she takes a short break and heads for Pakistan and the 5 peaks there?