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  SummitClimb Cho Oyu Autumn 2006: Update May 5th


Update 05/05/2006: Hello everyone, this is Ryan calling in for the SummitClimb Cho Oyu Expedition on the Tibet side.  We’re all here at Advanced Base Camp at approximately 5100 meters, or just above 18,000 feet.  We arrived yesterday and established our Advanced Base Camp.  Everyone’s feeling really good, everyone’s healthy, and we’re enjoying a couple of rest days here at Advanced Base Camp.

Tomorrow we plan on receiving the rest of our yak-load, so we’ll get all the rest of our gear and also some more food.  We’ll also take the time to do a little skills review and do a little more resting before going up to Camp 1 for the first time.  Tomorrow we’re going to send some Sherpas and Tibetan staff up to Camp 1 and establish the camp there.  So we’re looking forward to getting on the mountain in just a couple of days.  It’s snowing right now, it tends to snow every afternoon about three o’clock.  The weather is pretty stable.

We’d also like to thank our kitchen staff, they’ve been cooking great food for us.  And also we’re joined by our climbing staff, our Nepali Sirdar and we have three Tibetan climbers---they’ve been working hard already establishing our camp here at ABC and they’re going to work hard tomorrow on the mountain carrying loads up there, along with Phil, our expedition manager, going up to Camp 1 tomorrow.  So everything’s good here from the SummitClimb Cho Oyu Team, and we will definitely give you a call in just a couple of days once we have gone up to Camp 1 and see how we’re doing.  Thanks for keeping all the friends and family in the loop and we’ll get back soon.  Thank you. Ryan Waters


Carlo, James and myself arrived in Kathmandu to meet the rest of the team on Tuesday. Instead of riots the celebration flags flew with communist colours. After a fine introduction talk by Lord Ryan, it was off for some food and beers. I stayed on for a few extra pints and jumped on a cycle rickshaw for the short pedal home. The rickshaw boy, picked up a passanger and took me way out of the town center. After some fruitless negociation I took over the driving and headed back with my passangers who's warning shouts saved more than one crash. Steering is difficult after six Everest beers.
Thursday was a four am start waiting for the luxury bus to take us to the Chinese boarder.When it arrived it took us at speed through the Kathmandu suberbs and out onto winding hill roads. The friendship bridge crosses a river between the two countries. Breakfast, money changing, document filling, passport showing and an electronic gun pointed at our forheads to ensure we didn't have a temperature...and we were in.
Oh no, that was just the preliminaries. Next came a two hour Chinese queue to get to the man with the real stamp. Chinese queues are a different. Any space in front of us was rapidly filled by queue jumpers, invariably Buddist Monks. I now know where enlightenment gets you - to the front queue.
Very plush landcruisers then took us to Nylam (3600m) a small town with smattering of shops and hotels to cater for the passing trade. DInner was a fine affair where the shared dishes are put on a revelving center. Half of us are still wary of the meat trying to ensure we dont pick up any bugs en route but the food so far is tasty.
Today was walking to acclimatise and resting. A wall in the center of town doubled as an alfresco cafe experience, we were joined by playful children, staring adults, wandering yaks and a very lost looking monkey. If it hitched a lift on a truck to get here it should really get a ride back to monkey land.
Everyone is well and enjoying Ryan's relaxed and friendly approach to leadership.
It is a good team.
Bye for now


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 SummitClimb.com

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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