Cho Oyu Autumn 2005
Cho Oyu Autumn 2005
Update: Hello, Let me introduce myself: I am Arnold Coster the leader of our Summitclimb Cho Oyu expedition this year. My bags are packed and I am ready to leave to Kathmandu where our expedition starts.
Phil Crampton our expedition manager is already there too buy the last supplies. Together we are going to finish the packing and meet all the team members! We have a nice team with 22 members from 10 different nations!
This is our team:
Arnold Coster, the Netherlands- Leader
Phil Crampton, UK -Expedition Manager
Thierry Auberson, Switzerland
Guntis Brands, Switzerland
Edward Buckingham, UK
Ray Butler, UK
Herve Coron, France
Doug Cote, USA
Dominic Faulkner, UK
Tunc Findik, Turkey
Johan Franlelius, Sweden
Gernot Gessinger, Austria
Richard Lindskold, Sweden
Ulrica Lindskold, Sweden
Mark Little, USA
Francois Niering, Switzerland
Maya Sherpa, Nepal
Andrew Sloan, UK
Jon David Stewart, USA
Ben Stuckey, USA
Matt Ward, UK
Nick Williams, UK
Stay tuned for more news as soon we all are in Kathmandu ! back to top
Update: Hi readers!
This is Arnold Coster again, the expedition leader of our trip.
Two days ago I arrived in Kathmandu. It is very nice and warm here!
Together with Phil Crampton we packed all the expedition gear, such as food, climbing equipment, tents, lights, lots of rope etc. So we are ready to rock and roll!
The members slowly arriving now, all member will be here at the 4th of September.
The plan is that we leave to Tibet early morning at the 6th.
We are going with two buses to the Tibetan border: Zangmu, Nyalam, Tingri and Cho Oyu base camp we are planning to arrive in Tingri at the 9th , There we will meet Phil and our Tibetan staff.
Summitclimb is the first expedition who uses a full Tibetan staff ever!
We are using the students of the China/Tibet guide school since 1999.
This are some of the names of our staff:
Awong, Ngawang Dradul, Adin (climbed with us on Mustagh Ata in 2005), Wangdu (summited Everest with us in 2004 and 2005), Pemba Tashi (Everest 2005) and Luda (Everest 2005)
Phubu Tsering-Head cook (was with us on many exp.)
All these guys are trained by Phil and his wife at fine cuisine, so I am looking forward to the dishes they will make!
This is it for now! Stay tuned for more! back to top
Update: Hi readers!
We are all packed and ready to go! All the members arrived and everybody is healthy and fine. Yesterday we had a nice group dinner.
Tomorrow the 6th we will leave at 4:00 am and try to go to Nyalam in Tibet.
It is going to be fun, now our journey really begins!!!!!!!!!! back to top
Update: Hi, this is Ben Stuckey reporting live from Nylam, Tibet for the 2005 Summitclimb Cho Oyu expedition. We arrived in Nylam today after a slight delay in crossing over from Nepal to China yesterday afternoon. We had to stay an extra night in the Chinese border town of Zangmu in order to clear up some permit issues with the CTMA.
The border town of Zangmu is quite interesting. It is only a one street hamlet built on the side of the mountains. The constant truck traffic coming in each direction tofrom the border makes for some interesting sights.
This morning we left Zangmu and completed the drive to Nylam. The drive between towns is not without some high stress on the part of the climbers. The road is mainly wide enough for one vehicle and yet the are always trucks crawling down the mountainside in an effort to reach the Chinese border. Oh, did I mention the drop-off on one side is close to 1000 feet straight down and there is not much in the way of guardrails. Although, all said and done, the magnificent views of the rolling mountains, the steep mountainside, and the monsoon fed waterfalls make for a unique memory.
Upon arrival in Nylam, we quickly found a place to eat and enjoyed the wonderful Tibetan food. The town is under-going an extensive clean up making for a more relaxing stay not having to breath the unique aromas found in other towns we have gone through. About half of the members went on a small hike this afternoon while the rest caught up on some sleep and prepared their gear for the climbing ahead in days to come. We will be spending a total of 2 nights in this town and then we move onto Tingri where we should get our first views of our objective, Cho Oyu. From the town of Tingri we will begin calling in our dispatches via sat phone because internet access is not available.
