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Cho Oyu

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Climbing & Mountaineering
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Tour details
Destinations:
Type of adventure: icon-11.png Climbing & Mountaineering
Guide language: English
Price: min $ 19439
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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Kit list
Cho Oyu, or the “The Turquoise Goddess” as it is known in English, has been dubbed as the most accessible of the 8,000m peaks and its safety record would reflect this. But climbing a mountain of this magnitude is never going to be easy; luck, resilience, perseverance and prior mountaineering experience are needed in big doses to reach the summit of this huge mountain. Situated on the vast high altitude plateau of Tibet this expedition is a perfect example of adventure. We start in the bustling city of Kathmandu before leaving for the Tibet border over a long cross-country traverse across this wild and ancient land to reach Cho Oyu’s base camp. This culturally rich journey alone could be considered an expedition its own right and one to be savoured. From here our team together with our elite mountaineering Sherpas make a plan to reach the top. The ascent is relatively uncomplicated, the route above base camp consists mainly of low-angled snow slopes with one short but very steep section and after a few weeks our hard work to establish a high camp should be rewarded by a summit attempt. There are few experiences that match topping out on Cho’s dome summit; to the South, the north face of Everest dominates the horizon with clear views into the Napali Himalaya, contrasting with the brown rolling plains that reach beyond the horizon to the north. This is a unique and exhilarating 6 week expedition sure to be savoured for a long time to come.
Depart the UK
Arrival in Kathmandu and Hotel transfer
On arrival into Kathmandu you’ll be met by an amazing blend of cultures, religions and people as you are taken to your hotel located in the heart of the city. During the day you’ll have an opportunity to settle after your flight before the evening which will entail a comprehensive brief by your 360 Expedition Guide on the climb you are about to experience with a meal at a local restaurant.
Expedition Preparation
Final expedition preparations will continue, these will involve signing paperwork that will have been prepared by your leader, collecting any last minute items, packing your kit into barrels and sorting out all your expedition food. Your mountain equipment, camping equipment and high altitude food will be loaded into trucks and travel separately to basecamp.
Enter Tibet- Zhangmu (1,600m)
In the morning we depart early from Kathmandu to the Tibetan border at Kadari (720m) where we’ll complete border formalities. Once complete we then drive to Zhangmu (1,600m) and stay overnight in a hotel. Today the wheels begin to turn towards Cho Oyu - we board the minibuses with some members of our Sherpa climbing team carrying only our day to day luggage for the next week. The journey through Nepal to the Tibetan border is full of colour as we pass through small villages, allowing a quick glimpse into the life of the Himalayan people. Later, we’ll cross a bridge called the “Friendship” bridge spanning the Bota Kosi River which marks the border where you walk into Tibet through Chinese customs and immigration. After formalities have been completed we meet our Chinese liaison officer and board a minivan to the town of Zhangmu (remember to reset your watch forward by 2½ hrs). Here we stay the night at our hotel.
Zhangmu to Naylam (3,700m)
As we enter Tibet the open rolling barren hills that typify this vast Himalayan plateau become apparent and is distinctly different from the tropical Nepali foothills. We’ll stay two nights in Naylam in a basic Tibetan hotel. Like all small towns in Tibet, these dusty settlements are basic and transient. The main aim of our stay here is to acclimatise which will see us climbing the hilltops around the town (to about 4,000m) and explore some of the Buddhist gompas.
Naylam to Tingri (4,300m)
Today we continue to cross the Tibetan plateau to the town of Tingri. The nomadic lifestyle of the ethnic Tibetans becomes apparent as we see several tented camps on the way. The highlight however for all will be the first glimpse of our objective: Cho Oyu, as well as Shishapangma (8,013m) and Mount Everest (8,848m). Tingri itself only has one main road which makes it easy to find our local hotel that despite appearances serves great food. Like our stay in Naylam our primary reason for staying here is to aid our acclimatisation process. Once again we’ll climb to some of the local hilltops (4,700m) and visit the ruins of an old fort where breathtaking views of the 3 giants can be seen, as well as several other mountains straddling the Nepal / Tibet border.
Drive to Chinese Base Camp (CBC- 5200m)
Today we continue our climb to the Chinese Base Camp (CBC) of Cho Oyu where the road ends. This camp is not going to be our permanent Base Camp but one where we further acclimatise and sort out the yak teams that will bring our equipment and expedition provisions to Advanced Base Camp at 5,700m.
Rest and acclimatisation at CBC
Chinese Base Camp to Middle Camp (5,300m)
Trek from Middle Camp to the ABC (5,700m)
Rest and acclimatisation period
Your guide will conduct several skill courses to refresh your glacier travel and jumarring skills and to sort out your climbing equipment.
Climbing Cho Oyu
The climbing strategy below is only an example of how a “typical” acclimatisation and climbing regime might work on Cho Oyu. A climber’s fitness, mountain and weather conditions will dictate the ascent profile, and from which high camp our summit attempt will be made. About a month is given on this expedition to climb the mountain.

The climbing route follows up the northwest face and the broad northwest ridge. Cho Oyu is not a technically difficult mountain and the majority of terrain does not exceed 30 degrees. However, there is a very steep serac barrier at 6,600m that is bypassed on fixed rope.

