Cho-Oyu September 2006
Cho-Oyu September 2006
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This is Philip Ling with the first dispatch from the Summitclimb Cho Oyu Expedition, Autumn 2006. Welcome to our expedition to Cho Oyu, 8201m, the 6th highest mountain in the world. For the readers who have family and friends as members on the expedition, we hope you will enjoy following our progress. For those of you following the expedition just out of interest or for other reasons, we hope you enjoy the dispatches and will consider joining Summitclimb for future expeditions!
Dan Mazur. England and USA. Expedition organiser.
Murari Sharma. Summitclimb's expedition agent in Nepal.
Phil Crampton. England and USA. Expedition Leader.
Arnold Coster. Holland. Expedition Leader.
Philip Ling. Sydney, Australia and St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria.
Expedition leader in training
The following members have already arrived in Kathmandu and are
currently enjoying the amazing city!
Philippe Caboche. France.
Alain Denamiel. France.
Martin Holton. England and Belgium.
Samuli Mansikka. Finland.
Jere Pettersson. Finland.
Thomas Sexton. USA.
As more members arrive we will announce them on future dispatches. Our strong Sherpa team are busy preparing our food, tents and other expedition equipment in preparation for our departure to Tibet on Tuesday the 5th of September. We look forward to keeping you up to date on our progress.
Philip Ling on behalf of Summitclimb.com
This is Philip Ling with the second dispatch from the Summitclimb Cho Oyu Expedition, Autumn 2006.
Today the following 5 Summitclimb Cho Oyu 8201m Expedition members arrived safely in Kathmandu.
David Cole. Australia.
Lee Farmer. UK.
Stephen Lawes. UK.
Jason Marsh. USA
Stephen Marsh. UK.
Our team is almost complete! Tonight all expedition leaders and members will go out in Kathmandu together for the pre-expedition dinner. Needless to say, these are usually somewhat lively affairs!
Today Phil Crampton, Arnold Coster, Philip Ling and some of our Sherpa staff finalised the packing for our expedition. Along with much other gear we packed 182 Primus gas cylinders, 39 high altitude tents, 20 snowbars, 22 stoves, 13 two way radios, 16 oxygen cylinders (for those members using oxygen) and 400m of rope! Tomorrow we will check all the members gear to make sure that everyone has everything they need. Missing items can then be purchased here in Kathmandu. At 3.00am (!) on the morning of the 5th of September we leave for Tibet.
Philip Ling on behalf of Summitclimb.com
Greetings from Tibet! Yesterday morning we departed Kathmandu and drove to the Tibetan border town of Zhangmu at 2500m. After going through immigration we had lunch and then continued to the town of Nyalam at 3750m, where we spent the night. Today we are resting and acclimatising in Nyalam. Most members went for a walk in the surrounding hills to an altitude of around 4400m to assist our acclimatisation. From these hills we had excellent views of Shishapangma, the worlds 14th highest mountain. We will stay in Nyalam again tonight and tomorrow we will continue to the village of Tingri at around 4300m. All members are doing well and the weather has been perfect. Lets hope it continues!
For those readers unfamiliar with what 'acclimatisation' means, it basically means that as the human body goes to higher elevations, where each breath contains fewer oxygen molecules, the human body recognizes that it is not getting enough oxygen to supply the brain and other body parts. Being a very smart machine, the human body subconciously begins to produce more oxygen carrying red blood cells to compensate for this deficiency. As oxygen levels return to 'normal' due to this production of red blood cells and hence oxygen carrying capacity, the body is said to have 'acclimatised'. The ability to acclimatise varies with different people. For most people the acclimatisation process continues to around 7000m above which, except in exceptional athletes, the human body is unable to produce enough red blood cells to allow normal body oxygenation. This of course affects climbing performance. Hence many climbers choose to use supplemental oxygen when climbing above this altitude.
