Cho Oyo Expedition September 2007

Cho Oyo Expedition September 2007

(photo by Guntis Brands)
These photos were taken on our recent successful Cho-Oyu expedition where we put 6 members and 5 Sherpas on the summit, and the team returned home safely. Photos in Cho Oyu slideshow: David Lepagne, Guntis Brands, Phil Crampton, Johan Frankelius, Herve Coron, & Thierry Auberson. For caption information on these photos, please visit our Cho Oyu photo gallery.
Cho Oyu: news of our expedition
2 September to 9 October, 2007
"Click Here" for information about our upcoming Cho Oyu expeditions
Summary: This concludes another safe and successful season with 6 members and five sherpas on the summit. The weather seemed uncertain at one point and all of the 'big' teams left the mountain early. As this was our 8th Cho Oyu expedition, we knew to stay until the very end and the weather broke just in time for our team to reach the top and descend safely. Congratulations to everyone and thanks to those who supported us in Tibet, Nepal, and of course, at home.

Dispatches:Please click one of the links below to go directly to that dispatch or just scroll down.

4 October, 2007

Hello Summitclimb news,

Yesterday 6 of our members and 5 of our staff summited. We had an excellent summit day with a perfect view of Chomolungma (Everest).

Here are the names of the members and staff who summited:

  • Arnold Coster, the Netherlands
  • Zaharias Kiriakakis, Greece
  • Eric Otto, Canada
  • Christian Otto, Canada
  • Paul Burgess, Canada
  • Mor Doron, Israel
  • Jangbu Sherpa, Nepal
  • Kassang, Tibet
  • Kedop, Tibet
  • Phurbu Tjering, Tibet
  • Suelang, Tibet

Now we will pack up ABC. Our Yaks will arrive in ABC on the 4th. On the 5th we will drive to Zangmu and will be back in civilization!

If everything goes well we will be back in Kathmandu on the 6th. Until then..............

Arnold Coster, Senior Expedition Leader,

3 October, 2007

Arnold reports in live about yesterdays summits (click here to listen)

Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold again, the leader of the Cho Oyu expedition.

I have some good news. Yesterday on the 2nd, 5 of our members summited with most of our staff. At 7:00 Harris and I, along with 2 of our Tibetan climbing staff members, reached the summit. At about 8:00 Christian and Eric summited and we sat around on the summit for at least an hour with no wind, beautiful views, and very nice weather. On the way down I met Paul and Mor, together with Jangbu who was leading them up. I estimated that they summited at about 9:00 and everybody did fine.

Right now I'm back in ABC, but most of our members are still hanging out in camp 2. Harris and Henry are in camp 1, so I'll expect them here in about an hour. Today everybody will probably arrive in ABC. We will take down our camps and tomorrow our yaks will come and then we'll go back to Kathmandu.

It was good with 5 members on the summit and we had a super summit day. All the waiting around the bad weather finally paid off, so I'm really happy. I will send the next dispatch when everybody is back in ABC. Ok, thank you.

Bye, bye. back to top


2 October, 2007

We just received word that 6 of our members summited today on Cho Oyu. We congratulate them and wish them all a very safe descent from the high camp.

From Dan Mazur and all of us at back to top

1 October, 2007

We are in camp 3 and going for the summit tomorrow. The weather is better.

Wish us luck. -Arnold

Arnold reports in live (click here to listen)

Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold the leader of the Cho Oyu expedition.

Right now I’m calling from camp 3 at about 7,400 metres/24,300 feet. I’m here with our 7 members; Paul, Henry, Christian, Eric, Harris, Julia, Mor, and all of our climbing staff.

We had kind of a hard day carrying all of our loads up here. We had to do it in one day because we hadn’t gotten a break in the weather before to prepare a little better.

Everything is fine now. We’re eating and relaxing in camp. The plan is to head out of our tents tonight and possibly summit Cho Oyu tomorrow morning if everything goes well. So when everybody is on the summit, I will call again. Bye, bye. back to top

29 September, 2007

Arnold reports in live (click here to listen)

Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold, the leader of the Cho Oyu expedition.

