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Mount Shishapangma is one of only 14 peaks reaching 8000m in the world. You can make the dramatic trek to base camp 4980m in as little as a week. If you have an extra few days continue on to Advanced Basecamp at 5400m (17,700 feet). The hiking here is not so difficult as its mostly on decent trails and then across the rockier moraines to the base camp. Most the time trekkers need to arrange to go as part of an organized climbing group but of course will return after meeting their objective. Either way this trek is a great way to get a close look at one of the world’s greatest mountains.
Kathmandu-Lhasa Airport or From Kathmandu Via Road
4 Hours Before Flight Time
Kathmandu-Nyelam-Drapochen-Shingdep-Shishapangma Base Camp Nyanang Ri-Ngora-Kathmandu.
Hotel/Similar/ Luxury Camping at the Campsite
1 to 2 Pax SUV Car | 2 to 8 Pax: Toyota Hiace Bus | 8 to 16 pax: Toyota Coaster Bus.
Local Tibetan English Speaking Trekking Guide/ language Guide upon extra payment (German/Spanish/Chinese/Italian/Japanese speaking Guide)
First-day L/D and last day only breakfast before Departure. All meals during Tour/Trekking
We leave Kathmandu after an early breakfast and drive northwards through Nepal’s beautiful terraced hillsides, river valleys and forests and catching glimpses of the Himalayas. We reach Kodari on the Nepal – Tibet border and must complete the border formalities at both the Nepalese and Chinese immigration posts. Once in Tibet we follow a series of incredibly steep switchbacks climbing up a mossy gully with cascading waterfalls to Nyalam where we stay the night.
With Tibet’s average altitude being over 3500m above sea level we take altitude sickness very seriously, so we spend today resting in Nyalam in order to acclimatize before heading up higher. We take the opportunity to go a short way out of town to visit a small temple, Nyalam Pelgye Ling, associated with eleventh- and twelfth-century poet-lama and saint Milarepa, credited with bringing Buddhism to Tibet and Phukdro ritro.
After breakfast we head out of Nyalam for our first day of Tibetan trekking! We walk for a couple of hours up the Tshongde Phu river valley before we have a choice of whether to head directly up to Draabochhan or make a detour to the lake Tara Tsho. The pilgrimage route up to Tara Tsho (lake) is quite a climb, but worth it! After 2 or 3 hours climbing steeply we reach the lake, which although quite large, remains hidden until we are quite close. When it reveals itself we see the shoreline is speckled with hundreds of small stone offering piles and larger rock cairns with prayer flags. Tara Tsho is remarkable for having neither inlet nor outlet and it is said to be 40 meters deep. According to local legends, the lake manifested from a piece of ice brought here by a lama returning from holy Mount Kailash in Western Tibet. We spend the night camping at the herders’ camp at Draabochhan.
After breakfast today we begin with a heart starter! We climb up for about an hour to the top of a ridge. From here we walk parallel to the ridge, along hills thick with dwarf rhododendrons. This afternoon we make camp Shingdip, a beautiful meadow camp featuring a large boulder at the junction of converging moraine valleys. While the Shishapangma Base Camp is relatively close to us now, it is nearly 450 meters higher in elevation, so we will stop here for the night.
From our camp at Shingdip we head cross country, west towards Shishapangma Base Camp. We climb up to a ridge and follow it for some time, with splendid views of Jugal Himal towering across the valley to the south. Well worth the breathlessness you might feel! We reach the Base Camp by a lovely little glacial lake after about two hours of walking. While Shishapangma is just out of view from the Base Camp we will have a rest after our mornings walk and then decide if we want to rest and take it easy or explore a bit in the afternoon.
This morning we explore up towards Advanced Base Camp and explore some more around Base Camp. There are brilliant views of Shishapangma on a boulder-plateau an hour above base camp.In the afternoon we do the only backtracking we have – down to Shingdip where we camp the night in familiar surroundings.
This morning we get an early start to cross the Kong Tso La, a 5180m pass between us and the stunning Kong Tso, a holy lake associated with Guru Rinpoche and said to be a life-power lake for the Nyalam region. As we trek up towards the pass we can really observe how different this arid alpine terrain is from the lush area around Draabochhan, where we started trekking. We will be surrounded by stunted juniper bushes and may see the rare flowers of the Blue Poppy in the summertime.
Descending from the pass we walk for about an hour to our camp at Kong Tso. It seems that Mt Shishapangma and Pholha Gangchen seem to rise straight up from the edge of the lake and this is truly an awesome campsite!
Today is a much easier day, trekking down to the village of Ngora. We pass another stunning glacial lake before heading down through alpine meadows down the valley. We have the option to visit Ralo Phuk, a cave hermitage of the 11th century Buddhist scholar and tantric translator, Ra Lotsawa. Continuing down to Ngora, we find a nice campsite and may like to visit the little red walled gompa before dinner.
Your 9 Days Mount Shishapangma Base Camp Trek ends here. This morning we load up into our comfortable jeeps for the trip down to the border crossing and re-entry into Nepal. Bidding farewell to Tibet we head to the Last Resort for lunch in this lovely canyon setting. If you like we can arrange a stopover here for you to check out Nepal’s only bungy jumping, the world’s biggest swing, and the high ropes course (optional and extra). Otherwise, we head back to Kathmandu for a final dinner to celebrate our Tibetan adventure!
The Mount Shishapangma Base Camp Trek is an adventurous journey to the base camp of Mount Shishapangma, one of the world’s fourteen peaks above 8,000 meters. The trek offers stunning Himalayan landscapes and a glimpse into the Tibetan culture.
The trek duration varies, but a common itinerary is around 14 to 18 days, including trekking to the base camp and travel to and from Lhasa, Tibet.
The best time for the trek is during the pre-monsoon (spring) and post-monsoon (autumn) seasons, from April to June and September to November, when the weather is favorable and the trails are accessible.
The trek is considered moderately challenging. Trekkers should be in good physical condition and acclimatize properly to the high-altitude environment, reaching over 5,000 meters.
Yes, permits, including the Tibet Travel Permit and Alien Travel Permit, are required for the trek. These permits are usually arranged by tour operators.
Highlights include panoramic views of the Himalayan range, trekking through pristine landscapes, exploring Tibetan villages, and reaching the base camp of Mount Shishapangma.
Accommodations range from hotels in Lhasa to guesthouses during the trek, and camping at the base camp. Trekkers need to bring their own camping gear or arrange it through tour operators.
Yes, guided tours with experienced trekking guides are recommended. These guides provide assistance, share local insights, and ensure a safe trekking experience.