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Cho Oyu Expedition North Face in Tibet

Introduction

Snowy Horizon Expedition Operator Company welcomes you for the International Cho Oyu Expedition in autumn as well as spring of all years. Cho Oyu is the sixth highest mountain peak in the world with the elevation of 8201 m. Cho Oyu north face Expedition is one of the classic Himalayan climb located in Tibet. Cho Oyu expedition is an excellent opportunity for climbers to extend their experience to extreme altitudes and is highly recommended as a first 8,000 m Peak, or as a preparation to an attempt on Mt. Everest (8848m). The comparative ease of access, lack of objective dangers and generally uncomplicated terrain makes Cho Oyu Expedition the most attainable mountain peak of the world.

Safety and Security

The Programs of Snowy Horizon are recognized worldwide as well as organized with unmatched logistics and experienced Himalayan 8000m Climbing Guides, conducted under the direction of highly skilled management promising full rate of arrangements regarding safety and security of the Cho Oyu climbers. Cho Oyu Mountain Climbing in spring has less snow and avalanche danger, but has more ice and is more technical. However, the autumn can be good, but if you get a big snow dump, you could be out of luck. Spring Expedition starts out cold and windy, and gets better where as autumn starts out warm and wet, expectantly has a good stretch, and then gets cold and windy later in the season. We try to climb in the spring during mid-May, when the weather starts to improve, and in the autumn during late September/early October before it gets too cold, and there are big snowstorms.

Our Company and Program

Snowy Horizon is one of the emerging 8000m Himalayan expedition operators to run Everest and Cho Oyu Expeditions in Tibet, and the year 2012 marks 3rd year of running Expeditions in Tibet. However, our management team and climbing crews are experienced of decades in the field of 8000m Mountain expedition. For Trekkers who wish to accompany the expedition, please contact our management team for more detail information. We have a limited number of spaces for trekkers on this team. We will arrange you to have a day hike up to Cho Oyu camp 1 (about 20000 ft) and return to Base camp if you are strong and just interested to join with the Expedition Group without climbing permit. This is one of the challenging treks.

The itinerary of Cho Oyu Expedition in every autumn and spring is scheduled with the date of arrival and departure to and from Kathmandu. The ending date for the Cho Oyu Expedition is flexible, depending on weather, technical and physical conditions. It would be normal to add at least 7 extra contingency days on the itinerary for the climb. If necessary, climbers will change their departure flights from Kathmandu when they know exact date of the expedition to be concluded.

Climbing Sherpa Guide

Our experienced and well skilled Himalayan 8000m Climbing Guides had reached to the Cho Oyu Summit several times and made the climbers success to be at the top. Such type of Climbing Sherpa Support will enhance to our climbers to benefit for approach in the Cho Oyu summit and the credit goes to our Classic Cho Oyu Climbing program. The Sherpas are educated through the Khumbu Sherpa climbing school, and who speaks English for enough to communicate. Your personal Sherpa will also help to carry your personal logistics to the higher camps. In addition, Snowy Horizon will provide extra oxygen so that you can start using oxygen at Camp 2.

Approaches to Cho Oyu Base Camp and summit

For the North Face Cho Oyu Expedition in Tibet we travel overland from Kathmandu to Tibet via the Friendship Highway. Our journey takes us across the Tibetan Plateau, where we stop en route to acclimatize, before reaching Chinese Base Camp. From here, we load up Yaks and trek to Cho Oyu Base Camp, below the North West face. The Cho Oyu Climbing Route above Base Camp consists mainly of low-angled snow slopes up to 30° with one short but very steep section to bypass a seracs barrier at 6,400m, which is known as camp 1. We use three camps on the mountain; the highest at 7,500m is the launch pad for the summit, which is reached in 5 to 8 hours under normal conditions.

Expedition Packages

We have two different packages, one is Cho Oyu Expedition full board Package and the other is Cho Oyu Expedition Base Camp Package. The Base Camp package only includes the Base Camp logistics besides the personal climbing Sherpa Guide and High camp management with high food. The full board package includes all services. The Cho Oyu Climbing duration is about 45 days with the flexibility of about another one week to plus.

