Shishapangma officially Xixiabangma is the fourteenth highest mountain in the world and the lowest of the eight-thousanders. It was the last 8,000 meter peak to be climbed, due to its location entirely within Tibet and the restrictions on outside visitation to the region imposed by the Chinese during the 1950s and later. The mountain has two summits, the commonly climbed Central summit that the Chinese say is 8013m (7999m on old maps) which we have reached four times. Naturally, we will be aiming to climb to the higher true summit, 8027m (26,335ft), let's see if we can get there!
Before the Chinese opened Tibet to western mountaineers in 1978, little was known about Shishapangma. The only 8,000m peak to lie entirely in Tibet, it lies tantalizingly close to the Nepalese border, shrouded behind the great, but less high, border peaks of Langtang. Enterprising individuals sought mere glimpses of it during the period that other 8,000m peaks were receiving their first ascents! It is perhaps not surprising that it was the last of the 8,000m peaks to be climbed. Not that its ascent by the North-West Ridge presents any great difficulty. On the contrary, it is now regarded as one of the most straightforward 8,000m climbs and its summit is frequently achieved.
Regarded as a 'holy' mountain by the local Tibetan population, and lying on the route to Mt. Kailash, Shishapangma continues to baffle us. Historians cannot fathom her names - Shishapangma, Xixabangma, Gosainthan. Yet, the mountain is perhaps the most accessible of her genre, rising only a few miles west of the Kathmandu-Lhasa Highway. It was 16 years before the mountain received its second ascent, by a West German team in 1980, and it has been climbed every year since.
Day 01- Arrival in Kathmandu Airport (1345meters).
There you will be met by our Airport Representative and transferred to hotel by private tourist vehicle. Overnight at hotel.
Day 02- Pre-trip Meeting and Sightseeing around Kathmandu valley.
In the morning after breakfast at 9 AM, we host a Pre-Trip meeting at your hotel in Kathmandu and introduced your expedition Leader/Guide and Sherpa team, at the same time it will provide an opportunity for individuals to ask questions about the your tour and to introduce you to other participants. This includes a final briefing and preparations for the trip.
PLEASE ADVISE US IF YOU WILL BE ARRIVING LATE AND ARE THEREFORE UNABLE TO ATTEND THE PRE-TRIP MEETING.
In THE PRE-TRIP MEETING All passengers MUST bring:
2. Four copies of Passport size photos each.
3. Travel Insurance Policy.
4. A writing pen
After the Pre-Trip meeting and breakfast your sightseeing trip will start at 9.45 AM in the morning. We provide a private vehicle and professional tour guide. We visit Bodhnath Stupa, one of the biggest Buddhist shrines in the world, where we observe Buddhist monks in prayer in the monasteries surrounding the stupa. After Bodhnath Stupa we visit Pashupatinath, the most famous Hindu temple in the country, located on the banks of the holy Bagmati River. Here we see Hindu holy men (sadhus) meditating, pilgrims bathing and occasionally funeral pyres burning on the ghats. We also visit Bhaktapur Durbar Square, which is a collection of pagoda and shikhara – style temples grouped around a fifty-five-window palace of brick and wood. The attraction of the Bhaktapur Durbar Square is The Lion gate, The Golden gate, The Palace of fifty five windows, Art Galleries, The Statue of King Bhupatindra Malla.
The rest of our time in Kathmandu is free for further exploration and some last-minute shopping in Thamel area near by your hotel. Later, we are supplied with our Trip Pack and information for tomorrow. Overnight at hotel.
Day 03- Official formalities in Kathmandu.
Formal briefing in the Ministry of Tourism. Today, the expedition leader will also check everyone's equipment. Overnight at hotel.
Day 04- Final Preparation day in Kathmandu. Overnight at hotel.
The last opportunity to buy anything missing.
Day 05- Fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa (3660meters). Overnight at hotel.
