The Expedition Trip Notes provide detailed information and background for Adventure Consultants' Lhotse Expedition.
You can view the trip notes online by clicking the image or download a pdf by clicking the following link:
Lhotse Expedition Trip Notes 2020
With technology constantly evolving, Adventure Consultants have kept abreast of all the new techniques and equipment advancements - encompassing the latest in weather forecasting facilities, equipment innovations and communications systems.
Guy Cotter, CEO/IFMGA Mountain & Ski Guide
The 2020 Lhotse Expedition is being organised by Guy Cotter, director of Adventure Consultants and a veteran of 27 years of high altitude expedition guiding and organisation.
Caroline Ogle, Assistant General Manager/Operations Manager
Caroline is has worked in Nepal as part of our operations and logistics team on a regular basis since 2009. She is the AC Operations Manager and plays an integral part in the planning and operation of our Himalayan Expeditions each year. This year she will be in Nepal overseeing operations and the set-up of Base Camp.
Lhotse is not the place to be with an organisation that is ‘learning the ropes’, there is too much at stake for that. Adventure Consultants expedition staff, along with the operations and logistics team at the head office in New Zealand, provide the highest level of backup and support to the climbing team in order to maximise your chances of success. This is coupled with a very strong expedition guiding team and Sherpa contingent, who, you will come to see, are second-to-none in the industry.
Our international guiding staff are the best in the industry. You will find the Adventure Consultants mountain guides companionable and strong expedition leaders with considerable abilities and a willingness to see you achieve your goals. The number of guides is determined by the team size but the normal ratio of guides to members is 1:4.
Our group of climbing Sherpas is enthusiastic, motivated and regarded as the strongest and most cohesive group of Sherpas on Mt Everest and Lhotse. They have dozens of Everest summits between them.
Da Jangbu Sherpa, Expedition Sirdar
Da Jangbu Sherpa, our Expedition Sirdar, has summitted Everest an impressive 13 times and brings with him considerable knowledge and experience. As a consequence of his leadership, we have a legendary group of Climbing Sherpas who operate in a harmonious atmosphere of cooperation and commitment to the expedition.
Our cooking staff are very well known for the quality of the cuisine they produce and are coveted by other team leaders due to the reputation they have established. We have been developing the personnel within our Sherpa team for 18 years and they are an integral part of the Adventure Consultants Team.
Base Camp Support Team
Bronwen Waters, Everest Basecamp Manager
A qualified ski guide, ski patroller and trekking guide, Bronwen has built a career out of guiding around the world, having previously guided expeditions to Mera Peak, Everest Base Camp, Kilimanjaro, Bhutan and the Altaii Tavan Mountains in Mongolia, including an ascent of Mt Khuiten. She has also worked as a ski guide and ski patroller for numerous seasons in New Zealand, Canada, Norway and Japan. A regular face on the Everest Base Camp trail, this year Bronwen is making herself at home on the Khumbu Glacier as our Everest Base Camp Manager 2020.
Dr Sara Gordon, Expedition Doctor 2019
With a background in Rural Hospital Medicine and General Practice, New Zealander Sara first joined AC as Expedition Doctor on our 2017 Dhaulagiri team and 2019 Everest team. Sara is no stranger to heights, having lived at altitude in North America and enjoyed trekking in the Himalayas, NZ and Japan. Prior to training in medicine, Sara worked as an outdoor instructor and river guide in New Zealand and now instructs in Wilderness and Polar Medicine. In her free time, Sara enjoys backcountry and mountain adventures in New Zealand, where she has been a Search & Rescue team member in Auckland and Nelson over the past 12 years.
Dr Sophie Wallace, Medical Advisor
Sophie works for AC in the capacity of our Medical Advisor, as well as having been our Expedition Doctor at Everest Base Camp in 2014, 2017 and 2018. She is an experienced emergency physician, currently based at the Royal Perth Hospital in Australia. Originally from the United Kingdom, Sophie has a passion for the outdoors and has trekked, travelled, dived and worked in remote high altitude locations around the world.
Head Office Support Team
Running successful journeys and expeditions is more about experience, knowledge and strategic management than any other factors. As an organisation, we place a substantial amount of time and resources into ensuring our trips are well planned and supported. You can be assured that the AC staff will provide you with friendly advice and knowledgeable support throughout the planning stages of your trip and we will be there to provide backup while the trip is running.
Katie has been with Adventure Consultants since 2019 in the role of Client Liaison. Having spent many years working in the outdoor industry, Katie brings a wealth of experience to her role.
AC provides a dedicated doctor for the whole team as standard. Most other teams use a generic medical provider whilst our doctor is there primarily for you and your team mates. The doctor will monitor your overall health throughout the expedition and our medical equipment and provisions are there to provide for your health care needs.