In the Cho Oyu Expedition packages, snowy Horizon includes the team consist of competent mountaineers, each with enough previous high-altitude and general mountaineering experience to climb an 8,000-metre mountain. This will ensure that team members are prepared physically and mentally, technically competent, reasonably self-sufficient and capable of moving between camps with the Expedition Map without supervised, just in case. It will also enable those team members, who have an interest, to share in the decision-making that affects the team.

Acclimatization

Acclimatization is important for everyone to take chances of reaching the top. During the drive to base camp, the team leader will make sure that everyone feels comfortably acclimatized before moving on each day to a higher altitude. Hence, if anyone wants more time to acclimatize, the leader will ensure this is provided, by either keeping the team in the same location for one more night, or allowing a single team member to remain until he or she feels better able to move on. During this approach to base camp, as well as doing the tourist rounds, the expedition leader will organize walks with the aim of ups and down to camp one, two and three for practice. This will provide a sensible pace of acclimatization for all of the team. We have found that this sets a firm foundation for subsequent acclimatization and allows all team members to tackle the Cho Oyu climb with greater confidence.

Fixed Rope in Cho Oyu

The Mountaineering Association of Tibet (MTA) is assisting to fix the rope between Camp 1 to Camp 2 and where necessary.

Other Climbing Gears

We suggest you to consult the list of climbing gears including travel and trekking gears within your whole Cho Oyu Expedition duration where necessary. It is mentioned in our Climbing Gear List.

Information

Due to the problem of obtaining permits and visas for Tibet side Cho Oyu Expedition autumn 2012 we are obligated to inform that our next trip to Cho Oyu is postponed to the spring 2013 and for those having no objection to transfer to Manaslu Mountain Expedition in Nepal are warmly welcomed.

Camp 1 (6,400m): Initial approached to camp 1 takes 6-8 hours via an initial walk up the Gyabrag Glacier and then up steep scree to a broad snow shoulder,the location of camp 1. Subsequent approaches can be much faster.

Camp 2 (7,000m): From camp 1 the route followsthe snow ridge with a steep 50 meter ice wall being the hardest climbing section however it is relatively straightforward. With a big contingent of climbing teams ropes are fixed in places to make the ascend efficient. Normally the journey to camp 2 can be completed within 7-9 hours.

Camp 3 (7,500m): Once again on easy ground the journey to camp 3 takes around 4 hours, but at this altitude real determination is required to deal with the effects of the altitude.

Summit Day: It takes 6-8 hours to reach the summit initially up easy snow and rock to the summit plateau at which point it is only altitude, weather and fitness that will stop you reaching the sixth highest summit.

Approaches to ABC

From South (Nepal): The approached on its south side is from Thame valley of the Khumbu region of Nepal leading up to the Lungsampa Glacier. It starts with the flight to Lukla and the trek via Namche Bazaar (3440m), Dole (4110m), Machherma (4470m), Gokyo (4790m), Gyazumba Tsho Lake (4990m) to Cho Oyu South Base Camp (5215m). It takes typically 9 days to reach ABC from Kathmandu.
From North (Tibet): From the north, the peak is approached from the Tingri Plain, to the Palung Glacier that lies below the peak's north face, and the Gyabrag Glacier that surrounds the Northwest face. Typically it takes 3 days to drive to Tingri (4300m) from Kathmandu with acclimatization stops in Zhangmu (1600m) and Nylam(3700m). From Tingri typically expeditions take a day rest at Chinese Base Camp (5000m), Middle Camp (5300m) before arriving at Cho Oyu North Advanced Base Camp (5700m). It takes typically 10 days to reach ABC from Kathmandu.

