Cho Oyu Expedition
- Country: Nepal
- Destination: Cho Oyu
- Maximum altitude: 8201
- Group size: Min - 5
- Best Season: Spring and Autumn
Mt Cho Oyu dominates the skyline at 8201m and is the sixth highest mountain in the world. As much as it is known for its titanic structure, it is also known for its magnificent beauty. In Tibetan language Cho Oyu translates to “Turquoise Goddess”. The mountain is also known as Mt Oowowuyag and lies in the center of the Tibetan and Nepalese Himalayas. The Cho Oyu peak radiates its beauty in such a way that it undermines other towering Himalayan Peaks like Everest, Ama Dablam and others that neighbors it. Every year this mesmerizing energy calls forward thousands of adventurers and mountaineers from all around the globe.
Mt Cho Oyu was first summited in 1954 by Herbert Tichy, Sepp Jocher and Pasang Dawa Sherpa Lama. Among all the fourteen highest peaks that tower over 8000m Cho Oyu is one of the easiest peaks to climb. Cho Oyu is known for novice climbers who are keen to learn the art of mountain climbing. The summit though physically demanding is not technically challenging due to presence of fixed lines. It offers one of the easiest and safest climbing experience in the Himalayas with the highest chance of summit. This straight forward climbing experience is also suitable for experienced climbers looking for a quick adventure.
The months between March to May during Spring are the best months for Cho Oyu Expedition as it allows enough time for proper acclimatization, several returns to base camp as well as rest days for the perfect ascent.
This expedition is not only a just mountain climbing but also a cultural excursion for any one not familiar with this region. The expedition takes one from the scenic hilly region of Nepal to desert like valleys of Lhasa filled with yaks. These places are inhabited by diverse group of populace who run lodges and hotels that serve weary travellers. Their cultures are reflected by different monasteries and temples.
The adventure begins from Kathmandu with an early morning flight to Lhasa in China. It is because the road transportation between Nepal and Tibet are not still not fully operated after the 2015 earthquake in Nepal.The drive is easy and without any hassle along the Tibetan highway. The route follows through a high pass known as Nangpa La that is still used as yak track trading route between Nepal and Lhasa. The highway to the Cho Oyu Base Camp provides a scenic view of the Himalayas along the horizon. The ascent to the summit includes three camp along the way. These camps function as rest stops as well as check points for necessary preparation. The climb is coordinated by expert climbers while the Sherpas carry the equipment and gears to ease the ascent.
Day 1: Arrival at the Airport
A designated individual will welcome you upon arrival in the Tribhuvan International Airport. You will be escorted to your hotel and will meet your travelling companions and a welcome dinner will be organized in the evening where you will be served with original Nepali cuisine and introduced to Nepali culture.
Day 2-3: Sightseeing and necessary preparations in Kathmandu
Today we spend our day sightseeing and exploring in Kathmandu. The sightseeing involves UNESCO world heritage sites such as Swayambhunath Temple, Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu Durbar Square and many more. Back at the hotel you will be briefed on the set itinerary to make necessary trip preparations along with Chinese Visas and paper works.
Day 4: Flight to Lhasa
Today we will be taking an early flight to Lhasa of Tibet. The flight is filled with soothing views of the Himalayan peaks such as Everest, Kangchenjunga and Makalu. Upon your arrival in Lhasa you will be introduced to trek guides and porters. You will be escorted to your hotel in Lhasa for overnight stay.
Day 5-6: Lhasa
This is an important phase of this trip where we acclimatize ourselves to the weather and the high altitude. To further acclimatization we explore and discover various landmarks of Lhasa such as the Dalai Lama’s Potala Palace.
Day 7: Drive to Shigatse
Today we drive to Shigatse, Tibet’s second largest city. We drive along the banks of the Tsang Po river. The trail drives up-stream further to the southwest through barren desert-like valleys. We reach Shigatse where we spend overnight at a local hotel.
Day 8: Drive to Xegar
We drive along the Tibetan highway filled with the panoramic views of Himalayan Massifs including Everest. Once in Xegar we will pay visit downtown of Xegar as well as monastery at the hilltop. We stay overnight at a hotel outside of Xegar.
Day 9: Xegar
Today is acclimatization day in Xegar. In order to adapt ourselves to the height of Chinese Base Camp we visit the main town of Xegar. We will also be hiking up the hilltop monastery to further accustom ourselves to the cold environment.
Day 10: Arrival at Chinese Base Camp
The trip includes further drive up to the Chinese Base Camp. The trail drives further south involving a bumpy track before descending down to Cho Oyu
Day 11: Chinese Base Camp
Today we make further preparations in the Chinese Base Camp. In the afternoon we load our equipment and gears on the yaks. The next day the yaks will carry our loads to the Cho Oyu base camp.
Day 12-15: Trek to Cho Oyu Base Camp
The trek resumes along the long valley up to the Cho Oyu Base camp. The next 3 days we will spend it as acclimatization days in camps at 5200 and 5450 meters before reaching the base camp. In the afternoon we will be organizing our climbing gears and perform climbing practices.
Day 16-40: Ascent of Cho Oyu
On the first day we will try to ascent the lower part of the mountain. The climb will be further dictated by the weather conditions of the mountain before returning back to the base camp. We will further climb higher with proper acclimatization. The climb will occur from the north-west face of Cho Oyu. We reach Camp 1(6400m) which is 6-8 hours away from Gyabrag Glacier. A snow ridge from Camp 1 follows a steep climb to reach Camp 2 at 7000m. From Camp 2 the climb is easy enough to reach Camp 3 at 7400m. These camps will act as resting stops before the summit. At the summit we reward ourselves with the glorious view that surrounds us. After spend quality time we descend back to the Base Camp by day 40 following the same path.
Day 41: Return trek to road-head
We will return trek to the road-head with the yaks carrying our loads. The trek involves drive back along the Tibetan Highway.
Day 42: Drive back to Nepal
Today we drive for Zhangmu before we cross the border into Nepal. The drive back to Kathmandu is further 6 hours from here.
Day 43: Kathmandu
Once back in Kathmandu you will be escorted to your hotel. Today we will celebrate our achievement of our expedition during dinner and treat ourselves with much needed rest.
Day 44: Leisure day in Kathmandu
You can spend the rest of the day exploring and sightseeing in various parts of the valley. You can also spend day by shopping to remember and reflect upon your visit to Nepal.
Day 45: Departure
On this day you are free to do as you please until departure. The day can be spent by sightseeing or by taking the day off to rest. A designated individual will drop you at Tribhuvan International Airport as per your flight schedule. Farewell.