Cho Oyu is a beautiful mountain in its own right, and an excellent choice for those thinking of climbing Mt Everest in the future.
North West ridge route
Standing 20 km to the west of Mt Everest on the Nepal-Tibet, China 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 8,000m peak, or as your final preparation before attempting Mt Everest.
Our attempt to summit this mountain will be via the (normal) NW ridge route, which is the original route used by the Austrian team who were the first to climb the mountain in 1952.
Subject to conditions prevailing at the time, we will fly to Lhasa to commence the expedition from there, or we will cross the border between Nepal and Tibet, China, by land – either way, the cost is covered in the quoted cost for this expedition.
After we drive to and arrive at Chinese Base Camp, we then have a two-day trek before we arrive at Advance Base Camp, from where we tackle the mountain via the placement of three high 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, 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. Many choose not to go the extra distance to reach the main summit, as the height difference is minimal – but with Expedition Base, we like to complete the mission – therefore across the plateau we will go. If the weather is clear, once you are on the summit the spectacular panorama will make it all worth it. From the summit, you’ll be able to see Shishapangma, Gyachung Kang, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, and of course, Mt Everest! This is an amazing climb in its own right, and in addition, it is a great preparation climb before you decide to tackle other higher or more technically challenging 8,000m peaks.