Thanks for following our climb and we will give more updates in the near future.
Tashi Delek, Ben Stuckey back to top
Update: Hi readers
This is Arnold Coster the leader of the SummitClimb Cho Oyu expedition
Today we had a acclimatisation day in Nylam, this is needed otherwise we gain altitude to quick and a lot of members will get sick. Everybody went for a hike today in the surrounding hills of Nylam¡. Today I saw we have a very strong team. Everybody did very well, some members climbed as high as 4900m already.
I like our international team very much, there is always something to talk about.
Tomorrow morning we will go to Tingri, our last town stop before we reach BC. In Tingri we will also meet our staff and Phil again. He was coming from Lhase to arrange some more food. He made a slight change to our climbing staff, because we only want the best. This are our climbing Sherpas now: Tashi Tsering, sirdar, Adin, Luda, Penba, Beba, Tsering, Dorje, Lobochon. These climbers are the Top of the notch of the Chinese/Tibetean guide school. I am honored to have climbers like this in my team. So this was the last written dispatch, from now on we will call in our dispatches by satellite phone. Arnold back to top
Update: This is Mark Little of USA dispatching live from Cho Oyu base camp on September 10, 2005. Elevation at around 4900 meters or 16,000 feet. After one and a half days in Nylam we finally loaded up the Jeeps and headed for Tingri. Along the way, we were able to get our first views of an 8,000 meter peak up on the Tong Long Pass at about 5200 meters. It was the beautiful sight of Shishapangma. The whole team stopped to take photos. We loaded back up and headed on to the Tibetan Plateau. When we crested onto the Plateau, lo and behold, there she was--Everest, and our main objective, Cho Oyu. We also got some small glimpses of Makalu. What an awesome and incredible sight. So it was a great day. We were able to see four 8,000 meter peaks. I wish you were all here to see it.
Soon on to Tingri we go. After about a four hour drive we finally arrived in Tingri at about 14,150 feet, a very primitive town, but the accommodations were very workable and comfortable. I think our team and myself believe it or not got our best night’s sleep here. Today we headed to Chinese Base Camp at 16,100 feet or 4900 meters. We had 26 or 27 V25 Expedition tents set up, two bathrooms, what a sight. I think we’re taking over. I’ve got to tell you SummitClimb’s organization along with Arnold Coster and Phil Crampton are absolutely hands down doing a tremendous job. I mean getting tents, food prepared, free advice with tips, organizing buses, jeeps, restaurants, wow. I would recommend no other. Not to forget their talented, outstanding Tibetan staff. Anyway we have a couple of nights here then off to Intermediate Base Camp. I wanted to mention that the food in Base Camp is fantastic, also everyone seems to be healthy and doing fine. I want to say hi to my wife and kids. I’m doing great, I miss you. _______ loves Diana. Signing off from Chinese Base Camp, Mark Little. back to top
Update: "This is Arnold Coster, leader of the SummitClimb Cho Oyu Expedition 2005. All members reached ABC today at 5,600 meters and everybody is doing fine. Today we have 74 yaks coming up and tomorrow 21 more are going to arrive. Tomorrow we are going to do some rope practice for the members so that they can practice for higher on the mountain. The day after we’re probably going to have the Puja and after that we’re going to move up to Camp 1. So, this is it for now, we’re quite busy making camp very nice. So stay tuned for more and talk to you later. Bye bye." back to top
Update: 9/14/2005 Hello, this is Ben Stuckey with the SummitClimb Cho Oyu expedition calling in from Advance Base Camp, elevation 5600 meters, or 18,400 feet. Today was spent mainly resting and trying to stay hydrated. It was a good day to do so because the weather was cold, windy and snowy. However, the weather did not stop the team from hiking a short ways out of camp to the glacier edge for a little jumar, ice ax and crampon practice. A few fixed lines were put up and the team practiced skills necessary to climb the upper mountain. Everyone did a great job.
This evening's dinner was a great surprise. We all had pizza and French fries, with chocolate cake for dessert. We have the best Tibetan cooks on the mountain, these guys work incredibly hard feeding the team and keeping everyone hydrated, supplied with a lot of hot drinks.
