Last updated
Shishapangma (left) from mountain flight, Nepal
Highest point
Elevation 8,027 m (26,335 ft) [1] [2] [3] [4]
Ranked 14th
Prominence 2,897 m (9,505 ft) [5]
Ranked 111th
Isolation 91 km (57 mi)  OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
Listing Eight-thousander
Coordinates 28°21′08″N85°46′47″E / 28.35222°N 85.77972°E / 28.35222; 85.77972 Coordinates: 28°21′08″N85°46′47″E / 28.35222°N 85.77972°E / 28.35222; 85.77972 [6]
China Tibet Autonomous Region rel location map.svg
Red triangle with thick white border.svg
Tibet Autonomous Region
Location Nyalam County, Tibet Autonomous Region, China
Parent range Jugal/Langtang Himal, Himalayas
First ascent 2 May 1964 by Xu Jing et al. (Chinese)
(First winter ascent 14 January 2005 Piotr Morawski and Simone Moro)
Easiest route snow/ice climb
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese 高僧赞峰
Alternative Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 希夏幫馬峰
Tibetan name
Tibetan ཤི་ཤ་སྦང་མ།
Nepalese name
Nepaleseशिशापाङ्मा Shishāpāngmā or गोसाईथान Gōsāīthān

Shishapangma, [7] [8] also called Gosainthān, is the 14th highest mountain in the world at 8,027 metres (26,335 ft) above sea level. It was the last 8,000 metre peak to be climbed, due to its location entirely within Tibet and the restrictions on visits by foreign travelers to the region imposed by authorities of the Government of China and of the Tibet Autonomous Region.



Geologist Toni Hagen explained the name as meaning a "grassy plain" or "meadow" (pangma) above a "comb" or a "range" (shisha or chisa) in the local Tibetan dialect, thereby signifying the "crest above the grassy plains". [9] [10]

On the other hand, Tibetologist Guntram Hazod records a local story that explains the mountain's name in terms of its literal meaning in the Standard Tibetan language: shisha, which means "meat of an animal that died of natural causes", and sbangma which means "malt dregs left over from brewing beer". According to the story, one year a heavy snowfall killed most of the animals at pasture. All that the people living near the mountain had to eat was the meat of the dead animals and the malt dregs left over from brewing beer, and so the mountain was named Shisha Pangma (shisha sbangma), signifiying "meat of dead animals and malty dregs". [11]

The Sanskrit name of the mountain, Gosainthan, means "place of the saint" or "Abode of God". [12] Still, its most common name is Shishapangma.


Shishapangma is located in south-central Tibet, five kilometres from the border with Nepal. It is the only eight-thousander entirely within Chinese territory. It is also the highest peak in the Jugal Himal which is contiguous with and often considered part of Langtang Himal. [13] The Jugal/Langtang Himal straddles the Tibet/Nepal border. Since Shishapangma is on the dry north side of the Himalayan crest and further from the lower terrain of Nepal, it has less dramatic vertical relief than most major Himalayan peaks.

Shishapangma has a subsidiary peak higher than 8,000 m: Central-Peak at 8,008 m (26,273 ft). [3]

Ascents and attempts

Some of Shishapangma's ascents are not well verified, or still in dispute. Some climbers claim to have reached the summit when in fact they reached the slightly lower central (west) summit at 8,013 m (26,289 ft), which is still almost two hours climbing from the 14-metre-higher (46 ft), true summit of 8,027 m (26,335 ft). [14] Respected Himalayan chronicler and record keeper, Elizabeth Hawley, [15] [16] famously got Ed Viesturs (amongst others), to re-climb the true main summit of Shishapangma in his quest to climb all 14 eight-thousanders. Her "Himalayan Database" would not accept central (west) summit ascents as full ascents of Shishapangma. [17]

Thirty-one people have died climbing Shishapangma, including Americans Alex Lowe and Dave Bridges in 1999, veteran Portuguese climber Bruno Carvalho and also noted Bulgarian climber Boyan Petrov, who disappeared on 3 May 2018. Nevertheless, Shishapangma is regarded as one of the easiest eight-thousanders to climb. The most common ascent via the Northern Route ascends via the northwest face and northeast ridge and face, and has relatively easy access, with vehicle travel possible to base camp at 5,000 m (16,400 ft). Routes on the steeper southwest face are more technically demanding and involve 2,200 metres (7,220 ft) of ascent on a 50-degree slope.

