March 2021

The stones from Lhotse

In 2021, we are marking the 40th anniversary of the 1981 Yugoslav Himalayan expedition to Lotse (8.516 m), Nepal, (10. 3. – 28. 5. 1981). Aleš Kunaver, leader of the expedition, foresaw  three possibilities of reaching the top – two of them should lead to the top of Lhotse and the third to the ridge of the Lhotse South Face. The third variant was successful. In 64 days of extremely strenuous climbing and hard work in the South Face the expedition only had four days without snowing and avalanches. On 18 th May, after 24-hour non-stop climbing in extremely dangerous and risky conditions , Franček Knez in Vanja Matijevec reached the ridge of the South Face at the height of 8,100 metres and returned by climbing the same direction. The International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation – UIAA assessed the achievement as the most difficult intervention in the Himalayas until then.

The stones on display were brought from Lhotse by Aleš Kunaver. As explained by the alpinist Vanja Matijevec, the South Face is black in its lower part, yellow in the middle and black again in the upper part.