Early morning transfer to the international airport for the hour-long flight to Lhasa. This stunning flight, on a China Southwest Airlines Boeing 757, takes us right across the main Himalayan range and provides us with magnificent mountain views. After landing at Gongar Airport and meeting our local Tibetan Sherpa, it is a further 2-hour drive by Land cruiser to Lhasa. It's advisable to rest and take it easy for the remainder of the day due to Lhasa's altitude. Overnight at hotel.
Day 06- Sightseeing in Lhasa. Overnight at hotel.
We spend today visiting several of Lhasa's many monasteries in the company of a guide and interpreter. One of these is the Sera Monastery, one of the best-preserved monasteries in Tibet, within its whitewashed walls and golden roofs, several hundred monks live and study. After lunch we'll visit the Norbulingka, the summer palace of the Dalai Lama, as well as the Jokhang Temple. This temple is possibly the most sacred shrine in Tibet and there is always a procession of devout Tibetans through the complex. Surrounding the Jokhang is the Barkor - a maze of narrow cobbled streets that is the central market of Lhasa. Overnight at hotel.
Day 07- Second day of sightseeing in Lhasa. Overnight at hotel.
In the morning, we visit Potala Palace which dominates the city of Lhasa it’s a spectacular building, containing private quarters of the Dalai Lama as well as numerous grand state rooms and many important chapels. There has been a Palace on this site since the 5th or 6th century, but the present Palace was constructed in the 17th century. After lunch, we visit the Drepung Monastery, which was founded in the 14th century and was once the largest in the world, with a population of around 10,000 monks. These days that figure is down to several hundred, but there is still much here of interest as it was left relatively unscathed during the Cultural Revolution. Overnight at hotel.
Day 08- Drive to Shigatse (3900 meters), 6 hours. Overnight at hotel.
We set off in jeeps across the Tibetan plateau. Soon after leaving Lhasa, we reach the banks of the Tsang Po, which becomes the Brahmaputra River when it enters India. We drive up-stream for a while before turning southwest through barren desert-like valleys to reach Shigatse, Tibet's second city. Overnight in a hotel.
Day 09- Drive to Xegar (4000 meters), 6 hours. Overnight at hotel.
As we continue along the Tibetan highway, the northern edge of the Greater Himalaya comes into view, often providing a spectacular panorama of peaks, including Everest. We overnight in a hotel 7 kilometers outside the main town of Xegar. If there is time, we may be able to visit the main town and its hilltop monastery.
Day 10- Acclimatisation Day. Overnight at hotel.
This is an important day which will help is cope with the big height gain to Chinese base camp tomorrow. The general advice is to take it easy, but a visit the main town and a gentle hike up to its hilltop monastery (4,200m) are highly recommended.
Day 11- Drive to Shishapangma base camp (5000 meters). Overnight at tented camp.
Magnificent views of Shishapangma and many other mountains make today's road journey an unforgettable one. After crossing the Thang La (5,200meters) we turn off the Lhasa highway and head west along the road to Mount Kailash for a further 25 km. Turning south onto an even smaller track, we eventually arrive at base camp (5,000meters). This is situated close to the Yambughangala River, which drains the north side of Mt. Shishapangma.
Day 12 and 13- Base camp preparation. Overnight at tented camp.
Our first couple of days at base camp are spent preparing our equipment and organizing loads for the yaks to go up. These are also important days for our acclimatization, as we will all feel the effects of living at 5,000 meters and we need to be in good shape for the long route to advance base camp.
Day 14- Move to Advanced Base Camp (5600 meters). Overnight at tented camp.
After loading up the yaks with all of our equipment, we set off with them on the 12 mile/20 kilometer trek to advance base camp. Initially we follow a jeep track to a plateau above the river and then the west bank of the valley to ABC (Advance Base Camp) near the snout of the Yambughangala Glacier (5,600meters). This is in a very impressive situation, with the giant white pinnacles of the glacier leading up the valley to Shishapangma. Here we unload the yaks and set up the camp, which is the take-off point for the climb. From here the Sherpas have to do most of the load carrying.
