Nirmal Purja and the team are fighting high winds and tough route finding as they make their way towards the summit of Shishapangma. They were scheduled to be on their final push on Tuesday, October 29. No update as of this post. Shish is the lowest of the fourteen 8,000-meter peaks at 8,027 meters/26,335 feet located totally within Tibet.
As usual, they are climbing in one push, aka alpine style, bypassing any acclimatization. He posted an update on Twitter from October 26:
Yesterday, we had a pretty tough day. We climbed for 15 hrs non stop in an extreme weather conditions with the wind speed of more than 75 km/hr. Spent more than 3 hrs finding the way/route on the glacier.
And this video:
The weather looks extremely cold temperatures but high winds with no precip.
The crux will be the final climb across the knife-edge traverse. As shown in this image from edviestures.com, the main summit is in the right distance. The ridge is about 100-meters/300-feet long leading to the true summit which is only about 15-meters/ 45-feet higher than the central summit. It should take about an hour for Nims to cross, then he has to return the same way.
These are the usual camps:
- Base Camp (BC) 5000m, 16,400 feet: BC – ABC 9 miles, 6 hours start of the trip, 4 hours end of the trip
- Advanced base camp (ABC) 5600m, 18,375 feet: ABC – C1 3.7 miles, 8 hours the first time, 6 hours thereafter (one way)
- C1 6400m, 21,000 feet: C1 – C2 .6 miles, 4-5 hours
- C2 7100m, 23,300 feet: C2 – C3 .6 miles, 3-5 hours
- C3 7500m, 24,600 feet: C3 – Summit .6 miles, 7 hours
See my previous post for details on the climb.
Of course, we all know Nirmal Purja’s project is to summit all 14 of the 8000ers in seven months. In order to achieve his timeline, he needs to summit Shish by November 23. If he summits on October 29th, he will have summited all 14 in 190 days.
These are the 8000ers Nims and team have summited thus far:
- Annapurna – April 23
- Dhaulagiri – May 12
- Kanchenjunga – May 15
- Lhotse – May 22
- Everest – May 22
- Makalu – May 24
- Nanga Parbat – July 03
- Gasherbrum I – July 15
- Gasherbrum II – July 18
- K2 – July 24
- Broad Peak – July 26
- Cho Oyu – September 23
- Manaslu – September 27
The other members with Nims for Shish includes Mingma David Sherpa, Gesman Tamang, Gyalzen Sherpa and Jangbu Sherpa.
In 2013, Korean climber Kim Chang-ho set the current record for all 14 in 7 years, 10 months, 6 days. The previous record was set in 1987 by Polish alpinist Jerzy Kukuczka climbing all 14 in 7 years, 11 months, 14 days.
Best of luck to everyone!
Memories are Everything
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Feature image is courtesy of Ed Viesturs: Veikka Gustafsson on the knife-edge ridge to Shishapangma Main Summit April 30, 2001 – Himalayan Quest Ed Viesturs on the 8,000-Meter Giants book