The sixth highest mountain (8,201 meters) in the world and the most frequently climbed 8,000m peak, Cho Oyu needs no introduction. Often regarded as a stepping-stone to an attempt on Everest, Cho Oyu presents one with an excellent opportunity to extend one’s experience to extreme altitudes. The literal meaning of Cho Oyu is “Goddess of Turquoise’, as its stark shadows appear turquoise against the light of the setting sun when viewed from Tibet. Located on the Tibet and Nepal border and a part of the Great Himalaya Trail, this expedition not only tests your limits in high altitudes but also provides a unique chance to experience the Himalayan Tibetan culture.
First climbed in 1954 by a small Austrian/Tibetan expedition, Cho Oyu is technically easier than most other “8000ers,” making it a great first 8000-meter peak for mountaineers who seek high altitude climbing experience. The comparative ease of access, lack of objective dangers and generally uncomplicated terrain makes Cho Oyu the most attainable of the world’s highest mountains. However, like all 8,000m peaks, the climb is a serious undertaking and you will need to be fit, technically competent and self-sufficient.
Our Cho Oyu expedition takes you to the capital city of Tibet, Lhasa from where you drive to Chinese Base Camp. From here, you trek to Cho Oyu Base Camp below the North West Face. The route above base camp consists mainly of low-angled snow slopes with one short but very steep section to bypass a sérac barrier at 6,400m. There are altogether three camps on the mountain. Camp 1 is located at 6,400m, Camp 2 at 7,000 and the highest Camp 3 at 7,400m which is normally used as the launch pad for the summit. Though in recent years it has become common to summit from Camp 2 it is always advisable to stay at Camp 3 prior to the summit in order to assess our conditions. A breathtaking panorama unfolds as we get to the summit with magnificent views of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Chamlang, Ama Dablam and many other Himalayan peaks. The expedition lasts 45 days inclusive of day tours to Kathmandu and Lhasa cities. The best season for the ascent is Spring (March, April, June) and Autumn (September, October, November).