I am completing my 7 summits with Alpine Ascents and this trip was simply an A+ — Jeff M.
2011 - Brien Sheedy and Lakpa Rita Sherpa led our team to the summit in 2011. Most expeditions left well before Alpine Ascents without a summit attempt but our team diligently hung in there and reached the summit on October 4, 2011. We were one of the few teams to remain on the mountain, work closely with weather reports and patiently wait for the proper summit window.
Alpine Ascents Success on Himalayan Peaks
Our reputation for leading climbs in the Himalayas is superb and includes 243 summits of Everest (198) and Cho-Oyu (50). Some of our past Cho-Oyu climbs have 100% summit success. We encourage you to review our cybercasts from previous expeditions.
Cho-Oyu is an achievable undertaking for intermediate climbers who wish to attempt an 8,000m peak. The expedition provides a perfect entrance into the world of high-altitude Himalayan climbing. The sixth highest mountain in the world, Cho-Oyu lies in the heart of the Tibetan/Nepalese Himalayas and offers climbers views of Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and literally hundreds of other Himalayan peaks. The expedition exposes climbers to the ancient culture of Tibet.
While the challenge of high altitude climbing cannot be underestimated, the technical nature of the ascent is moderate. Our route is comprised of snow slopes with short sections of ice and rock scrambling. Some fixed ropes are used for speed and safety. We climb in classic Himalayan expedition style, employing Sherpa, who assist with load carrying and camp preparation. The assistance of expert Sherpa, many of whom have guided with us on Mt. Everest, greatly increases our chances of success. We move up and down the mountain three-to-four times while establishing camps and acclimating to the extreme altitude. Supplemental oxygen is used for the summit attempt and while sleeping at high camp. Our itinerary has extra days built in for inclement weather and slow acclimatization. The relatively short time needed to complete the climb adds to the attraction of this tremendous ascent.
This is a fully guided ascent, led by Western guides who climb the mountain with you. We are one of the few outfitters that offer this type of support (and in turn, high success and outstanding safety record). It should be noted that most outfitters merely offer a supported trek, where a single guide facilitates the climb but does not act as a guide during the ascent.
2011 - Brien Sheedy and Lakpa Rita Sherpa led our team to the summit in 2011. Most expeditions left well before Alpine Ascents without a summit attempt but our team diligently hung in there and reached the summit on October 4, 2011.
2009 - Another outstanding year with Michael Horst and Lakpa Rita Sherpa leading climbers to the summit. This season, Alpine Ascents had an 8 climber team with 6 climbers reaching the summit (2 of the climbers left early in the expedition). We look forward to similar success in 2013
Success: Previous Alpine Ascent’s Cho-Oyu expeditions have placed 50 members on the summit!
- Outstanding guide and Sherpa Staff - usually the same group as our renowned Everest team
- Climber-to-guide ratio: Low climber-to-guide ratio.
- Acclimatization: Slow acclimatization schedule. We believe there is no point in moving to a higher elevation unless climbers feel good where they are. Given this, we take the time needed early in the trip to establish a sound base of acclimatization.
- Base Camp: A permanent Base Camp is established for the duration of the Expedition.
- Communication on the mountain: All guides are equipped with radios for communication on the mountain.
- Oxygen: High-altitude oxygen systems are used for the summit attempt, during the night at High Camp, and for medical emergencies should the need arise.
- Satellite telephone system and cybercasts: A Satellite telephone system is set in Base Camp. This provides direct emergency contact with home and is our regular link to the Alpine office, where we receive regular messages that are then posted on our web site. This depth of contact can only be had with a well-established, long term guiding company. Email and Satellite phone for climbers.
- Administrative staff: Our tightly knit staff is always available to answer questions and address concerns. It is not uncommon for family members to contact us during the climb for information about the climb and climbers. There is always someone available, on cell phone during non-office hours, who can address concerns, handle lost luggage, make arrangements if flights are missed or delayed, relay messages directly to the team, or mitigate any of the numerous situations that may arise before, during and after the climb.
- Currently aware of delicate visa process for entering Tibet
Our Guiding Team
Our guiding team is comprised of world-renowned guides and full-time professional climbers. Many of these guides have historical climbing achievements synonymous with their names. They are part of Alpine Ascents because they understand and share our climbing principles. These individuals are dedicated to sharing their excellence with others. The role of an Alpine Ascents guide is to impart knowledge, use calculated judgement and assist individual climber development. Our guides are experienced educators who evaluate their strengths by monitoring climbers’ achievements. Thus we stress our acute ability to provide expedition members with personal attention, realizing the commitment to assist each climber in obtaining their goals.
Climbing Skill Level
Climbers should have successfully completed our 6-Day Training course or have equivalent skills and experience. Climbers should have completed a number of glaciated climbs including Denali or equivalent. Cho-Oyu is excellent preparation for a summit attempt on Mt. Everest and is the logical choice for those who wish to embrace and climb an 8,000 meter Himalayan peak. This expedition teaches valuable climbing skills, high altitude management techniques, and lessons for the use of oxygen systems and staying healthy at extreme altitudes. Climbers who have been successful on Denali or comparable peaks are typically prepared to join a guided ascent on Cho-Oyu. Climbers must have solid cramponing skills, be able to rappel with a pack on and use ascenders on a fixed line. We place a high degree of responsibility on our climbers to prepare for the challenges of the ascent and the safety of their fellow team members. We encourage you to contact us with questions and please feel free to speak with former expedition members.
In the best interest of personal safety, success and team compatibility, adequate training and excellent physical condition are required. Prior experience carrying a heavy pack for multiple days serves as excellent preparation for this climb; a basic mountaineering course is recommended. Climbers must be able to carry an average of 30lbs or more and be physically and mentally prepared to deal with strenuous situations at high altitudes. Climbers need to be in excellent physical condition for both personal enjoyment and to be an integral team member. We encourage you to contact us so that we may assist you in developing a training program that meets your particular needs. Comprehensive training information can be found here.