For anyone who has ever dreamed of climbing one of the world's highest 8000er mountains, Cho Oyu offers relatively easy access. Despite being the 6th highest mountain on the planet, Cho Oyu has the highest success rate among the world's fourteen 8,000er Himalayan peaks. The ascent to the summit is short and direct with a few small technical sections which can be climbed safely using fixed lines. The normal route may not be called a technically difficult climb. The access becomes easier also because of the fact that the mountain can be reached by four-wheel-drive vehicle and one can walk to the Camp 1 in hiking boots. However, climbing Cho Oyu is still a demanding undertaking, the mountain being one of the highest on earth.
Cho Oyu lies about 20km west of Mt. Everest on the Nepal-Tibet border. The mountain is also known as Mt. Qowowuyag and is situated in the middle section of the Himalayas. An Austrian team first climbed Cho Oyu in 1954 followed by the Indian and German teams in 1958 and 1964 respectively. Cho Oyu consists mainly of five ridges - Northwest, Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, and West with the Jabula Glacier on the north, Lanba Glacier on the south, and Gecongba Glacier.
Your safety is of paramount concern while traveling with Himalayan Glacier. Please note that your leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary; however, since this adventure entails travelling in remote mountainous regions, we cannot guarantee that we will not deviate from it. Weather conditions, health condition of a group member, unexpected natural disasters, etc., can all contribute to changes in the itinerary. The leader will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but please be prepared to be flexible if required.
Per person in Group joing basis $23,800
What Is Included
- Expedition permit fees
- Accommodations in Kathmandu/Lhasa
- All overnight accommodations while on the trek and climb
- Meals in Kathmandu/Lhasa and while trekking and climbing
- Group equipment for the climb
- Qualified and Experienced guides
- Experienced Climbing Sherpas
- High Altitude Climbing Sherpas
- Airport transfers
- Satellite phone service
- Oxygen (2 4-litre bottles)
What Is Not Included
- International airfare and Nepal Visa
- Personal equipments and extra services
- Tips and Bonus for Staff and guide
- Insurance and Trip cancellation
- Airport departure tax
Day to Day Itinerary
International Arrival in Kathmandu - 1300m/4264ft
Upon our arrival in the Tribhuvan International Airport, representative from Himalayan Glacier will welcome us. The representative will assist us to escort into our hotel in downtown Kathmandu. Upon arrival at hotel, we may relax or go around for shopping. In the evening, Himalayan Glacier Trekking will organize welcome dinner for us in one of the typical Nepalese restaurant in the heart of Kathmandu. Meanwhile we will have briefing about our adventurous trip in the nearest forthcoming days. Overnight at hotel.
Kathmandu Sightseeing and Preparation for Cho Oyu Expedition
Today, we are making preparation for Everest Expedition and sightseeing. While the leader attends a formal briefing in the Ministry of Tourism, we will explore the fascinating city of Kathmandu. We will visit famous Stupa, Boudhnath and the popular Hindu pilgrimage site, Pashupatinath Temple. In the late afternoon, the leader will check everyone's equipment before flying to Lhasa. Chinese Visas for entering Tibet will be acquired from the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu. We will also get introduced with fellow expedition members and guides. Overnight at hotel.
Fly to Lhasa 3,600m/12,000ft
Today, we fly to one of the highest capitals in the world: Lhasa of Tibet. We savor the extraordinary views of the Himalaya, including Everest, Makalu and Kangchenjunga and the Tibetan valleys. Upon our arrival in Lhasa, we will be greeted and escorted to a good standard hotel in downtown of Lhasa. We make Lhasa our base for acclimatization to the high Tibetan altitude.
Acclimatizing and discovering Lhasa
While we acclimatize with the high altitude, we also visit important landmarks in Lhasa including the Dalai Lama's Potala Palace. Lhasa life certainly offers glimpses into one of the most preserved ancient cultural heritages.
Drive to Shigatse 3,900m/12792 ft: 6 hrs
Today, we depart Lhasa for Shigatse, the Tibet's second largest city. We even reach to the banks of the Tsang Po, which becomes the Brahmaputra River in India. We further drive up-stream for a while before turning southwest through barren desert-like valleys. Overnight stay in a Shigatse hotel.
Drive to Xegar 4,000m/13120 ft: 8 hrs
While continuing along the Tibetan highway views of the Himalaya unfold with a spectacular panorama of peaks including Everest. We stay overnight in a hotel outside the main town of Xegar. If time allows, we pay our visit to the downtown of Xegar and its hilltop monastery.