There are three established campsites on the mountain. Camp 1 (C1) is situated on a broad saddle at the base of the northwest ridge at 6,400m. Getting here involves crossing a flat glacier and a scree covered hill. Camp 2 (C2) is at 7,000m and Camp 3 (C3) is placed at 7,400m on the northwest ridge. Traditionally the summit attempt is made from C3 but recently teams have managed to summit from C2 in seven to ten hours.

A typical climbing and acclimatisation strategy would look like this:

Climb to Camp 1 at 6,200m and return to ABC

Rest-day in ABC

Climb to and camp at C1. Climb to C2 at 7,000m the next day and return to ABC

Several days rest at ABC

Climb to and camp at C2. Climb to C3 at 7,400m Next day return to ABC

Several days rest at ABC

Climb to and camp at C1

Climb to and camp at C2

Climb to and camp at C3

Summit day

Descend to ABC


Summit day:

Summit day is the culmination of a lot of hard work and effort from both you and the 360 team. Together we strive to make sure that we are as well rested, hydrated and nourished before we attempt the summit. We’ll set out in the early morning from either C2 or C3 and we’ll have the option of climbing using supplementary oxygen to assist with the demands of altitude and cold. Just above C3 we cross several short rock sections known as the “Yellow Band” and some mixed snow conditions, before stepping onto the huge plateau that defines the summit of the mountain at around 8,000 meters. We’ll then cross the plateau to a small summit dome that indicates the true summit usually marked by many prayer flags at 8,201m. Hopefully, we have done it! We are now standing on the world’s sixth highest mountain and are rewarded for our efforts by a vista few people will have had the privilege to enjoy. Around us towers Cho Oyu’s fellow giants, Mt Everest, Lhotse, Makalu - we’ll be able to see well into Nepal’s Khumbu valley. A few photos and a hug from our team mates mark our time spent on the summit before taking our first steps back down the mountain.
Return journey
You’ll dismantling ABC and trek down to middle camp. From here you drive to Tingri where you spent the night.
Tingri to Zhangmu
Long drive today from Tingri to Zhangmu (six hours) where you spend the night in a hotel.
Zhangmu- Kathmandu
An early morning drive to the Nepali border where we go through some immigration formalities and continue onwards to Kathmandu.
Kathmandu
Rest day in Kathmandu and with most likely some fairly wild celebrations.
Depart for UK
We say goodbye to Nepal and head for the airport for our flight home, either departing in the morning arriving the same day back in London or overnight, arriving the next day.
Arrive LHR
If we're on the night flight, we'll be back in London this morning.
1 * 5 Season Sleeping Bag
1 * Backpack
1 * Daysack
1 * Dry Sacks
1 * Large Kit Bag
1 * Sleeping Bag Liner
1 * Sleeping Matt
1 * Small Bag
1 * Balaclava
1 * Buff Or Scarf
1 * Ski Goggles
1 * Sunglasses
1 * Wide Brimmed Hat
2 * Woolly Hat
1 * Base Layers
1 * Down Jacket
1 * Expedition Mitts
1 * Gilet
1 * Gloves
1 * Hard Shell
1 * Leather Gloves
1 * Liner Gloves
1 * Mid Layer
1 * Down Trousers
1 * Long Johns
1 * Softshell Trousers
1 * Thermal Bottoms
1 * Trekking Trousers
5 * Underwear
1 * Waterproof Trousers
1 * 3- 4 Season Walking Boots
1 * Gaiters
1 * High Altitude Inner Sock
1 * High Altitude Plastic Boots
2 * High Altitude Socks
1 * Spare Laces
5 * Trekking Socks
1 * Alcohol Rub
1 * Insect Repellent
1 * Nappy Bags
1 * Pee Bottle (or Shewee)
1 * Toilet Paper
1 * Travel Towel
1 * Wash Kit
1 * Water Bottles
1 * Water Purification
1 * Wet Wipes
1 * 5mm Cord
1 * Belay Plate
1 * Climbing Helmet
1 * Crampons
1 * Figure Of 8
1 * Harness
1 * Ice Axe
1 * Jumar
1 * Locking HMS Karabiners
1 * Sling (120cm)
1 * Personal First Aid Kit
1 * Personal Medication
1 * Camera
1 * Headtorch
1 * Insulated Mug
1 * Lipsalve
1 * Money
1 * Padlocks
1 * Penknife
1 * Small Thermal Flask
1 * Snacks
1 * Sunblock
1 * Trekking Poles
1 * Copy Of Passport
1 * Passport
1 * Passport Photos X4
1 * Travel Insurance
1 * Visa
All tour descriptions and conditions are given in accordance with the information of 360 Expeditions
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Interesting facts
Triglav summiting or how to tame Goldenhorn

Triglav is the Slovenia’s highest mountain, featuring three peaks with the highest one reaching 2864 meters. According to one of the legends, there was a magical Goldenhorn inhabiting the Triglav Mountains. The horns of the mysterious creature were made of gold and would make anyone who caught Goldenhorn forever rich. The Goldenhorn was never caught due to its artfulness in escaping from the chasers, even when injured. The magic power of Goldenhorn was hidden in a divine flower protecting him from deathly wounds. The flower was growing in the crevices of Triglav and boasted unfathomable beauty. 

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