Day 15 to 40- Climb period of Shishapangma.
Above Advance Base Camp we will place two or three camps depending on conditions. The climb starts with a long traverse leading to a large camping area at 6,400meters. From here we traverse further, gaining a lot of height, to reach the shoulder of the mountain and camp 2 (7,100meters). All of the climbing is on scree or snow and presents little difficulty. The North-West Ridge is easily reachable from camp 2, although it may involve snow and ice climbing up to 50° steep. Fixed ropes are placed on all steep/crevassed sections. If a high camp is required, it is placed according to the prevailing conditions. The summit ridge is very long and it is usual to take a rising diagonal line across the snow slope below it to reach the ridge as close to the summit as possible. The West Summit (8,008meters) of Shishapangma is quicker to reach than the main summit and is the usual point reached by 'summiteers'. Plenty of time has been allowed in case of bad weather and slow acclimatization. We intend to have enough time at the end of the expedition to make a complete withdrawal from the mountain, removing all equipment and rubbish and taking it back to ABC.
The expedition leader in discussion with the team members and sherpas manages the day to day running of the expedition. The sherpas carry the majority of the equipment to establish the camps leaving us to familiarize ourselves with the mountain and get more acclimatized, a long process. There are several different methods to ready for yourself for the summit bid, we will discuss them in detail on the mountain.
The basic plan is to spend 3-4 days at ABC then take a 6-7 day trip up on the mountain sleeping as high as Camp two, 7100m. Logistically, it takes some sound preparation and organization to ensure all the camps are set up with the appropriate supplies. Then we need a window of good weather for the summit attempt and often this is a waiting game.
Summit route options
Summit day means a very early start. The best route to the true summit is crossing the face (in green above, and the picture to the right) but we judge at the time whether this is safe.
The route in yellow goes first to the Central summit, which we must fix, ropes too. From there to the true summit is a knife-edged ridge that is rarely in condition for traversing, although it is only nasty for less than a rope length.
The other possibility is a 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 although there are a few crevasses.
Safety and the Conduct of the Climb
Many people have now climbed Shishapangma, the mountain and its potential dangers deserve respect by all those attempting it. Reaching the summit late in the day would be a serious mistake and our guides will ensure that sensible timings are adhered too. The aim of our expedition will be to get as many team members as possible to the summit. However, this will not be to the detriment of safety. Safety will govern all decision making on the mountain and will be based on the sound mountaineering judgment of our highly experienced mountain guides. To support our guides on the mountain, we at Ace the Himalaya will plan the expedition as thoroughly and carefully as possible using our own experience and knowledge of the mountain to maximum benefit. Ultimately, the leader will have sole discretion on the implementation of any plan to climb the mountain and he will ensure that safety remains the prime consideration.
The high mountains of the Himalaya, and Shishapangma in particular, are there for us to climb and to enjoy. Our priority will be to enable all team members to fulfill their potential on the mountain and to come home safely having had a life enhancing experience. Whether or not expedition members reach the top, the expedition should be an enjoyable and rewarding achievement that will form the basis of many long cherished memories and friendships.
Day 41 and 42 - Cleaning the mountain.
It takes several days to clear all the camps, and bring all our rubbish down.
Day 43- Packing Advance base camp.
More packing! Occasionally we can arrange for the climbers to leave ahead of the expedition leader and sherpas. We judge at the time.
Day 44- Trek Base Camp and drive Zhangmu. Overnight at guesthouse.
We trek to Base Camp then get the truck and Land cruisers there in the afternoon, heading to Zhangmu. Back to thicker air.
Day 45- Drive back to Kathmandu. Overnight at hotel and it's time for celebration.
