Philip Ling, from Sydney, Australia, and St.Anton am Arlberg,
Austria, is an Austrian certified ski instructor and alpine guide, who for
many years worked for the Ski School Arlberg in the Arlberg region of Austria,
guiding people down some of the most extreme off piste terrain in
Europe before switching his focus to climbing the highest mountains on the
planet. After two unsuccessful attempts on Pumori, 7167m in 2005 and 2006, he
summitted Cho Oyu, 8201m last October without using supplementary oxygen.
This Spring 2007, he again teams up with Dan Mazur from
Summitclimb to attempt Lhotse, 8516m. Below is his Cho Oyu summit report.
After spending nearly 4 weeks climbing up and down Cho Oyu
to acclimatise, and watching Tibetan refugees murdered by the Chinese Army
outside my tent the day I left Advanced Base Camp for the summit, on the 3rd
of October 2006, at 2.30am, and after a sleepless 8 hours 'rest', I set out
from Camp 3, situated at 7560m, for the summit at 8201m along with two members
and two Sherpas, and only the light from our headtorches to show us the way.
Within 3 hours both my water bottles, which I had filled with boiling water
just before I departed Camp 3, had frozen solid, and it was only going to get
colder as I moved upwards. At about 7900m the sun finally came up to my left,
warmed my chilled body and I knew I would survive.
Climbing without supplementary oxygen, I finally reached the
summit plateau in almost perfect, but very cold conditions. On the summit
plateau I met my climbing companions on their way down from the summit....
they had been climbing with oxygen. As I made my way across the summit plateau
I knew that in a few moments my life would never be the same again.
40 minutes later, at around midday, there was suddenly no
higher to go, and I was standing on the true summit of the sixth highest point
on the planet. For a while I was totally alone as my Sherpa had previously
succumbed to altitude sickness on the summit plateau and descended. I found
out later as I stood there looking at the most splendid panorama imaginable,
that I was in fact the highest person on earth at that time. Less than 20
kilometres away to the East I could see Everest in all its glory, confirming
that I was on the true summit of Cho Oyu. Standing right next to Everest, and
looking very small, (although if it had been anywhere else outside of the
Himalayas it would easily have been the highest mountain in the world in its
own right), was Pumori 7167m, on which I had stood within 200m of the summit
just 6 months earlier. (On that occasion I had to abort a certain summit to
co-ordinate a rescue of two of our Sherpas who were seriously injured when
they pulled an anchor and fell 400m down the mountain into a crevass). There
was an expedition team on Everest, but in in the lower camps, and no other
expeditions at that time on K2 8611m, Kangchenjunga 8586m, Lhotse 8516m or
I took a short video on the summit and luckily, just as I
was leaving, two other climbers arrived and I was able to hand them my camera
and pose for a summit photo before descending. With the summit only halfway, I
still had a long way to go.
Photo shows me on the summit of Cho Oyu 8201m, with Everest
8848m , Lhotse, 8516m and Pumori 7167m in the background.
Many thanks to Dan Mazur from Summitclimb and Thai
Summitclimb Cho Oyu
2006 Expedition Team:
Dan Mazur. England
and USA. Expedition organiser.
England and USA. Expedition Leader.
Australia and St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria. Expedition Leader in training.
England and Belgium.
Thomas Sexton. USA.
Lee Farmer. UK.
Stephen Lawes. UK.
Jason Marsh. USA.
Stephen Marsh. UK.
Michael Hsu. USA and
Summitclimb Cho Oyu 2006 Expedition Team:
Mazur. England and USA. Expedition organiser.
Crampton. England and USA. Expedition Leader.
Coster. Holland. Expedition Leader.
Ling. Australia and St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria. Expedition leader in
Holton. England and Belgium.
Gianfranco Valente. Italy.
Hsu. USA and China.
Tibetan staff list for the current Cho
Head Climbing "Sirdar": Luda
Regular Mt. Climbing Staff: Dunba, Ping Tso, & Gesang
Personal Climbing "Sherpa": Tseren Dee'anja
Cook helper: Chanba
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