Shisapangma Expedition (Zangmu)
Starts from: Kathmandu
Best season: Spring and autumn
Duration of trip: 44 days
Ranking 14th among the highest peaks on earth, Mount Shishapangma is one of the easiest 8,000m mountains. Unlike the 8,000ers that lie either in Nepal or Nepal-Tibet Border, Shishapangma is the only 8,000er that completely lies inside Tibet. In fact, the mountain came to limelight only after the Chinese Government opened Tibet to the Western summiteers in 1978. Shishapangma means “the range above the grassy plain” and Tibetans worship the mountain as a holy being. The mountain is also the youngest as well as smallest of its other 8,000m cousins.
The normal route to Shishapangma is the North West Ridge. The route takes us up easy angled snow slopes up to 35 degrees with one steeper section. Sherpas fix the lines on the steeper or crevassed sections. The summit day is the most arduous day in the climb – the summit lying on the far end of the high snowfield. However, all the hard labor gets rewarded on the summit with the magnificent views the highest peaks unfolding before your eyes.
Detailed Expedition Itinerary:
DAY 01: Arrival KTM and transfer to hotel – 1300m/4264ft
Upon your arrival in the Tribhuvan international airport, our representative will welcome you and will assist to transfer you in your hotel in Kathmandu. You may relax at your hotel or go around for shopping. In the evening All Trekkers Team will organize welcome dinner for you in one of the typical Nepalese restaurant in the heart of Kathmandu meanwhile briefing about your adventurous trip will take place. Overnight at hotel.
DAY 02-03: At leisure in Kathmandu
Sightseeing and Preparation for Shisapangma Expedition. While the leader attends a formal briefing in the Ministry of Tourism, you will explore the fascinating city of Kathmandu. You will visit famous Stupa, Boudha Nath and the popular Hindu pilgrimage site, Pashupati Nath Temple. In the late afternoon, the leader will check everyone’s equipment, as Kathmandu is the last opportunity to buy anything missing. You will also get introduced with fellow expedition members and guides. Overnight at hotel.
DAY 04: Fly to Lhasa
Today we fly to one of the highest capitals in the world, Lhasa in Tibet. Relish the astonishing views of the Himalayas, including Everest, Makalu, Kangchenjunga and the Tibetan valleys. In Lhasa, we will be met and taken to a good standard hotel near the city centre. We make Lhasa our base for acclimatization to the high Tibetan altitude.
DAY 05-06: Acclimatizing and discovering Lhasa
While we acclimatize with the high altitude, we also visit important landmarks in Lhasa including the Dalai Lama’s Potala Palace. Lhasa life certainly offers glimpses into one of the most preserved ancient cultural heritages.
DAY 07: Drive to Shigatse – 3,900m/12792 ft:6 hrs
Depart Lhasa for Shigatse, Tibet’s second largest city. Reach the banks of the Tsang Po, which becomes the Brahmaputra River in India. Drive up-stream for a while before turning southwest through barren desert-like valleys. Overnight stay in a Shigatse hotel.
DAY 08: Drive to Xegar – 4,000m/13120 ft:8 hrs
Continue along the Tibetan highway. Views of the Himalayas unfold with a spectacular panorama of peaks, including Everest. Stay overnight in a hotel outside the main town of Xegar. If time allows, visit the main town and its hilltop monastery.
DAY 09:Acclimatization Day
Acclimatizing well before gaining height toward the Chinese basecamp. Visit the main town and a gentle hike up to its hilltop monastery.
DAY 10: Drive to Shishapangma base camp
Enjoy the unfolding views High Himalayas including that of the magnificent Shishapangma. Cross the Thang La (5,200m) and turn off the Lhasa highway toward west. After a 25 km drive on the road to Mount Kailash, turn south eventually arriving at the Shishapangma Base camp (5,000m). The basecamp lies close to the Yambughangala River.
DAY 10-12: Basecamp preparation
Today is spent acclimatizing and preparing equipment for the climb. Also organizing the loads for yaks to carry. It’s important to acclimatize at the basecamp properly before moving toward the advance basecamp.
DAY 13: Move to Advanced Basecamp
Trek to advance basecamp (ABC). The yaks carry the load. Follow a jeep track to a plateau above the river and then the west bank of the valley to ABC near the snout of the Yambughangala Glacier (5,600m). It’s about 20 km from basecamp to ABC.
DAY 14 to Day 39: The Climbing period:
Enough time needs to be allowed for bad weather and slow acclimatization. Depending upon conditions, two or three camps are set up above ABC. Start climbing leading to a large camping area at 6,400m. Reach the shoulder of the mountain and camp 2 (7,000m). From camp 2, the North-West Ridge is easily reachable. There may be snow and ice climbing. There are fixed ropes placed on all steep sections. Requirement of a high camp depends upon the weather and other conditions. Climb the long summit ridge that rises across the snow slope below. The west summit (8,008m) of Shishapangma is quicker to reach than the main summit. After summiting, withdraw from the mountain removing all equipment and rubbish and taking it back to ABC.