Tomorrow, weather permitting, half of the team will carry loads up to Camp One at around 6400 meters or 21,000 feet. The remainder of the team will rest at Advanced Base Camp and possibly try the next day for a carry to Camp One.
Now for a few personal messages from some of the climbers. Doug says hi to friends and family, and thank you for your support. Jerry D says hello to Brandi. Jill says happy anniversary Trish. Andy says hope you survived the race Juliet, and Dad, hope the last trip was another success. Mark says Donna and kids, love you a lot. And finally, Diana, I love you and miss you. More from the SummitClimb 2005 Cho Oyu Expedition coming up in a few days. Cheers, and thanks for following along. back to top
Update 9/21/2005: This is Arnold Coster, leader of the Summitclimb Cho Oyu 2005 Expedition. I’m calling now from Camp Two at 7,000 meters. I’m sitting here together with eleven other members. Everybody is feeling healthy. This is our last high sleep before we _______ at ABC and head for the summit. Tomorrow Phil will come up with eight other members and the day after that two other members will come and then everybody’s ready to go for the summit. All the members are healthy except one, Dominique. He had to go back to Katmandu. He’s safe in ____________ in Katmandu. Anyhow, hopefully he’s doing fine. So, if we go to the summit I will keep you informed. This is it from here for now. Cheers, bye bye. (Rob Maynard is the transcriptionist) back to top
Update 9/24/2005: Hello. This is Arnold Coster, the leader of the Cho Oyu SummitClimb 2005 Expedition. We're all resting now in ABC.
9-24 Arnold Coster Transcription
We're only waiting for Andy, Matt, and Nick to come down from Camp Two at 7,000 meters. They spent a good night last night at Camp Two and are coming down together with Phil. So tonight it's going to be the whole group together for dinner again and we can decide which summit parties are going first to the summit. We're probably going to have three groups going to the summit. The first one starts the 25th and is trying to summit at the 28th and the rest probably starting the 27th and preparing to summit on the 30th. So this is it for now and tonight we discuss the good configuration and then I'll keep you informed. See you, bye bye.
Update 9/25/2005: 9-25 Arnold Coster Transcription:
This is Arnold Coster, the leader of the Cho Oyu SummitClimb 2005 Expedition. I'm reporting from Camp One, 6,400 meters. Today the 25th we left with 12 members and three Tibetan Sherpas for the first summit attempt. Our plan is to summit the 28th. The second group is leaving the 26th with five people and three Tibetan Sherpas. Their plan is to summit the 29th. We also have a third group of four people and one Tibetan Sherpa. They're leaving the 27th and they want to summit the 30th. So, I hope the next two days if everything goes fine I can call in summit names. I also have a message for Jana (sp?) from Ben who says he's thinking of her and he loves you. And I have a small message for my mother-and I want to say the cheese is delicious here in Camp One, and everybody likes it. I hope the next time I call I have some summit names. This is it for now, bye bye. back to top
Update 9/27/2005: Hello. This is Arnold Coster the leader of the Cho Oyu SummitClimb 2005 Expedition. First I want to start with some good news. Yesterday two of our members made it to the summit of Cho Oyu. They summited on the 27th at 11:00 in the morning. Unfortunately Francois was with them and he had to come back because he had some stomach problems.
Thierry and Tunc made it to the summit. I'm now in Camp Three, 7450 meters, with Gernot, Johan, Mark, Guntis, Herve, Doug and three Tibetan Climbers and me.
Unfortunately JD had to give up because lack of energy. But he's in the company of Maya to escort him down to ABC. I spoke to Camp Two and Camp One, and everybody's fine. Everybody's anxious to go to the summit after us. So this is it for now, I hope tomorrow I can give some summits and see a lot people in Camp Two.
