**This page is a historic page frozen in time - see
Our treks for the current website**
Tibet -- standard route
Cho Oyu, the sixth highest mountain on the
planet, has the best success rate and safety record of any 8000m mountain. It is a technically straightforward climb
and you don't have to trek
weeks merely to get to base camp, so logistically it is easy.
Experience and fitness
Despite the relatively non-technical nature you MUST have some mountaineering
experience and MUST have been to 6000m before (Denali/Aconcagua/Island Peak
etc). You will need to climb on steep, near vertical ice for 25 metres and on a
similar steep rock section, both with fixed ropes, traverse hard ice on a fixed
rope and abseil down these sections several times. Don't underestimate the difficulty and strength of will required to climb at
Although the itinerary is 45 days below, for a possibel 2012 expedition, we would run in 44 days.
Day 1 - Arrive Kathmandu 1350m
2 - in Kathmandu
3 - drive Zhangmu ~2400m
4 - drive Nyalam 3750m
5 - rest day in Nyalam 3750m
6 - drive Tingri - 4350m
7 - rest day Tingri - 4350m
8 - drive Cho Oyu Base Camp 4910m
9-12 - acclimatize at Cho Oyu BC
13 - trek/drive Interim camp 5360m
14 - trek ABC 5720m
15-18 acclimatize at ABC
19-41 (latest) climbing
42 - ABC packing
43 trek to BC, drive Tingri/Nyalam/Zhangmu
44 - drive Kathmandu
Day 45 - depart
Most straightforward 8000m mountain
very experienced guide
Local office contact
Tel: +9771 400 1066
Nabin Trital: +977 98510 04278
Pasang Nuru: +977 98130 91051
Our service includes
5 nights hotel in Kathmandu, single with breakfast, in Thamel
extra nights in Kathmandu if the expedition finishes early
personal climbing equipment
emergency evacuation/early departure
international flights, equipment rental, alcohol and soft drinks, laundry,
tipping and other items of a personal nature
Day 1 - Arrive Kathmandu 1350m
Flying into Kathmandu on a clear day is in itself an unforgettable
experience, with the entire Nepalese Himalaya sprawling out below you. Welcome
to Nepal! Take a deep breath though, and be ready to confront the confusion of
Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport. After passing through immigration
downstairs you collect your baggage, load up your trolley and pass through
customs inspection. Outside the airport building look for our representative
with a Project Himalaya signboard among the throng.
2-3 - Kathmandu
Two free days in Kathmandu for relaxing, packing and preparing. You can
leave any gear which you don't need during the expedition at the hotel. We keep
your international air ticket at the office in case any changes need to be made
while you are climbing. We can arrange a sightseeing tour, if you wish.
4 - drive Zhangmu 2400m
Leaving smartly, we take a private bus along the Friendship Highway to
Kodari where we pass through Nepalese customs then cross the Friendship Bridge
and climb to Zhangmu, the Chinese border town. the hotel is a curious throwback
to the communist era, and the food distinctly ordinary.
5 - drive Nyalam
Our Land Cruisers and truck climb their way up the precipitous
"road to hell", as the Chinese literally call it. Although it is rough and
menaced by landslides and one hell of a climb, it is also starkly beautiful in
the deep gorge.
6 - rest day Nyalam 3750m
We relax for one day to aid acclimatization. You are welcome to explore the
village and to climb west towards Shishapangma South Face Base Camp, a tough but
rewarding day trip.
7 - drive Tingri 4350m
A spectacular day as we cross the main Himalayan range, driving over the
5150m Lalung La eventually to the plain that Tingri sits on.
Arriving in Tingri we get our first views of massive Cho Oyu across the grassy
plains. Be EXTREMELY careful of the Tingri dogs, always carry a rock in your
hand and it is better to be in a group of people.
8 - rest day Tingri 4350m
If you feel good then you can climb the hill to the west of the town, but
stop at a sensible point, beyond each top is another. Don't push it!
9 - drive Cho Oyu Base Camp 4910m
Chinese Base Camp is around an hours drive and after establishing our camp we can relax and enjoy the
views. The camp is pleasantly situated on grassy patch alongside the river but
is often windy.
10-12 - Cho Oyu Base Camp 4910m
We spend 3 days acclimatizing and preparing our equipment for the yaks to
carry to Advance Base Camp. All our equipment is transported in blue plastic
drums or kit bags and it is usual to have in the region of 50 yaks to transport
all our supplies and equipment.
13 - trek Interim Camp 5360m
Once the road ended a little past BC but now continues to Interim Camp, where
there are now temporary tea houses. We still plan to walk up there for fitness.
The gear may go by yak or may go by truck, that is up to the liaison officer. We
camp in a simple style to save packing the next morning.
14 - trek Cho Oyu Advance Base Camp 5720m
It is another tough days walk, made tougher by the altitude. We trek beyond
the grass line into the rough and rocky moraine area, with a jumble of mountain,
rock and ice surrounding us.