DAY 40: Return to Basecamp
Get back to the basecamp. Equipment, etc. are carried by yaks. Prepare for tomorrow’s departure from Tibet.
DAY 41: Depart Tibet
Drive to Nepal. Cross the Friendship Bridge by the afternoon. Camping or stay in lodge at the Nepal Tibet border at Tatopani.
DAY 42: Arrive in Kathmandu
Drive to Kathmandu and the welcome delights of the Summit Hotel.
DAY 43: At leisure in Kathmandu
Buy souvenirs, hang around, or just relax.
DAY 44: Depart Kathmandu
Fly Back Home
Recommended Previous Experience:
A previous high altitude climbing experience is essential. Work together as a team so that all members reach the top safely. Members need to have experience in being part of a team, working toward a common goal and being ready to work with the group. Be a good team player!
The oxygen level over 7,000m is only 40% of what it is at the sea level. The weather is never fully predictable. The climbers must have years of prior experience on rock and ice climbing especially above 7,000m. You also need to feel confident and comfortable ascending or descending on fixed ropes along a steep technical terrain. Remember, your actions affect not only your own, but welfare of the entire team.
The climbing itinerary may vary according to the climber’s personal experience. A climbing day involves a steady climbing for 3-4 hours in the morning. After taking lunch, resting and relaxing, there is a climb of 2-3 hours in the afternoon. However, flexibility in climbing itinerary is necessary as people climb at own pace and respond individually to the stresses of climbing. We ensure the ratio of climbers and Sherpa guides focusing on high safety measures so that each individual climber is able to progress at their own rate.
Basecamp to ABC – 5,600m
Basecamp is set up at a place called Chinese Basecamp. Stay at basecamp for three or four nights for acclimatization, depending on how everyone feels and the schedule of the yaks. ABC is to the north of the main Himalayan range, which is also the main basecamp during the expedition period. Preparations are made for transporting all the expedition equipment by yak to ABC. Keep low and follow the glacier river. ABC is situated just at the snout of the glacier on the west side of the moraine at around 5,600m. A relatively flat place with many old prayer flags strewn from previous Puja or Prayers. A couple of day’s rest and acclimatization at ABC then begin our ascent of the mountain.
Advance Base Camp – Camp 1 – 6,400 m
After the Puja or prayer for safe passage, we walk up the mountain. From ABC, several hours of tough walking over rough moraine. Put an intermediate camp and change boots for the glacier. Cross a large glacier at around 5800 meters to a flat area then begin the climb to camp 1. Pass over some crevassed slopes on the fixed have ropes fixed over them.
Camp 1 lies on a flat snowfield cut by narrow but deep crevasses.
Camp 1 – Camp 2 – 7,050 m
It takes 5-7 hours to get from camp 1 to camp 2. It involves a short but steep ascent followed by a gentler climb, usually in deeper snow, to the col below the northwest ridge. The route crosses the rest of the flat glacier then climbs. Usually this broad slope has ropes fixed up sections of it. This area is also proneto avalanches in bad conditions. Above is a huge area and a gentle ridge. There are several options for the placing of camps from this point. We will probably put a camp here at first, then perhaps move it further along after staying for a short time.
Camp 2 – Camp 3 – 7,400 m
Takes about 5-6 hours to reach camp 3 via steep ascent leading to very gentle ground below the northwest ridge.Once in camp 2 we must make every effort to prepare for the following day. Acclimatize properly at camp 2. Sherpa’s will ensure that the fixed lines are in place. In order to function effectively on summit day, it is important to drink as much as possible and this involves a big effort since the altitude makes the easiest physical work very demanding.
Camp 3 – Shishapangma Summit
Depending on the conditions, allow 8-12 hours for reaching the summit. From camp 3, reach the shoulder at 7,400m around first light. A steep but easy snow climb to the shoulder before gaining the ridge itself. There are several rock bands and steep snow slopes to cross. Cross the difficult slopes with the help of fixed ropes. Stay on the ridge to the top to avoid the more exposed snow slope near the main summit. From the summit, enjoy the magnificent views of the high Himalayas including Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu and many others. Descend by the same route. Nights are spent at camp 2 and camp 1.
