Located 20 km to the west of Mount Everest on the Nepal-Tibet border, Cho Oyu is a true Himalayan giant. At 8,201 m it is the 6th highest peak in the world and an excellent objective, be it for your once-in-a-lifetime 8,000 m peak, or as your final preparation before attempting Mount Everest.

We tackle the mountain via the North West ridge, which is the original route used by the Austrian team who were the first to climb the mountain in 1952. Access to the mountain is notoriously easy, as we drive from Kathmandu, cross the Himalaya and after some acclimatization stops and day hikes, we arrive at Chinese Base Camp. A two day trek sees us arrive in Advance Base Camp, from where we tackle the mountain via the placement of three camps. The climbing on the mountain is relatively straight-forward, with the two cruxes being a short but steep ice-cliff between Camps 1 and 2, and a prolonged and steep rock band directly above Camp 3.

Given the extreme altitude, the mountain is a very serious objective and neither the climb nor your preparation for the climb should be taken lightly. You’ll need to be as fit as you can possibly be, and when you’re climbing through the rock band above Camp 3 on your summit push, you’ll understand why! Once we reach the cusp of the summit plateau in the early hours of the morning, you’ll have to summon the energy to cross the wide plateau at over 8,100 m before finally standing on the main summit. You’ll know once you’re on the summit because if the weather is clear, you’ll have the most spectacular panorama to take in, including Shishapangma, Gyachung Kang, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, and of course Mount Everest!

 This 5 ½ week expedition is suited to experienced Himalayan climbers with previous expedition experience to mountains of at least 6,000 m, but preferably 7,000 m.

Advertisements