Climbers Approach Shishapangma’s Summit

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, the Climbalaya team left their tents at 7,100m and set off toward the summit of Shishapangma.

“We’re hoping for the best [but] there’s so much wind,” Viridiana Alvarez texted via her InReach satellite device. Around noon, Nepal time, Alvarez’s tracker put her at 7,700m.

[A note on times: Although currently in Tibet, the climbers might still use Nepal time, which is more coherent with daylight. Despite its size, China only has a single time zone: China Standard Time, GMT+8]

Alvarez's tracker on a map also noting Shishapangma's summit.

Viridiana Alvarez’s tracker put her at 7,781m at 12:15 pm, Nepal Time.


Just one team on the peak

The Climbalaya team is the only expedition on Shishapangma this season, so they will have to break trail and carefully select their route from several options. They might follow the summit ridge across Shishapangma’s central summit (8,008m) and traverse the sharp ridge to the highest point. Alternatively, they might take a more direct route up the couloirs on the upper part of the face.

Orange and green lines mark the possible routes to Shishapangma summit, on a photo of the peak totally covered in snow.

Alternative routes to Shishapangma’s main summit from Camp 3. Photo: Edurne Pasaban


Alvarez’s tracker suggests the team has chosen one of the more direct routes.

The team comprises Kristin Harila, Viridiana Alvarez, Sophie Lavaud, Matias Myklebust, Pemba Tenjin Sherpa, Pemba Tenjing Sherpa, Chhiring Wanchu Sherpa, Ngima Rita Sherpa, Tenjen Sherpa, and team leader, Mingma Sherpa.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.