Climbing Cho Oyu is an achievable undertaking for intermediate climbers who wish to attempt an 8,000 m peak. The expedition provides a perfect entrance into the world of high-altitude Himalayan climbing. The sixth highest mountain in the world, Cho Oyu lies in the heart of the Tibetan/Nepalese Himalayas and offers climbers views of Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, and figuratively hundreds of other Himalayan peaks. The Cho Oyu climbing expedition exposes climbers to the ancient culture of Tibet.
While the challenge of high-altitude climbing cannot be underestimated, the technical nature of the ascent is moderate. Our route is composed of snow slopes with short sections of ice and rock scrambling. We use some fixed ropes for speed and safety. We climb Cho Oyu in classic Himalayan expedition style, employing Sherpa who assist with load carrying and camp preparation. The assistance of expert Sherpa, many of whom have guided with us on Mt. Everest, greatly increases our chances of success. We move up and down the mountain three to four times while establishing camps and acclimating to the extreme altitude. Supplemental oxygen is used for the summit attempt and while sleeping at High Camp. Our itinerary has extra days built in for inclement weather and slow acclimatization. The relatively short time needed to complete the climb adds to the attraction of this tremendous ascent.
This is a fully guided ascent, led by Western guides who climb the mountain with you. We are one of the few outfitters offering this type of support (and, as a result, we have a high success rate and an outstanding safety record). It should be noted that most outfitters merely offer a supported trek, where a single guide facilitates the climb but does not act as a guide during the ascent.
ALPINE ASCENTS SUCCESS ON HIMALAYAN PEAKS
Our reputation for leading climbs in the Himalayas is superb and includes summits of Everest (271 summits to date) and Cho Oyu (83 summits to date). Some of our past Cho Oyu climbs have had 100% summit success.
As on Everest we offer one style of trip— a fully guided expedition with a low climber-to-guide ratio. This style has led to our historically high summit success rate, an excellent safety record, and extremely satisfied climbers.
Our Cho Oyu mountain expedition begins in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. After touring Kathmandu and securing our Tibetan visas, we will fly to Lhasa and travel by jeep, visiting Tibetan towns and monasteries en route to Base Camp (16,400 ft.). This will give us a great introduction to the hearty people and harsh landscape of the high plateau. Once at Base Camp, we’ll meet our Tibetan yak drivers and their animals. Yaks carry our loads to Advanced Base Camp (18,500 ft.) at the foot of the famous Nangpa-La Pass.
We will spend the next three or four days establishing Advanced Base Camp and making short acclimatization forays to the lower reaches of the West Ridge. With the assistance of our Sherpa team, we’ll place Camp I (21,000 ft.) atop the West Ridge. Over the next 10 days, we’ll establish Camp II (23,100 ft.) and Camp III (24,500 ft.). We will repeatedly move up and down the mountain to enhance strong acclimatization and overall fitness. Once our last camp is set and the team has rested for a few days at Advanced Base Camp, we’ll begin the summit climb. Prior to our summit attempt, team members will spend the night at Camp III sleeping on supplemental oxygen, strengthening the body’s circulation systems.
Our summit attempt begins between midnight and 1 a.m. We will climb with supplemental oxygen on summit day. From High Camp, we’ll ascend the West Face through a rock band and up snow slopes of 25 to 40 degrees to reach the West Ridge proper. This gentle ridge leads to the large summit plateau at approximately 26,000 ft. From there, we’ll spend the next hour traveling across this plateau to reach the true summit and a spectacular 360 degree view that includes Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and an array of Himalayan peaks. To the north lies the Tibetan plateau (the highest in the world), and to the south stand hundreds of Nepalese peaks.
After reaching the summit, our team will descend to Camp II. It takes approximately five days to clear the mountain and move equipment back to Base Camp. Once we have arrived at Base Camp and said farewell to our Tibetan yak drivers, we’ll begin our return to Kathmandu. After arriving in Kathmandu, we’ll sort equipment and celebrate in the fascinating capital city before our international departures.
- Hotels in Kathmandu (three nights at beginning of expedition, one night at end. Note: there is one extra day built into climb)
- Transport to Tibet (round-trip) from Kathmandu
- Hotels in Lhasa (one night), Zhangmu, Nylam, and Tingri
- All ground transport to Base Camp
- All group camp supplies, such as tents, stoves, etc.
- All group climbing gear including minimum of 2.5 bottles of oxygen per climber
- All meals while trekking and climbing
- Welcome and farewell dinner in Kathmandu
- Climbing and trekking permits
- Guides, Sherpa, yaks, porters, and support staff (approximately 4:1 climber-to-guide ratio)
- $25 wire transfer fee (if applicable)
- International round-trip airfare USA-Kathmandu ( one night lodging in Kathmandu after expedition)
- Meals in Kathmandu, except for welcome and farewell dinner
- Personal gear (see Gear List)
- Excess baggage charges and airport taxes
- Personal expenses (i.e., laundry, mail, telecommunications)
- Trip cancellation insurance (highly recommended)
- Charges incurred as a result of delays beyond the control of Alpine Ascents
- Visas – China and Nepal (2016 cost was $200)
- Flight to Lhasa (extra flight fee may be incurred if we have to fly)
- Evacuation fee for early departure (approximately $1500.00)
Note: Alpine Ascents International highly recommends trip cancellation insurance for all programs. Due to the nature and heavy costs of government and operator permits, Alpine Ascents International must adhere to a stringent refund policy.
- Each $5,000.00 deposit is nonrefundable
- Full refunds, less the deposit, will be provided for cancellations made 120-days prior to the expedition start date.
- 50% refunds, less the deposit, will be provided for cancellations made 90-119 days prior to the expedition start date.
- No refunds will be provided for cancellations made 89-days prior to the expedition start date.
- Alpine Ascents International will attempt to accommodate changes and cancellations when necessary, waiving certain fees when feasible.
- All cancellation/refund requests must be made in writing and be received in our office within the deadlines stated above.