Whether it’s 6000m peaks or icefalls, no one has put more first ascent trips out in Tibet than we have. We see first ascents not just as a sporting pursuit, but as furthering humanities knowledge of the world. With every first ascent comes the large element of true exploration and we approach that with the best perspective possible.
These days first ascents of significant peaks can be attempted with footprints so small it was unthinkable only a few years ago. Small teams now can take on 6000m peaks with as little as three weeks, and multi-peak trips can be done in little more than a month. And there's no shortage of unclimbed, unnamed & unexplored peaks across Tibet. From classic Himalayan peaks to rock towers, big walls and difficult faces, unattempted ascents can be surprisingly accessible.
Unlike the north side of k2, there is no single set itinerary for Tibet, but after years of experimentation we have a functional template we base most trips off. This is a basic schedule for a trip to a 6000m alpine peak, possibly a first ascent.
Day 1 & 2: Arrive Chengdu, last minute supplies
Days 3 – 5: Transit to step-off town, via overnights at progressively higher altitudes en-route
Days 6 & 7: Town-based acclimation days (usually around 4000m), daily high hikes as access recce, last minute supplies
Day 8: Transit to trailhead, begin approach
Days 9 – 11: Approach days to basecamp
Days 12 - 18: On-mountain climbing
Days 19: Return to road head & transit to town
Day 20: Decompression & reorganization around town
Days 21: Transit to Chengdu, final night in Tibet
Day 22: Finalize trip
This schedule can be easily adapted, doubled-up or even tripled-up towards a wide variety of trips, with elements like rest time in towns or accounting for existing acclimation worked in.
All our trips begin with a generous acclimation schedule, taking advantage of China's infrastructure to achieve a large proportion of acclimation in towns before hitting the approach.