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Shishapangma Itinerary - July 2005

July 20 Tingri to Shishapangma Checkpoint

It rained last night at Tingri. We waited until 12 to see if Everest or Cho Oyu would come out – they didn’t. We then drove 2:15 to the Shishapangma checkpoint. Jigme then gave us some bad news and good news. We were disappointed to learn that we are not allowed to camp Shishapangma Base Camp. If we had known that, we wouldn’t have needed a Nepalese crew at all. The good news is that we could stay at the checkpoint guesthouse, in a clean but basic room with mattresses on the floor. We met the caretaker’s wife and one and a half year old son Dawa, who Pete had fun teaching how to throw stones.

One of the crew told us a funny Tibetan joke. There was an American, a Japanese, a Tibetan and a Chinese in an airplane. The American took a handful of dollar bills and threw them out the window, "we have lots of money in the States". The Japanese took some cameras and threw them out the window. "We have lots of cameras in Japan". The Tibetan took the Chinese and threw him out the window "we have lots of Chinese in Tibet".

After lazing around the rest of the afternoon, Pete really enjoyed the fact he could ask Palde for anything he wanted, so we had popcorn and pasta.

July 21 Shishapangma Checkpoint to North Base Camp

Once again the next morning we woke up to clouds, so I delayed our trip to base camp. Instead, we walked to Siling village and enjoyed strolling around the houses. Many of the young villagers have gone to the border town of Zhangmu to earn money for the summer months.

After lunch, we drove to Shishapangma Base Camp (5000m), known locally as Chinese Base Camp, beautifully situated on a grassy patch alongside the river. I walked upstream and found a bridge over the river, but the water volume had increased so much in the monsoon that the water was flowing over the bridge. The mountain was still hidden in the clouds, so I decided we’d stay for a few hours and see if it came out.

Guide Jigme, Land Cruiser driver Panchoul, and truck driver Tsering played cards and just lazed around. Pete had a great time throwing rocks in the river and building little dams in the side streams. Charlotte sat in the Land Cruiser and read a book. I climbed up the small hill behind base camp and looked for a souvenir rock that would resemble Shishapangma. After about two hours, I noticed a blue patch of sky off to the south. That patch quickly moved northward to reveal for a few minutes Phola Ganchen (7661m) and then Shishapangma.

July 22 Shishapangma Checkpoint to Zhangmu

The nest day we drove to Zhangmu.