Shishapangma was, for a long time, one of the least accessible of the 8,000ers, giving it a certain air of mystery. As the only one of the 14 that’s entirely in Tibet, it was off limits to Western climbers for many years, but it has opened up more recently. Still, there’s something special about ‘the God of the Grasslands’, as the mountain is called in Tibetan. It might be the lowest of the 14 and the last to be climbed, but it’s by no means the least significant challenge.
The 14th highest peak
Shishapangma, at 8,027m above sea-level, is the world’s 14th highest peak and the last on the list of the 8,000ers. It was also the last to be climbed - the first ascent was made by a Chinese expedition in 1980. The reasons for this delay were more political than technical however, and these days, Shishapangma is relatively easy to reach, with the base camp accessible by vehicle.
When our co-founder Nimsdai set out to smash the record for the fastest ascent of all the world’s 8,000ers, climbing them all in just over 6 months, Shishapangma was the last on his list. But just because it’s a relatively straightforward climb, does not mean it was an easy victory lap. This mountain still presents significant challenges, and demands to be treated with respect.