Spring 2013 | Shishapangma | Summit Push and SUMMITS - Updated

Not drafting promised post about acclimatization phase on Shishapangma, doesn't mean I am ignoring the 'smallest' eight-thousander. I've been following progress on the mountain but drafting it here was delayed because of several unforeseen reasons. As Explorer's Web reported, first summit pushes of the season on Shishapangma were underway this morning. 10 individuals from different climbing groups are trying to reach summit today or tomorrow. Rupert Hauer's home team confirmed a while back that the Austrian climber have SUMMITed the peak. From SPOT data, it can be assumed that Tunc Findik has also reached the top [Edit: Summit has been confirmed]. Exact details about summits would be available once climbers reach lower camps.

Shishapangma (8027m) is the smallest amongst the biggest mountains on earth and is considered to be the easiest 8000er when climbed via standard route. The major obstacle to reach true summit via standard route is a knife-edge ridge of unstable snow that extends from Central Summit (8007m). Hence a good number of climbers turn back from Central Summit. Shishapangma is the northern-most 8000er and is situated entirely in Tibetan territory of China.

Shishpangma as seen from ABC; Source

German/Austrian Team
German couple, Alix von Melle and Luis Stitzingerhave were amongst the first to reach Shishapangma this spring with the intentions to ski descent from summit. They were joined by Austrian climber Rupert Hauer, whose initial plan was to solo climb without artificial means (bottled oxygen and porters) and ski descent from top. (Note: Rupert has a plan to climb Everest later this season). But the three teamed up from start and traveled together to ABC (5600m) on 17th April. Shishapangma's ABC is roughly 25km from lower base camp, also known as Chinese BC (5020m). They started going up on 22nd April for acclimatization and establishing higher camps. Good weather permitted them to stay on the mountain till 25th. During this period they established C1 at 6300m, C2 at 6900m, shifted loads for summit push and skied down from 7000m. Acclimatization was complete and trio returned to ABC for some rest before summit push.

On 26th April, they were delighted to see weather reports showing a window for summit on 30th April and 1st May. Alix and Luis shared their plan, "Sunday 28.4.13: Rise to C1, 6450 m; Monday, 29.4.13. Ascent to 6850 m and C2 move the camp to the end of the "corridor" around 7100 m on Tuesdays; 30.4.13. Summit attempt and descent into C2, Wednesday, 1.5.13 Descent to ABC 5650m."

This morning an update from Rupert suggests that everything is going as per plan. "I arrived at 7105m in HL2. I am doing very well. Morning at 30.04. we start at about 3 clock to the summit."

Rupert sent a message from summit a while back. Currently the summiteers details and descent plans are not known. Luis and Rupert wanted to ski down from summit. Let's keep fingers crossed for safety of all climbers.

© by www.goclimbamountain.de
Towards higher camps; Source

International Team
Another team on summit push consists of Ecuadorian Santiago Quintero, Turkish Tunc Findik, Chang Dawa Sherpa, Mingma Sherpa and two other members. They arrived at ABC and acclimatized on a schedule similar to Germans and Austrian. Santiago is climbing without supplemental oxygen. His plans of the season also include summitting Everest without oxygen. Santiago lost front half of his feet during a previous expedition. Chang Dawa Sherpa has already summited 13 8000ers. If successful, he would become the second Nepali to complete 14x8000ers.

Cleo Weidlich and Pemba Sherpa are attempting Shishapangma and Lhotse this season. They share permit with a bigger team (same as above?) but are climbing the mountain as a separate unit. On 28th April, Cleo wrote, "I have finished my rotations and carrying all the equipment up the mountain. Now I am just waiting for a weather window." Probably, they are still in ABC.

http://tunchangizirvede.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/IMG_51421.jpg
Photo: Tunc


Rosa Fernandez's Attempt
Spanish lady Rosa Fernandez attempted Shishapangma in 1999 but had to turn back from Central Summit because of frostbite and exhaustion. She descended to BC with the help of a fellow climber. After 14 years, she feels content with the wise decision to turn back. This spring, Rosa wanted to solo climb Shishapangma without bottled oxygen, but changed the plan just before start of expedition. Now she is accompanied by a Sherpa, who is also assisting in load shifting to higher camps.
Rosa had some health issues at the start of expedition but is doing well now. She is done with acclimatization and ready to push for summit as forecast shows a weather window for summit.

Skiing to ABC; source

Amical Alpin Expedition
Eight members German team crossed the Nepal-China on 9th April. They acclimatized on a 5000m peak near Nyalam before moving to Chinese BC. Acclimatization and shifting gear up the mountain started on 20th April. Currently the team is busy in acclimatization and establishing higher camps. In a couple of days, they would be ready for summit push. Another weather window for summit push is anticipated around 5th May.
Chinese BC; source
Edit 02: Confirmed Summits
Following mountaineers are reported to have reached true summit of Shishapangma on 30th April. There is probably 01 more climbers who pushed for summit; I am unable to trace him/her, yet.

1. Thomas Laemmle (Germany) - He was acclimatizing to C3 but went on to summit.
2. Santiago Quintero (Ecuador)
3. Chhang Dawa Sherpa (Nepal) - He become the youngest person to complete 14x8000ers. 2nd Nepali to do so after his brother Mingma Sherpa.
4. Mingma Thinduk Sherpa (Nepal)
5. Nima Dorchi Sherpa (Nepal)
6. Rupert Hauer (Austria)
7. Alix von Melle (Germany)
8. Luis Stitzinger(Germany)
9. Tunc Findik (Turkey) - First Turkish ascent of Shishapangma
10. Alex Gavan (Romania) - First Romanian ascent of Shishapangma

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