September 5: This is Mike O’Donnell reporting from Cho Oyu. It is a beautiful
day here. Today we made the first carry to Camp I and then came back down. All
the team members did well. We have now heard there are 32 teams on the
mountain. We are lucky to be one of the first ones and are lucky to have our
Camp I so well established. We are way ahead of schedule in relation to most
of the teams. Weather has been great with a couple of snows but nothing too
dramatic. We will leave tonight and go to Camp I and then make it over the
next few days to Camp II. Everybody is health, happy and getting along well.
It is shaping up to be a good climb.
September 7th: Michael O'Donnell called from Advanced Base Camp (ABC). The
team is having a great time and is currently resting at ABC after climbing to
camp 1 a couple days ago. They were able to establish camp 1 on prime real
estate before the other teams arrived. The rest days at ABC are spent eating,
reading, sleeping and playing cards. At night from ABC lights can be seen on
the Nangpa La from Tibetan traders returning home from Nepal. The glaciated
pass is a famous trading route between Nepal and Tibet. The group plans to
move up to camp 1 tomorrow and spend the night before climbing higher.
Our 2004 Cho Oyu team:
Kay LeClaire – Spokane, WA .
Kay is currently pursuing the Seven Summits of the world. Having climbed 5 out
of the 7, she has Carstensz and Everest left on her list. Cho Oyu will prepare
Kay for her climb of Everest next spring.
Bob Taylor – San Diego, CA.
Bob has a wealth of climbing experience including successful climbs of
Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro, Orizaba, many North American classics and numerous
summits in the Bolivian Andes. Last summer he smoked up the north ridge of Mt.
Brad Skidmore – Ft Thomas,
KY. Brad has reached the summit of Aconcagua. He enjoys running when not
working as a physician back home in Kentucky.
Moira Smith - Vancouver, B.
C. Moira has climbed 6 out of the 7 summits. Her climb of Cho Oyu will prepare
her for her next objective, Mt. Everest. She enjoys climbing. mountaineering,
ski touring and rock climbing in North America . As a geologist, Moira has
traveled around the world including engaging in field work with geological
mapping in the Northern Coast Range and St. Elias Range in British Columbia.
Rick Grey – London, United
Kingdom. Our guides say Rick is normally the strongest one on their rope team.
Rick trains by running, swimming and playing squash. He’s successful climbed
many of the Ecuador volcanoes including Chimborazo.
Elizabeth Ayres – Tucson, AZ.
Elizabeth will be trekking in with our Cho Oyu climbing team. She has climbed
numerous peaks around the world including Island Peak in Nepal, Mt. Blanc in
Europe, the Eiger in Switzerland and various classic alpine summits and rock
climbing crags around the US. She enjoys swimming, hiking and climbing.
– Ouray, CO. Michael is our Cho Oyu expedition leader. A certified AMGA Alpine
Mountain guide, his guiding career started in 1971 and he is considered one of
the world’s most respected mountain guides and world-class explorers. Michael
has guided throughout the world in all disciplines of climbing, from difficult
ice and rock routes to moderate alpine glaciated peaks. He successfully
summitted Mt. Everest and guided the first blind climber to the top. Michael
is also an acclaimed team builder and corporate coach. In addition to his
wealth of experience, Michael brings along a sense of humor and abundance of
energy with every trip he leads!
Casey Henley – Bend, OR.
Casey will be our Cho Oyu assistant guide. He grew up in the Canadian Rockies
where he learned to ice, rock, and alpine climb as well as backcountry ski. He
is a graduate of the UCC Guide Program, and has guided throughout Western
Canada, the United States, Asia, and in South America. He has numerous ascents
to his credit such as Ama Dablam, Denali, Mt. Logan (with ski descent), Mt.
St. Elias Range, Aconcagua, Canadian Rockies, and ascents in Patagonia. Being
in remote and wild mountain areas is a passion of his that he loves to share
with people. He is known for his mellow, friendly teaching style and demeanor.
We wish our team a safe,
successful and memorable trip!
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