Cho Oyu Expedition

Cho Oyu (8201m), on the boarder of Nepal and Tibet, is the sixth highest mountain in the world and often regarded as the most straight forward of the 8000m peaks. It should not however be underestimated as any peak of this altitude is a serious undertaking and requires careful preparation and a high level of fitness. The north west face of Cho Oyu, climbed from Tibet, takes us up easy angled snow slopes with one steep serac barrier to pass at around 6400m. Where neccessary fixed lines are placed on the steeper sections.

Cho Oyu Expedition

There are acclimitization walks around Nyalam and Tingri before, camping around 4900m. We move onto base camp at 5700m, and then spend 2-3 nights at intermediate camps around 5200m and 5500m.

To reach camp I at 6400m, we walk up the Gyabbrag Glacier for 6-8 hours and then up steep scree to a broad snow shoulder.

To reach camp II at 7000m, we follow the snow ridge from camp I to a steep 5o metre ice wall, which provides the hardest climbing on route. It is relatively straight forward and we place fixed ropes.

To reach camp III at 7400m is a relatively easy 4 hours, but real determination is needed to deal with effects of altitude.

cho oyu expedition

Summit day is usually 6-8 hours, initially up easy snow and rock to the summit plateu at which point it is only altitude, weather and fitness that will stop you reaching the world’s sixth highest summit.


The itinerary
The Cho oyu expedition takes 38 days. After a couple of days preparation, we fly to Lhasa in Tibet. We spend a couple of days acclimitizing and sightseeing before we drive to Cho Oyu base camp. The drive takes us through Shigatse and Shegar, where we stop for a walk up an old hill fort. We arrive in base camp around day 9 and begin trekking in the area, up to 6500m, to acclimitize. By day 19 we are treking up to advanced base camp, then the main climbing starts from day 21. We drive back to Kathmandu on day 38.

Is this trip suitable for you?
Previous mountaineering experience is required to at least 6000m. You will also need to be very determined. Cho Oyu is a non-technical peak with the possibility of a ski descent for VERY strong skiers. Ski touring in the area near ABC is also possible (and a fun way to acclimatise).

To succeed you will need to be extremely fit and have a high level of endurance. You don’t need to be fast but you need to be steady and strong. Mental toughness plays a large role as does the ability to relax and let your body acclimatise.

Himalaya Guides is a professionally led “non-guided” expedition for experienced mountaneers who want to work as part of a team to tackle the mountain. We say “non-guided” because, compared to guiding operations on alpine-scale peaks such the European Alps, our leader and climbing Sherpa team working with you will not be able to protect your every move. You must therefore have broad mountaineering experience so that you are capable and willing to move between camps unassisted. You will have good support on the mountain from our climbing leader and Sherpa team. Our guiding and climbing experience can be viewed here.

In brief
Cho Oyu (8,201m)
Duration: 38 days, ex-Kathmandu
Timing: April – May & August – September
Price: Contact Us
Level: serious high altitude climbing
Included in price
All airport transfers in Nepal, all accommodation in Nepal, breakfast in Kathmandu, sightseeing tour in Kathmandu, trekking permits, peak fees and National Park entry, porters, Sherpas and guides, all meals on trek and climb, local staff insurance. Group climbing gear such as ropes, snow stakes, protection. Group equipment such as stoves, tents, mats, kitchen gear, medical kit, medical oxygen, Gammov bag, satellite phone.
Excluded in price
International airfares, visas, transfer fees, departure taxes, excess baggage, tips to trek staff, hotels etc., personal travel insurance, lunch and dinner in KTM, personal expenses such as gifts, phone calls, laundry and alcohol, personal equipment.
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