Bye Bye, Rob back to top
Update 9/28/2005: Hello. This is Arnold Coster, the leader of the SummitClimb Cho Oyu 2005 Expedition. I just wanted to call in to say today we left with seven members to the summit of Cho Oyu. Unfortunately, me, Arnold Coster, and Gernot had to go down because Gernot wasn't feeling very well. But, I'm happy to tell you that Johan, Mark, Doug, Guntis and Herve summitted Cho Oyu today, together with our staff members Pemba, Tumba, and Dorje. Tomorrow another team of four people will try to go for the summit. So, I hope I can call again tomorrow with more summits. I hope I can keep you informed and speak to you tomorrow. Bye bye. back to top
Update 9/30/2005: Hello. This is Arnold Coster again from the Cho Oyu 2005 SummitClimb Expedition. I just wanted to call in five more summits today. Yesterday the 29th, Ben, Edward and Tashi summitted Cho Oyu. The reason my call in was delayed was because Edward had a little bit of an epic descent yesterday on the way to Camp Three and I wanted to make sure he's 100% fine before I call him in from the summit. Don't worry, everybody's fine, they're all safe in Camp Three. After a moment today they're coming down to ABC. Today the 30th, this morning at 9:00 Andy and Lobshung summitted Cho Oyu also. They're also doing fine, and they're on their way down to Camp Three. So, I hope Edward is back soon in ABC so he can send a dispatch about his epic descent. So this is it for now, and stay tuned for more. Bye bye. back to top
Update 10/1/2005: Hello, my name is Guntis, and I'm sending in a message from the Cho Oyu SummitClimb 2005 Expedition. On September 27 we had packed our bags and gear from Camp Two at 7,000 meters to advance to Camp Three at 7,450 meters. We knew it would be a cold and short night. At midnight in the black and cold we melted snow for our warm drinks and work began. It took us time, but at 2:00am on September 28 we were ready to depart, depart for the summit of her, the big Cho Oyu. Dressed as light as possible, but equipped with down suits, climbing gear, heavy boots and water bottles we set off at 2am in the dark with flashlights.
The first obstacle was a rock band that we surpassed after about an hour. It's a difference climbing in the night without absolute vision. The climb continued in a monotonous way and oxygen gets scarce by the step. One keeps focusing on advancing. Climbing remains the only thing in your mind. Looking ahead, one fortunately looks upwards. Any climber ahead of you looks like a shadow of a Japanese dangling lantern, the only romantic aspect of the climb so far. It gets more and more monotonous, darkness, little oxygen, and continued physical effort. One gets lost in the ardor of advancing. Then, after several hours, a sudden light becomes visible and improves the mood. Suddenly one recognizes that the steam on one's footsteps in fact is the light of the flashlight. Shutting it off is probably the only positive action for several hours. The sunshine over her plateau's edge is great encouragement towards the light. Maybe soon. But optimism very soon subsides. The so-called plateau is no plateau. It's a giant slope on which the summit is not visible. Only determination can still keep me moving at a lethargic pace.
The sun starts warming and giving energy. Alone in the snow desert comes a surprise, the view of the Tibetan Lammergeiers. The still-young life at the summit smiles at 8:30am on the top of Her. I sit down and consume the remaining energy drink. Happy as I had pictured, I made it, the summit of Cho Oyu! The descent is another experience, not without effort, but too long to tell. I long for a shower, a shave, clean clothes without summit smell, and to leave this Tibetan sea level at 5,600 meters and to get home.
Summit Climb Cho Oyu 2005: Hi, This is Phil Crampton from SummitClimb.com writing to you:
We would like to give a quick summary of Summit Climb’s third successful expedition to Cho Oyu this fall season in Tibet.
We were a team of 21 members and 11 Tibetan staff from 11 different nations. This expedition we believe was the first western expedition to use all Tibetan staff on any 8000-meter mountain. The Tibetan climbers are all students and graduates of the China Tibet Mountaineering Guide School in Lhasa, which was established and financed in 1999 by the China Tibet Mountaineering Association and the Ozark Gear Company, and is under the directorship of Nima Tsering of the CTMA. We at Summit Climb have been supporting this fine school and have been using the students on our Tibet expeditions since 1999 enabling them to become professional climbing guides and base camp cooks, bringing much needed employment to Lhasa and Tibet.
