Today's News
   8000 Meters Facts
Banners Ads
   Classified Ads
   Climb for Peace


   Mailing List

News (current)
   News Archives
   Sat Phones
   Seven Summits
   Readers Guide

   Trip Reports
   Visitor Agreement




  SummitClimb Shishapangma 2009: update

Sunset on Shishapangma from Base Camp

15-Sep-09: Greetings, this is Richard Pierse for the SummitClimb Shishapangma expedition on the 15th of September at 5:50 p.m. 

We are at half camp at about 5829 metres/19,200 feet right next to the Shishapangma glacier. Today we trekked up from advance basecamp, including myself, Dan, Alejandro, Bart, Haris, and Jangbu. Karsten and Marcus are at ABC (advanced basecamp).

Tomorrow we hope to do some glacier practice and plan to go to camp 1 the following day. Of course, this all depends on the weather. Speaking of which, our weather pattern is clear skies with no wind, however, the temperatures are dropping fast well below 0 C.


Hello, this is Alejandro Fernandez for the SummitClimb Shishapangma expedition on the 16th of September at 4:30 p.m.

We are now in the half camp at 5829 metres/19,200 feet and the weather is very nice. Although we thought some clouds and maybe some bad weather were coming, it turned out to be nice today.  

Today we have been training on the glacier. That means we’ve been testing the equipment, making sure we have everything necessary for climbing, and doing some training on the techniques for fixed rope ascending. All of the team except for Karsten has been participating. That means Dan from the US/UK, Haris from Greece, Bart from the Netherlands, Richard from Ireland, and of course me from Spain.  

Our initial plan for tomorrow is to try to get to camp 1 and set up the tents and the rest of camp.  

I hope this message finds you very well wherever you are. I think we’re having a great expedition and I hope it continues going well. Bye. Ciao.

14-Sep-09: Welcome to our dispatch for 14 September for the Summit Climb Shishapangma expedition.  

Last night our good doctor Haris went to examine the fallen climber and confirmed that he has two broken ribs. The only thing for it is to go back to Kathmandu as the recovery process can take 1 month and at ABC (5600 metres/18,400 feet) it is too high of a place to recover. So, the climber and his team left at 5:30 a.m. this morning to walk down very slowly. We will miss them as they were very nice people.  

Today we had a rest day in ABC with the entire team including all sherpas and staff. It’s our first full rest day. After bed tea and a delicious breakfast, our sherpas and Tibetan staff requested to hold a prayer ceremony to honour the gods and bring good omens to our expedition and everyone around. Several staff from other expeditions attended and we invited all of the neighbouring teams as well.

The ceremony is called a ‘puja’. The sherpas had us bring our gear to a tall rock alter they made facing the mountain. Then they put butter on our kit.

The Tibetans put bowls of water and barley flour (tsampa) along the alter, as well as beer, whiskey, apples, and baked treats.

A large pole is inserted into the top of the stone alter and then prayer flags are stretched across the camp in three directions. Chumey, our Tibetan kitchen assistant, wrote all of the members and staff names on a prayer scarf which he then tied atop the main prayer pole, then he sat in the lotus position before the alter, and chanted Tibetan prayers and tossed rice and tsampa into the air. At certain moments during the ceremony, our team members stood and also tossed their own rice and tsampa, shouting "Lasso". 

After the third and final tossing of the rice and barley, the sherpas and Tibetans circulated amongst the group, sharing small caps of whiskey and throwing whiskey into the sky. Then they passed delicious dishes of baked treats amongst the group. Everyone shared more beer and tea, and then the sherpas and Tibetans linked arms and broke into a Tibetan dance like a sort of "can-can" line before the alter.   

Finally we joined together in our dining tent and had an amazing lunch.

After all the morning’s activities, feasting and drinking, we retreated to our individual tents, and, to be honest with you, we collapsed into a dream filled sleep!  

Later in the day, we were joined by Marcus Lauterbach, our trekking member, so we are all together now.

