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Shisapangma Expedition (Zangmu) - 44 Days

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  • potala palace, tibet
  • everest
  • boudhanath
Group size: 2-12 people Max-Altitude: 8,027m/26,335ft
Destination: Tibet   
Arrival on: Kathmandu, Nepal Departure from: Kathmandu, Nepal
Meals: All meals

Trip Highlights

  • 14th highest peak on Earth - only 8,000er lying completely in Tibet
  • Straightforward and technically less demanding - most suitable for those wishing to scale an 8,000er without much risk
  • One base camp, One ABC, and three additional higher Camps supported by highly experienced mountaineers, guides, and crew members
  • Expedition includes acclimatization and cultural tour of the Tibetan Capital Lhasa and other ancient settlements

Trip Introduction

Ranking 14th among the highest peaks on earth, Mount Shishapangma is one of the easiest 8,000er 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 8,000er 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 magnifiscent views the highest peaks unfolding before your eyes.

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival KTM & 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 Himalayan Glacier Trekking 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, Boudhnatha and the popular Hindu pilgrimage site, Pashupatinath 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
We fly to one of the highest capitals in the world Lhasa of Tibet. Relish the astonishing views of the Himalaya, 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 Himalaya 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 base camp. 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 base camp lies close to the Yambughangala River.
Day 10-12: Base camp preparation
Acclimatization and preparing equipments for the climb. Also organizing load for yaks to carry. It's important to acclimatize at the Base Camp properly before moving toward the advance base camp.
Day 13: Move to Advanced Base Camp
Trek to advance base camp (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 Base Camp to ABC.
Day 14-39: The Climb
Enough time needs to be allowed for bad weather and slow acclimatisation. 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) gaining a lot of height. From camp 2, the North-West Ridge is easily reachable. There may be snow and ice climbing. There are fixed ropes are placed on all steep sections. Requirement of a high camp depends upon the weather and other conditions. Climb the long summit ridge which 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 Base Camp
Get back to the Base Camp. Equipments 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 lodge stay 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

Important Note

Your safety is of paramount concern while traveling with Himalayan Glacier. Please note that your leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary; however, since this adventure entails travelling in remote mountainous regions, we cannot guarantee that we will not deviate from it. Weather conditions, health condition of a group member, unexpected natural disasters, etc., can all contribute to changes in the itinerary. The leader will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but please be prepared to be flexible if required.

Included in the Cost

  • Expedition permit fees
  • Accommodations in Kathmandu
  • Flights from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar and back including airport transfers
  • All overnight accommodations while on the trek and climb
  • Meals in Kathmandu and while trekking and climbing
  • Group equipment for the climb
  • Qualified and Experienced guides
  • Experienced Climbing Sherpas

Not Included in the Cost

  • International airfare and Nepal Visa fee (bring accurate USD cash and two passport photographs)
  • Personal equipments and extra services
  • Tips and Bonus for Staff and guide
  • Insurance and Trip cancellation
  • Beverages
  • Airport departure tax


We provide all camping equipment and gear, including tents, dining, toilet, and Kitchen tents. At base camp we have a large mess tent equipped with all necessary kitchen gadgets including stoves, tables and chairs. Meals are prepared by our trained and experienced expedition cooks. We make it sure that the food we provide is hygienic and at the same time suits your palate. We offer all varieties of food including continental and local Nepali/Tibetan items. Breakfast includes porridge, egg, bread, etc. Some of the items in the lunch include rice, lentils, beans, green vegetables, chapattis, bread, and tinned meat and fish items. Fresh or tinned fruit and tea or coffees make the desserts. For the main meal, you can choose your own menu - either local or western varieties.

During the actual mountain climbing, we mostly use dry or dehydrated foods, including chocolate, cheese, nuts, and muesli items.

Team Composition

Team composition is important to ensure safety and comfort of the climbers. We observe high safety standards, therefore, for 2 International Climbers, we assign:

  • HGT Accredited Climbing Leader
  • High Altitudes Assistance Sherpa
  • Cook
  • Because of our high safety standards, team members would be added as per the number of international climbers

Leader(s) & Staff Arrangements

Our Shishapangma expeditions are led by experienced and professional mountaineers and guides who have scaled the mountain several times supported by other crew members and all the necessary logistics for the expedition. Not only in terms of qualification, but we also make it sure that our leaders have proven track of record 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. Our expedition leaders are also equipped with the expertise in handling altitude related problems including acute mountain sickness (AMS) symptoms. The crew members are experts in setting up tents and camps, melting snow on the route, cooking, and other daily needs.

Travel Insurance

It is a condition upon joining any of Himalayan Glacier's trips that all clients be insured for comprehensive expenses that might incur due to medical issues or accidents (this includes air ambulance, helicopter rescue, and treatment costs). Please note that we don't arrange or sell insurance.

Climbing Day

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 rest and relax, 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.

Base Camp

Base Camp to ABC - 5,600m

Base Camp is set up at a place called Chinese Base Camp. Stay at Base Camp 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 base camp 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 & 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 snow field cut by narrow but deep crevasses.

Camp 1 - Camp 2- 7,050 m

Takes about 5-7 hours from camp 1 to Camp 2. Involves a short but steep ascent followed by a gentler climb, usually in deeper snow, to the Col below the North-West Ridge. The route crosses the rest of the flat glacier then climbs. Usually this broad slope has ropes fixed up sections of it. It could avalanche in bad conditions. Above is a huge area, 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 the first 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. Sherpas 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, it takes between 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. 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. Descent 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.

Physical Condition & Experience Requirements

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 be ready to work with the group and 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.

Best Time to Travel

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 27c to - 7c at lower elevations, and at higher elevations, it can vary from 16c to -23c.

Trip Start Dates

We will organize this trip on the dates requested by you. Please contact us for your customized departure date.

Additional Information

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.

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