Climbing Routes

Cho Oyu has three main ridges: the Northwest, the Northeast, and the Southwest and impressive Southwest face rising 3000m from the ABC.
South Side: South side of Cho Oyu is a great climbing playground for high altitude climbers because of the cool face relatively easily accessible for skilled climbers.
1994 First solo ascent via the South West face by Yasushi Yamanoi.
On October 2, 2006, Slovenian Pavel Kozjek speed-climbed a new route on the Southwest Face in a single solo ascent from advanced base camp. The crux was a vertical icefall, which was bypassed with 5.6 rock climbing. He reached the summit in 14 hours.
North Side:The Northwest Ridge also known as the Tichy Route is a normal route for commercial operators and for first time climbers of 8000m peak. It doesn’t require technical climbing skills as it is a less then 50deg snow-field with one very short section of yellow band rock with fixed lines. The route begins from the Gyabrag Glacier at the base of Peak 6395 and the location of the Advanced base camp (ABC) at 5700 m (18,700').
The route skirts first and then ascends the scree and firn on the west side of the slope leading to Camp 1 at 6400 m (21,000') at the bottom of the Northwest ridge proper of Cho Oyu. Camp 1 location is very nice as it is well sheltered from the weather by the ridge itself and the rocks below the base of the Northwest ridge.
From Camp 1 the route follows the Northwest ridge, and then opens out onto the Northwest face of the upper mountain. About halfway between Camp 1 and Camp 2 there is a steepers 30-50m section consisting of moderate ice cliff. Most of the route between Camp 1 and 2 is always fixed with rope because there are hundreds of unskilled mountaineers with huge entourage of climbing sherpas provided by commercial operators.
Camp 2 is located at about 7200 m (23,500'). Some expeditions fix an intermediate temporary camp between C1 and C2, just below the ice cliff on the Northwest ridge at about 6600 m (21,600'), especially during the first or second acclimatization trip.
Most of operators fix a high camp at about 7450 m (24,500') just below yellow bands to maximize the chance of success on summit day but occasional parties do the summit from C2. Usually the yellow bands are fixed with rope, which requires some strenuous climbing. Above this, more rocky bands there is a steep summit ridge snowfield. Expeditions usually continue up this steep snowfield to the crest of the Northwest Ridge and the false summit. From here climbers cross a broad plateau, with a very small rise to the true summit of 8201 m (26, 901 feet). From the true summit there is an incredible view of Everest and Makalu.

Other Possibilities

Most of the climbing is on ice and snow slopes up to 50 degrees with a few very short sections of steeper rock and ice. The highest technical section is 6m high and safely climbed with fixed ropes. This makes it a perfect for ski and snowboard descent. The first American ski descent of an 8,000-meter peak was on October 1, 2002, when Montana ski mountaineer Kristoffer Erickson reached the summit of Cho Oyu and then skied down.
Speed climbing is another option on Cho Oyu. On October 2, 2006, Slovenian Pavel Kozjek speed-climbed a new route on the Southwest Face in a single solo ascent from advanced base camp. The crux was a vertical icefall, which was bypassed with 5.6 rock climbing. He reached the summit in 14 hours.

Is Spring Climbing Better Then Autumn?

On Cho Oyu it doesn’t matter. Each season has is slightly different and has different attractions but for Cho Oyu being lower then Everest the reliability odds of good weather are roughly even.
Spring starts cold and then warms up so acclimatization is tough but the climb can be pleasant with slightly longer days and warmer temperatures. In spring you wait for transition between winter winds and monsoon snowfall. You don’t want to get big a snow dump on Cho Oyu because of high objective avalanche danger on its 50deg slopes past C3. The visibility in spring is usually not as clear as in autumn. Optimum spring summit usually is in around mid-May.
Autumn climbing is nice and comfortable. It is easy to acclimatize and you basically wait for the weather transition from monsoon to winter, when winds stop before they change direction. There is lots of snow and high objective avalanche danger, so you basically wait for snowfall to stop and snow to consolidate, and hope for no snow dump just before you ready for your climb. The visibility is superb, crisp and crystal clear. Optimum autumn summit is around end of September and early October before winter cold winds set in.

 

Testimonials

“Outstanding & complete service to support your dreams!”