We acclimatize well before gaining height toward the Chinese base camp. At this juncture, we visit to the main town and engage on a gentle hike up to its hilltop monastery.
Arrive Chinese base camp
We further continue our drive to the Chinese base camp. While turning south along the bumpy track, the road leads us to the road-head below Cho Oyu.
Organization at Chinese base camp
Todya will be an important day for sorting out all loads. Yaks arrive in the afternoon. Yaks carry our the loads to the base camp next day.
Trek to Cho Oyu base camp
We resume our trek up the long valley to base camp. For proper acclimatization, we spend 3 nights at intermediate camps at 5,200 and 5,450 meters before continuing to base camp. Move into the base camp. We engage the afternoon organizing climbing equipment for use on the mountain.
Climbing the north-west face of Cho Oyu
At this juncture, we try the lower part of the mountain on the first day. We try to get as high as possible and have a good look at the route and the conditions on the mountain. At the evening, we return to base camp. After proper acclimatization, we climb higher and reach Camp 1 and camp 2. Upon arriaval at thses sites we make our best attempt for the the summit bids after a good period of rest at base camp. Return to the base camp by day 40.
Return trek to road-head
Next, we return trek to the road-head with yaks carrying our equipment. Upon this trek, road transport awaits us. We spend the last night in tents.
Drive into Nepal
The two days of road travel give passage us to Kathmandu. We drive for Zhangmu on the first day and cross the border into Nepal. Another 6 hours drive from the border all the way escort us to Kathmandu.
Upon arrival in kathmandu, we will return to the welcome haven of the Hotel. Once back in Kathmandu, Himalayan Glacier will host an evening barbecue to celebrate the expedition and as a farewell party to thank the Sherpas for their support and friendship.
At leisure in Kathmandu
A final chance to buy souvenirs or perhaps just to relax by the pool.
Fly back to home.
Recommended Previous Experience
Although Cho Oyu is considered to be less technical than other 8,000ers, it is simply not a piece of cakewalk to climb Cho Oyu. It is also true that getting back from the summit is more important than getting there. The oxygen level over 7,000m is only 40% of what it is at the sea level. The weather is never fully predictable. The climbers must have years of prior experience on rock and ice climbing especially above 7,000m. Climbers also need to feel confident and comfortable ascending or descending on fixed ropes along a steep technical terrain. Moreover, as Jon Krakauer says, while you’re into the Thin Air up there, “The consequences of a poorly tied knot, a stumble, a dislodged rock, or some other careless deed are as likely to be felt by the perpetrator's colleagues as the perpetrator.” Hence, our actions affect not only our own, but welfare of the entire team as well.
It is a condition upon joining any of Himalayan Glacier's trips that all clients be insured for comprehensive expenses that might incur due to medical issues or accidents (this includes air ambulance, helicopter rescue, and treatment costs). Please note that we don't arrange or sell insurance.For more information
Visa and Travel Procedures
Aside from visas for China, travelers to Tibet must also obtain permits from the Tibetan Tourism Bureau. Himalayan Glacier Trekking will organize our Tibet travel permit. For this we have to send copy of our passport if we are planning to enter Tibet via Nepal as soon as we book the trip. In the condition of our plan to enter Tibet via China, we need to send Himalayan Glacier copy of our passport and Chinese visa as soon as we book the trip. Read More
Equipment and Check List
While packing for Cho Oyu Expedition certain equipments are essential.
Please Click here
for this trip's comprehensive checklist.
We are climbing above 7,000 meter. Since such an elevation could cause medical conditions (Acute Mountain Sickness) which could be fatal. There is 40% less oxygen compared to sea level in high-altitudes places like in Tibet. The higher the altitude the lesser will be oxygen in the air. Our body needs few days to acclimatize to this less oxygen environment. Although Himalayan Glacier provides enough information regarding AMS precaution matters, if we get AMS, Himalayan Glacier does not have other options to treat it other than medication. Himalayan Glacier advises specially the guest(s) with known heart or lungs or blood diseases to consult doctor before traveling. Mild headaches, fever, loss of appetite or stomach disorder are symptoms of AMS.
A typical trekking day starts at around 6 or 7 am. We enjoy the hearty breakfast and begin trekking. We carry our pack containing personal items we need for the day. The porters and yaks carry all the loads. We walk at our own pace, enjoy the scenery, chat with the natives, and take photographs. The lunch time depends upon the terrain and is prepared by our catering team. Generally we stop for lunch after about 3 hours of walking. The lunch hour also helps in acclimatization. The aim would be to reach next stop by the sunset. After reaching the overnight stay point, the crew members fix the tents. We may relax with a cup of tea or coffee or take a pleasure walk around the camp site. The dinner would be ready around 7 PM. We enjoy the dinner while sharing the day’s experience with team members.
