Photo: Emily Harrington
The Rapid Ascent Cho Oyu expedition team, with lead guide Zeb Blais, is moving to C3 (24,250′ / 7400m) today, while the “lightning ascent” expedition team, Adrian Ballinger and Emily Harrington, is moving to C2 (23,290′ / 7100m) today. Given the time difference it is currently Friday the 30th in Tibet (15 hours ahead of PST). The teams will get whatever rest they can Friday afternoon/evening and then do a summit push together Friday night. Which means by this time “tomorrow” in California (PST time zone) both teams will be at the summit, with their skis and ready for the descent.
The plan was to sleep at Camp 3 (C3) on Friday the 30th and go for their summit push on Saturday the 1st, but as with most plans they must remain flexible. Keep in mind Cho Oyu is the 6th tallest mountain in the world (26,906′ / 8200m) and weather is always a strong determining factor for climbers. Weather predictions can be helpful but they are never perfect. The teams have a weather window and they are planning to take advantage of this opportunity.