Shisha Pangma – Spring 2014

This past Autumn I made a solo ascent of Cho Oyu, Shisha Pangma’s neighboring 8000 meter peak. That ascent was my first 8000m climb and changed how I view the ethics of “by fair means”, the commercialization of the Himalaya and my motivation for these expeditions.


Shisha Pangma

Cho Oyu’s standard route was a natural first choice for my Himalayan aspirations. It provided a “safe” environment to test my desire of climbing solo, unsupported and without bottled oxygen. The standard route provided mostly “easy” terrain to make for a safe and expedient retreat, if any mishaps occurred. I took away much from my time on Cho Oyu. I gained more respect for the mountains but also disappointment for the era of the Himalaya I admired as a youth, seems to be a thing of the past.

And now to the present.

I now know my body can take me to 8000 meters, I know I enjoy the minimalist style of climbing solo and it is applicable to the Himalaya. What I now what to find out, is can I “safely” take that style to a technical route, the Central Couloir of the North Face of Shisha Pangma or the daunting West Ridge. And that is my goal for this expedition, to continue exploring my physical and mental limits and the possibilities of taking this minimalist style to technical routes in the 8000m arena.

Shisha Pangma 26,289ft – Departure March 27th, 2014

2 responses to “Shisha Pangma – Spring 2014

  1. Great to hear from you, Alex.

    Love hearing about your adventures and goals. Awesome.

    December in Ecuador was great. Very windy and cold day on Cayambe and in a disappointing decision, I turned at about 18,500 feet due to being way too cold. Three days later I summited Cotopaxi without any problem. Solveig and Casey Grom were great.

    Had lunch with Peter W last week exploring what is next. Thinking about maybe adding some rock climbing to my resume. Maybe Fisher Chimneys on Shukson. Peter continues to suggest going high – Denali or Aconcagua. Solveig said she would not dissuade me from doing one of those expeditions, either. He also invited me to join him again next summer on Rainier. Might do that and bring my daughter. FYI, my 33 year old son, Ted, is going to Rainier with Duke buddies on an RMI climb early June.

    Been skiing in Jackson Hole for a few days. Just left the Jackson Hole Mountain Guides shop talking with Erica Engle (she also works on Rainier for IMG). Purpose was to explore climbing the Grand Teton next summer.

    Anyway, now you are caught up on me.

    I remain interested in following your exploits. Peter and Solveig are very impressed with your success and plans.

    All the best,


    Sent from my iPhone Jim Daverman


    • Awesome Jim! Eh… you’ve gotta do whatever it takes to keep yourself safe up high, I’m sure you made the right call. I’d agree with Solveig, you’ve got the ability and a great attitude, you’d bring a lot to any Denali or Aconcagua team. Let me know if you do come to Rainier this summer, I’ll be around from the beginning of June to the end of August. What date is your son climbing on?

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