15-18 acclimatizing Cho Oyu ABC 5720m
ABC is in the heart of the Himalaya, surrounded by fantastic peaks
and close by is the Nangpa La, an old but still used yak train trading route
between Nepal and Tibet. ABC also boasts a superb view of the route on Cho Oyu.
This is our main base camp and we plan to stay here and higher for the duration
of the expedition. Every person gets a tent to their own.
ABC is high, we need time to acclimatize to the altitude
properly. We will have a puja to show respect to the mountain, and take some day
trips, perhaps to 6000m.
19-45 (27 days) Climbing Cho Oyu
The expedition leader in discussion with the team members and sherpas manages
the day to day running of the expedition. The sherpas and guide carry the
majority of the equipment to establish the camps leaving you to familiarize
yourself with the mountain and get more acclimatized, a long process. There are
several different methods to ready for yourself for the summit bid, we discuss
Generally we take a real week for a real
acclimatization trip to Camp 0.5, Camp 1 at 6430m, Camp 1.5 and eventually up to
Camp 2 at 7130m. After that we return to ABC to recover and should be in great
shape for our summit attempt. Once the weather is good we will go
for the summit, using a Camp 3 (7560m).
From ABC it is several hours of tough walking on a vague path over
moraine-covered glacier to the start of the mountain proper. After a short,
steep climb is Lake Camp (Camp 0.5 6065m) where we have a tent to store gear.
Camp 1 is an hour or two up the steep scree slope, which improves the higher you
Camp 1 is perched more or less on the ridge at 6430m and the real
snow mountaineering begins from here. The ridge is soft, so easy enough climbing,
then it broadens out and we climb successive huge steps, several of which
probably require fixing a rope up. We will fix a new rope in co-operation with
other expeditions on the mountain. Normally one rope is used for ascent and
another for descent. Although the route is crevassed, normally these pose no
Camp 2 is on the edge of a large plateau at 7130m. For our summit attempt we will establish a light Camp 3 across the plateau and up
on a minor ridge at 7560m. Above Camp 3 are two rock steps where we fix another
set of ropes prior to our summit bid.
Summit day means a very early start. Above the rock bands the slopes are
still reasonably steep and we may take a line to fix there, depending on
conditions. However once on the crest of this ridge the terrain is
straightforward although it is a long haul to the summit plateau. The panorama
is breathtakingly magnificent, including Everest 8848m, Lhotse 8501m, Nuptse
7855m, Chamlang 7319m, Ama Dablam 6856m and other peaks of the Khumbu region to
the east and south. To the west are the Melungtse and Gauri Sankar massifs and
to the north is pure Tibet.
Logistically, it takes some sound preparation and organization to ensure all
the camps are set up with the appropriate supplies. Then we need a window of
good weather for the summit attempt. Often this is a waiting game.
Once we summit then we start packing and return to Kathmandu, this could be
well before the maximum end date for the expedition.
46 - packing ABC
The sherpas are efficient at clearing the mountain and packing,
but don't underestimate the time or effort to pack everything.
47 -trek Chinese Base Camp, drive Tingri/Nyalam/Zhangmu
The climbers leave early for the tough trek down. The liaison officer will
meet you at Interim (or perhaps BC) and then you drive to where he suggests.
Basically wherever you reach, you should be able to reach Kathmandu the next
day, if everything goes smoothly. The sherpas have a tougher job, getting
everything onto the yaks and then packing everything on the truck.
48 - drive Kathmandu
Lush! We should arrive in Kathmandu in the late afternoon or evening ready to
enjoy the good restaurants!
49 - Kathmandu
A free day, washing and eating!
Day 50 - depart
Transfer to Kathmandu's TIA airport for your flight home.
We will have a limited amount of Poisk bottled oxygen and regulators, so that
if you decide that you want oxygen for the summit push, it is available, and a
tank plus regulator for you at Camp 3 costs $700. Additionally the leader and/or sherpa
will carry a bottle plus regulator all the way to the summit just in case.
This is your choice. It is sometimes possible to get insurance for 8000m
peaks thru your national alpine club - the British Mountaineering council (BMC)
has a great policy. We don't normally have a doctor with us however in the
past we have arranged the services of a doctor at base camp. You pay the doctor
directly. There is no helicopter rescue possible in Tibet so evacuation is by
Landcruiser to Kathmandu, and should cost less than US$1000. The cost of
emergency evacuation and associated care is not included in the cost of the
expedition. There is one particularly good clinic in Kathmandu otherwise the
nearest high standard hospital is Singapore or Bangkok, although generally it is
better to return to your home country. Our Nepali staff are insured.
We try our best and we are very responsible, caring people
HOWEVER we are not liable for anything, full stop.
We hope you had a fantastic, safe and successful