Philip Ling on behalf of Summitclimb.com back to top
Hello EverestNews.com. This is Arnold Coster, one of the co-leaders of the SummitClimb Cho Oyu Expedition 2006. Today we left Tingri behind us and arrived in Base Camp. From now on our tents are going to be our house. All of our members are doing great and are relaxing at the fabulous lodge our chef made us. Tomorrow in the morning, two more members, Paul Burgess and Steven Backshall, will arrive in Base Camp. At the lodge we will have some medical training for the members.
On the 11th we will break up Base Camp and move to our interim camp. The team will arrive at ABC on the 12th. It is going to be our home for the next few weeks. So, that's it for now, stay tuned for the next dispatch in a couple of days when we have more news. Bye bye back to top
This is Phil Crampton, Expedition Leader, reporting for the SummitClimb Cho Oyu Expedition Fall 2006. Today is September 12th, we all arrived in Advanced Base Camp, except for Arnold Coster, Steven Backshall, and our assistant Cook Sange, who will arrive tomorrow. All the members are healthy and are looking forward to a couple of rest days.
There was a meeting this evening hosted by Nima Tsering of the CTMA, and all the expedition leaders were in attendance to discuss the fixed rope placement on the mountain. As we are one of the main expeditions again this year we have agreed to supply rope and hardware as well as provide seven Sherpas to assist in the rope fixing. There is a lot of snow on the mountain this year and we have all decided to fix rope all the way from Camp 1 to the summit plateau for the safety of the climbing Sherpas.
Tomorrow our Tibetan Sirdar Luda and our Tibetan Sherpas Ping Tso, Gesang, Dunba and myself will carry loads to and establish Camp 1. We will report more in a few days. This is Phil Crampton for SummitClimb Cho Oyu 2006 back to top
Summitclimb Phil reports in: This is Phil Crampton, reporting for the SummitClimb Cho Oyu Expedition.
Yesterday, September 15, all the members made a carry to Camp 1 at 6,400 meters. Everybody found their own pace, and we all arrived back at Advanced Base Camp healthy in time for a delicious dinner cooked by Kipa Sherpa. On our Tibet expeditions, we use Tibetan kitchen staff and Tibetan climbing sherpas. These young men and women are students and graduates of the Tibetan Mountaineering Guide School in Lhasa, led by Nima Tsering of the CTMA. With the large amount of teams here at Cho Oyu this year, a large Chinese Expedition organized by Nima Tsering saved us space for our large Base Camp and Advanced Base Camp and tent sites at Camp 1, for which we are very grateful.
Tomorrow, September 17, our first group consisting of Jason Marsh, Stephen Lawes, Stephen Backshall, Philip Ling, Philippe Caboche , Alain Denamiel, and myself will go and sleep at Camp 1 and the following day explore the route to Camp 2. On September 18, the second group consisting of David Cole, Michael Hsu, Steve Marsh, Lee Farmer, Martin Holton, Tom Sexton, and Gianfranco Valente will sleep at Camp 1, and the following day explore the route to Camp 2.
We will report more in a few days. This is Phil Crampton for SummitClimb Cho Oyu 2006. back to top
This is Phil Crampton reporting for SummitClimb Cho Oyu Expedition. Today, September 23, saw the third continuous day of snowfall on the mountain. Steve Marsh, Steve Lawes, and Philippe Caboche all returned to Advanced Base Camp today from Camp 1, where they were hoping to advance to Camp 2 before the bad weather set in.
Jason Marsh, Michael Hsu, and the Finnish climbers Samuli Mansikka and Jere Pettersson are still hunkered down at Camp 1 hoping for a break in the weather. Our weather forecast predicts another day of snowfall and already there is knee deep snow at 6,400 meters and even deeper snow at 7,100 meters. Several teams have already departed Advanced Base Camp for Katmandu as their departure dates had arrived before they even got a chance to reach Camp 3.
We still have two weeks remaining on our schedule, and with most members having already slept at Camp 2, we are confident of making three summit attempts once the weather has improved and the snow over Camp 2 has consolidated for safe travel.
The remaining members at ABC have been occupying their time during the storm period by playing international Scrabble. It's very interesting watching and listening to Australians and Englishmen making up complete nonsense words and having a BBC TV prounouncer judge over the proceedings. Our 62-year-old Italian member, Giofranco Valenti, keeps us amused with his stories of women, wine and song. He truly is an inspiration to all of us who are somewhat younger than he.
