The Journey to Cho Oyu
After months of endurance training, weeks of logistics planning, and days of travel, Alpenglow’s Cho Oyu Rapid Ascent expedition has begun their climb. The team is lead by guides Chad Peele and Esteban Topo Mena.
The team successfully made the trek from their respective hometowns to Chengdu and then on to Lhasa, with all bags in tow. This is the first victory of the trip, and always a good omen. After 2 days of driving across the Tibetian Plateau, the team arrived in Base Camp to settle in. Next, after they completed an acclimatization hike to 5,500m (18,000’), the team headed up to Advanced Base Camp (ABC), which became their new home base for the expedition. Different than Everest, on Cho Oyu, once the team re-locates to ABC, they will not return to Base Camp until the end of the trip, after an attempt at the summit.
Home Sweet Base Camp
Our Cho Oyu team is currently stationed at ABC, they’ve been progressively hiking higher on the mountain to acclimatize, and they are dialing in their summit window.
The team completed their Puja ceremony on Monday. Before attempting any climb in the Himalayas, all climbers and Sherpa take part in the Puja ceremony. A literal “right of passage,” the Puja ceremony is performed to pray for a safe expedition. In preparation for the ceremony, a large cairn is constructed with long strands of prayer flags. The team makes an offering of special foods and drinks and brings their climbing gear to be blessed for the journey.
Preparing for the push to the summit
While the team is doing well, and everyone is feeling strong, the Sherpa team continues to fix ropes on the mountain, working their way up to prepare for climbers. Our Sherpa team is pushing forward, but their progress is somewhat slowed due to deep snow conditions. The Sherpa team is nearing C2 and has fixed ropes past 6,700m (22,000’).
To prepare for moving higher on the mountain, guide Chad Peele completed fixed-line training with his climbers. Topo’s team has already tagged C1 and we’re standing by for updates. Chad’s team is also preparing to tag C1. Yesterday Chad reported, “Training on the glacier went well and the team is ready to move to c1 tomorrow after breakfast. We’re expecting weather to be wet but hopefully it’s not too bad.” We’ll receive additional updates from both teams once they return to ABC after their C1 tag. We’re wishing the team success on their acclimatization rounds!
For more information about climbing Cho Oyu or any of our international expeditions, check out our website. For any questions, call our office at 877-873-5376 or send us an email info@alpenglowexpeditions.