Mt.Shishapangma (photo by Barbara 2006)The expedition begins in Kathmandu where you meet the guide, crew and team members and our Tibet visa is issued. Then we drive up the Friendship Highway to Zhangmu, the Nepal-Tibet border, where our Chinese liaison officers and Chinese transport meet us. The gear goes by truck while we travel by Landcruiser 4wd. We take time to acclimatize at Nyalam (3750m).
We cross the main Himalayan range over the Lalung La (pass: 5150m) to Tingri (4350m) where we spend a further two nights acclimatising. From here briefly retrace our route to the turn off for Shishapangma BC. We leave the main metal road at the top of one pass and descend into a stunning wide valley then bump up a grassy plain to BC with the Himalaya spread in front of us. We set up base camp at a place called Chinese Base Camp and stay perhaps three or four nights, depending on how everyone feels and the schedule of the yaks. Base camp is a temporary but comfortable affair with large cook and mess tents. We trek to advanced base camp (ABC).
ABC is to the north of the main Himalayan range, slightly sheltered from the Nepal weather systems. There are views of the upper section of the mountain. This is our main base camp and we plan to stay here and higher for the duration of the expedition. Every person gets a tent to their own.
From ABC it is several hours of tough walking on a vague path over rough moraine to a camp where we change boots for the glacier. We will put a camp in here. We cross a large glacier via a trail marked with flags to a flat area then begin the climb to Camp 1, several hours away and over some crevassed slopes that should have ropes fixed over them.
Camp 1 lies on a huge almost flat snow field that is cut by narrow but deep crevasses, although sometimes they are well covered
There are several options for the placing of camps from this point. The route crosses the rest of the flat glacier then climbs. Usually this broad slope has ropes fixed up sections of it. It could avalanche in bad conditions. Above is a huge area, a gentle ridge. We will probably put a camp here at first, then perhaps move it further along after staying for the first time.
The more usual place for Camp 2 (7150m) is further along and almost under the face of Shishapangma, near a col.
It is possible to summit from Camp 2 but since we are aiming for the true summit we will definitely establish Camp 3 on the ridge at 7400-7500m. The climb to this ridge steepens as we get higher and it is normal to fix 400-800m of rope.
From Camp 3 we have a spectacular view that stretches way into the distance to the north and also we can see Everest and Cho Oyu.
Summit day means a very early start. There are two possible routes: the ridge and the face. We will decide which is safer at the time.
The ridge (in yellow): At first we climb along the broad, easy ridge without ropes then at around 7900m the ridge gets steeper and narrower so we will fix this section. Once at the lower summit we fix another 100m of rope to traverse the almost knife edged ridge to the easier terrain to the true summit. The Face, normal route (in yellow then green): from close to the summit we traverse out. These slopes are often in bad condition.
New route (in blue): from Camp 3 we descend a little onto a broad plateau and will probably have to put a camp there. The slopes from there on are moderate.The panorama is breathtakingly magnificent. After summitting it is normal to descend to Camp 2 and from here the big job of clearing the mountain.
Day 01 : Pick up from the International Airport, transfer to Hotel & well come diner.
Day 02-03 : Tibet visa preparation and packing the all neccesarythings for expedition
Day 04 : Drive to Tibet boarder, transfer to Zangmu- O/N Hotel.
Day 05 : Drive to Nylam- O/N Guest House
Day 06 : Rest day for acclimatization- O/N Guest House.
Day 07 : Drive to Tingri (4350m).
Day 08 : Rest for acclimatization.
Day 09 : Tingri to Base shishapangma Base camp.O/N Camp.
Day 10 : Base Camp to advanced base camp.
Day 11-38 : Climbing period.O/N Camp
Day 39 : Cleaning the Camp.
Day 40 : Trek back to Tingri.
Day 41 : Drive to Nyalam in Hotel.
Day 42 : Drive to Kathmandu Via Zangmu.
Day 43 : Free/shopping day in kathmandu.
Day 44 : Transfer to International Airport and fly home.