Photos: Zeb Blais
Our Rapid Ascent Cho Oyu expedition team is leaving advanced base camp (ABC) at 18,530’ / 5650m for Camp 1 (C1) at 20,600’ / 6280m. Lead guide, Zeb Blais, reported this morning that they’ve been discussing weather, snowpack and other climbing teams over the last couple days. There are a few other teams that are looking to push up in front of them, which should be good to have the route to themselves on their summit day and through technical sections that can be slow, such as the ice cliff above C1 around 22,500′ / 6850m. All of these elements add to the puzzle and also require ongoing monitoring and flexibility.
Zeb said they have confidence in the snowpack from tests he did to the lower pack during their rotation and also from what they heard yesterday from the rope fixing teams. The ropes have been fixed through the yellow band which is a major hurdle in getting to the summit. The fact these teams were able to get the ropes fixed without signs of instability in the snow pack is generally a good sign. Alpenglow’s industry leading forecasting looks good for their weather window. Stoke level is high!!