I’m calling from camp 1 again, which means we didn’t move because the wind was howling around our ears and it was miserable here all day. Luckily some of the Tibetan staff came up and brought us some new tents so we could restore our camp a little bit. Tomorrow we have to see whether we will go to camp 2.

There are a lot of strange movements going on the mountain. Most of the big teams have pulled out and only a few others and we are left still. I hope we still get a chance to sneak to the summit then go back to Kathmandu because we don’t feel like quitting yet.

Right now the weather is very quiet. Almost too quiet compared to the last couple of hours. I’m sure tonight we’ll get a good night of sleep and then we’ll see. So I’ll have more news tomorrow. Bye, bye. back to top

28 September, 2007

Arnold reports in live (click here to listen)

Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold, the leader of the Cho Oyu expedition.

Right now I’m calling from camp 1 at about 6300 metres/20,700 feet. I’m here with Eric, Henry, Mor, Christian, Julia, Harris, Paul, and Jangbu. We had to hike up in kind of a blizzard and when we arrived in camp 1, and to our surprise, all of our camp was missing. Yesterday the sherpas put up a new camp and today we’re missing all of it already, which tells you how windy the weather is. I am a little worried about camp 2. I hope tonight the blizzard will die down a little bit so we get a chance to reach camp 2 and it’s not too bad and there’s room for everybody up there.

Everybody’s doing fine. We’re cooking, getting warm. It’s not as bad as it sounds, but it’s kind of unusual for Cho Oyu. Normally she’s a little bit more friendly. Let’s hope the weather turns and I’ll call in tomorrow again. Bye, bye. back to top

27 September, 2007

Hello Summitclimb news readers,


The last three days we had a big storm on the mountain, but today it was sunny again. Yesterday we went up to see what was left of C1. Our five tents there were completly destroyed, but fortunately they didn't blow away, so all our gear was still there. A lot of other teams were not so lucky. They lost tents and gear and have to finish their expedition now.


Our staff went up today to pitch new tents, so we can continue our climb. Our plan is to go up to C1 tommorow and C2 the next day. We are not sure how damaged our C2 is, but if everything is still there we will try to push for the summit.


So you will hear from me again when we reached C1...............Arnold back to top

24 September, 2007

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Hello SummitClimb news readers.

Yesterday Julia, Harris, and Eric had an epic descent from C2. The night they stayed in C2 it started to snow heavily, so when they went down the next day, the trail was gone, all the fixed lines were buried, and it was a total blizzard! They joined forces with the other groups in C2 and descended slowely to C1 and after that to ABC. They all arrived in the dark to ABC, but healthy and in good spirits. It took them more than 10 hours to get down, so I think they did a marvelous job getting back safely.

Last night it also snowed all night here in ABC and it looks like it is going to last for a while. So we are playing cards now, telling stories, and eating a lot of food to kill time! We are lucky our kitchen staff just came back from the village with fresh supplies of vegetables and meat. Perfect timing! We are now planning to summit all together in one big push as soon as the weather is better. We will probably have to wait a couple of days after the snow stops. It has to settle a bit before it is safe to travel on. So everybody is here in ABC, safe and healthy. The spirits are high and as soon as the weather allows us, we will go for the summit. Arnold back to top

23 September, 2007

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Hello Summitclimb news readers,

The day before yesterday Paul and Jangbu were the first ones from our team to sleep in C2 at almost 7,000 metres/23,000 feet. The way between C1 and C2 is probably the longest of the whole climb. It's a good test to see if you are up to getting to the summit.

Yesterday Christian, Mor and I spent the night in C2. Mor had a hard time reaching camp, it took him 10 hours....They guy is like a tank. He moves slow, but once he is going, he is never going to stop!

We are back in abc now resting before our final summit push. Julia, Eric and Harris slept in C2 last night and are on the way down right now. Last night it snowed all night and it is still snowing, so they have a hard time coming down. They joined forces with IMG and Mountain Madness to make it easier to break trail on the way down. We expect them down in abc around dinner time. Their plan is also to rest in abc for a couple of days and then try for the summit.The way it looks now we will have summit attempts on the 28th, 29th and 30th, if the weather permits us of course.

