Shishsapangma, 8027m, is an ideal introduction to the world of 8000-meter peaks. Not only is it the lowest of the world’s fourteen 8000-meter peaks, the ascent of Shishapangma via the North-West Face and North Ridge is considered the easiest summit of all.
Shishapangma’s a massive peak is the fourteenth highest mountain in the world. Shishapangma is the only 8000-meter peak located entirely in Tibet. Since the region only opened to foreign climbers in 1978, this is relatively a ‘new mountain’. It was first climbed in 1964 by a Tibetan-Chinese expedition, but it wasn’t until 1980 that foreign teams began to set foot on Shishapangma.
Shishapangma is still a serious challenge as there are always risks associated with 8000-meter peaks like AMS, weather, crevasses and avalanches. Most expeditions are satisfied with the Central Summit and do not traverse the corniced ridge to the Main Summit as the knife-edged ridge between the Central Summit and the Main Summit can be very unstable.
There are also other routes of ascent; the West, East and even the steep and craggy South Face, but they are technically more demanding.
From Chinese Base Camp to ABC, 5600m, is an 18km trek and takes two days to reach the lateral moraine where we set up ABC. This is actually the true base camp for our climb as we will not return to the Chinese Base camp until we complete the climb. Annapurna Foothills Treks and expeditions assures that we have comfortable and equipped accommodation - a private tent for every climber, a dining tent, a small tent for the latrine and another tent for the shower and an equipment tent. From this camp we have a fantastic view up to the end of the glacier right to the summit of Shishapangma.
Here at ABC we string prayer flags in four directions from a rock altar and do the Puja that is obligatory before our expedition sets foot on the mountain. A Sherpa or a local Lama asks forgiveness from the mountain for the holes made by our crampons, ice axes and other sharp items and asks for permission and protection from the Mountain Gods.
From ABC to Camp I, 6400m: While we acclimatize in ABC the Sherpas carry tents to establish Camp I. The route follows along the lateral moraine of the Shishapangma Glacier. At about 5790m we spend a night at an interim camp named Depot Camp on the edge of the Glacier. The sloping scree is not such a convenient camp site. From this point onward we need snow and ice gear so we set out wearing our heavy boots, crampons, harnesses and carrying ice axes. At about 5800m, at the end of the lateral moraine, we cross the glacier to a flat area with many serac formations and tall ice towers. This is the only technical climbing on our route to the summit. After that, we climb a "headwall" of 20-34 degrees up to Camp I on the slopes of the Shishapangma massif. It takes about 6 hours to reach Camp I.
From Camp I to Camp II, 7000m: A long gentle snowy slope follows the bottom of a big glacial valley. On the way we can look right up to the summit of Shishapangma. Another "headwall" of about 30 degrees leads up to a massive plateau where Camp II is set up. The altitude makes even this easy slope taxing so it takes about 4-5 hours to reach Camp II.
From Camp II to Camp III, 7400m, we cross a large plateau and then climb an gentle slope. At 7100m we reach another headwall of 28-38 degrees dotted with rocky outcroppings. Camp III sits on a protected rock-crowned flat buttress. The climb takes about 3 hours.
From Camp III to Central Summit, 8007m, we ascend a fairly steep snowfield toward a rock ridge, 7600m, where there is a prominent pointed rock, called the gendarm. From this rock, the normal route follows the NE ridge. A final steep section requires about 300m fixed rope up to the Central Summit, 8007m. We celebrate our victory and enjoy amazing views of Everest, Cho-Oyu, the Tibetan plateau, and endless mountains. It takes about 7-8 hours to reach the summit, when conditions are favorable.
Few climbers attempt the True Summit, 8027m of Shishapangma. From the Central Summit there is a brutal double-corniced snow ridge that even in fine weather is tricky and unstable.
We follow the same route to descend to Camp III, spend the night there, another night at ABC and finally back to Chinese Base Camp from where we travel back to Kathmandu by road.
Day 1 : Arrival in Kathmandu
Day 2 : Preparation Day in Kathmandu
Day 3 : Preparation Day in Kathmandu
Day 4 : Drive to Kodari on the Tibetan Border, 2300m
Day 5 : Cross into Tibet and drive to Nyalam, 3750m
Day 6 : Acclimatization hikes around Nyalam
Day 7 : Drive to Tingri, 4300m
Day 8 : Acclimatization Day in Tingri
Day 9 : Drive to Chinese (Everest) Base Camp, 5150m
Day 10 : 10-12 Acclimatization at Base Camp
Day 13 : Walk halfway to advanced base camp, camp at 5200 metres
Day 14 : Walk to ABC at 5600 metres
Day 15 : Rest, training, and organization at advanced base camp
Day 16 : We make the long traverse to a large camping area of Camp I, 6400m, and return to ABC
Day 17 : Rest in ABC
Day 18 : Climb to Camp I, 6400m, and sleep there.
