Climbing one peak in the Himalayas that stands at a height of over 8000 meters is a dream of every mountaineer. Climbing two in a short span of 24 hours is almost undoable. But, human endurance and the will to achieve the impossible have always turned undoable feats into doable ones.
The feat of climbing two peaks over 8000 meters has been achieved earlier when the Everest-Lhotse double in 24 hours was first achieved in 2011 by the American Michael Horst, who made the route without returning to the base camp. The world speed record belongs to the Nepalese Mingma Dorchi Sherpa from 2019, who reached the two peaks in six hours and one minute.
Gabriel Băicuş, a mountaineer from Romania recently climbed two of the world’s highest peaks, one the topmost, Mt. Everest, and the other Mt. Lhotse, ranked 4th in just over 24 hours, without returning to base camp, according to information received by our team from M/S Hiking Adventure Treks Pvt. Ltd., a premier Travel Agency from Kathmandu, Nepal.
Băicuş became the first Romanian to achieve this, and he achieved this by braving difficult weather conditions during the ascent of Everest. Everest Peak is the highest point on Earth, with an altitude of 8,848 meters above sea level. The Lhotse massif ranks fourth in the world, with a height of 8,516 meters is located three kilometers in a straight line from Everest. The two are separated by the Southern Saddle, which is at 7,930 meters.
Băicuş began his double ascent began on Wednesday, May 11, from the base camp. After spending a night in camp II (6,500 m), he reached camp III on Thursday (over 7,000 m). On Friday, the ascent continued to the Southern Saddle in the so-called “Death Zone”, called so because of the very sparse air. Gabriel Băicuş’s ascent to the top of Everest began at night, at 22:00, Nepal time, and lasted about 10 hours. Once this goal was reached, Gabriel descended to the Southern Saddle, where he rested, followed by the ascent to Lhotse Peak, which he reached on Sunday morning. The two peaks were climbed with the support of Sherpas, the leader of the expedition being Da Dendi Sherpa from the Himalayan Glacier, the 15th successful on Everest, and using additional oxygen starting at an altitude of 7,300 meters.
After successfully coming down, Gabriel Băicuş said,” The hardest moment was when I came face to face with the immensity of the ice wall that I was going to climb from Camp IV, in the Southern Saddle. I had in front of me the image of endless fixed ropes; one ended and the other began. It was night and strong wind, and fatigue was beginning to speak. The hardest part was getting over that moment, but every step I took brought me closer to my dream. It was hard to go at night, I was exhausted, mentally it was a moment of balance, but somehow I didn’t give up. The joy of success and double ascent remains, regardless of reaching a record time or not .”
The Romanian climber will return to his home country at the beginning of June. The double ascent of Everest and Lhotse is part of the “Himalayan 148” project, through which Gabriel Băicuş aims to reach the other 11 peaks of over 8,000 m in the Himalayan – Karakorum mountain range over the next few years. Through this expedition, the climber aimed to draw attention to the importance of nature conservation and mountains in Romania, but also to encourage Romanians to do sports.
About Gabriel Băicuş
Born in Buzău County, Băicuş (36 years old) has a record in Europe, Africa, and Asia, including Manaslu (8,163 m), Ama Dablam (6,814 m), Mera Peak (6,476 m), Island Peak (6160 m) and Lobuche East (6,119 m).
He is also currently doing business with M/S Hiking Adventure Treks Pvt. Ltd., a premier Travel Agency from Kathmandu, Nepal, and helping them promote tourism in Nepal in the Spanish market.
You can connect with him at Gabriel Băicuş