The climbing itinerary may vary according to the our personal experience. A climbing day involves a steady climbing for 3-4 hours in the morning. After taking lunch, rest and relax, there is a climb of 2-3 hours in the afternoon. However, flexibility in climbing itinerary is necessary as climbers climb at own pace and respond individually to the stresses of climbing. Himalayan Glacier ensures the ratio of climbers and Sherpa guides focusing on high safety measures so that each individual climber is able to progress at their own rate.
The Base Camp
( 5,200 m/17,500 feet)
We follow the regime "climb high, sleep low". Being below the snowline at 5700m, the weather at Base Camp is generally good. It gets cold at night with dry but changeable wind conditions are expectable. There is no vegetation at this point and no human habitation. We take acclimatization hike before attempting further up. We further head for Advance Base Camp (ABC) in the next day. We forge through the ice cold Ra Chhu River and set up intermediate camp. The following morning, we trek to Advanced Base Camp ( 5700 m) and camp next to the Nangpa La.
Base Camp to Advanced Base Camp to Camp 1
ABC lies at 5700m surrounded by high peaks. There is also the high pass called Nangpa La nearby which has been used since a long time as a yak track and trade route between Nepal and Tibet. Advanced Base Camp will serve as the main base camp for the rest of expedition. From the Advanced Base Camp, we will be several hours of walking over moraine-covered glacier. One can even walk to the Camp 1 in hiking boots! Camp 1 lies on a ridge at 6400m which is soft and easy for climbing in the beginning.
Camp 1 to Camp 2
(7,000 m/ 22960 ft)
Our actual mountaineering begins from Camp 1. As we climb up the ridge broadens out, so we fix a rope up whenever necessary. The route crevassed route will be found at places which will not be much difficult. The route follows the Northwest ridge, and then opens out onto the Northwest face of the upper mountain. Most of the route between Camp 1 and 2 will be fixed with rope. The most technical section is the ice cliff at 6750 m / 22,145 ft which consists in a near vertical 60º to 70º slope for 50 m. Above, there lies a large plateau leading to the last step slope below the Camp 2.
Camp 2 to Camp 3
(7,400 m/24272 ft)
From Camp 2, we can see the Base Camp below and a bunch of 7000 m peaks. Further east lies the Shishapangma. Camp 3 is located at the height of 7,400m. Some climbers even attempt the summit from Camp 2. However, it is always better to assess our condition before getting tempted. Camp 3 is established at about 7450 m (24,500 ft) to maximize the chance of success on summit day.
Camp 3 to Summit
Depending upon season and weather, it may be cloudy, snowing, or high wind, we start early in the morning from camp 3. The first obstacle is the "Yellow Band" usually fixed with rope. More rocky bands and steep snow put the climbers on the summit ridge snowfield. We continue up the steep snowfield to the crest of the Northwest Ridge and the false summit. While crossing a broad plateau with a very small rise, we will be at the true summit. A breathtaking panorama unfolds as we get to the summit with the magnificent views of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Chamlang, Ama Dablam and many other Himalayan peaks. We descend to Camp 2 from the summit and continue down to the Advanced Base Camp.
The springtime from March to May and the Autumn months from September to November is considered the favorable weather for Cho Oyu climbing. However, the weather conditions in high mountains are never fully predictable. Temperatures may get as low as minus 20C in summer, but can drop to minus 60C or even lower during winter. The possibility of bad weather such as snow, wind, and cloud should also be taken into account. Similarly, the wind speeds may rise to 80Km/h (50mph). At the Base camp the temperature is about 15C warmer than at the summit. The oxygen level around 7,000m is only 40% of what it is at the sea level.
Our Cho Oyu expeditions are led by experienced and professional mountaineers
who have scaled the mountain several times supported by other crew members and all the necessary logistics for the expedition. Not only in terms of qualification, but Himalayan Glacier also makes it sure that its leaders have proven track of record in climbing high altitude mountains. The number of guides is chosen according to the team size to maximize every individual climber’s chance of making it to the summit without compromising the safety aspect. Himalayan Glacier's expedition leaders are also equipped with the expertise in handling altitude related problems including Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) symptoms. The crew members are experts in setting up tents and camps, melting snow on the route, cooking, and other daily needs.