We should arrive in Kathmandu late afternoon or evening ready to enjoy the good restaurants.
Day 46- At leisure in Kathmandu. Overnight at hotel.
Time for a relaxing and shopping and to celebrate the expedition. K2 Summit Trek & Expedition will host an evening barbecue to celebrate the expedition and as a farewell party to thank the Sherpas and the team member for their support and friendship during the expedition with the hope of seeing you all again for next expedition, may be Everest!!
Day 47- Transfer to international airport for your final departure.
The trip ends, our Airport Representative will drop you to the Kathmandu international airport for your final flight departure from Nepal.
PLEASE NOTE: The above itinerary is not a fixed program but is intended to give an indication of the likely events during the expedition. Please note that because of climbing above 8000 meters, it will be necessary to have a flexible plan in order to take the best advantage of situations as they present themselves. Any changes to the itinerary will be made with a view to maximizing the benefit to the team members and of ensuring their eventual success on the mountain.
Normally climbers will change their departure flights from Kathmandu when they know exactly when the expedition is going to end. We plan to stay at Base Camp for climbing as long as it takes us to be successful.
Team members should take out private insurance if they wish to be covered against cancellation due to medical or personal reasons. This is called trip Cancellation insurance and can be obtained from your normal travel agent.
Our aim is to safely help as many team members as possible reach their goal, and we invest in the people and equipment that will make this happen. We value our reputation as the premiere climbing company in Himalayas and we only put programs in place that measure up to our own high standards. If you would like to join an excellent team on Shishapangma, we encourage you to contact us to discuss your goals and qualifications and secure an exciting role for yourself on our team.
All of our local leaders are trained in first aid and have a good knowledge of high altitude medical problems. The expedition will be equipped with the following:
-A well stocked first aid and medical kit sufficient to counter any possible mountaineering ailments, from headache to serious injury.
-Oxygen equipment for medical use only.
-A portable hyperbaric chamber (Gamow bag)
-Emergency communications on the mountain and satellite communications link for helicopter evacuation.
Experience has shown how important it is to be able to talk to every team member, at all times. If you join Ace the Himalaya on Shishapangma expedition, you will have a dedicated radio. Each Sherpa will also have his own radio, so that at all times we can keep in touch with everyone, and everyone can keep in touch with each other.
We have an extremely good working relationship with the Helicopter Rescue Service, which means that an aircraft can be in the air immediately. Base Camp is equipped with a lap top and high speed satellite connection. The satellite communications are also used to send back regular reports, every couple of days, to Ace the Himalaya office. Expedition updates are then posted on the web and/or are sent to family and friends via email.
Oxygen & Rregulators
The amount of oxygen available to each team member has a direct bearing on the overall success of an expedition. The quantities will provide enough oxygen for every member to sleep on it from 7,000m and to use it to climb from there to the summit and back again. The Sherpas will also be using oxygen on summit day and for sleeping and working on and around. If you are unsuccessful in your first attempt at the top, then we will ensure that you have enough oxygen for another go.
We will be using lightweight oxygen bottles throughout the expedition, manufactured by Poisk. The Poisk bottles are without doubt the best available for mountaineering, as they have a proven track-record and are relatively light. The regulators are also manufactured by Poisk.
While the official name of the expedition will remain the "Ace Shishapangma Expedition ", you can use another name for personal marketing purposes if it will assist you in any way. You will also be completely free to enter into personal agreements with sponsors or supporters if you choose.
Expedition members will need to provide 6 passport-size photographs for various climbing and trekking permits.
Sherpas are the indigenous people who were born in the Himalayas, reared in the Himalayas, involved in the occupation like climbing and mountaineering. Our Sherpa team has dozens of 8000 meters summits between them. We have a legendary group of Climbing Sherpas who operate the expedition and its members in a harmonious atmosphere of cooperation and commitment. Our group of climbing Sherpas is enthusiastic, motivated and regarded as the strongest and most cohesive group of Sherpas of Himalayas. It is indicative of the reputation that our Sherpa team has earned - that Sherpas from other expeditions enthusiastically pursue a future position with the Ace the Himalaya Team.