Tomorrow, we plan to walk to half-camp and spend several days sleeping and working up there. Our goal is to complete a section of ice climbing practice with the entire team, then explore the upper reaches of the Shishapangma glacier, and walk up to camp 1, and, if we feel well enough, perhaps sleep in camp 1. The thing is, during that time, we won’t have access to the internet and won’t be able to send in dispatches, our sincere apologies, but in several days we will return to ABC and plan to send you all of the latest photos and dispatches at that time. We think there will be some cool up close photos of ice climbing and the route to camp 1. However, in the interim, we will attempt to telephone in short dispatches via voice-mail. 

See you soon, thanks for following our team!!

Earlier: 10 September, 2009;  We awoke early to our miracle-working cook Kipa bringing us hot tea whilst still in our sleeping bags. During the night, snow fell, and there was a dusting all about under grey skies. Everyone seemed to feel better, so during our yummy breakfast, we all agreed we would move up to ABC.

Slowly our little interim camp was packed onto the backs of the yaks. The woman yak driver who had felt poorly last night seemed to feeling much better, so our little caravan set out into the green hills above the Shishapangma river.

We walked across hill and dale, and spotted occasional old campsites, and masses of unique alpine plants fed by the monsoon moisture. Truly this was an amazingly beautiful walk through the higher reaches of the Tibetan plateau. We were all feeling the altitude now, so really took our time with lots of rest breaks perched atop boulders.

Rounding a bend we caught site of our ABC nestled in a moraine valley beside a stunning glacial lake fed by the massive terminus of the Shishapangma glacier with its frozen parade of giant ice pilgrims.

We are now comfortable in our tents in ABC at 5610 metres/18,400 feet. We are blessed with some great staff and superb equipment and especially soaking up the pleasures of one spacious sleeping tent for each member, so you can really spread out!!

Thanks for following our Shishapangma climb. More news tomorrow!!!!

9 September, 2009 : Today we awoke early, and had a quick breakfast while many helpful yak drivers took down the dining tent around us. We got all 20 of our yaks loaded and even tied on the Alpine Ascents ski bag from Olympia, Washington. We packed all of our tents and gear and negotiated the cost of the yak transport, and then we headed up valley, across the grassy rolling hills of the Tibetan Plateau, and entered a gorge, where we found a comfortable bench the size of a football pitch upon which to set up a small impromptu "interim camp" at 5346 metres/17,534 feet.

Skies were grey and it was a long walk with some elevation gain and a couple of members were feeling the altitude, so they took a little diamox (acetylzolamide) and drank lots of hot drinks.

One of our yak drivers, a woman from the local village, pointed to her chest and made the motions of breathing difficulty, so our doctor Haris checked her out for pulmonary oedema using his pulse oximetre, but found none. Her husband thought the entire event was a great novelty and could not stop laughing. Just to be on the safe side, Doc Haris gave her half of a diamox tab and instructed her to drink a lot of water. We learned this is her first trip up the valley this year.

Our amazing cook Kipa fixed us a very delicious dinner and we went to bed early, to the sound of snowflakes dusting the tents and tinkling yak bells all around us.

Hello SummitClimb news readers. Thanks for following the dispatches about our autumn 2009 Shishapangma expedition.

Well, today was an official rest day in 4998 metre/16,000 foot high basecamp. That altitude is from the Thuraya GPS satellite system.

We awoke to sunshine and light clouds with warm temperatures in the 5-10 C degree range, and no wind, although it did drop below freezing during the night, as evidenced by the heavy frost on the tents and solar panels in the morning. We also woke up to the Tibetan kitchen staff bringing fresh coffee and tea to our tents at 7:00 a.m. Then we had a wash and made it to our comfortable dining tent for a delicious breakfast of omelettes, ham, cheese, fresh paratha, porridge and juice.

After breakfast we walked up the hill and wandered around in the foothills above base camp, where we were treated to great views and saw many large Himalayan hares springing about. Our high point was 5247 metres/17,200 feet; again according to the Thuraya satellite GPS.

