Update: All of our members are safely here in
Kathmandu and we had our team meeting last night. We have a dinner planned for
this evening and everyone has been taking care of last minute details today.
Tomorrow morning we will leave at 4:30 a.m. on the road to the border. We hope
for the best and look forward to getting underway. We will have some of the
members writing and calling in with dispatches from Tibet so stay tuned.....
I would like to give personal thanks to the
staff at the Hotel Nepa International for hosting us once again... Ryan
Earlier Update: The Ring Road is a 21 km road circling the city of Kathmandu. This has
become an important landmark as of late. The curfews have been almost
exclusive to those of us, inside the Ring, and we have heard of a planned
large scale protest for tomorrow with upwards of a million people, around
the Ring. Yet, here inside the Ring, life is relatively straightforward.
Restaurants with limited menus, cut off cell phone service, and
everpresent military guards passing the time smoking on the streets are
The scene changes dramatically along the areas of protest. Every morning
we wake eager to hear what the situation is and read about the injuries
involved at the fringe of the Ring. This place is full of contrast now. A
scene from the ride in the other day sticks with me.... as political
turmoil heated up in various parts of the city, we passed the pool area of
a nice hotel surrounded by gardens complete with foriegn tourists laying
out and drinking in the sun. A hundred yards away you see a trash pile
collecting from countless days, with a cow standing in the middle of it.
In the Kathmandu Post, over coffee, reading of 3 more deaths just a few
blocks away, and in the next column "Celebrity Birthdays," to find out
that it is Aaron Comess' the drummer of The Spin Doctors 38th Birthday!
So the contrasts continue, as we tentatively plan on taking yet another
now routine helicopter ride from here to the Tibetan border, driving seems
highly unlikely, a random German tourist sitting directly next to me at
the internet cafe is reading my last dispatch from this very trip a few
days ago on everestnews...it certainly is weird inside the Ring.
We will wait until tomorrow when the rest of our team members arrive, have
our final days of preparation and hoepfully break out of the
Background: Introduction to Cho Oyu: Cho-Oyu has only recently
become a popular mountain to climb. It is now known to be one of the most
accessible of the world’s fourteen 8,000 metre mountains. This is because the
ascent to the summit is short and direct, with a few small technical sections,
less than 6 metres high, climbed in safety using fixed lines. Additionally,
the mountain can be easily reached by four-wheel-drive vehicle, and the trail
to Camp 1 at 6,400 metres, is basically a steep walk on talus slopes, often
done in hiking boots. This expedition to Cho-Oyu maximizes our previous
successful ascents on the peak itself, plus many years of accumulated wisdom
of the high Himalaya, a strong record of reaching 8,000 metre summits in all
safety, along with an intimate knowledge of the Tibetan and Chinese officials
who regulate the permit system. We must also give credit to the highly
experienced and hard-working leaders, sherpas and staff here at
Leader: Ryan Waters, an accomplished and friendly leader
Cho Oyu - the "Turquoise
Goddess" in Tibetan - is located at the frontier of Tibet and Nepal. At a
height of 8201 meters, it belongs to the Himalayan range, about 30 km west of
Everest. It is the sixth highest mountain in the world and was first climbed
on October 19th 1954 by the Austrian Herbert Tichy, with Sepp Jochler and
Pasang Dava Lama.
"Finally, the peak is
reached, the infinite hardships are ended. The last nine hours fighting with
the mountain; the time in the death zone above 24,000 foot, the weeks of
privations and hardships, even the risk of one's life - is this reward itself
really? Yes, certainly! Not because of fame but inner satisfaction: To have
found the mountain as friend and have been so near to the sky." Sepp Jochler.
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