Every Everest climber, actual or armchair, knows the “Lhotse Face” is a difficult section on the mountain that leads to the Death Zone at 8,000 meters. What some people often miss is that the Face is part of the fourth highest mountain on Earth. Lhotse stands 27,940 feet tall.
While I was sitting in the fake Starbucks in Lukla after my successful Everest summit last year, I overheard a middle-aged climber talking to a group of trekkers, "I just summited Lhotse, it is a lot harder than Everest." The group began to grill him on the details. He rewarded them with tales of “real” climbing, rock fall, and severe altitude—without all the crowds of Everest. “I would never climb Everest,” he sniffed.