First ascent

Shishapangma was first climbed via the Northern Route on 2 May 1964 by a Chinese expedition led by Xǔ Jìng. In addition to Xǔ Jìng, the summit team consisted of Zhāng Jùnyán, Wang Fuzhou, Wū Zōngyuè, Chén Sān, Soinam Dorjê, Chéng Tiānliàng, Migmar Zhaxi, Dorjê, and Yún Dēng. [12] [18]

Later ascents and attempts


Notes and references

  1. "Shishapangma". Retrieved 2014-08-24.
  2. "青藏高原的伟大崛起" (in Chinese). China National Geographic. October 2009. Retrieved 2014-08-24.
  3. 1 2 "Shisha Pangma". 13 February 2008. Retrieved 2014-08-24.
  4. "Shisha Pangma". Mar 7, 2007. Retrieved 2014-08-24.
  5. "High Asia II: Himalaya of Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim and adjoining region of Tibet". Retrieved 2014-05-29.
  6. "Shisha Pangma". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 16 March 2010.
  7. Potterfield, Peter; Viesturs, Ed; Breashears, David (2009). Himalayan Quest: Ed Viesturs Summits All Fourteen 8,000-Meter Giants. National Geographic. p.137 ISBN   1-4262-0485-X.
  8. Spelled "Shisha Pangma" in Messner, Reinhold (1999). All 14 eight-thousanders. Mountaineers Books. p.105. ISBN   0-89886-660-X.
  9. Dyhrenfurth, Günther. O.; Dyhrenfurth, Norman (1977). "Shisha Pangma". Mountain. Youth Hostels Association (England & Wales) (53–64): 47.
  10. Baume, Louis (1979). Sivalaya: explorations of the 8000-metre peaks of the Himalaya. Seattle: The Mountaineers. pp. 131–132. ISBN   0-916890-71-6.
  11. Hazod, Guntram (1998). "bKra shis 'od 'bar. On the History of the Religious Protector of the Bo dong pa". In Blondeau, Anne-Marie (ed.). Tibetan mountain deities, their cults and representations: papers presented at a panel of the 7th seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Graz, 1995 . Verlag der Osterreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. p.  65. ISBN   978-3-7001-2748-2.
  12. 1 2 Baume, 1979, op. cit. pp 130-134
  13. Carter, H. Adams (1985). "Classification of the Himalaya" (PDF). American Alpine Journal. American Alpine Club. 27 (59): 122–3. Retrieved 2011-05-01.
  14. "Asia, Tibet, Cho Oyu and Shisha Pangma Central (West) Summit". American Alpine Journal. 1991.
  15. If a mountaineer wants worldwide recognition that they have reached the summit of some of the most formidable mountains in the world, they will need to get the approval of Elizabeth Hawley. "Elizabeth Hawley, unrivalled Himalayan record keeper". BBC News. 29 August 2010.
  16. "Elizabeth Hawley, Who Chronicled Everest Treks, Dies at 94". New York Times. 26 January 2018.
  17. Keeper of the Mountains: The Elizabeth Hawley Story. Rocky Mountain Books. 5 October 2012. pp. 185–195. ISBN   978-1927330159.
  18. Cheng, Cho (1964). "The Ascent of Sisha Pangma" (PDF). Alpine Journal . 69: 211–216. Retrieved 2020-01-15. Lay summary.
  19. 1 2 Scott & MacIntyre
  20. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Scott & Macintyre 2000, op. cit., pp 303-306
  21. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 List of ascents at
  22. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 R. Sale, J. Cleare: On top of the world. Climbing the world's 14 highest mountains, lists of ascents, HarperCollins Publ., 2000, page 221
  23. 1 2 3 4 5 6 List of significant ascents of Shisha Pangma,(with further links to pdf files with details)
  24. 1 2 "Korean Highway Corporation 2002 Shishapangma Expedition",, 17 May 2002
  25. 1 2 " Korean Alpinists Climb New Route on SW Face of Shishapangma",
  26. "Above the Clouds", pp. 186-197
  27. Lafaille, Jean-Christophe (1 June 2005). "Shishapangma, Southwest Face". Alpinist Magazine. Retrieved 2014-02-02.
  28. "Steck Solos Shishapangma in 10.5 Hours". 18 April 2011. Archived from the original on 23 July 2012. Retrieved 2014-02-02.
  29. "News Flash: Ueli Solos Shisha Pangma in 10.5 Hours". 19 April 2011. Archived from the original on 20 February 2014. Retrieved 2014-02-02.
  30. "Avalanche accident at Shisha Pangma". Double 8. September 25, 2014. Archived from the original on September 27, 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-27.
  31. "Tragödie am Gipfel des Shisha Pangma" (in German). September 25, 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-27.
  32. "The final report puts to rest all speculations surrounding the Boyan Petrov Search Operation", Dream Wanderlust, May 17, 2018.

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