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THE SHISHAPANGMA MOUNTAINS Jan Kielkowski 1st edition limited to 30 numbered copies 2 vols Paperbacks
By Kielkowski, Jan
Price: $29.95


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Dusseldorf, 1999, 1st ed. 46 + 48 pp, many b/w photos, maps, graphs. In Polish. Softcover, Like New, 2 slim volumes.

A comprehensive climbing guide to Shishapangma and surrounding mountains situated in the central Himalaya within the Tibetan borders. The guide includes detailed ascent descriptions of all the peaks in the surrounding area as well as useful information for climbers visiting the area.

Shishapangma, also called Gosainthan, is the fourteenth-highest mountain in the world and, at 8,013 m (26,289 ft), the lowest of the eight-thousanders. It was the last 8,000 metre peak to be climbed, due to its location entirely within Tibet and the restrictions on visits by foreigners to the region imposed by national Chinese and regional Tibetan authorities.

It is now considered one of the easiest and safest of the 8000 meter peaks, and the approach from Tibet is quite easy. Many people train for Everest by climbing either Shishapangma, Gasherbrum II, or Cho Oyu.

Ascents and attempts

Up to 2009, 24 people have died climbing Shishapangma, including Alex Lowe and Dave Bridges (both USA) in 1999, and veteran Portuguese climber Bruno Carvalho. Nevertheless, Shishapangma is one of the easier eight-thousanders to climb. The standard route ascends via the northwest face and northeast ridge and face ('Northern Route'), and boasts relatively easy access, with vehicle travel possible to base camp at 5,000 m (16,400 ft). Routes on the steeper southwest face are more technically demanding and involve 2,200 metres (7,218 feet) of ascent on a 50-degree slope.

First ascent

Shishapangma was first climbed via the Northern Route on 2 May 1964 by a Chinese expedition led by Xu Jng. In addition to Xu Jng, the summit team consisted of Zhang Jnyn, Wang Fuzhou, Chn Sang, Soinam Dorj, Chng Tianling, Migmar Zhaxi, Dorj  and Yn Deng.

Later ascents and attempts

1980 7 May, 'Northern Route', (2nd ascent) by Michl Dacher, Wolfgang Schaffert, Gunter Sturm and Fritz Zintl; Sigi Hupfauer and Manfred Sturm (12 May); as part of a German expedition.

1980: 13 October, 'Northern Route', (3rd ascent) by Ewald Putz and Egon Obojes, as part of an Austrian expedition.

1981: 30 April, 'Northern Route', (4th ascent) by Junko Tabei, Rinzing Phinzo and Gyalbu Jiabu, as part of a Japanese women's expedition.

1981: 28 May, 'Northern Route', (5th ascent) by Reinhold Messner and Friedl Mutschlechner, as part of an Austrian expedition.

1982: 28 May, 'British Route', southwest face, also known as 'Right-hand couloir' (alpine style), FA by Doug Scott, Alex Macintyre and Roger Baxter-Jones (all UK). Route follows the right-hand couloir on the southwest face.

1987: 18 September, Elsa vila and Carlos Carsolio become the first Mexicans to summit Shishapangma. For vila, her first eight-thousander and for Carsolio, his second, via the northern face/ridge to the central summit, then along the arete to the main summit, with Wanda Rutkiewicz, Ramiro Navarrete, and Ryszard Warecki.

1987: 18 September, west ridge, FA by Jerzy Kukuczka and Artur Hajzer (both Poland). Kukuczka skied down from near the summit. This was his last of fourteen eight-thousanders.

1987: 19 September, central couloir, north face, FA by Alan Hinkes (UK) and Steve Untch (USA).

1989: 19 October, Central buttress, southwest face, FA by Andrej Stremfelj and Pavle Kozjek.

1990: Left-hand couloir, southwest face (not reaching the main summit), Wojciech Kurtyka (Poland), FA by Erhard Loretan (Switzerland) and Jean Troillet (Switzerland)

1993: Far-right couloir, southwest face, FA solo by Krzysztof Wielicki (Poland).

1994: Left-hand couloir, southwest face (not reaching the main summit), Erik Decamp (France), Catherine Destivelle (France).

2002: 5 May, 'Korean Route' on southwest face, FA by Park Jun Hun and Kang Yeon Ryoung (both South Korea).

2002 26 October: Toma Humar(Slovenia), Maxut Zhumayev, Denis Urubko, Alexey Raspopov and Vassily Pivtsov got to the summit. Toma Humar climbed last 200 m (80/5060, 200 m) of ascent and descent (6575, 700 m)

2004: 11 December, Jean-Christophe Lafaille (France) provokes controversy when he climbs the 'British Route' on the southwest face, solo, and claims a winter ascent. Since this was not calendar winter, he changes his claim to an ascent 'in winter conditions.'

2005: 15 January, first (calendar) winter ascent by Piotr Morawski (Poland) and Simone Moro (Italy).

2011: 1617 April, Ueli Steck (Switzerland) solos the southwest face in 10.5 hours, leaving base camp (5,306m) at 10:30 pm on 16 April and returning to base camp 20 hours later.

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