the Shishapangma 2013

The Shisha Pangma, 8027 m (latitude: 28.35 ° N, longitude: 85.78333 ° E) is the “smallest” of the 14 eight-thousanders worldwide and thus the fourteenth-highest mountain in the world. The exact height varies between 8027 and 8046 m. Recent surveys have revealed a height of 8027 m. The summit was first climbed in 1964 by a Chinese expedition as the last eight-thousander. The Tibetan name “Shi Sha Sbang Ma” means “The ridge above the grassy plain” and describes exactly the view the viewer gets from the north. Also the Indian name (Sanskrit) “Gosainthan” is in common, which means as much as “place of the saints”. Generally speaking, Shisha Pangma is considered one of the simpler eight-thousanders. Nevertheless, often strong winds, cold temperatures or deep snow thwart a successful ascent. The main summit, 8027 m, separated by a long exposed and often heavily overgrown ridge from the central summit, 8008 m, is rarely reached. Shisha Pangma is located in the Langtang-Himalaya, 30 km north of the Sino-Nepalese border, making it the only eight-thousander that lies entirely on Chinese territory (in the Tibet Autonomous Region). Its summit is approximately in the middle (about 90 km) between Kathmandu and the river Tsangpo. Our goal is a celebration of the classic route of the first ascent “by fair means”, without high carrier support or the use of artificial oxygen. If the conditions allow, we would like to try a full ski trip of the mountain.


On May 2, 1964, ten Chinese mountaineers, Xu Jing, Zhang Jùnyán, Wáng Fùzhou, Wu Zongyuè, Chén San, Soinam Dorjê, Chéng Tianliàng, Migmar Zhaxi, Dorjê and Yún Deng sat in an expedition involving 195 participants from China, the foot on the last until then unexcavated Achttausender. On May 18, 1964, the team opened its base camp at about 5000 m altitude. The weather conditions were miserable at about 20 ° C below zero. With the scope of the expedition, the group is the largest in the history of Himalayan mountaineering. About 19 tons of luggage had to be sufficient for the large group of mountaineers, Graziologists, geologists, meteorologists, cartographers and altitude physiologists. The tent camp was a stark rectangular structure of green 20-man tents with a large felt tent that provided space for all attendees, film screenings, and gatherings. In smaller tents the kitchen, canteen, radio station, hospital and weather station were housed. The whole camp was also equipped with electricity. The leader of the expedition was Xu Jìng, “master of mountaineering”, who also took over as deputy head of the Everest Ascension in 1960.

In 1980, Shisha Pangma was opened for ascent for foreign mountaineers. Previously, only a few western travelers had seen the mountain up close. In 1945/46 the two Austrian mountaineers Heinrich Harrer and Peter Aufschnaiter flew to Lhasa on their escape from the Indian internment. On their way they passed the Shisha Pangma on their north side. Only the Swiss Toni Hagen brought back in 1952 a photo of the mountain to Europe. This unique opportunity was immediately followed by an expedition under Günter Sturm, the first managing director of the DAV Summit Club (1969 – 2003). On May 7th at 2:15 pm Günter Sturm, Michl Dacher, Fritz Zintl and Dr. Ing. Wolfgang Schaffert after just 5 hours of walking the summit as the first Western alpinists. On May 12, the team members Sigi Hupfauer and Manfred Sturm also managed the summit win. Even today, the route is the Erstbesteiger the usual normal route. The ascent on the south side (southwest wall) is more difficult as it is much steeper. For the first time the wall could be climbed in 1982 by Doug Scott, Roger Baxter-Jones and Alex McIntyre.

There are now three more routes through the southwest wall and one over the southeast ridge. The middle summit has now been climbed more than 750 times, with only about 50 ascents the Traverse was made to the main summit. At the main summit, however, no more than 300 ascents (as of 2008) were counted. The western summit was first climbed in 1987 by Jerzy Kukuczka and Artur Hajzer during the ascent of the entire western ridge. Jean-Christophe Lafaille made his first winter ascent in the meteorological winter on 11 December 2004. Mountaineers Simone Moro and Piotr Morawski achieved their first winter climb on 15 January 2005. The steep south face and the repellent, albeit much shorter, north face will still have enough potential for alpine challenges in the future.

