Shisapangma Expedition, Via the South Face a Success
Shisapangma is regarded as one of the easiest 8000m peak to climb. Ranked the fourteenth highest peak in the world, Shisapangma is also well known for its high velocity winds. More often then not, the strong winds coupled with heavy snowing has forced a number of expeditions to abandon their ascent to the peak This was what happened with the September 2007 expedition( the one in which veteran climber Andrew Locke from Australia was involved). But close on the heels of this unsuccessful attempt, Explore Himalaya organized another expedition to Shisapangma with two Korean climbers Kim Jae Soo and Go Mi Sun and three Nepalese sherpas, Tarke Sherpa, Jumic Bhote and Tshering Jangbu Sherpa. This time the expedition was a success. This expedition is worth a mention as the ascent was done from the difficult south face.
The standard route to climb Shisapangma is via the north side, which has a relatively easy access. Ascent via the south face of the mountain is considered to be very difficult and technically demanding. Tshering Jangbu Sherpa, one of the three sherpas who accompanied the two Korean climbers to the Shisapangma expedition gave an account of the difficult ascent. Though he has eight years of climbing experience he said he found the ascent very demanding and challenging. According to him a lot of technical climbing is involved while climbing from the south face and one has to concentrate very hard. There is always the danger of avalanches and the strong winds make the climb extra hard. He says, “To reach the summit from camp 2, it took exactly 10 hours. We started at 12 a.m. on the morning of 5th Oct and reached the peak at 10a.m. It was a hard climb.” He had climbed Shisapangma from the normal route (north side) and according to him climbing from the north side is definitely easier.
Tshering Jangbu Sherpa talks about the Shisapangma Peak ascent :
“We left Kathmandu for Tibet on the 28th of August. We had to start early as we had to find out the condition of the route. The Korean climbers joined us later. They drove from Kathmandu to Zangmu(Tibet) on 9th September and then proceeded towards Nyalam on the 10th. At Nyalam we spent three days to get acclimatized and round up some yaks. Yaks are needed to carry the expedition gear. On 14th September we trekked to Darbuchen. On 16th Sept we trekked to Shingdip. On 17th-22nd Sept we trekked to the Shisapangma South Base Camp. We spent a few days at the base camp. After base camp we proceeded towards Camp1 at 7,400m. It took around 6 hours of climbing to reach camp1.From camp 1 to camp 2 it took around 6 to 7 hours. Usually expedition parties make three camps, but we made do with just two camps. This hastened our ascent to the summit and we saved valuable time. We spent the night in camp 2. We woke up and started our ascent at 12 o’clock in the morning of 5th Oct. The ascent was very steep and difficult. It was snowing lightly and the wind was strong. Since we had to move ahead and fix the ropes, we had to concentrate very hard. We finally reached the summit at 10a.m.From camp 2 to the summit it took a total of 10 hours of strenuous climbing. We stayed at the summit for about half and hour. We started our descent back to camp 2 in a jubilant mood and reached it at 4p.m.”
|CLIMBING SHISHAPANGMA||8027m – 46 days|
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