Ballinger Plans Ski Descent of Lhotse Couloir

Waiting for more snow

Climbers at Lhotse.     Photo: Garrett Madison

Alpenglow Expeditions founder and head guide Adrian Ballinger plans to complete the first ski descent of Everest's Lhotse Couloir, weather permitting, later this season season.

"Of course the Lhotse Couloir is one of the dream un-skied lines in the Himalaya," Ballinger told ExplorersWeb. "When I climbed and guided it in 2011, I couldn't believe it hadn't been skied yet. Of course that was an unusual year, with unbelievable ski conditions. I just hope we get a chance with skiable snow!"

Ballinger and Sergey Baranov have spent the past week acclimatizing, rotating between Camp 2 and Camp 3. The team plans to summit Everest for a better look of Lhotse Couloir. As of now, the run is on hold. "It is not deep enough or consistent enough to keep us off the ice."

Given the current snow conditions, the pair is worried that skiing the face may dislodge ice, potentially impacting climbers and raising tensions on the mountain.

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