Our summit strategy has changed once again due to the deep snow on the mountain. We now all plan to use Camp 3 as our departure camp instead of Camp 2, as the trail-breaking from Camp 2 would be too exhausting to the summit. Hopefully we will report on some good weather in the next few days and our progress in establishing Camp 3 at 7,450 meters. Phil Crampton SummitClimb Cho Oyu 2006. back to top
This is Phil Crampton reporting for the SummitClimb Cho Oyu Expedition. We awoke this morning, September 25, to find our Base Camp covered in knee-deep snow. All of our tents needed digging out. But we faired better than our next-door neighbors, they had some expensive Base Camp tents destroyed by the heavy snowfall and were trying frantically to save the others from the continuing snowfall.
The leaders from several teams have been consulting with each other over their weather reports. The general consensus is that we are to expect snowfall for another one to two days. Already, we have had five days of continuous snowfall on the mountain. A sole Chinese climber who spent last night at Camp 1 at 6,400 meters has reported of chest-high snow in the camps. As more teams depart Advanced Base Camp we are confident that the weather will soon cooperate with us. We plan to take extra tent poles to Camp 2 just in case the heavy snowfall has battered some tents and we have to dig out and re-establish the camp. Avalanches are occurring on Cho Oyu's amazing peaks as we sit safe in the tents at Advanced Base Camp.
Most of the commercial expeditions have agreed not to send any climbing Sherpas above Camp 1 until the snow conditions are safe, as this Fall season has seen an unusually large amount of snow.
We are still being amused at Advanced Base Camp by our various members. Our Californian surfer dude Jason Marsh, has been telling tall stories involving tropic locations involving sun, surfing and beer. Many of the other members are now planning to stop off in Thailand en route home after we attempt to summit Cho Oyu.
On a lighter note, the sun came out briefly this afternoon before it continues to snow and we took the opportunity to have a snowball fight, or should I say a battle, which lasted several hours with the Chinese Expedition and their Tibetan Sherpas. Needless to say we stood our ground, and did the SummitClimb tradition proud, even though we had our BBC TV Presenter taken hostage in the melee. He's safe and sound. This is Phil Crampton, SummitClimb Cho Oyu 2006. back to top
This is Phil Crampton reporting for the SummitClimb Cho Oyu Expedition. What a difference a couple of days make. The 26th and 27th of September have seen gorgeous weather days on the mountain, which went against some of our weather reports we had received. Yesterday morning, many of the large commercial expeditions were just hoping to salvage some equipment from Camp 1 and Camp 2 and then depart the mountain at the earliest possible moment. We had decided to stay and sit out the bad weather and we think our decision will pay off. Needless to say, most of those groups have now decided to stay and attempt the summit.
Today, September 27th, saw a handful of climbers go to Camp 2. The mountain has received a huge amount of snowfall, and these brave souls decided only to give the snow one day to settle before heading up. Many teams are planning to start to move to higher camps tomorrow, as many as 20. We would like to avoid any dangerous traffic jams on the fixed ropes and we have decided to depart Advanced Base Camp the day after the majority of the other expeditions, forming two summit groups.
Our first summit group will depart on the 29th of September and hopefully summit on October 2nd. This group will consist of Englishmen Stephen Backshall and Martin Holton, Australian David Cole, the Finnish climber Samuli Mansikka, Tibetans Luda and Dunba and myself.
Our second group will depart on the 30th of September and hopefully summit on October 3rd. This group will consist of the Englishman Lee Farmer, Frenchmen Alain Denamiel and Philippe Caboche, Americans Michael Hsu and Jason Marsh, Australian Philip Ling, and the Tibetans Ping Tso and Gesang.
