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  Cho Oyu - Everest Summiter Gary Guller for the 2004 Expedition 8,201m: Update Chinese Base Camp

Cho Oyu with the peak glowing in the sun.

Expedition Dispatch :  Greetings to all from Chinese Base Camp with Cho Oyu in view. Its been a few days I know since the last update but we have travel far in this short time. From Lhasa to Gyantse, then Gyantse to Shigatse, from here, over to Shegar, bumping slowly to Rongbuk very near Everest Base Camp on the Northside of Everest, then to old Tingri and finally, I write to you from Chinese Base Camp at ~4900 meters above sea level. We appreciate you checking back in with us. The entire team met up yesterday in Tingri. We are now all together, everyone is well and send big hugs and kisses homeward. I'll touch on the highlights we enjoyed over the last few days.

We have had a fantastic few days bumping along the Tibetan Plateau enjoying every singly moment we can. We all know very well the hardness that faces us in the near future, so its important, as we acclimate to the altitude, to enjoy the few luxuries we are experiencing en route. From Lhasa, out journey has taken us to Gyantse at approximately 3900 meters, some 250km from Lhasa and over 7 hours of overland traveling in these amazing land cruisers. The highlights of Gyantse were clearly the Kumbum, the Pelkhor Chode Monastery, and the Gyanste Dzong. Although we did not have the time to enjoy to maximum benefit, we were able to at least appreciate the history of this region dating back to the 14-15th centuries, perhaps further. We traveled onward to Shigatse, visiting the Tashilhunpo Monastery and home to the late 10th Panchen Lama. Well worth reading up on this historical time and how it may prove very interesting in the future of Tibet's spiritual leader. We've kept on the move, traveling to Shegar at ~4050m, and tried our best to take all we could see of the Shegar Dzong. The walls of the Dzong ride on the mountain ridges perfectly blending in with the landscape. We have been blessed with great weather, a few good parts of the roads, the most beautiful landscape of this magical land, stopping on the high passes, observing the Tibetan that travel, live and work on the land - its all somewhat unbelievable really how its all come together.

From Shegar, we headed to Rongbuk, very near Everest Base Camp on the North. This will aid greatly will acclimatization as we'll sleep at over 5000m tonight. We were reward with views of the magnificent North Face of Everest - all of us taking a leisurely acclimatization hike to over 5200m toward the base camp. Phillip Sellier and Darrell Bradshaw just kept trekking to the base camp. Most of us tossed and turned the night, knowing that we're headed to lower altitude in the morning. As I mentioned earlier, the next time we ascend to our base camp at Cho Oyu, we will be stronger. Climb high - Sleep low, simply the best formula.

My birthday, 07 September and I awoke to the most beautiful view of Everest. It brought back the most deepest feelings from last year. Its still hard for me to believe that as a team, we were so successful. A great start to my 38th year. We are all quite excited today as we'll be meeting up with the others in Tingri. They have traveled for the last 5-6 days from Kathmandu with all the gear and our wonderful Sherpa Team. It was great seeing everyone again, had a wonderful meal and then this amazing birthday cookie/biscuit appeared with candles all around shaped like a Stupa. So nice - there are just some nice folks on this expedition and I hope from my heart that we are blessed with good health and good weather.

We moved today to Chinese Base Camp at approx. 5000m and checked all the barrels, gear, food and everything else. Cho Oyu sits directly to our South from our camp - we will remain here, acclimate, and day hike for the next couple of days. Our yaks will be arriving on the 10th, we'll load them up and head toward Advanced Base Camp on the 11th of September.

I'll update everyone again soon, it may be a few days, but rest assured, every one is well, healthy and happy. There are no problems whatsoever to report.

Gary Guller  for Arun Expeditions.

Team Members: Gary Guller (USA & England), Brook A.(USA), Phillip G.(Swiss), Jocelyn M(Swiss), Ben W.USA), Diana F.(USA), Philippe S. (France), Darrell B.(USA), Jens V. (Germany), Claire D.(France)

Gary Guller, veteran expedition leader, Everest summiter, author and motivational speaker. To book Gary


Cho Oyu, the world's 6th highest mountain at 8,201m

Tibet - Cho Oyu, the world's sixth highest mountain at 8,201m, is located just west of Everest and Lhotse along the Nepali-Tibetan border. Cho Oyu is a straightforward climb and not technically demanding, an excellent mountain for climbers wanting to scale their first 8,000m peak.

Flying from Kathmandu (1,280m) over the spectacular Himalayan mountain chain, we'll arrive just outside Lhasa, the heart and soul of Tibetan Buddhism, at almost 3,600m. We'll spend our first night in Tibet relaxing and acclimatizing to the significant increase in altitude. While in Lhasa, we'll tour the former winter residence of the Dalai Lama, the Potala Palace, and his summer residence, Norbulingka Palace. We'll visit other notable sites such as Jokhang Monastery, barter for goods at Barkhor Market, and travel just beyond the city limits to watch the scriptural debates at Sera Monastery.

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