Return From Tibet

FALL 2011

SHISHA PANGMA TIBET

This fall a group of friends and I put together an expedition to climb a peak in Tibet, Shisha Pangma (8027m).  After long days traveling from Seattle to Seoul to Kathmandu to Nylam we found ourselves bumping along the Tibetan Plateau watching the 14th highest mountain in the world grow slowly bigger as we approached.  The flanks of Shisha Pangma would be our home for the next six weeks.  During this time we set about moving equipment and supplies up the mountain and within the first 10 days we had established our camp 1.  Moving slowly at first to acclimatize we soon became stronger and were able to make the carries to Camp 1 and above more efficiently.  By the beginning of November we had all our camps established on the mountain and the six of us retreated to out Advanced Base Camp to rest before our summit push.  High winds kept us at ABC longer than we wanted to be there but we had a weather forecast predicting a lull in the winds around the 11th of November.  This would be our window.  We geared up and, now well acclimatized, climbed quickly to camp 1.  We passed by our original Camp 2, stopping long enough to pick up some food and equipment we would need and continued to the base of the North ridge where we established a camp 2.8 on the night of the 10th.  The morning of the 11th was cold and we pushed back our departure to let the sun warm us just a bit, by 6:00 AM we began climbing.  Reaching Camp 3 with a stove and my down suit we made some tea and  dawned the First Ascent down suit and pressed on for the summit.  After hours of climbing through increasingly thin air we reached the summit.  I was choking back tears of joy, to be standing on top of the 14th highest point on earth with 3 of my good friends.  It was truly an amazing feat.  One of our team skied off the summit wail the 3 of us made quick work of the descent to Camp 3 and then on to Camp 2.8.  Two other members planed to make their bid the next day and stayed at Camp 3.  In a few short days we were all back to our ABC tired and happy.  Nine yaks appeared the next morning and it was a bit sad to take down what had been our home for so long and load it all on the yaks for the hike out to Base Camp.  Trucks, vans, and busses finally brought us back to the overwhelming city of Kathmandu where we all had a beer and went our different ways.

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