Our Sherpas went to Camp 1 today and and dug out all of our tents. They were completely covered with snow but survived with no damage at all. Tomorrow the Sherpas will excavate Camp 2 in preparation for our summit attempts. I hope to send another dispatch in a few days with good news of summits. Phil Crampton with SummitClimb Cho Oyu 2006. back to top
This is Phil Crampton reporting for the SummitClimb Cho Oyu Expedition 2006. Today October 2nd saw a second group of summits. David Cole and Stephen Backshall summitted at 8am, Samuli Mansikka and Phil Crampton summitted at 830am. We were assisted by our Tibetan Sherpas Dunba who summitted at 815am, and Luda, who summitted with Stephen and Phil. Everybody is doing very good, we're all in good health. Stephen is down at ABC, and David, Samuli and Phil are all in Camp 2, coming down to ABC tomorrow.
Tomorrow, hopefully, Philip Ling, Jason Marsh, Michael Hsu, assisted by Tibetan Sherpas Ping Tso and Gesang will also hopefully summit. The weather looks good, although we expect some high winds on the summit plateau. We would like to send all our thoughts to our family members who have been following the climb, and we would like let everybody know that we are very safe and are looking forward to seeing them again. This is Phil Crampton, Cho Oyu 2006, SummitClimb. back to top
This is Phil Crampton reporting for the SummitClimb Cho Oyu Expedition. Yesterday, October 3, saw Philip Ling, Jason Marsh, Michael Hsu and the Tibetan Sherpas Ping Tso and Gesang summit at 1130am. They all spent the night at Camp 2 on descent, and arrived back at Advanced Base Camp in the late afternoon in very good spirits.
The summit day was very windy and cold. And today, October 4th, saw the upper mountain being battered by strong winds. Our expedition is now one group again. And in spite the extreme storm, which lasted for five days, we managed to have 12 people summit!
We will have a rest day tomorrow and head down to Tingri the following day. We should arrive back in Katmandu on October 7th in the evening, so expect phone calls and emails from our team members to their loved ones and friends. I would like to take this opportunity to thank EverestNews.com for publishing our dispatches and to those who have been following our adventure. Also I would like to thank Nima Tsering from the Tibetan Mountaineering Guide School, for it's continued work improving the lives of young Tibetan boys and girls in training them to be climbing Sherpas and base camp cooks. This is Phil Crampton, SummitClimb Cho Oyu Expedition 2006. back to top
Welcome to the final dispatch from the Summitclimb Cho Oyu Expedition, 2006.
Despite one of the most difficult weather seasons in recent memory on Cho Oyu, with large snowfalls and huge avalanche dangers, Summitclimb was still able to put 8 members and 4 Tibetan 'Sherpas' safely on the summit of the worlds 6th highest mountain!
All members are now safely back in Kathmandu except Michael, who returned home via Lhasa from Tingri. Our Tibetan staff have also returned safely to their homes all over Tibet. Over the next few days we also say goodbye and return to our respective homes around the world. Congratulations to all our climbers!
Here is our Autumn 2006 Cho Oyu expedition summit register.
Camp 1. 6400m
Camp 2. 7150m
Camp 3. 7560m
On the 2nd of October 2006 the following members and Tibetan 'Sherpas' summitted Cho Oyu, 8201m after departing ABC on the 29th of September.
Phil Crampton (Leader). England and USA. Summitted without using supplementary O2!
David Cole. Australia.
Stephen Backshall. UK.
Samuli Mansikka. Finland. Summitted without using supplementary O2!
Alain Denamiel. France. Summitted without using supplementary O2!
On the 3rd of October 2006 the following members and Tibetan 'Sherpas' summitted Cho Oyu, 8201m after departing ABC on the 30th of September.
Philip Ling. (Leader). Australia and Austria. Summitted without using supplementary O2!
Michael Hsu. USA and China.
Jason Marsh. USA.
Ping- Tso. Tibet.
We hope you have enjoyed following our expedition! Has following along inspired you to perhaps consider visiting the fascinating Himalayan regions of Nepal and/or Tibet for yourself? These are exotic lands, very safe for the visitor, with the most stunning mountain scenery you will ever see, extremely friendly and hospitable locals, as well as yaks, sherpas, Lamas, monasterys, prayer flags and so much more!
Philip Ling on behalf of Summitclimb.com