Monday, September 27, 2010

Cho Oyu 2010 - Summit push update

form Stu in the usa office
September 27, 2010

Cho Oyu Update

I have had a call from Fabrizio letting us know that all is well at BC for our team and that they will plan to make a summit bid on Oct 1. The winds look to be reasonable for the 30th and 1st and as there are large crowds (some 400 climbers) our team plans to let the larger wave go first and be part of a smaller second wave.

Due to the weather window constraints we will be launching our bid from C2 on the 1st very early (or perhaps ate on the 30th!) With so many days at BC, along with the runs to C1 and above, our team should have sufficient acclimatization for this. We have at least a week of time following this effort but the jet stream looks like it may be coming in for good and make summit attempts impossible. We will watch the weather carefully and hope for a later window as a back up.

At this time the conditions on the mountain remain poor with shifting slabs of snow and high avalanche risk in several places. A group of sherpas fixing the route in the last day were avalanched above the second rock band (in a similar situation as the TMA's crew was a week ago). The reports are that one sherpa was pretty shaken up but that they are all descending. I am sure that there will be more information once they are back down. They had been attempting to finish the route in time to rejoin their teams for the summit bids ahead. Below is a picture of the high slopes of Cho Oyu which show the rock bands and the area of the avalanche prone slopes:

Our team has been passing the days at BC eating, resting and socializing and are all in good sprits. Fabrizio said that they have been catching with lots of friends on the mountain including a hungarian group he's know for many years, chris klinke, some folks from kari kobler's group and more. With so many people BC bound the teams are getting to know each other well! Given that the entire community of climbers and sherpas look to be converging in the high camps at the same time, we hope that this bodes well for cooperation up high!

The weather has been much clearer and our group took advantage of the down day to amble over towards the Nangpa La and have a look about. There are several peaks that the BC looks out at and some day we'll have to get a permit for them and come back for a "Cho Oyu Neighborhood Tour"!

Fabrizio will post a gabcast audio dispatch tomorrow evening ahead of their departure on the 29th with all the latest. Stay tuned!

Upcoming expedition update

• Nanga Parbat with Fabrizio Zangrilli
We are now confirmed for Nanga Parbat 2011 June/July expedition with Fabrizio Zangrilli and accepting applications for fully guided, full mountain support and bc support options.

• Broad Peak with Chris Szymiec
We are nearing confirmation for Broad Peak for 2011 June/July with Chris Szymiec and expect to confirm well ahead of the end of the year. This will be our 7th trip to Broad Peak (and Chris's 3rd!) and we invite you to join Chris and FTA for a great 8000m climb!

• K2 2011
We have had so much interest in K2 due to our great trips there in 2009 and 2010 that we are working out the details to offer it again for 2011. It will be as an extension to Broad Peak or Nanga Parbat. Interested climbers can contact us at

• Ama Dablam Nov 4
We still have a few spaces on our confirmed Nov 4 Ama Dablam Expedition!

• Aconcagua Summer trips!

see our site for more!

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