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Advanced Base Camp on Cho Oyu, 18,700′

Two mountaineers navigating a glacier on a Gasherbrum II Expedition

The latest dispatch from our climbers finds them at Advance Base Camp on Cho Oyu, at 18,700ft. All 8 of them are happy, healthy and fit. They have been busy acclimatizing to the altitude, and have climbed on up as high as 20,000ft. 2 climbers from other groups have experienced ongoing altitude sickness problems, and have made the decision to return to base camp, but so far our 8 intrepid team members are doing fine.

Around them at ABC is an amazing tent city. Maybe three dozen tents, most of them the sleeping accomodations for climbers from all the groups. Russell Brice has an amazing setup here. His working tents are heated, and include all the technology like satellite phones, radio communications, PCs, telescopes … everything necessary to enhance the safety of all the climbers there as part of his extended group.

But our climbers are not concentrating on the tents. They have already experienced the most amazing time and views around Tibet while trekking into the base of Cho Oyu, and up to ABC. Now directly in front of them is the summit of Cho Oyu, which during better weather shines out and summons them. On all sides there are lesser peaks; lesser in altitude, but in many ways a potential future challenge as many of them have never been summited.

Today the team is expecting a Puja ceremony. This will bless the climbers and their efforts, remind them of the greater powers that seem so much closer in the high mountains, and encourage them to meditate on what they see and experience. Then on Friday they hope to start the next phase of the adventure, with a climb on to Camp 1.

More to come!

— Adrian B (by spotty satellite phone)