Team composition is important to ensure safety and comfort of the climbers. Himalayan Glacier pays its high attention to the safety standards of the climbers. Hence for two International Climbers, Himalayan Glacier assigns its accredited climbing leader, high altitudes assistance Sherpa, and cook. For base camp assistance and other necessary trek, Himalayan Glacier comes with crews such as porters, yaks and yak man. Further, to maintain the high safety standard, Himalayan Glacier team members would be added as per the number of international climbers.
The spring season of March to May and the Autumn season of September to November are considered the best time for Cho Oyu expedition. The months of April and May and then again October and November are the classic climbing period. The summer months of monsoon rains and the winter months from December to February are considered to be the most unfavorable time climbing.
Himalayan Glacier provides all camping equipment and gear, including tents, dining, toilet, and kitchen tents. At base camp, we will have a large mess tent equipped with all necessary kitchen gadgets including stoves, tables and chairs. Meals are prepared by Himalayan Glacier's trained and experienced expedition cooks. We will be served hygienic and all varieties of food including continental and local Nepali or Tibetan items. Breakfast includes porridge, egg, bread, etc. Some of the items in the lunch include rice, lentils, beans, green vegetables, chapattis, bread, and tinned meat and fish items. Fresh or tinned fruit and tea or coffees serve the purpose of desserts. For the main meal, we can choose our own menu - either local or western varieties. Local varieties include from the local Dal Bhat, yak stew, momo to the western burghers, pastas, sandwiches, and pizzas.
During the actual mountain climbing, we mostly use dry or dehydrated foods, including chocolate, cheese, nuts, and muesli items.
Trip Start Dates and Price
Why Expedition with Himalayan Glacier Trekking?
Going on any adventure trip will require a substantial sum of money be paid in advance. Yet trusting a company you have no prior experience with involves a risk. We, however, are a fully bonded trek operator authorized by Nepal Government, Tourism and Civil Aviation Department, Nepal Tourism Board, Industry Department, Company Registration Office, Nepal National Bank and the Taxation Office. We are also affiliated with such prestigious regulating bodies as NATTA, NMA, TAAN, and KEEP. Besides, that we have launched our new LLC office in the US also ensures that your payment is secure with us.
A detailed list of our registrations and licenses for operation:
Fair Price with Quality:
- Nepal Ministry of Industry, Office of Company Register, Reg No: 7964/054/055
- Nepal Ministry of Tourism, Department of Tourism, Reg No: 388/054
- Nepal Department of Small Cottage and Industries, Reg No: 1150/211
- Nepal Ministry of Finance, Department of Tax, PAN No: 500093863
- Tax Clearance Certificate No: 2362/065/066
- Central Bank Of Nepal, Nepal Rastra Bank, Department of Foreign Currency Exchange, Authorization No: 379/064/065
- North Carolina Secretary of State (United States of America), SOSID 113015
- Bank of America, 6611 Carmel Rd Charlotte, NC 28226
Service, quality and fair prices - is the motto of our business. The packages we have offer unbeatable value for money. But you don't have to take our word on it - we just ask our clients shop around to other adventure companies to try to find a similar package at a better price. However, we do not compromise on quality to cut down the costs. Our edge over other international operators is that we are a Nepal based business that allows us to keep our overheads to a minimum. So we can offer the same facilities as those provided by a Western company at literally a fraction of the price. That about 40% of our bookings come from repeat business proves our performance when it comes to client satisfaction.
Sustainable Operation Policies:
HGT observes responsible and sustainable tourism practices. The company works closely with all stakeholders including the local communities to protect and conserve natural environment. We ensure that all our adventure programs leave least possible carbon footprint. We are also aware of the corporate social responsibility, hence we maintain highest ethical and professional standards as well as transparency in our business practices.
Local and Experienced Mountain Leaders:
HGT employs and trains local staff so that the local communities benefit from our adventure operations. However, we never compromise on our high safety and quality standards. All of our leaders and guides are carefully selected based on their aptitude, experience, and leadership skills. Most of our guides have been continuously working with us for more than 10 years. Our guides are trained for remote emergencies and are well versed in local politics, culture and customs. Please check out the personal records of our guides who have scaled the Mt. Everest several times, including hundreds of other lesser peaks. Thus, we guarantee that all our guides, cooks, and other crews members are qualified and experienced professionals who make it sure that you're always safe, sound, and happy.
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Our website contains as much information as possible about this trip. However, if you wish to discuss any aspect of this trip or your suitability for it please contact us.