Alpenglow’s 2013 expedition to Cho Oyu is off and running. As usual our Himalayan expeditions meet up in Kathmandu, and the time is hectic. In less than 48 hours we packed countless bags of equipment and food, jumped through hoops at embassies and ministries, and saw loads of friends that we only get to see in the climbing season in Nepal. The logistics went smoothly enough, and yesterday morning we hopped on a plane to Lhasa.
I haven’t been to Lhasa since 2007, and the city continues to expand and change. This change is certainly lessening the Tibetan Buddhist feel of much of the city. But when you enter the old town surrounding the Jokhang Monastary, it is great to see the Tibetan heart of the city is still beating strong. Countless Tibetans (monks and laypeople) are doing koras around the monastary, others are spinning prayer wheels, and prayers are being chanted everywhere. It is a stunning place to spend some time and to feel the power of the local people’s beliefs.
And the Tibetan Plateau is still striking, with endless untouched vistas and a huge deep blue sky. Lhasa sits at over 11,000 feet so we immediately feel like we are in the mountains. Fortunately, we’ve been sleeping in our Hypoxico pre-acclimatization tents for the past 4-6 weeks, so we are feeling great and ready to move! After a visit to the Potala Palace this morning, we will be on the road to Xigatse tonight, and Cho Oyu BC tomorrow.
More to come from the road!
-Adrian Ballinger, Alpenglow Expeditions