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Mount Cho Oyu, 8201 meters, is the sixth highest mountain in the world – located 20 km West of Mount Everest at the border between Nepal and China. Cho Oyu was first attempted in 1952, lead by Eric Shipton and Tom Burdillon organized and financed by the Joint Himalayan Committee of Great Britain, as preparation for an attempt on Mount Everest the following year.
Cho-Oyu expedition begins after your arrival in Kathmandu, where you will be picking up at the airport by representative of Fourteen Summit Trekking. The following day you will have organization meeting with other climbers and expedition crew.
We will drive towards the Nepal-Tibet border up to the Friendship Bridge, through Arnico Highway where the Chinese liaison officer and Chinese transportation meet us. The expedition gears go by truck but the members travel by Land cruiser 4wd. We will take time to acclimatize for one night at Zhangmu (2300m) and two nights at Nylam (3750m).
After that, we will drive to Tingri (4350m) where we spend other two nights to acclimatize. Then we drive from Tingri to Base camp (5000m), along the rough way with jerking & bouncing experience through grassy plain, which leads up to the Chinese base camp.
We set up our camp at Chinese Base Camp and stay two nights or more: it depends on how our members feel. We also make schedules of the yaks by that time. Base camp is a temporary but comfortable place, with our Nepali cook and dining tent. From here, the two-day walk towards the Advance Base Camp (ABC) begins.
Mount Cho Oyu Summit ABC is in the heart of the Himalayas at 5700m, surrounded by celestial peaks. There we will also find the high pass Nangpa La, nearby which stands an old but still used yak track trading route between Nepal and Tibet.
From ABC, we can see the superb scene of mount Cho Oyu. This is the main base camp and we plan to stay there for a longer duration also to check the most favorable situation for the expedition. From ABC, several hours of tough walking on a vague path over moraine-covered glacier will start.
Camp 1 is situated on some ridge at 6400m and the real mountaineering starts from here. The ridge is now soft and easy enough for climbing, then it broadens out and you should climb successive huge steps, several of which probably require fixing a rope up there. You should fix a new rope in co-operation with other members on the mountain. Normally one rope is used for ascent and another for descent, even though the route is crevassed.
Mount Cho Oyu Panorama from Summit Camp 2 is on the edge of a large plateau at 7125m, however you can carefully assess to put the rope there. Depending on your conditions and fitness you may attempt the summit from here, or you may establish a light Camp 3 across the plateau and up on a minor ridge at 7550m. Above Camp 3, there are two rocky steps where you should fix another set of ropes prior to our summit ascent.
Finally, you will start early in the morning from camp 3 for summit. Above the rock bands, the slopes are still steep and you may take a line to fix there, depending on conditions; however ,once on the crest of this ridge, the terrain is straightforward along a long haul to the summit plateau.
The panorama is breathtakingly magnificent: this includes looking at Everest 8848m, Lhotse 8501m, Nuptse 7855m, Chamlang 7319m, Ama Dablam 6856m and other peaks of the Everest region towards East and South. Westward, there are the Melungtse and Gauri Sankar massifs and northward you can see all the Tibet area. It is normal to descend to Camp 2 from summit and to continue down to the ABC.
Highlights of Cho-Oyu Expedition.
Utmost Adventure has compiled for you a list of necessary equipment and personal medical supplies, to face possible symptoms you could get during the trekking or the peak climbing. Please do understand that the items listed below should be considered as an essential summary.
We highly recommend you to be familiar with all of your equipment and a basic understanding of medical conditions related to high elevation.
Your document to travel to Nepal:
Valid passport, 2 extra passport size photos, photocopies of passport, visa (better to file the visa form prior departure here Tourist Visa Form and print it out) to pay upon arrival at the airport. Proof of insurance.
Dollars/Euros in cash for purchasing Nepalese visa at Kathmandu airport. Credit cards, bank/ATM/cash machine cards for withdrawing cash from cash machines (bring a photocopy of your cards).
Personal Climbing gear:
Harness: A climbing harness should be lightweight and fully adjustable. Easy to put on and take off.
Ice axe: General mountaineering axe. Should be light and easy to use.
Crampons: It must fit boot perfectly and lighter is better.
Carabineers: Two large locking “pear” shaped 4 regular mountaineering carabineers
Prussik cord: You can use in many situation, carry couple more.
Ascenders: One left or right hand orientation, does not matter (Petzl)
Rappel device: Figure 8, ATC or similar. Very important to devices for descending.
Ascender / Jhumar: Must be comfortable to be use with gloves.
Helmet: It is very important to use while crossing areas through rock fall, ice cliff. Better light weight.
Walking pool: Adjustable types are the best, it will be very much helpful while walking through snow field or rocky trail.
Sleeping bag rated to zero degrees F
Headlamp with spare bulbs and batteries
Small pad or combination lock-to-lock trek bag
Basic First Aid Kit (see Health and Medicinal)
Large plastic bags – for keeping items dry inside trek bag
Daypack (approximately 2500 to 3000 cubic inches)
Small wash towel
Personal Clothing items.
Sun hat or scarf
Light balaclava or warm fleece hat
Sunglasses with UV protection
Weight thermal tops
Fleece jacket or pullover
Fleece Wind-Stopper jacket (optional)
Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket
Down vest and/or jacket (optional)
Heavyweight gloves or mittens with a waterproof shell outer
Lightweight cotton long pants
Light and expedition weight thermal bottoms
Fleece or wool pants
Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell pants
Thick, warm wool hiking socks
Hiking boots with spare laces
Camp shoes (sneakers and/or sandals)
Personal hygiene supplies;
Two tubes lip sun cream, at least 1 large tube regular sun cream (min. factor 30), some after-sun lotion in case you do get asunburn
One toothpaste/brush set;
One hand sanitizer gel
1 (fast drying) synthetic towel
Personal prescription medications; Please let your leader know about any medical issues before the climb;
Small personal first-aid kit; (Simple and Light): first-aid tape, plasters (Band-Aids), alcohol-free wipes for cuts, personal medications, etc. (The leaders will have more extensive first-aid kits);
One skin blister repair kit;
Anti-diarrhea pills (Imodium) (one regular package);
Anti-headache medication (Aspirin or Ibuprofen) (one regular package);
One small bottle cough and/or cold medicine;
One course antibiotics for chest infection, available locally at pharmacies with no doctor’s prescription;
One course antibiotics for stomach infection, available locally at pharmacies with no doctor’s prescription;
One small bottle anti-altitude sickness medication: Diamox (Acetylzolamide), available locally, for more about this medication, please contact us or your doctor;
One small bottle of water purification tablets (needs to contain silver-ions AND chlorine), available locally at pharmacies with no doctor’s prescription, or a water filter or UV sterilizer;
Extra prescription glasses/contact lens. Contact lens wearers, please bring glasses in case of emergency.