Our members came from the Netherlands, France, United Kingdom, United States, Turkey, Sweden, Austria, Canada, Switzerland and Nepal. Our leaders were Arnold Coster from the Netherlands and Phil Crampton from the United States/United Kingdom and both were climbing on Cho Oyu for their second and fourth times respectively. Arnold successfully led the Summit Climb Cho Oyu expedition in 2004 where 9 of the 11 members summited and Phil was a leader with Summit Climb on Cho Oyu in 2000. The team was a very experienced one with several members having climbed on Everest, Pumori and Ama Dablam, most with Summit Climb in previous years.
Our climbers arrived in Nepal all in a few days of each other and we were all packed and ready to leave Kathmandu on the morning of September 6th. Most of the team was to travel overland and we had to arrange for two buses to take all the gear and us to the Nepal border town of Kodari. Arnold and the majority of the team loaded the buses of all our extra food and equipment in the early hours of the morning and started the drive towards the Friendship Highway and Tibet. Phil and Guntis Brands flew to Lhasa where extra sightseeing could be achieved visiting such places as the Potala Palace, Barkhor Square and The Jokhang. This also enabled Phil to attend to some last minute logistics and preparations with the Tibetan staff, as Phil and his wife Trish both teach at the mountaineering school. Phil teaches the students English and how to climb with westerners to become Tibetan Sherpas and Trish teaches western style cooking and food hygiene practices to the base camp cooks and kitchen boys. All off our team met in Tingri on September 9th where our climbing Sirdar, Tashi Tsering was introduced to the members. The following day we all drove to Old Chinese Base Camp, which lies at an elevation of 4,900 meters.
Our remaining climbing and kitchen staff had arrived a few days earlier and established a great base camp which included two bathrooms (one just for the ladies on our team), a shower tent and a huge dining tent with the capacity to seat 33 people plus visiting guests. We spent two nights here relaxing and being pampered by our amazing kitchen staff. Our head cook Phubu Tsering has worked many expeditions for Summit Climb over the years and knows exactly what to cook to keep everyone happy. Pizzas, calzones, schnitzels, and fajitas are just a few dishes to name and our assistant cook, Sangjie who is also a regular on our expeditions always likes to impress the team with his fine baking skills and the wonderful desserts he knocks out night after night.
We loaded the yaks, 100 in all and headed for intermediate base camp where we spent the evening for cautious acclimatization. The following day we arrived at advanced base camp at 5,600 meters and settled in to our camp that had been established for us by some of our staff that had gone ahead of the rest of the team some days earlier.
The climb itself started for the members on September 15th after everyone had a few days rest to aid their acclimatization. Our climbing staff had established camp one before we had even arrived at ABC. We placed 10 tents there to enable all our team to sleep there at the same time if needed. The members first took an acclimatization trek over the moraine and up the painful “scree slope” where they deposited their climbing gear needed higher up in camp one which is positioned on the saddle on the shoulder at the foot of the northwest ridge. Everyone felt great after the first sortie and this would continue for the rest of the expedition for all of the team. They all made a second climb to camp one some days later where the members slept and most of the team climbed half way up towards camp two at 7,000 meters to get familiar with the route. Phil climbed to camp two to check on the tents and the provisions stocked earlier by our Tibetan climbers and on returning to ABC informed the rest of the team things were good and we are ready for camp three to be “taken care of” by our staff. We relaxed for a few days and then the team in three separate groups climbed to camp two to sleep to make sure everyone was in great condition with their acclimatization before returning to ABC ready for their summit pushes.
Our first summit team consisted of Tunc Findik from Turkey and Thierry Auberson and Francois Niering from Switzerland. Tunc has already summited Pumori, Everest and Broad Peak to name a few before this expedition and both Thierry and Francois are very experienced climbers with numerous ascents around the world. All three departed for the summit from camp two instead of using camp three on September 27th at 1.30 am. Unfortunately Francois was having problems with his stomach and turned around at about 7,100 meters returning to camp two but Tunc and Thierry continued on reaching the summit at 10.30 am. Both climbers descended to camp two to spend the evening and the following day went back to ABC where they celebrated with fresh ground coffee and red wine provided by our kitchen staff.