The springtime from March to May is considered the favorable weather for Shishapangma and other Himalaya climbing. However, the weather conditions in the Himalayas are never fully predictable. In case you’re climbing in winter, the major problem would be the cold and high altitude. Temperatures may get as low as minus 20C in summer, but can drop to minus 60C or even lower during winter. The possibility of bad weather such as snow, wind, and cloud should also be taken into account. Similarly, the wind speeds may rise to more than 80Km/h (50mph). The oxygen level around 7,000m is only 40% of what it is at the sea level.
Our Shishapangma expeditions are led by experienced and professional mountaineers and guides who have scaled the mountain several times.These leaders are supported by the other crewmembers and theyhave all of the necessary experience and equipment required for a successful completion of the expedition. All Trekkers Team also makes sure that it’s leaders have proven track records in climbing high altitude mountains. The number of guides is chosen according to the team size to maximize every individual climber’s chance of making it to the summit without compromising the safety aspect. All Trekkers Team’s expedition leaders are also equipped with the expertise in handling altitude related problems including Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) symptoms. The crewmembers are experts in setting up tents and camps, melting snow on the route, cooking, and other daily needs.
Team composition is important to ensure safety and comfort of the climbers. All Trekkers pays high attention to the safety standards of the climbers. Hence, for two International Climbers, All Trekkers assigns its accredited climbing leader, high altitudes assistance Sherpa, and cook. For basecamp assistance and other necessary trek support, All Trekkers Team supplies crews such as porters, yaks and yak man. Further, to maintain the high safety standard All Trekkers Team’s team members would be added as per the number of international climbers.
Trip Start Dates:
We will organize this trip on the dates requested by you. Please contact us for your customized departure date. The spring season of March to May is considered the best time for Shishapangma expedition. The autumn months of October and November are the also considered favorable. The summer months of monsoon rains and the winter months from December to February are the most unfavorable time for Makalu Expedition. The temperatures can vary from 27°c to – 7°c at lower elevations, and at higher elevations, it can vary from 16°c to -23°c.
Why Expedition with All Trekkers Team?
Going on any adventure trip will require a substantial sum of money be paid in advance. Yet trusting a company you have no prior experience with involves a risk. We, however, are a fully bonded trek operator authorized by Nepal Government, Tourism and Civil Aviation Department, Nepal Tourism Board, Industry Department, Company Registration Office, Nepal National Bank and the Taxation Office. We are also affiliated with such prestigious regulating bodies as NATTA, NMA, TAAN, and KEEP.
A detailed list of our registrations and licenses for operation:
Nepal Ministry of Industry, Office of Company Register
Nepal Ministry of Tourism, Department of Tourism
Nepal Department of Small Cottage and Industries
Nepal Ministry of Finance, Department of VAT/ PAN
Tax Clearance Certificate
Central Bank of Nepal (Nepal Rastra Bank), Department of Foreign Currency Exchange:
Fair Price with Quality:
Service, quality and fair prices – is the motto of our business. The packages we have offer unbeatable value for money. But you don’t have to take our word on it – we just ask our clients shop around to other adventure companies to try to find a similar package at a better price. However, we do not compromise on quality to cut down the costs. Our edge over other international operators is that we are a Nepal based business that allows us to keep our overhead to a minimum. So we can offer the same facilities as those provided by a Western company at literally a fraction of the price. That about 40% of our bookings come from repeat business proves our performance when it comes to client satisfaction.
Sustainable Operation Policies:
All Trekkers Team (P) LTD observes responsible and sustainable tourism practices. The company works closely with all stakeholders including the local communities to protect and conserve natural environment. We ensure that all our adventure programs leave the least possible carbon footprint. We are also aware of the corporate social responsibility; hence we maintain highest ethical and professional standards as well as transparency in our business practices.
Local and Experienced Mountain Leaders:
All Trekkers Team (P) LTD employs and trains local staff so that the local communities benefit from our adventure operations. However, we never compromise on our high safety and quality standards. All of our leaders and guides are carefully selected based on their aptitude, experience, and leadership skills. Most of our guides have been continuously working with us for more than 10 years. Our guides are trained for remote emergencies and are well versed in local politics, culture and customs. Please check out the personal records of our guides who have scaled Mt. Everest several times (and hundreds of other lesser peaks). Thus, we guarantee that all our guides, cooks, and other crews members are qualified and experienced professionals who make it sure that you’re always safe, sound, and happy.
Our website contains as much information as possible about this trip. However, if you wish to discuss any aspect of this trip or your suitability for it, please contact us by email. If you want to talk to us directly, feel free to call us at: +977-98510-78240, 98122-85346
All climbing permit, land, air transportation and accommodation in lodges/tent during the trek/climb, Food: three times meals in a day, necessary guides and required number of porter(s), other essential equipment, visa for Tibet.
Personal expenses, insurance, tips, emergency evacuation by helicopter, alternative transportation in case of heavy rain, landslide, strike and road blockade etc