Day 19 : Climb to Camp II, 7000m, on scree or snow to reach the shoulder of the mountain and return to ABC
Day 20 : Rest in ABC
Day 21 : Rest in ABC
Day 22 : Climb to Camp I and sleep there
Day 23 : Climb to Camp II and sleep there
Day 24 : Rest in Camp II
Day 25 : Climb to Camp III and sleep there
Day 26 : 26-36 Summit Attempt and descend to Camp II
Day 37 : Pack up Chinese Base Camp and drive to Tingri
Day 38 : Drive to Kathmandu
Day 39 : Free Day in Kathmandu
Day 40 : Departure from Kathmandu
1. Cargo clearance
2. All related airport / hotel / airport transfers
3. Hotel accommodation in Kathmandu on B&B twin sharing basis
4. Road transport by private vehicle to Chinese Base Camp both for expeditioners and staff
5. Full board service during entire tour except in Kathmandu
6. All transport of necessary expedition supplies: Chinese Base Camp- Cho Oyo Base camp (by yaks and porters)
7. Dining tent with Dining table and chairs in Base Camp
8. Kitchen tent and 2 high altitude cooks for Base Camp including equipment, wages and insurance
9. EPI Gas with burner and cooking pot set
10. Gas heaters in the dining tent & solar panel power available at BC
11. First-rate high altitude food
12. Sherpa climbing guide per climber, including equipment, wages and insurance
13. Climbing Permit and all necessary permits
14. Garbage deposit
16. Radio walkie-talkie set for climber/Sherpa team, including permit charge
17. Single sleeping tents with closed cell pads for entire expedition
18. 2 cylinders of oxygen per climber with mask and regulator set
29. 1 cylinders of oxygen per climbing Sherpa with mask and regulator set
20. Cost of transporting oxygen to Camp III and IV by Sherpa porter
21. Liaison Officer charges including insurance
22. Shower tent at Base Camp
23. Toilet tent at Base Camp & Camp II
24. Gear tent for storage at Base Camp & Camp II
25. Gamow Bag up to Camp II
26. Satellite telephone (per minute rates apply)
Oxygen cylinders hold 1800 liters, which at 3 liters/minute lasts 10 hours. One bottle and regulator weighs about 7.3kg total. You will not carry more than one bottle at a time. Most climbers use oxygen from Camp III, at 1 liter/min. for sleeping and 3 liter/min climbing. This means a total of 2 cylinders are needed for the summit and descent back to Camp III.
Extra oxygen bottles are available for $600 each. They must be ordered at the time of booking.
1. Your travel insurance (Should include helicopter evacuation as well)
2. International air tickets
3. Nepal entry visa (with re-entry)
4. China Visa fee
4. Lunches & dinners in Kathmandu
5. Personal climbing equipment
6. Two sleeping bags, one for Base Camp and one for the higher camps
6. Expenses of personal nature
7. Tips for climbing support staff (See Advice for Tips)
Why Climb Shishpangma with Annapurna Foothills Treks?
The best time to climb Shishapangma is in April/May, before the monsoon or in October the post-monsoon season. The duration of the expeditions is around 40 days.
Destination : Tibet
Duration : 40 Days
Price : US $11000 p/p
Trip Grade : Alpine Grade 3E
Group Size:2 - 12 Persons
Hotel in Kathmandu:5 Nights B&B plan (Bed & Breakfast)
Accommodation during Expedition:All meals in lodges during Trekking & Camping
Was really impressed with the speed at which they organised a tour for me, and the quality of the tour itself. The director - Ngima - was very responsive and really helpful, meeting me the day before my tour and introducing me to my guide the day of the tour.…Phillippa
Just got back from an awesome trip to Nepal, kindly arranged by Ngima Sherpa from Annapurna Foothills Treks. The organisation of the trip was absolutely flawless, and I can't remember having any problems during my whole month long stay. My Sherpa Dendi (as featured in the new Everest movie),is a…Neil Murphy
My boyfriend and I wanted to trek in Nepal so I found Annapurna Foothills details online - they were amazing from start to finish. Ngima, the Managing Director was really helpful over email in planning the trip and flexible to help us fit in everything we wanted to. Our guide…Meriel Flint