Mahalangur sub range
Cho Oyu expedition is the best introduction to Himalayan mountaineering as it is considered the easiest among the 8000 m peaks. Cho-Oyu, located near Shishapangma, is considered the lightest eight-thousander. An expedition to Cho Oyu is a fantastic opportunity for mountaineers with experience in high altitudes who want to get started in the world of the Eight Thousand.
Climbing tours are organized to this peak every year, which have become popular due to the mountain’s easy accessibility and relatively cheap logistics. The situation with the number of tourists in 2009 became so critical that the Chinese government was forced to close access to Cho Oyu for a whole season.
The Cho Oyu, at the height of 8188 m from sea level, is the sixth highest mountain in the world which has acquired the name given to it in Tibetan, which means “Goddess of Turquoise.”
The peak was successfully conquered in 1954 by a small group of climbers, Austrians Herbert Tichy and Joseph Jochler, and Nepalese Sherpa Pasang Dawa Lama. Their ascent route is now called the standard route.
Your trip begins in Kathmandu where you will formalize all the paperwork and finish preparing all your equipment. From Kathmandu, you will travel by road to the Tibetan border, to Zhangmu. You will continue the route by road, beginning the acclimatization on the Tibetan plateau, to Tingri, the last town before the base camp.
You will move with all the load in yaks to the advanced base camp, which will be your “base camp” for the next 4 weeks.
For the ascent, you will follow the usual route along the west face; it runs mainly through moderate slopes of snow with short technical sections of ice and rock. In these sections, for safety, you will install fixed ropes. Throughout the activity, you will have the fundamental support of several experienced high-altitude Sherpas. They will help you with the porterage of the cargo and the preparation of the high altitude camps.
This is the route taken by the Austrian team and Pasang Dawa Lama back in 1954. It has become the standard and probably the easiest route so far.
This path is difficult compared to other paths to reach Cho Oyu as the route passes along the Southeast face of the mountain.
The Messner route is now considered a variant of the standard route. The path starts in a straight line from the standard route, but it connects to the standard one above the second high camp.
This path was taken to reach the summit in winter in 1985. On the southern wall of the mountain, a prominent ridge is very clearly visible, going straight to the top, which divides this wall into two parts- right and left. This is the passage laid along the very edge of the rib.
The passage lies in the long western ridge to the left of the Messner route. It is also called the Polish ridge.
Though the mountain looks scarier from the north face, but it is doable if you walk fast enough that takes you to the summit from Palung valley from the North-East.
This is the technically difficult route to Cho Oyu along the Southwest face characterized by rocky ups alternated with snow-ice sections with a steepness of up to 60 degrees.
It is the most challenging route along the Eastern ridge, with access from the south.
This route is the same as the route of Southwest face, but with the addition that it never goes beyond the edge, climbing it to the very top.
The path lies a little away from the Southwest face that takes you to the four walls of the peak.
Similar to the north face, the path lies only to the left of Tibet.
The circuit runs along the left side of the South-Western Face with access to the “Polish ridge” at an altitude of about 7200 meters. The route does not present any particular technical difficulty.
The route runs along the southeast face in alpine style. It was discovered in 2009 when China closed the mountain for climbing.
The Cho Oyu expedition is the least difficult eight thousanders; however, the risk associated with such high altitude climbing cannot be belittled. You must be a persistent and powerful high-altitude mountaineer with a very good physical condition who can manage average daily stages of 6-8 hours, a summit stage of 12 hours (ascent and descent) or more. The risk associated with such climbing is altitude sickness, so frequent acclimatization and physical training and carrying bottled oxygen for climbing greater heights will make your trip a success.
The most visited season to Cho Oyu is the spring season from March to May and the autumn season from September to early December. In the pre-monsoon season from April to May, you are favored with long days and constant temperature increases. However, the timing of a possible ascent is limited by the arrival of the monsoon season from June to August, and in general, the weather is less stable, with sharp fluctuations from day to day. The weather is more stable in autumn, but it gets colder and darker every day.