Cho_oyu Climibng Lukash ImageSnowy Horizon has provided an outstanding and complete service on my first 8000 Himalaya climb to Cho Oyu (summitted 1 Oct). This was my first solo expedition ever and I was a bit apprehensive, but Rishi and the Team have truly taken care of all aspects of my trip, so I could fully focus on the climbing. Starting with a very personal airport welcome, with great lodging in Thamel, Kathmandu, good transport and most importantly an experienced Sherpa support from Pema, who was an ........Read More

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Itinerary Details of Cho-Oyu Expedition

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu and Hotel transfer

Day 02/03: Preparation, Briefings, Last minute shopping and formalities

Day 04: Early morning departure from Kathmandu to Tibetan border at Kadari (720m); border formalities followed by drive to Zhangmu (1600m); overnight in hotel

Day 05: Two hours drive by Jeep from Zhangmu to Naylam (3700m); overnight in hotel

Day 06: Rest day for acclimatization; hike to the hill above the city; overnight in hotel

Day 07: Four hours drive from Naylam to Tingri (4300m); overnight in hotel

Day 08: Rest day for acclimatization; hike to the hill above the city; overnight in hotel

Day 09: After breakfast four hours drive from Tingri to Chinese Base Camp (5200m); camp overnight

Day 10/11:Rest and acclimatization at Chinese Base Camp; Provision of Yaks and preparation for Advance Base Camp (ABC) trek

Day 12: Trek from Chinese Base Camp to Middle Camp (5300m) along the 4x4 track

Day 13: Trek from Middle Camp to the ABC (5700m) of Cho Oyu

Day 14-38: Climbing Period – Summit Cho Oyu (8201m)

Day 39: Dismantling ABC; trek to Middle Camp; drive to Tingri; overnight in hotel

Day 40: Six hours drive from Tingri to Zhangmu; overnight in hotel

Day 41: Early morning drive to the border at Kodari; border crossing, immigration formalities, collection of Nepalese visa; drive to Kathmandu

Day 42: Leisure day in Kathmandu(Contingency day)

Day 43: Leisure day, sightseeing in Kathmandu (Durbar Square, Swoyambhunath, Boudhanath, Pashupatinath); Fairwell-Celebration dinner

Day 44: Transfer to the airport for final departure or alternatively join other activities

Note:

  • the above itinerary is a guideline and standard suggested pattern chosen by majority of our customers. Your final itinerary will be customised according to your available time and requirements.
  • the final itinerary duration and schedule may be reduced or extend depending on your time, budget, your fitness, class of service or any other preferences. The quote will be provided for you initial requirements and can be adjusted with mutual agreement should you require modifying these requirements.
  • For further information please read: How to book Trip in Nepal?
  • The price for your selected peak climbing/mountaineering expedition will vary depending on group size, trip category (full board/base camp service), your budget, individualised itinerary, accommodation (budget to 5 star), level of service above the base camp, the number of climbing guides and porters, kitchen crew, mode of transport you prefer and many other factors. The price range for the same trip can vary widely so if you would like to discuss yourrequirements with us we will provide you a very competitive price

