Lhotse is the fourth highest mountain in the world. Its long east-west crest is located immediately south of Mount Everest (29,035 ft./ 8,850 m.), and the South Col, a vertical ridge that never drops below 8,000 meters, connects the summits of the two mountains. Lhotse is sometimes mistakenly identified as the south peak of the Everest massif. No serious attention was turned to climbing Lhotse until after Everest had finally been ascended. Lhotse was first climbed in 1956 as an alternative route to the summit of Everest.