Sunset on Shishapangma from Base Camp
climb of Mount Rainier's Liberty Ridge over July 4 weekend went very well. We
summited without problem, got to know one another, and even found we enjoyed
each other's company (good thing!). Of course we were all on our best
Cho Oyo is
a go! David Christopher arranged transportation from Shishapangma base camp
to Cho Oyo, and we'll use only Dorje, the cook to support us at base camp.
Pratap, the sirdar, will travel to Kathmandu with Eric who's sightseeing and
not climbing Cho Oyo. We other three plan on a rapid ascent, moving to a
higher a camp each day. We've added another ten days to the schedule to
attempt a second 8000m peak!
few weeks has been about as hectic as could be anticipated, with the biggest
headache that two of our four visas were denied by the Chinese government. Val
and Eric used the Chicago consulate, who issued their visas without problem.
Tibet requires extra permission, which we have, but will only receive the
entry permits once we land in China. We found out the standard method of
getting to Tibet is to leave it completely off the visa application - that
it's easy to get the permit from the tour operator once inside China, but
virtually impossible to get a visa clear to Tibet. So Dave's and Monty's
visas were denied, not only for lack of permission but Dave's was also denied
because the Chinese Embassy in Washington required originals, not faxes.
friends and new paperwork sent from Beijing, we've been told just yesterday
that our visas WILL be issued - with one week until departure! The other thing
the Chinese did at the last minute is increase the amount of money they
require by almost $5000 (grrr...). David
negotiated that down to $3200, but they refuse to answer what (if anything)
the extra charges are for.
broken out planning responsibilities as follows:
Gear - Dave
been planning their area and updating each other at weekly conference calls.
week to go, and everything looks like it's in order. Now just
have to get
area that cannot be passed over without mention is David
Christopher's help in setting up all the logistics. David's a retired
agent with expertise in this area of the world, and he did all
logistics for Ama Dablam last year. He's hired our sirdar and cook, made all
our travel arrangements, obtained all the in-country gear, obtained the
climbing permits for both mountains, negotiated with the Chinese
Mountaineering Association - the list just goes on and on! With the
compressed timeline, changes, and geographically dispersed group, this trip
has been the most difficult he's ever arranged, yet he continues with endless
patience. He's done it all as a gratis service for the Mazamas, the Portland
mountaineering club that Monty, the climb leader, belongs to. David, we're not
exaggerating when we say we couldn't do it without you!
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