Moderate trekking involves 5 – 6 hours a day walking at a steady pace below 4000 meters for around 10 days trekking trip.
Tibet Shishapangma Base Camp Trek, is one of the most popular trek in Tibet. Shisha Pangma, known in Tibetan as "the god of the grasslands", is the lowest of the world's fourteen 8000 metre peaks. It is also the only 8000-meter peak located wholly in Tibet. After an early attempt, it was first climbed in 1964 by a Tibetan-Chinese expedition and was opened to foreign climbers in 1978. Our trek to the base of the world's fourteenth highest mountain allows you to enjoy the incredible beauty of the Tibetan Plateau".
Shishapangma (8046m) is the hidden jewel of Tibet and lies west of Everest, behind the Langtang range.The five day trek to Shishapangma basecamp is easier than other treks in Tibet as it does not require crossing any high passes. Yet it is as great as any trek in Tibet or even better. Though in rain shadow zone, the monsoon cloud manages to push over the Jugal Himal, bringing some rain most nights from June until early September in this region. Due to the same moonsoon the alpine floors here have nourishing lush meadows and an outstanding display of wildflowers during the summer.
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 Himlayas. 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 heartstarter! 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 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 summer time.
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 a 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.
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 stop over 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!
Footwear : Well broken-in walking shoes - these must be suitable for snow, thick socks, light socks, camp shoes.
Clothing : Down or fiber filled waterproof jacket and trousers, sweater or fleece jacket, underwear, warm and cotton trousers or jeans, shirts and T-shirts, shorts, long underwear, wool hat, sun hat, gloves, bathing suit, track suit.
Other equipment: Sleeping bag (5 seasons), lock, day pack, water bottle, sun cream, sunglasses, flashlight with spare bulbs and batteries, lip salve, gaiters.
Other items: Insect repellent, toilet articles, diary, toilet roll, laundry soap, wet ones, pocket knife, towel, sewing kit, plasters, binoculars, camera, film, cards and personal medical kit.
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