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Chris Benchetler getting it good. photo - Peter Morning
Team Clif Bar Blog
May 11, 2011
Chris Davenport Drops the Lhotse Face

This just in from Team CLIF Bar athlete Chris Davenport... Namaste and greetings everyone! We are finally back down in Basecamp after our second rotation on the mountain. We did six nights at Camp II, which is at 21,400 feet and had excellent weather while we were up there acclimatizing. The great thing about Camp II is that you are right up under the Southwest Face and below the Lhotse Face as well, so the views are stunning and you really feel as if you are high on the mountain. While we were there Neal and I had some time to do some skiing, and we took full advantage. While both of us are here as guides for our great client Ephi, we of course brought along our skis "just in case." Well the mountain gods smiled upon us up there, and we were able to make a descent of the Lhotse Face from just above camp III. This ski descent has only been accomplished a handful of times before, and the conditions that the mountain gave us were truly incredible. If I were to rank it in my lifetime resume of ski descents, it would definitely make the top three, joining perhaps the Messner Couloir on Denali and the East Face of the Matterhorn near the top of the list.

Chris Davenport 1
 

Above is what the Lhotse Face looked like during our first rotation up the mountain. The face was basically pure black ice and I never imagined that we would get to ski any part of it. Camp IV at the South Col is just to the left of the Everest- Lhotse Ridge in the image.

Chris Davenport 2

Skinning up the Khumbu Glacier on the approach to Camp II and the Lhotse Face.

Chris Davenport 3

Bill Allen and Ephi Gildor climb the lower Lhotse face towards Camp III early in the morning on the 5th. You can see how the snow conditions on the face have changed for the better.

Chris Davenport 4

Here I am climbing the fixed lines above Camp III. The rocky ridge behind me is the Geneva Spur and in the distance above it is the South Col. There are fixed lines the entire way up the face, which not only makes the climbing easier, but quite a bit safer as well. As far as gear goes for the climb I'm wearing Garmont Masterlight boots with Black Diamond Neve crampons, a BD couloir harness with BD ascender, My pants and jacket are from my White Spyder Collection- the Eiger Shell Jacket and Sanction Pant. On my back is a BD Sphinx pack and the new Kastle TX87 skis with Dynafit bindings. I'm wearing a Smith Maze helmet and Custom Smith I/O turbofan goggles with Sol X dark lenses, and of course there is a Contour GPS camera up there as well.

Chris Davenport 5

 

Neal Beidleman and the summit of Everest in the background.

Chris Davenport 6

Nearing the top of our climb for the day, Camp III on the Lhotse Face. We have about 500 feet to go in this photo. Photo: Neal Beidleman



Posted by: 
B Cole
Category: 
Winter Sports
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