Mountaineering :: Trekking :: Ski touring

 

In the Autumn of 2004 I led an expedition to the peak of Shishapangma in Tibet for Jagged Globe. This was the eighth expedition to a peak over 8000m that I had led. The following text is a copy of the report of the expedition that appears on the Jagged Globe website.

David Hamilton


A total of ten members of the 2004 Jagged Globe Shishapangma expedition reached the summit of this 8012m peak in Tibet on two dates in early October.  The main group arrived in Base Camp on 22 September, after a slow journey from Kathmandu allowing plenty of time to acclimatise to the thin air of the Tibetan plateau.  BC was located at a height of 5460m in a spot that afforded great views of the mountain.

There were more than a dozen other expeditions in base camp when we arrived.  Some of them had been there for up to a month.  Our arrival coincided with a spell of bad weather that confined all the teams to Base Camp for a few days.  However when this ended the majority of teams launched their summit bids and the first groups of the year reached the top on 27 September.

Our Sherpa team worked hard to establish supplies of tents, equipment food and fuel on the mountain over the next week, while the group concentrated on moving more slowly in order to get fully acclimatised.  The team members spent the night of 28 September at Depot Camp 5845m.  The next day we climbed to Camp One (6360m) and spent the night there. On 30 Sept 3 members of the group climbed to 6800m before spending a second night in camp one. By 1 October all team members were back in Base camp.

The initial plan envisaged a second acclimatisation trip onto the mountain before a projected summit bid around the 14/15 October.  However conditions on the mountain were getting noticeably colder.  The majority of other expeditions had departed from Base Camp and the weather forecasts predicted poor weather due to start before the middle of the month.  After consultation with the Sherpas the summit bid was moved forward a week.  At this point the 6 members of the Shishapangma expedition were joined by 2 additional members who had previously been climbing with the Jagged Globe team on Cho Oyu.

On 4 October the team climbed from BC to Camp One (6360m).  The next day six out of the eight members climbed to Camp Two (7150m).  This proved to be a more tiring experience than most were expecting, so the following day was declared a 'rest day' to give everyone time to recover.  At 2.00 am on the morning of 7 October six clients and supporting Sherpas set out from Camp Two for the summit.  One turned back after an hour, while the others pushed on into the night.  On reaching Camp Three (7450m) three members of the party decided to rest and postpone their summit bid to the following day. 

David Hamilton (leader) and Carl Blaschke continued with Nima Gombu (Sirdar) and Pema Tsring.  All four reached the top at 10.30am and made radio contact with the rest of the expedition in Base Camp and camp 2.  They then made a fast descent to Camp Two stopping off to ensure that all was well with the three climbers and three Sherpas who were waiting in Camp Three.  The following morning (8 October) Harry Farthing, Doug Allen and Colin Pacey, together with Mingma Tsiri, Pasang Nuru and Dawa Tenjin left camp Three at 2.00am and reached the summit at 10.00am.

Everyone was back in base Camp by 10 October when high winds and increased snowfall were experienced. So it is just as well that we had climbed the mountain when we did. We were the last team to climb Shishapangma from the North in the 2004 season.

Well done to all the team (sherpas and members) for a fine effort which was celebrated with a grand dinner at Rum Doodle on our return to Kathmandu.

 

 

David Hamilton
High Adventure
67 Castle Road
Hartshill
Nuneaton
Warwickshire
CV10 0SG

Email:  david@highadventure.org.uk

Telephone:    From UK    02476 395422
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Skype:  davidhamilton8848

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