Himalaya Fall 2013: Summit and Ski Descent on Shishapangma!


There isn’t a lot of news to report from the Himalaya today. Most of the current rounds of summit bids took place earlier in the week and most of the big commercial teams have now returned to Base Camp and are preparing to head home for the season. Still, late yesterday afternoon I received some interesting news on an expedition that I hadn’t shared yet and I wanted to pass along that news to you as well.

On Wednesday of this week, Polish mountaineer and skier Andrzej Bargiel reached the summit of Shishapangma alone and in poor weather conditions. There were other climbers on the mountain that day but they all turned back, leaving Andrzej to press on by himself.

Climbing from Camp 3 directly to the summit took eight hours to complete. Once there, he donned his skis and proceed to make a ski descent all the way back to where he started that morning. The descent took a total of 34 minutes to complete. Not much else is known about the climb at this time but hopefully we’ll get more details soon.

Congratulations to Andrzej on this impressive climb. And thanks to Jakub for sharing the news!

Speaking of big mountain skiers, the Italian team of Edmond Joyeusaz and Federico Colli have checked in from Lhotse once again. They duo made another trip up to Camp 1 and were a little worried when they found the paw prints of a fox on the glacier. The fear was that the animal had torn into their tent to get to the food that they had stashed there, but fortunately upon their arrival everything was intact, although the fox did circle their campsite a few times before moving on.

The two climbers, who hope to summit and ski down Lhotse, have not had an easy go of it so far this fall and they are still waiting for two experienced Sherpas to join them and help shuttle gear to the higher camps. They have returned to Base Camp once again and have made the decision to let the Korean team that is there as well do some of the work in establishing Camp 2 and higher. This will let the Italians rest up some and regain their strength. Having been on the mountain a couple of weeks now, they still have yet to go higher than C1. It will soon be crucial that they start to acclimatize to higher altitudes although they do have several more weeks left in the season.

That’s all for today. I’ll keep an eye on these big expeditions as they unfold. The season isn’t over just yet.

Kraig Becker