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 passenger and took me way out of the
town center. After some fruitless negotiation I took over the driving and
headed back with my passengers 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
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
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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