We chose an alternate route to descend from the hills and walked back along a crystal clear stream through grassland, where we saw many small fish in the pools, and a myriad of birds, including a surprise over-flight by a seagull, of all things. On the mammal front, we saw marmots, and also pikas.

Back in basecamp for a delicious lunch, we met up with some newly arriving climbers, including Edmund Spoden, who Dan met on Mustagata and had no equipment and was kindly loaned everything by Manuel Weber. We also met several climbers from last spring's Cho Oyu expedition.

We spent the afternoon charging batteries with our generator, washing clothes and taking hot showers. The yaks arrived late in the evening and their drivers set up a tent in the evening next to our dining tent, then the yaks laid down all around our tents and it looks like we are camped in some sort of a zoo.

Well, today was a very relaxing day with a bit of exercise and good food. Tomorrow we plan to walk up to interim camp, so thanks for staying in touch and watching the progress of our  expedition!

Earlier: Today we woke early in Tingri and said a sad farewell to our Cho Oyu teammates. They are a great group of people and we will miss them very much. It was super fun being able to hang out together all of this way.

We picked up Chumey, our loyal Tibetan kitchen assistant and then all of us piled into two land-cruisers and we drove west, away from dusty Tingri, to the base of the 4900 metre/16,000 foot Lalung La, then left the main friendship highway behind to continue west. Suddenly the road became a rough-shod affair, and our jeeps bumped along from rock to rock and rut to rut. At times, the road disappeared altogether and we found ourselves crossing grassy meadows on pea-sized gravel.

Upon veering off the highway, the Tibetan Plateau came to life and we saw all sorts of new types of vegetation, lush grasslands, many stunning types of birds, even the very rare sight of a majestic Lamergeir bird sitting beside the road eating a rodent, looking ever so much like a massive golden eagle. This bird, though perched, would have easily risen above my knee, and I am 1.9 metres/6'3" inches tall.

After crossing the secured gate into the Shishapangma Core Zone, it felt ever more like we were in a remote wilderness, dotted with tiny Tibetan villages nestled humbly beneath enourmous grassy-rocky hills. Next we traversed the valley floor, and wound our way past the expansive and deep blue Pelku Tso Lake, which lies in all of its enourmity at 4590 metres/15,000 feet.

Turning up a side valley (by the way leaving the "main" highway to sacred Mount Kailash) we followed a crude track to a cluster of tents and were relieved to see our remaining staff of Jangbu, Kipa, and other Tibetan Kitchen assistant Tsewang (all of whom had driven up here with the equipment truck directly from Nyalam to establish this basecamp) waiving and beckoning to us.

We said good-bye to our friendly and patient drivers, and dove into the already set up dining tent for a delicious tea. Then we moved into our comfortable sleeping tents for a rest followed by a delicious lunch.

It's very beautiful here at 5000 metre/16,000 foot-high basecamp, with a light rain falling, and temperatures around 18 degrees. So far our objective Mount Shishapangma, "Goddess of the Grasslands" has shyly secreted herself behind snow-laden clouds, but we know she will show her face sooner or later. Tomorrow we plan some acclimatization rest and a light hike of a few hours. Thanks for following our expedition!

Earlier: 7 September, 2009:

Dear SummitClimb news readers,

Today we left Tingri and drove to Cho Oyu Chinese basecamp. This is just a 2 hour drive from Tingri, located on a riverbank at 4918 metres/16,100 feet.

When we arrived at basecamp, it was already set up by our awesome staff and we were welcomed with hot tea and coffee. After this Samdien, our Tibetan cook, prepared a delicious meal for us. It was a welcome change from all of the food we ate on the road to get here. Some members spent their afternoon doing a small hike, while others just relaxed in basecamp.

Our yaks, the animals that are going to carry our equipment up to ABC (advanced basecamp), will arrive tomorrow evening. This means we will probably leave BC on the 9th and move up higher on the mountain.

All members are doing very well, they are all healthy and strong.