The second summit group consisted of Mark Little and Douglas Cote from Colorado USA, Johan Frankelius from Sweden, Guntis Brands from Switzerland, Herve Coron from Paris France, Gernot Gessinger from Austria and Arnold Coster from the Netherlands. Mark has climbed Denali four times all by different routes, Johan has climbed on Ama Dablam and Everest and Herve has climbed Ama Dablam and Arnold having climbed on Manaslu, Everest and Cho Oyu, so this was a very experienced group. On leaving camp three in the early morning hours of September 28th, Mark, Douglas, Herve, Guntis, Johan along with our Tibetan climbers Tsering Dorje from Nyalam and Tumba and Pemba both from Tingri all summited, the first climber reaching the top at 9.00 am. Johan decided to return to ABC but the others decided to share their excitement with other team members climbing upwards and spend the night at camp two on their descent from the summit. Gernot, who is aged 65 years old, but looks and acts like a 45 year old decided to turn around at the 8000-meter mark. He was feeling fatigued and was not using supplementary oxygen and Arnold escorted him back to advanced base camp.
On September 29th the third summit group consisted of Ben Stuckey and Ray Butler from Colorado USA and Edward Buckingham from Cornwall UK, who were accompanied by our Tibetan climbers Tashi Tsering from Shigatse, Aden from Shegar and Wangdu from Lhatze who have all climbed Everest at least once. Ray decided to turn around above the rock band and was escorted down by Aden, and Ben, Tashi and Edward all continued on to the summit. Edward received some frostbite to his feet during the descent and decided to rest in camp three after the summit with Ben continuing to camp two and Tashi to ABC.
The fourth summit group consisted of Andrew Sloan from Horsham UK, Matthew Ward from Birmingham UK, Richard and Ulrica Lindskold from Sweden and Phil Crampton from New York USA who were accompanied by our Tibetan climber Lobchong from Tingri. All the climbers were very experienced Alps climbers except for Phil who has not had the pleasure or climbing in Europe but has climbed in Nepal and Tibet with several expeditions each to Shisha Pangma, Cho Oyu and Everest. On the morning of September 30th Matthew was not feeling too good with some lung infection and the husband and wife team of Richard and Ulrica Lindskold also decided this was not to be the day to make a summit push as both were feeling fatigued from the climb to camp three at 7,450 meters, so collectively they decided not to go for the summit. Andrew and Lobchong left for the summit at 12.30 am and reached the true summit of Cho Oyu at 8.30 am returning to camp three to meet the other members and all returning to ABC on the same evening. This was to be the first time our team was to be re-united in almost a week, and celebrations were abundant with the remaining supply of our dining tent house wine and beer being consumed quickly.
We would like to mention the members who also didn’t have the chance to make a summit attempt. Dominic Faulkner left the expedition early due to a chest infection. He is a very experienced climber who has climbed on Everest before and plans to return next year as the leader of a British expedition who plan to cycle from the Dead Sea to Everest, where they will (hopefully proceed to the summit completing the lowest to highest point on earth). We wish him all the luck in his and his team’s endeavors. JD Stewart from the USA is also a very accomplished climber with an ascent of Mustagh Ata in China. Even though he decided not to go for the summit he continued to be a team player and an inspiration to all of us, especially in the bars and clubs of Kathmandu after the expedition and we wish him well in his future climbing plans. Nick Williams is a true English gentleman in all aspects. He has only recently started climbing and already climbs and acts like an old timer and has many notable ascents ahead of him in the future.
We look forward towards our summit climb Cho Oyu expedition in 2006 and hopefully will have the success that we have had in our three previous expeditions to this great mountain. Hopefully you will be able to join us.
Best Regards, Phil Crampton, SummitClimb.com back to top
On the windless morning of September 28th, 2005, I spent one hour and twenty-five minutes fooling about on the summit of Cho Oyu taking a few photos. Here are two of them. I used Kodak Plus-X 125 black and white film before I switched over to colour reversal film.
