Upon our arrival in Nepal the capital city Kathmandu, which is one of the historical places where you will find lots of cultural heritage which also comes under the world heritage site. Our Freedom Adventures’ staff will receive you from the airport to drop you by hotel. After some rest and fresh up enjoy Thamel Street at night which is the best tourist hub in the town with the view of live music bars, local market and reputed restaurants. There will be briefing in the evening about our trip by Freedom Adventures and also acknowledgement of any question we ask regarding our upcoming adventure. Overnight at Kathmandu.
At around 8am, we host a pre-trip meeting at your hotel in Kathmandu and introduce your trek leader/guide. Please seek this opportunity to ask questions about your trek. This includes a final briefing and preparations for the trip. For the meeting, please make sure you bring passport, three copies of passport-size photos, and a readable copy of your travel insurance policy. During this meeting, please clear the due balance, if any, and sign the legally binding trip form as well as the non-liability disclaimer. Please inform us in advance if you will be arriving late and therefore are unable to attend the pre-trip meeting.rnrnAfter the pre-trip meeting and a hearty breakfast, your sightseeing trip will start at around 9:45am. You will have a private vehicle and a professional tour guide at your disposal. We visit Boudhanath Stupa, one of the biggest Buddhist shrines in the world, where we observe Buddhist monks praying in the monasteries surrounding the stupa. After Boudhanath Stupa we visit Pashupatinath, the most famous Hindu temple in the country, located on the banks of the holy Bagmati River. Here we see Hindu holy men (sadhus) meditating, pilgrims bathing and occasionally funeral pyres burning on the ghats. We will also visit Bhaktapur Durbar Square, which is a collection of pagoda and shikhara – style temples grouped around a fifty-five-window palace of brick and wood. The attraction of the Bhaktapur Durbar Square is The Lion gate, The Golden gate, The Palace of fifty five windows, Art Galleries, The Statue of King Bhupatindra Malla.rnrnThe rest of our time in Kathmandu is free for further exploration and some last-minute shopping in Thamel area near by your hotel. Later, you will be supplied with our Trek Pack and departure information for the next day. Overnight at Kathmandu.
Formal briefing at the Ministry of Tourism. The expedition leader will check that everyone’s equipment is in working order. Overnight at Kathmandu.
Final opportunity for last-minute purchases. Overnight at Kathmandu.rnrn
Early morning transfer to the Kathmandu International Airport for the hour-long flight to Lhasa. This stunning flight takes us directly across the main Himalayan range, providing magnificent mountain views. After landing at Gonggar Airport and meeting our Tibetan guide, Lhasa is a further two hour drive. The remainder of the day will be left unscheduled for participants to rest and adjust to Lhasa’s higher altitude. Overnight at Lhasa hotel.
We spend today visiting several of Lhasa’s many monasteries in the company of a guide and interpreter. One of these is the Sera Monastery, one of the best-preserved monasteries in Tibet. Several hundred monks live and study within its whitewashed walls and golden roofs. After lunch we’ll visit the Norbulingka, the summer palace of the Dalai Lama, as well as the Jokhang Temple. This temple is possibly the most sacred shrine in Tibet and there is always a procession of devout Tibetans making their way through the complex. Surrounding the Jokhang is the Barkor, a maze of narrow cobbled streets that is the central market of Lhasa. Overnight at Lhasa hotel.
In the morning, we visit spectacular Potala Palace, which dominates the city of Lhasa. The building served as the seat of the Dalai Lama from the 17th century until 1959, and contains numerous grand state rooms and many important chapels. After lunch we visit the Drepung Monastery, founded in the 14th century and once the largest in the world, with a population of around 10,000 monks. These days that figure is down to several hundred, but there is still much at the monastery of interest, especially because it was left relatively unscathed during the Cultural Revolution. Overnight at Lhasa hotel.
We set off in jeeps for the six hour drive across the Tibetan plateau. Soon after leaving Lhasa, we reach the banks of the Tsang Po, which becomes the Brahmaputra River when it enters India. We drive upstream for a while before turning southwest through barren desert-like valleys to reach Shigatse (3900m), Tibet’s second largest city. Overnight in a hotel.
Today continues with another six hour drive, along the Tibetan highway. As we drive the northern edge of the Greater Himalaya comes into view, providing a spectacular panorama of peaks, including Everest. We overnight in a hotel 7km outside the main town of Xegar (4000m). If there is time, we may be able to visit the main town and its hilltop monastery. Overnight at Xegar hotel.
This is an important day, allowing us to cope with the great height increase to Chinese base camp tomorrow. General advice is to take it easy, but a visit the main town and a gentle hike up to its hilltop monastery (4200m) are highly recommended. Overnight at hotel.
Magnificent views of Shishapangma and many other mountains make today’s road journey an unforgettable one. After crossing the Thang La (5200m), we turn off the Lhasa highway and head west along the road to Mount Kailash for a further 25 km. Turning south onto an even smaller track, we eventually arrive at the base camp (5000m). This is situated close to the Yambughangala River, which drains on the north side of Mt. Shishapangma. Overnight at tented camp.
The first few days at the base camp are spent preparing our equipment and organizing loads for the yaks to carry up the mountain. These are also important days for our acclimatization, as we will all feel the effects of living at 5,000m and will need to be in good shape for the long route to the base camp. Overnight at tented camp.rnrn
After loading up the yaks with all the equipment, we set off with them on the 20km (12 mile) trek to the advance base camp. Initially we follow a jeep track to a plateau above the river, and then the west bank of the valley to ABC (advance base camp) near the snout of the Yambughangala Glacier (5600m). This is in an impressive location, with the giant white pinnacles of the glacier leading up the valley to Shishapangma. Here we unload the yaks and set up camp, which will serve as the take-off point for the climb. From here the Sherpas will do most of the load carrying. Overnight at tented camp.
Above the advance base camp we will place two or three camps, depending on conditions. The climb starts with a long trek leading to a large camping area at 6400m. From here we traverse further, gaining the shoulder of the mountain and arriving at Camp 2 (7100m). All of the climbing is on screen or snow and presents little difficulty. The northwest ridge is easily accessible from Camp 2, although it may involve snow and ice climbing at a steepness of fifty degrees. Fixed ropes are placed on all steep/crevassed sections. If a high camp is required, it is placed according to the prevailing conditions. The summit ridge is very long and usually reached by tracing a rising diagonal route across the snow slope below to reach the ridge, as close to the summit as possible. The west summit (8008m) of Shishapangma is quicker to reach than the main summit and is the usual point reached by ‘summiteers.’ Plenty of time is allowed in the event of bad weather and slow acclimatization. We intend to have enough time at the end of the expedition to make a complete withdrawal from the mountain, removing all equipment and waste and taking it back to ABC.
It takes several days to clear all the camps, and remove all waste from the mountain.
More packing! Occasionally we can arrange for the climbers to leave ahead of the expedition leader and Sherpas. We judge at the time, as conditions allow.
We trek to the base camp, in the afternoon catching a ride to Zhangmu. Overnight at guesthouse.
We should arrive in Kathmandu late afternoon or evening ready to enjoy the good restaurants. Overnight at Kathmandu hotel.
Time for relaxation and shopping. Once back in Kathmandu, Freedom Adventures will host an evening barbecue as a chance to celebrate the expedition, say farewell, and thank the Sherpas and team members for their support and friendship throughout the trip. Overnight at Kathmandu hotel.