Cho Oyu is the sixth highest mountain in the world and, even though it is regarded as a technically straight forward 8000m peak, its altitude is a serious undertaking and requires careful preparation and a high level of fitness. It is said that Cho Oyu means ‘Goddess of Turquoise’, as its stark shadows appear this colour in the light of the setting sun when viewed fromTibet. This mountain is a vast bulk of sweeping snow slopes and clean glaciated lines; a most noble and impressive first 8000m peak.
The elegant North West face of Cho Oyu brings us up fairly easy angled 30 degree snow slopes. There is one steep serac barrier to negotiate at 6800m. Where necessary, fixed lines will be placed to aid us on steeper sections. Following our acclimatisation walks in Nylam and Tingri, we will arrive at the Chinese Base Camp where we begin our exciting preparations to move up to Base Camp at 5700m via an Intermediate Camp at around 5400m, to aid acclimatisation.
Camp 1 (6400m) is reached in 4-6 hours via an initial walk up the Gyabrag Glacier, up a steep scree to a broad snow shoulder and our first high camp.
Camp 2 (7100m) we follow the snow ridge out of Camp 1 to a steep 50 metre ice wall, which provides us with our most challenging climbing on this route. To make this ascent safe we use fixed ropes.
Camp 3 (7500m) we are now on easier ground and we reach our third camp in around four hours. At this altitude there is a tremendous sense of effort to gain further height.
Summit Day It takes 6-9 hours to attain Cho Oyu’s grand summit plateau. The route takes us over moderately easy snow and rock; it is now only the weather and altitude that can stand in our way of conquering this grand 8000m peak.
|Day 1-2||Fly to Kathmandu|
|Day 3||Final preparations|
|Day 4||Drive to Friendship Bridge, enter Tibet overnight in Zhangmu|
|Day 5-6||Drive to Nyalam, acclimatisation walks|
|Day 7-8||Drive to Tingri, acclimatisation walks|
|Day 9||Drive to Chinese Base Camp 4900m|
|Day 11-13||Trek to Base Camp via intermediate camps|
|Day 14-39||Ascent of Cho Oyu|
|Day 40-41||Return to Kathmandu|
|Day 42||At leisure, evening flight|
|Day 43||Return flight|