More news will follow soon.............

Arnold Coster Expedition leader


Earlier: Hi there Summit Climb News readers. I hope you are well and thanks for following our dispatch for 30 August, 2009, for Cho Oyu and Shishapangma

Today was quite a busy day for us as we prepared for our expedition. We awoke in our comfortable hotel and after a fresh morning rain; the sun popped out and dried out the streets of Kathmandu. I love this time of year here as it's so clean and the city is so well washed. It's very quiet and peaceful as locals relax and assume a slower pace of life. Also there are very few tourists here so the normally frantic 'Thamel' neighbourhood is nice and calm.

We had a delicious breakfast at our local coffee shop then got to work checking member's personal equipment and going over the gear list.

There are three special members of our LeaderInTraining programme and they have been working very hard getting us ready for the expedition. They are Adam Dixon from England, Gavin Vickers from Australia, and Ry Fable from Colorado. Also in town are two of our expedition members Richard Pierse from Ireland and Alex Macrae from Aberdeen.

We went around the "Asan" neighbourhood with our kitchen staff and checked food prices and quality at three different shops, and then returned to SummitClimb's Kathmandu office to make final purchase decisions. Our food lists and cook staff are looking good, so we will be eating very well. Then we went on to review the equipment lists and sat with the lead sherpa from each team
to discuss every item on the list in detail, so we have things perfectly organised.

We are bringing lots of equipment like ropes, tents, radios, medical gear, etcetera, so we are going to be very well prepared. In the evening we met for a delicious dinner at a nearby bistro which serves the most delicious Italian food in a lovely cozy classy atmosphere, then had one nightcap in a nearby pub where we ran into old friends who are in town launching their expeditions to various mountains around Nepal and Tibet.

All of the best for now, thanks for following our news

Millet One Sport Everest Boot  has made some minor changes by adding more Kevlar. USES Expeditions / High altitude / Mountaineering in extremely cold conditions / Isothermal to -75°F Gore-Tex® Top dry / Evazote Reinforcements with aramid threads. Avg. Weight: 5 lbs 13 oz Sizes: 5 - 14 DESCRIPTION Boot with semi-rigid shell and built-in Gore-Tex® gaiter reinforced by aramid threads, and removable inner slipper Automatic crampon attachment Non-compressive fastening Double zip, so easier to put on Microcellular midsole to increase insulation Removable inner slipper in aluminized alveolate Fiberglass and carbon footbed Cordura + Evazote upper Elasticated collar.

Expedition footwear for mountaineering in conditions of extreme cold.  NOTE US SIZES LISTED. See more here.

A cold weather, high altitude double boot for extreme conditions The Olympus Mons is the perfect choice for 8000-meter peaks. This super lightweight double boot has a PE thermal insulating inner boot that is coupled with a thermo-reflective outer boot with an integrated gaiter. We used a super insulating lightweight PE outsole to keep the weight down and the TPU midsole is excellent for crampon compatibility and stability on steep terrain. WEIGHT: 39.86 oz • 1130 g LAST: Olympus Mons CONSTRUCTION: Inner: Slip lasted Outer: Board Lasted OUTER BOOT: Cordura® upper lined with dual-density PE micro-cellular thermal insulating closed cell foam and thermo-reflective aluminium facing/ Insulated removable footbed/ Vibram® rubber rand See more here.




   Atlas snowshoes


   Big Agnes

   Black Diamond







   Edelweiss ropes
Eureka Tents






   Granite Gear



   Helly Hansen


Ice Axes


   Kavu Eyewear





   Life is Good


   Lowe Alpine




   Mountain Hardwear




   New England Ropes




   Outdoor Research




   Princeton Tec


   Rope Bags

   Royal Robbins




   Seattle Sports

Sleeping Bags

   Sterling Rope







   Tool Logic

   Trekking Poles
and more here


Send email to     •   Copyright© 1998-2005 EverestNews.com
All rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Disclaimer, Privacy Policy, Visitor Agreement, Legal Notes: Read it