Frank slept in C1 at 6,400 metres/21,000 feet. He is having a hard time dealing with the dry thin air, so he feel he is out of breath most of the time. Right now he is resting in abc. When he feels strong again we will see if we can get him a little higher on the mountain. He is healthy and strong, but conditions of the high altitude can make it difficult for anybody.

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Henry is planning to climb to C2 together with a Tibetan climber. He is trying to catch up with the last summit group. Henry had some problems dealing with the altitude in the beginning of the expedition, but now he is doing a lot better.

Jangbu is doing fine. Again, he is doing a great job. He and Paul will probably go to the summit on the 29th. They will be the first of our team.

I think the food is good. Right now a cookboy is in Tingri to find some more meat and veg. Samdiem is a good cook, every couple off days he makes a Chinese lunch for the members for some variety. The Tibetan climbers really like his food and say we have the best food in abc, so spirits are high.Thats it for now................more news in a couple of days, Arnold

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22 September, 2007

Arnold reports in live (click here to listen)

Hello SummitClimb news, this is Arnold the leader of the Cho Oyu expedition 2007.

Today is Saturday the 22nd and right now I'm calling from camp 2 at almost 7000 metres/23,000 feet. Mor, Chris, and I are here. Today was probably the hardest day climbing so far, coming up from camp 1 to camp 2. Tomorrow Julia, Zaharias, and Eric will try it. Yesterday Paul and his Sherpa slept in camp 2.Everything is going on schedule. Henry and Frank were having some problems with the altitude, so they are behind us on a completely different schedule. I hope they will make up for lost time, but the way it is with climbing safely, you cannot force it.I hope I have some more news in the next couple of days. Bye bye. back to top

19 September, 2007

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Hello Summitclimbnews readers,

Yesterday most of our members came down from C1 at 6350 metres/20,800 feet, after sleeping there for the first night. Everbody had a good night and enjoyed the high camp life. During the night we had a foot of fresh snow, so we woke up on a beautifull white mountain the next morning. All the teams where waiting on each other, who was going to break trail to C2. I took off with Christian and we got an applause from C1 for doing the hard work! We got rewarded with a virgin white Cho Oyu and really enjoyed the climbing up until the head wall, which was far enough. Next time we will climb all the way to C2.
The others followed us after we made the trail. Julia and Harris liked it so much in C1 that they decided to stay one more night. Paul, Christian, Eric, Jangbu and I descended to ABC again for a good meal from Kipa, our cook.

Henry and Frank are on a little slower schedule. They had some minor problems adjusting to the altitude, so they are a little bit behind the main group. This is no problem because we still have plenty of time. They will go and sleep in C1 tommorow and see how they feel up there!

This is it. Until there is more news................Arnold

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17 September, 2007

Arnold reports in live (click here to listen)

Hello SummitClimb news, this Arnold, the leader of the Cho Oyu expedition 2007.

Right now I am calling from Camp 1 at almost 6400 metres/21,000 feet. I'm here with Christian, Eric, Mor, Zaharias, Julia, Paul, and Jangbu. Champa and our 4 Tibetan climbers are also here. Everyone is doing fine. We are brewing some snow to make some food for tonight. Tomorrow our plan is to climb a little bit higher then head back down to ABC.

Henry and Frank are on a little slower schedule. They had some problems adjusting to the altitude, but they are doing fine. They just need some more time, so they are probably going to sleep here two days after us.So everything is fine and going great. The weather is good, our spirits are high, and that's it until the next call. Bye bye.

13 September, 2007

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Hello Summitclimb news readers,Today was our 2nd day in ABC at 5680 metres/18,600 feet. Everybody hiked up easily from IBC yesterday. Most members spent their day relaxing, reading etc. Our Abc is fully erected now. We have a dining tent and seperate kitchen and shower for our members. We also have a personal tent for each member, so everybody has enough privacy. Also, there is a seperate kitchen and dining tent for our staff, so they can eat and do what they like!

Tommorow we have some rope pratice on the glacier near ABC to review our techniques one more time before we go up the mountain. The day after this we will walk to camp 1 at 6400 metres/21,000 feet, for the first time, but we are not going to stay there. We will just drop our loads and go back down to ABC. This to adjust to the altitude slowely. The slower we are in the beginning the stronger we will be at the end!