  • Please e-mail us for up-to-date prices for Trip

Full Board Service Cost Include

  • All arrival and departure transfer services to and from Airport both Domestic and International with other necessary surface transport as per itinerary.
  • Assistance at the International airport by Snowy Horizon’s representative while arriving and departing.
  • Chinese Government Royalty (U$5200);
  • Six nights Hotel accommodations in Kathmandu on B/B basis;
  • All camping equipment in Base camp and Advance Base Camp;
  • Full Board hotel en route in Tibet: Zhangmu, Naylam, Tingri (B/L/D);
  • Food during expedition period for expedition Members and Staff;
  • Tibet Visa and Travel Permit for expedition crew;
  • Expedition Permit to climb Cho Oyu along Northwest ridge route;
  • All staff during Expedition period with experienced Guide (Base Camp Manager)
  • Surface transportation will be available as per itinerary;
  • Cargo clearance & Duties Assistance Service free;
  • Daily wages, equipment allowance & Insurance for expedition Staff;
  • Gamow Bag will be available for expedition group;
  • Solar panel for light and batteries charger will be available for expedition members;
  • Each expedition member will have an individual tent available in the ABC.
  • 2 Oxygen Bottles with mask and regulators (if requested by client)
  • We provide Sherpa's tents, food for climbing, and insurance.
  • Ice falls charges · All tent for camp 1, 2, 3 ·
  • High altitude food for sherpa and member
  • All Necassary camping equipments like camp furniture, kitchenware, dining tents, guest tents, etc.
  • Per person 50kg baggage allowance during trekking-up carrying by porter or Yak and 40kg baggage allowance while returning from Base Camp after climbing the Mountain.
  • Required Experienced, Trained and Government Licensed Climbing Guide(s) during Climbing Period Per peron
  • All wages, equipments, medical and accidental Insurances for all involved staffs.
  • First Aid medical kits for the Group and the staffs.
  • Satellite phone carrying by Guide for communication and available for members with the cost of US$ 4 per minute call.
  • Appropriate food for high altitude and all climbing crew at base camp and above as required.
  • Emergency Oxygen and mask regulator.
  • All necessary paper works, office Service charge and Government Taxes levied in Nepal
  • Complete pre-departure information, flight ticket reconfirmation and visa extension procedure services (if necessary)
  • Farewell Dinner in a typical Nepali restaurant with domestic culture show in Kathmandu before departure.
  • Snowy Horizon Special Gifts (T-shirt/Pashmina etc.)
  • Our service Charges

Full Board Service Cost Exclude

  • Lunch and Dinner during your stay in Kathmandu (except farewell dinner)
  • Any packed food/snacks, aerated drinks, energy drinks, mineral water, alcohol, cigarettes, chocolates, nutria-bars
  • Items of personal nature, Laundry Expenses, Tips
  • Expenses incurred towards usage of landlines, mobiles, walkie-talkies or satellite phones And Internet expenses
  • Clothing, Packing Items or Bags, Personal Medical Kit, Personal Trekking Gears
  • Any extra services or products or offers or activities which are not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Any extra expenses arising out of various/unforeseen situations like natural calamities, landslides, political disturbances, strikes, changes in Government regulations,
  • Any additional staff other than specified.
  • Rescue, Repatriation, Medicines, Medical Tests and Hospitalization expenses.
  • Medical Insurance and emergency rescue evacuation if required.
  • Travel Insurance and helicopter rescue.
  • Airfare of international flights.
  • Nepal entry visa fee (Visa issuance is easy at the arrival) and re entry visa fee
  • Ice fall Garbage Deposit fees (Sharing with other member) if applicable.
  • Wake talkies & Filming permit.
  • Personal climbing gears;
  • Nepal custom duty for import of expedition goods;
  • Emergency/Rescue Jeep cost US$700;
  • Summit bonus for climbing Sherpa Guides (When you summated you have to pay) as per Mountaineering Association rules.

  • Tips, gifts, souvenirs.
  • Any other item not included in “THE PACKAGE COST INCLUDES” SECTION

