Text Box: Xpedition 8000

Dispatch Twenty-nine: September 22nd, 2009

2009 Shishapangma Expedition

Day Twenty-nine: Plans for Summit Bid; Weather Window Opening

Today, after breakfast, Mario received a new weather forecast. It confirmed our suspicions that a weather window might be opening up around the 26th or 27th of September for a possible summit bid (Mario summitted Everest and Cho Oyu on the 28th of September and I summitted Cho Oyu on the 29th of September, so these dates seem to be ideal for summit bids). This forecast forced us to reconsider our carry to Camp III and instead start preparing for a summit bid. We are debating whether to leave Base Camp tomorrow or the day after, but we are leaning toward tomorrow. We hope the forecast that we receive tonight adds another day to the weather window, making for a safe descent. We are still a bit worried about the high winds forecast for the 25th (the day we will probably be climbing from Camp II to Camp III (on the ridge)), but we surely wonít let this stop us from positioning ourselves for our summit day. After all, on Manaslu this past spring, we set out in 80km/hr winds with 25kg packs from Camp II to Camp IV in order to be in place for the close to perfect weather the following day for our summit day. In the end, it appears that our early arrival might be rewarded, as the majority of other expeditions in base camp now arenít even close to being ready for a summit bid. Conditions will determine which route we will attempt. If the traverse looks to be too dangerous (prone to slab avalanches) we will opt for the longer, but safer IŮaki variation. The probability of us traversing the ridgeline between the Central and Main Summits is very unlikely. In the evening, we visited with the Polish climber, Kinga, who has summitted six of the fourteen 8000 meter peaks. Quite an auspicious crowd that we are sharing base camp with this year.

Photos: Left: Shishapangma viewed from Advanced Base Camp ; Right: The route from base camp to Camp II (right side of frame); Camp II is at the col


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