So this is it, after our walk to camp 1 I will have more news.......Arnold back to top

9 September, 2007

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Hi Summitclimb news readers,Today we spent our first full day in BC. The weather was pretty nice and sunny, only a little windy.

Today we practiced emergency procedures, like using the Gamov bag. A Gamov bag is a portable pressure chambre. You use a foot pump to inflate it. By doing this you can simulate a descent of 2,000 metres/6,500 feet, which is a good thing if somebody is suffering from altitude sickness. Everybody took turns pumping the chambre and our members know how to use this now in case of an emergency.

After our emergency procedure practice Kipa prepared a delicious lunch. Now everybody is relaxing in their tent, reading, listening to some music, or just being lazy. Our climbing staff went up today to ABC, to prepare the camp for our arrival. They left together with 18 Yaks loaded with gear. If we leave on the 11th, we will probably need another 20 yaks before all our gear is up in ABC.

Tomorrow we will spent another day relaxing in BC and probably do some more training together.
So until the next dispatch bye bye........Arnold
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8 September, 2007

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Hello Summitclimb news readers,

Today we arrived in Cho Oyu Chinese BC at about 4,900 metres/16,000 feet. On our way up we spent two nights in the last town at about 4,300 metres/14,000 feet. This morning we left civilisation and we are in the mountains from now on! When we arrived here, BC was already set up by our staff and our cook Kipa made a very nice lunch for us.
Tommorow some staff will go up to ABC to prepare camp for us. We will stay here in BC for two full days. That means we leave for interim camp on the 11th. The next two days we will hike in the hills around us to slowly adjust to the altitude. On the 11th we will move to IBC at 5,200 metres/17,000 feet, and sleep one night there before we go to ABC at 5,700 metres/18,700 feet, on the 12th.All members are doing fine and are healthy, so until I have more news............... Arnold

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5 September, 2007

Hello SummitClimb news readers,

Last night we arrived in Nylam at 3,750 metres/12,300 feet. Before we drove to Nylam we crossed the border smoothly at Zangmu. We had to wait there until 23:00 to move on, because there is some construction work going on with the road. During the daytime the road is closed, but at night it's open. Actually the road is one big mess. I guess they have to make the road bad first before the Chineese can make it nice. There are hundreds of road workers camped next to the road and there is equipment everywhere. Thanks to our skilled drivers, traveling from the TMA to reach Nylam was no problem.We arrived here at 01:00 in the morning. After a good sleep, we spent the day hiking and buying Chinese candies. Tommorow we will go to Tingri, our last stop before basecamp. Here we will also spent two nights to get used to the altitude slowly. Tingri is at 4,200 metres/13,800 feet. From here our staff will go ahead to setup basecamp for us.

So until more news........... Arnold

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3 September, 2007

Hello Summitclimb friends, I am Arnold the leader of the Cho Oyu expedition, 2007.

After some crazy days of final packing and some last minute shopping with our members, we are ready to leave for Tibet. Tommorow morning we will leave early and head to the border, where we will try to reach Nylam at 3,750 metres/12,300 feet. Our plan is to stay there for two nights and get used to the altitude. There is some road constuction going on between the Nepali border and Nylam This is because of the Olimpics next year. We will probably arrive late in the evening to Nylam because of this.

In Nylam we will spent a day hiking in the hills around the town and then move on to Tingri, but I will send more news once we have reached Nylam.
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These are our team members. I think we have a good mix of strong people:

  • Arnold Coster, the Netherlands, Leader
  • Francis Alling, USA
  • Paul Burgess, Canada
  • Mor Doron, Israel
  • Zaharias Kiriakakis, Greece
  • Henry Liu, Canada
  • Eric Otto, Canada
  • Christian Otto, Canada
  • Julia Tock, USA back to top
And of course we will have a good support team with:
  • Kipa Sherpa, our head cook
  • Samdien, our Tibetan cook
  • Jangbu Sherpa, climbing Sherpa
  • four local Tibetans as cook boys
  • and 5 more Climbing staff from the Tibetan Guide School in Lhasa. back to top