Ample resources will be on call to support each and every climber, not just the first team or fittest members. Remember, this is an expedition led by guides whose job it is to look after your interests. This should not be confused with a "professionally led" expedition where often you may be buying a place in a team with fewer support services and led by climbers who are attempting the summit primarily for themselves. There are also “Sherpa led” expeditions where you are placed in the hands of a Sherpa for the climb. This can seem alluring, especially when some expedition operators will encourage completely inexperienced climbers to join so they can fill their available spaces, but too often these expeditions have over 20 members! Most Sherpas are not trained in medical techniques and are often reluctant to act effectively in situations requiring urgency. This is where the skills and experience of your western guide becomes invaluable. Too often expedition members find out the deficiencies of their guides/operators when things begin to go wrong which is usually too late.
Each of our trips is individually rated according to its physical and technical difficulty, displayed in the icons towards the top of each trip page. You can click on the accompanying question mark for additional descriptions and the full run-down of our grading system is available on our Difficulty Ratings page.
What You Carry
We have the luxury of a strong Sherpa team that will carry all the team equipment, food and oxygen on the mountain. They will also carry your sleeping bag for you between camps on camp-move days. This will leave you with a lighter load on our camp-move day but it is still worth keeping your equipment to the necessities only.
Ensure your backpack is large enough to fit all your gear into as well as cameras, mittens, food, water bottles and glasses/goggles etc. Generally, a pack of around 80 litres will carry all your kit. On the most part, we will be able to carry a good portion of our gear ahead to a higher camp, to be followed by another small load when we move up to stay at that camp.
When you leave Camp 3 you will be wearing down clothing and have an oxygen cylinder in your pack. As it often warms up during this day you may have to strip down and stow down gear in your pack. Each bottle weights around 3kg/7lb and the regulator weighs 1kg/2.2lb.
On summit day team members will be required to carry 2 oxygen bottles out from Camp 4 and after the first bottle is finished, you will be carrying one bottle for the rest of the day. Each time that bottle is finished you will have it replaced with a full one by the Sherpas and guides.
Additional Sherpa support is available should you want all your gear carried on camp move days. This is at additional cost so please enquire early if you want this facility to give us enough time to arrange the hire of the extra Sherpas.
What it Takes
No 8,000m peak is ‘easy’. We are operating in an extreme environment that we need to treat with respect and caution. However, to be successful we must also know when to ‘push’, and when not to. Prospective members on this expedition must be robust and prepared for the rigours of altitude; essentially come prepared for hard work and physical output. However, we must also know not to push too hard, but operate at the level just below our aerobic threshold so we can save our energy for the summit attempt. In other words, we must ease our way up the route leaving our reserves for when we need them. Effective fitness training prior to the expedition is crucial, check out our Fitness Training Programs to see how we can help.
Appropriate prerequisites would be ascents of Denali, Aconcagua or even other 8,000m peaks. Strong technical climbers who are used to lugging big loads into remote locations would find the transition to 8,000m doable. Climbers must be confident on crampons and be conversant with snow and ice techniques. Rope skills such as rappelling, belaying and ascending ropes are imperative skills also.
On this climb we carry our own personal gear between camps, with sleeping bags carried by our Sherpa team on camp move days. Additional Sherpa support is available for those who desire it but at all times we will carry our own kit for each day such as jacket, water camera etc. On summit day we will climb with the support of our Sherpas and utilise bottled oxygen.
AC will import western food for the expedition and supplement this with fresh and dried Nepalese products. Our expeditions are renowned for the quality of the food and the expertise of our cooks. Fresh food is transported up the Khumbu Valley throughout the expedition and we try as much as possible to provide fresh vegetables with every main meal. We bring a variety of foods and snack foods to cater to most tastes however if you have specific needs or a favourite snack food / treat for the trekking days or high on the mountain, we recommend you bring some with you.
We highly recommend reading Mark Twight’s book, Extreme Alpinism – Climbing Light, Fast and High for ideas about nutrition for mountaineering (as well as a myriad of advice on training and mental fortitude etc.).
It is a good idea to try out different snacks, energy bars and gels during your training. It can be difficult to stomach certain foods at high altitude so finding something that suits you is very important. Once you find what works for you we suggest you bring a supply with you to supplement the snacks that we provide.
Clothing & Equipment
Expedition members will be sent a list detailing all necessary clothing and equipment to be individually provided, contained within a set of Expedition Reference notes with all the details for the trip. These notes provide extensive information on everything from suggestions of what type of camera to bring, to training advice for your expedition preparation.
Oxygen & Sherpa Support
On our standard expedition package climbers are provided with 2-3 litres of oxygen per minute for the climbing days above Camp 3 and 0.5 litres per minute for sleeping. This is sufficient for an ascent of Lhotse although we can arrange for a Max Ox option should you want that option (4 litres per minute climbing and 1 litre per minute sleeping).
Another service we can offer is ‘Additional Sherpa Support’ or a ‘Personal Sherpa’. Additional Sherpa support enables climbers to forego the carrying of heavy packs on camp carry days which is often very debilitating at high altitude. For some climbers, the long climb with a pack up to the top camp can leave them too exhausted for summit day and hence this service greatly enhances your summit opportunity. The Personal Sherpa option is for a personal Sherpa to climb with you throughout the expedition, starting from Base Camp, all the way to the summit and back again. Please enquire should you be interested in rates.