Our cooking staffs are very well known for the quality of the cuisine they produce and as a consequence are coveted by other team leaders due to the reputation they have established.
Additional climbing Sherpa
In our normal expedition you carry your personal equipment; sleeping bag, mattress/s, down suit, snacks, clothing while the sherpas carry the meals, gas, stoves, tents and oxygen. The team climbs together between camps and a climbing sherpa will also accompany you to the summit. This is a good level of service, and suits most people, however if you want an additional climbing sherpa to assist with your personal equipment and to climb with you all the time, we can provide.
We provide updates using our own website so regardless of whether you have your own or not your family and friends will know what is happening.
• Airport / Hotel / Airport pick up & drop by private car / van / bus.
• Standard twin sharing accommodation in three/four star hotel in Kathmandu breakfast included. (6 nights)
• Guided city tour in Kathmandu by private car / van / bus.
• Full board meal during the tour/trek and camping at base camp, prepared by our cook with hot Tea & coffee.
• All base camp and Advance base camp camping gears (We will provide fully water proof dining tents, kitchen gears, dining table, chairs, toilet tents, shower tent at the base camp and advance base camp)
• High quality tents for all camps.
• Insurance for all Nepali staffs and porters including helicopter rescue provision.
• Boiled and purify drinking water for the trek and at base camp.
• Expedition permits
• Liaison officer and his round trip flight, insurance, wages, expedition equipments etc.
• High altitude climbing food, fuel, Gas above base camp (you are also advised to bring some high altitude food yourselves)
• Guide, cook, porters, helpers up to base camp
• Climbing Sherpas (1 member = 1 Sherpa Ratio on climbing day)
• A well stocked first aid and medical kit sufficient to counter any possible mountaineering ailments, from headache to serious injury.
• Oxygen equipment for medical use and summit (from 7,000m) only.
• A portable hyperbaric chamber (Gamow bag)
• Emergency communications on the mountain and satellite communications link for helicopter evacuation..
• Mask regulator
• Sightseeing/Monument entrance fees.
• Welcome and farewell dinner for members in Kathmandu.
• Power supply at Base Camp for charging electronics (solar or generator backup)
• Flight cost from Kathmandu - Lhasa including airport departure tax.
• Chinese visa and permit. (We handle all the paperwork for the Chinese visa and all the Tibet travel and climbing permits.)
• All our government taxes and vat.
• Lunch and dinner whilst in Kathmandu and in Lhasa.
• Travel Insurance which cover emergency Rescue and Evacuation. (K2 Summit Treks & Expedition strongly recommends that you purchase a Global Rescue membership to protect yourself. We are an authorized agent of Global Rescue. Read about our emergency helicopter RESCUE & SECURITY EVACUATION Policy)
• International airfare and airport departure tax.
• Nepal entry visa fee (Tourist Visa with Multiple Entry for 90 days can be obtained by paying US $ 100 in Kathmandu airport up on your arrival. You will also require 2 passport size photos You can easily extend the visa if require.)
• Items of a personal nature such as alcoholic drinks, cold drinks, laundry.
• Personal trekking and Climbing Equipment.
• Any others expenses which are not mentioned on Price Includes section.
• Excess baggage charges.
• Sherpa tip pool (See below)
• Internet and sat phone.
• Costs incurred as a result of delays or events beyond the control of K2 Summit Treks and Expedition
|Trip Duration:||47 Days|
|Trip Destination:||Shisapangma Expedition
|Group Size:||1 - 12|
|Max. Altitude:||8027 meters
||Flight, Private Car or a Tourist Coach.|
|Accommodations:||LODGE CAMPING ( Both)|
|Trip Seasons:||Spring / Autumn