Mountaineer Johan Frankelius from Summit Climb/Everest Parivar Expedition standing together with Tibetan- and other Asian climbers on the summit of Mt Cho Oyu (8201 m/Tibet & Nepal) - 6th highest in the world - facing Mount Everest thirty-two kilometers towards the south east by east at around 9.15 am . The oxygen mask (taken off for about forty-five minutes on the summit), on which hose a chunk of ice has formed due to air exhalation, can be seen above the coat of arms of the Swedish province of Östergötland. Tursje - or Tumba as he is called by us Westerners - stands to the far right. He is a student from the Tibet Guide School in Lhasa. Along with other Tibetan climbers he helped us carry through the climb by, for example, putting up tents, carrying group- and some of our personal gear up on the mountain. Prayer flags on the summit is a peculiarity of Himalayan climbing peaks. On the Cho Oyu summit plateau the flags mark the highest point seen on this photo, which was taken by means of a monopod and a self-timer. Photo: Johan Frankeliu
About five vertical meters [in Himalayan climbing the metric system is used] below the summit and 50 meters towards the east, Cho Oyu-Summiters have this breathtaking panorama. The highest peak is Mount Everest or Chomolungma (8850 m/world's highest); to the right of Everest is Lhotse (501 m/world 4th highest) and between Everest and Lhotse South Col (7006 m), which is the highest col/mountain pass in the world; the high and pointed peak to the right of Lhotse is Nuptse (7861 m), and between these two peaks (small, light and square as seen on this photo) protrudes the upper region of Makalu (8481 m/world's 5th highest); to the right of Nuptse, in the distance, is a peaked mountain named Cho Polo (6734 m); Pumori (7145 m), also a rather peaked mountain, is below South Col and Lhotse; below South Col and to the left of Pumori is Everest West Shoulder (7309 m); the big rock face to the left of Everest West Ridge is Everest North Face, and to the left of the latter is Changtse (7583 m) - a peaked mountain which lies entirely in Tibet. Everest North Ridge starts from North Col (7066 m), to the right of Changtse, and continues upwards to Everest Northeast Ridge, which in turn leads up to the summit of Everest. In the upper region of Lhotse Face there is, to the left, a v-shaped rock structure of which the left part of the "v" is called Geneva Spur. Just below the right part of the "v", at a height of approximately 7500 meters, is a spot which I visited on another sunny and windless day of May 28th, this year, during an Everest expedition. The snow in front of the Mount Everest massif belongs, of course, to the Cho Oyu summit plateau. So, this picture includes four of the six highest mountains in the world, namely Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Cho Oyu. I think Kangchenjunga (world's 3rd highest) is obscured by Everest. Photographing Everest in the morning from the summit of Cho Oyu is fairly difficult since it is against the light. Photo: Johan Frankelius
I needed six hours and fifteen minutes to ascend from Camp 3 (C3) at 7450 meters to the summit (8201 m), which, according to experienced climbers I have spoken to, is normal. (From C3) I chose to use supplementary oxygen (regulator set to release two liters of oxygen per minute) to minimize the dangers of climbing an eight-thousand-meter peak (such as frostbite, hypoxia and fatigue). I was told, however, that only one more hour probably would have been required for me to reach the summit had I chosen not to use supplementary oxygen, so apparently the difference is not that big. Still, one extra hour is yet another one during which you can get sick, as I see it. On Cho Oyu about 50 percent of the climbers use supplementary oxygen.
This very same morning Mark Little, Guntis Brands, Douglas Cote, and Herve Coron from my team also summited Cho Oyu. I had the pleasure to meet them on the summit and on the summit plateau. Also, three of our climbing Sherpas (i.e. Tibetan climbers) - Tumba, Pemba, and Dorje - summited on the 28th of September.
Although it was great spending some time on the summit of this immense mountain, and quite a beautiful one too, I got a bout of melancholia even before I began to descend. Maybe it simply had something to do with the fact that the climb was more or less over. I believe we got to the summit quite fast - in just a couple of weeks after having arrived in Advanced Base Camp (ABC) - and I was not tired on the summit. Now that we had attained our goal there seemed not to be much left to look forward to … except for some good wining and dining in ABC!
The other team members of this expedition are: Ray Butler, Tunc Findik, Gernot Gessinger, Richard Lindsköld, Ulrica Lindsköld, Francois Niering, Thierry Auberson, Andrew Sloan, Edward Buckingham, Matt Ward, Nick Williams, Dominic Faulkner, Ben Stuckey, Jon David Stewart, Maya Sherpa, Phil Crampton (expedition manager), and Arnold Coster (leader). Our team included twenty-two climbers from nine different countries. Johan Frankelius back to top