Arrived in Kathmandu on Sunday and have prepared all my loads for the two expeditions – Makalu in Nepal and Shishapangma in Tibet. Unfortunately the civil unrest in Tibet has seen the border closed and may delay or even prevent my attempt on Shishapangma this season. I’m off trekking tomorrow for two weeks to acclimatise and shall try to nip up Island Peak during that trek to push the altitude a little.
I’m hoping the Tibetan border will be open again by the time I retrun and access to Shishapangma granted, but that seems unlikely at this point.
If that is the case, I’ll head directly in to Makalu and then hope to have sufficient strength and time at the very end of the season to race to Shishapangma after Makalu for a speed ascent. The higher altitude of Makalu (almost 8500 metres) means that that will be a very tough call, which is why I’d prefer to hit shishapangma (8026 metres) first.
I should have a better idea by the time I return to Kathmandu on 6 April.
Until then, adieu