The Cho Oyu Rapid Ascent Team has arrived in Base Camp!
After enjoying a traditional Tibetan lunch and some hot tea, the team headed out for an acclimatization hike up to 5,350m/17,552’. Guide @estebantopomena reports that everyone is feeling good and fired up to keep climbing. Tomorrow the team will organize gear and then head out for another acclimatization hike in the afternoon. The team has been traveling for the past 3 days. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s happened so far:
Traveling to Chengdu, China: Caroline Gleich reports, “After what felt like a marathon day of travel, we made it to Chengdu, China (a city home to around 14 million people, and the capital of the Sichuan Province), had a little sleep and are awaiting our departure to Lhasa. There are few experiences in life as deeply uncomfortable as being an exhausted foreigner arriving in a country where you do not speak the language. Thank goodness for google translate and for the fine logistical support from @alpenglowexpeditions.”
On to Lhasa: The team stopped to visit The Potala Palace, former home of the Dalai Lama, and ancient Jokhang Monastery, two of Tibet’s most important cultural sites.
Shigatse-Shegar-Base Camp: En route to Cho Oyu and steadily gaining elevation, the team drove to Shigatse, for an acclimatization hike and stopover. The first couple days of hanging out, resting, and light walking may seem banal, but it’s actually super important. Our expedition has been carefully designed so that climbers have time to safely acclimatizing to high altitudes. Shigatse for example, sits at elevation 12,500’ / 3800m. For reference, talent peaks in Lake Tahoe are shy of 11,000’ /3,320 m. In Shigatse, Topo relayed that everyone was feeling good with the altitude so far. “100%” he reported. “Everybody is fine! Tomorrow will visit the monastery and head to Shegar.” In Shegar, the team visited the Tashilumpo monastery and then hit the road for Base Camp. They stopped for an hour acclimatization hike up the hill across the street and got to almost 15k.
Having now arrived in Base Camp, they’ll spend an extra day there to rest and organize gear in preparation for their push to advanced basecamp. They’ll push forward in a couple of days if everyone continues to feel healthy/strong and when yaks are available to help transport gear. In the words of guide Topo Mena, everyone is “stoked!”