The classic route is the path of the first climbers from the north. From the paddock (BC), 5000 m, it is necessary to ascend with yaks carrying the heavy baggage to the Advanced Base Camp, 5650 m (ABC). The way to camp 1, 6350 m, is still easy walking terrain, but very long. Therefore, usually at mid-way (5900 m) a deposit is created before the C1 itself is built. The stage leads over the shallow Shishapangma glacier or its lateral moraine. Camp 2 is located in a glacier basin on the Shisha Pangma Glacier (Jebokangjale) at about 6950 m above the steep north face in the so-called “Corridor”.

The corridor is limited to about 7100 m by a very steep flank (> 40 °). Here is usually converted from ski / snowshoes on crampons and the former left in the depot. At the upper end of this 250 m high steep flank, camp 3, approx. 7350 m, is erected over short combined points. At the summit stage (700 meters in altitude), the ridge to the central summit is first followed. At about 7700 m altitude, the ridge is left at a distinctive rock gendarmes and the northeast flank ascending crossing directly reaches the main summit 8027m. In bad conditions (especially avalanche danger) it can happen that the main summit can only be reached via the central summit and the connecting ridge between the two surveys. A good alternative at the summit can also be the variant of the two Austrians Putz and Obojes (1980): this crosses at the height of the camp 3 very far into the northeast flank, under a steep ice break and then leads over steep slopes (about 35-40 ° ) directly to the main summit.

1st day: Flight from Munich via Abu Dhabi / UAE to the Nepalese capital Kathmandu.
Day 2: Arrival in Kathmandu, 1300 m, drive to the hotel in the city center and first exploration into the bustling city.
Day 3: Last expedition preparations. What is still missing, is purchased and collected the stored equipment.
Day 4: Flight to Pokhara, 1000 m. On the beautiful Phewa Lake we can stretch our legs and recover from the hectic days of arrival and in the big city.
Day 5: Flight to Jomsom, 2770 m, in the Kali Ghandaki valley, capital of Mustang district. Before the rapid gain in altitude in Tibet, we want to pre-acclimatize something in the Annapurna area. To settle in we look around the place and take a little hike in the area.
Day 6: Depart for trekking to Tilicho Lake, 4920 m. Today’s milestones are yak alpine pastures at approx. 3800 m. Tilicho Lake is considered one of the highest and most spectacular lakes in the world.
Day 7: The campground Yak Kharka, 4200 m, is reached in a short stage.
Day 8: Kharka, 4600 m, is the destination of this stage.
Day 9: Over the pass Mesokanto La North, 5120 m, or also “Tilicho Tourist La”, the Tilicho Lake is reached. A small valley is followed by the Eastern Pass to the eastern shore of the lake, where you can camp at 4920 m.
Day 10: Around the lake, at least for a while, and over the Eastern Pass back and over the pass to a campground below the pass, 4200 m.
Day 11: Return to Jomsom, 2770 m, back to civilization.
Day 12: Return to Kahtmandu, 1300 m, and check in at the hotel.
Day 13: Organizing day in Kathmandu or quiet reserve, if something with the return flight should not work.
Day 14: Departure to the Tibetan border. Today it starts. Via Dhulikhel and Lamosangu, it takes 6 hours by bus to Kodari, 1663 m, and then up to Zhangmu, 2350 m, the Tibetan border town.
15th-17th Day: The trip to Nyalam, 3750 m, is only a short drive by bus. Here the next three nights are spent for better acclimatization. We will also undertake two hikes up to altitudes of 5000 m.
Day 18: Over the 5050 m high Lalung Leh Pass and the Dopzang La, 5135 m, along the northern flank of the Himalayan main ridge, the trip to the so-called driver base camp leads to exactly 5000 m.
19th day: A rest day for better acclimatization.
20th-21st Day: The actual base camp at an altitude of 5650 m is reached with an interim storage facility and the help of yaks.
22-49th Tag: The adventure Shisha Pangma can begin. With a full 28 days, there is enough time to calmly build up a depot and three high camps (6300, 6900, 7400 m) and finally tackle the summit. If the summit fails on the first try, there is still enough time for a second try. Once you have made it, you can see from the summit of the 8027 m high Shisha Pangma far down to the Tibetan plateau. With good visibility you can see Cho Oyu, Makalu, Lhotse and even Mount Everest. The descent is on the ascent route.
50.-51. Day: Descent back to base camp, drive back via Nyalam to Zhangmu on the Tibetan-Nepal border and return to Kathmandu, 1300m.
52nd day: At leisure or reserve. In the evening departure from Kathmandu.
53rd day: Arrival in Munich.