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  Cho Oyu - Everest Summiter Gary Guller for the 2004 Expedition 8,201m: Update from ABC

Cho Oyu with the peak glowing in the sun.

Expedition Dispatch 4:  Greetings to all from Advanced Base Camp (ABC), situated on the glacier/rocky moraine at approximately 5700 meters (18,810 feet) above sea level. I'm writing to you from our dining tent, looking out to clear blue skies, little wind and beautiful views of the surrounding mountains here at ABC - A perfect day for our puja.

After a couple of days of preparation and day hikes to aid with our acclimatization at Chinese Base Camp lower down, the team, 53 yaks and a new additional climbing Sherpa (Lakpa Rangdu Sherpa, replacing Pasang which got stuck in Lukla during the temporary Nepali unrest), moved up to our present advanced base camp which will remain our home base for the next three weeks or so. We made the upward trek over two days (September 11-12) and are happy to finally be settled in. Advanced base camp is slightly crowded this year or so it seems, perhaps due to the 50th anniversary of the first ascent of Cho Oyu, but we were able to find a great area nestled between a few other teams. Our Sherpa team worked hard to prepare platforms for all our personal and dining tents as well as a cooking area for our kitchen team, which in my mind and stomach at least, is the most important, the kitchen team! For the next few days we will need their expertise as we hydrate and consume the great food these masters prepare for us. We've had our second re-supply shipment of fresh vegetables that are so enjoyed! Without them, the meals would be not nearly as exciting. Everything begins to taste very similar after a week or so, but the team in kitchen and the folks back at the office are keeping all in order with any requirements we may have in the future. And of course, we spice it all up with copious amounts of tabasco!

As mentioned above, we arrived here on 12 September and have generally taken it easy and relaxed over the last couple of days. Some of the team have made day hikes on the moraine, over to the Nangpa La (the pass to Nepal) or taken the time to prepare gear for the first load carry to Camp One tomorrow, 15 September. Everyone is well and generally quite happy - or as happy as one can be with such a huge challenge ahead over the next couple of weeks, and as the daily rigors of life here at Advanced Base Camp at over 5700 meters or 18,000 plus feet start to sink in. We finally got the huge solar panel and the charging of electronics on course, sorted out high camp food today and the team enjoyed some time exploring the surrounding area.

We have a plan to carry our first loads of gear to Camp 1 in the morning and return to ABC. We'll have a day's rest on 16 September and head to Camp 1 for the night of 17 September and gradually start moving up the Turquoise Mother - the sixth highest mountain in the world. Of course, we'll make various trips up and down prior to our summit attempt, taking great care to be as safe as possible - and at the same time enjoying the experience and working with the other fine expedition teams and people on the mountain. So far, we've met old friends and made new ones - there seems to be good vibes flowing around at the moment which is nice, but it is in the very early days for the majority - I hope this good vibe continues throughout the expedition.

We had our puja this morning - the Sherpa once again did a phenomenal job. It was special, as always - incense was burned, prayers chanted, snacks offered and the prayer flags hung over our camp, fluttering in the light breeze, sending our good thoughts and prayers for safe climbing to the gods of the mountains. Discreet, pleasant and meaningful. Its was simply just so nice. 

We'll touch in a couple of days with more news

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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