Base Camp Service Cost Include

  • All arrival and departure transfer services to and from Airport both Domestic and International with other necessary surface transport as per itinerary.
  • Assistance at the International airport by Snowy Horizon’s representative while arriving and departing.
  • Chinese Government Royalty (U$5200);
  • Six nights Hotel accommodations in Kathmandu on B/B basis;
  • All camping equipment in Base camp and Advance Base Camp;
  • Full Board hotel en route in Tibet: Zhangmu, Naylam, Tingri (B/L/D);
  • Food during expedition period for expedition Members and Staff in Chinese Base camp and advance Base camp;
  • Tibet Visa and Travel Permit for expedition crew;
  • Expedition Permit to climb Cho Oyu along Northwest ridge route;
  • All staff during Expedition period with experienced Guide (Base Camp Manager)
  • Surface transportation will be available as per itinerary;
  • Cargo clearance & Duties Assistance Service free;
  • Daily wages, equipment allowance & Insurance for expedition Staff;
  • Gamow Bag will be available for expedition group;
  • Solar panel for light and batteries charger will be available for expedition members;
  • Each expedition member will have an individual tent available in the ABC.
  • All Necassary camping equipments like camp furniture, kitchenware, dining tents, guest tents, etc.
  • Per person 40kg baggage allowance during trekking-up carrying by porter or Yak and 30kg baggage allowance while returning from Base Camp after climbing the Mountain.
  • All wages, equipments, medical and accidental Insurances for all involved staffs.
  • First Aid medical kits for the Group and the staffs.
  • Satellite phone carrying by Guide for communication and available for members with the cost of US$ 4 per minute call.
  • Appropriate food for climbing crew at base camp and chinese Base Camp.
  • All necessary paper works, office Service charge and Government Taxes levied in Nepal
  • Complete pre-departure information, flight ticket reconfirmation and visa extension procedure services (if necessary)
  • Farewell Dinner in a typical Nepali restaurant with domestic culture show in Kathmandu before departure.
  • Snowy Horizon Special Gifts (T-shirt/Pashmina etc.)
  • Our service Charges

Base Camp Service Cost Exclude

  • Lunch and Dinner during your stay in Kathmandu (except farewell dinner)
  • Any packed food/snacks, aerated drinks, energy drinks, mineral water, alcohol, cigarettes, chocolates, nutria-bars
  • Items of personal nature, Laundry Expenses, Tips
  • Expenses incurred towards usage of landlines, mobiles, walkie-talkies or satellite phones And Internet expenses
  • Clothing, Packing Items or Bags, Personal Medical Kit, Personal Trekking Gears
  • Any extra services or products or offers or activities which are not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Any extra expenses arising out of various/unforeseen situations like natural calamities, landslides, political disturbances, strikes, changes in Government regulations,
  • Any additional staff other than specified.
  • Rescue, Repatriation, Medicines, Medical Tests and Hospitalization expenses.
  • Medical Insurance and emergency rescue evacuation if required.
  • Travel Insurance and helicopter rescue.
  • Airfare of international flights.
  • Nepal entry visa fee (Visa issuance is easy at the arrival) and re entry visa fee
  • Ice fall Garbage Deposit fees (Sharing with other member) if applicable.
  • Wake talkies & Filming permit.
  • Ice falls charges · All tent for camp 1, 2, 3
  • Personal climbing gears;
  • Climbing Guide(s)
  • Emergency Oxygen and mask regulator.
  • Snowy Horizon Service will be "Zero" above Advance Base Camp
  • High altitude food for sherpa and member
  • Nepal custom duty for import of expedition goods;
  • Emergency/Rescue Jeep cost US$700;
  • Tips, gifts, souvenirs.
  • Any other item not included in “THE PACKAGE COST INCLUDES” SECTION

Snowy Horizon Treks & Expedition offers personal equipment rentals for clients, who have limited cargo allowance with their airfare or do not wish to purchase expensive expedition grade gear but rent it instead.
Clients purchasing Base Camp Services only may choose to hire or purchase high camp equipment.
Please let us know in advance prior to your arrival so that we can meet your needs on your arrival stress free.
The quoted prices are for the duration of the expedition and we provide original North Face, Ozark and Marmot Company Only.

Rental Price List

Item Rental Cost US$ Purchase Cost US$
Expedition Tent US$ 150.00 US$ 300.00
Rucksack (small) US$ 50.00 US$ 150.00
Rucksack (large) US$ 100.00 US$ 300.00
Gas Stove US$ 25.00 US$ 100.00
Oxygen bottle - US$ 500.00
Oxygen mask + Regulator US$ 250 (second Hend) US$ 900.00
Sleeping bag US$ 100.00 US$ 400.00
Down Jacket US$ 100.00 US$ 300.00
High Camp Goose Down Jacket US$ 200.00 US$ 500.00

 

Climbing Sherpa Fee U$5,200 (if required by client for base camp service user)