French alpinist Sophie Lavaud will attempt her 13th 8000m summit at Shishapangma (Tibet)

French alpinist Sophie Lavaud is in Tibet: she is preparing for the ascent of her 13th summit of more than 8000 m, the Shishapangma, 8027 m. She had climbed the central summit, 8013 meters, in 2012. She must therefore rectify this ascent to tick off the fourteen highest mountains on the planet, the Shishapangma being her penultimate 8000.

She climbed her first 8000 meter peak in 2012: the Central Shishapangma (8013m), antecima of the fourteenth world summit the Shishapangma (main, 8027 m). Followed ten days later by Cho Oyu (8201m), sixth world summit. She then went on to climb a series of summits (Everest, Gasherbrum II, Makalu, Broad Peak, K2, Annapurna, Kangchenjunga, Gasherbrum I, Dhaulagiri, Lhotse, Manaslu), earning herself the nickname of Lady 8000 and becoming the first Swiss, French and Canadian woman to have climbed twelve 8000-metre summits.

Ten years later, she went back to Shishapangma (in China) to climb the “real summit” at 8027 m, which requires a long additional traverse that she had not validated during her first ascent. There are only two summits left to climb in order to succeed in her project of climbing the fourteen highest mountains on the planet: the Shishapangma and the Nanga Parbat in Pakistan.

Sophie Lavaud at Camp 3 on Manaslu, October 2022. ©Coll. Sophie Lavaud

To access Shishapangma, it is necessary to obtain a permit from the China Mountaineering Association, which manages access to Chinese mountains. However, the organization currently issues very few authorizations to foreigners. Sophie