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Cho-Oyu Expedition Itinerary Overview

Our expedition begins in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. After touring Kathmandu and securing our Tibetan visas, we travel overland to the border town of Kodari. Here we’ll meet our Tibetan staff and journey west in Land Cruisers. On the way to Base Camp (16,400 ft.), we’ll visit monasteries and ancient towns of Tibet, giving us a great introduction to the hearty people and harsh landscape of the high plateau. En route to Base Camp, we’ll stop and overnight at Tingri to help acclimatize. Once in Base Camp, we’ll meet our Tibetan yak drivers and their animals. Yaks carry our loads to Advance Base Camp (18,500 ft.) at the foot of the famous Nangpa-La Pass.

The next three or four days are spent establishing Advanced Base Camp and making short acclimatization forays to the lower reaches of the West Ridge. With the assistance of our Sherpa team, we’ll place Camp I (21,000 ft.) atop the West Ridge. Over the next ten days, we’ll establish Camp II (23,100 ft.) and Camp III (24,500 ft.). We’ll repeatedly move up and down the mountain to enhance strong acclimatization and overall fitness. Once our last camp is set and the team has rested for a few days at Advanced Base Camp, we’ll begin the summit climb. Prior to our summit attempt, team members will spend the night at Camp III sleeping on supplemental oxygen, strengthening the body’s circulation systems.

Our summit attempt begins between midnight and 1 a.m. We will climb with supplemental oxygen on summit day. From High Camp, we’ll ascend the West Face through a rock band and up snow slopes of 25° to 40° to reach the West Ridge proper. This gentle ridge leads to the large summit plateau at approximately 26,000 ft. From there, we’ll spend the next hour traveling across this plateau to reach the true summit and a spectacular 360° view which includes Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and an array of Himalayan peaks. To the north lies the Tibetan plateau (the highest in the world), and to the south stand hundreds of Nepalese peaks.

After reaching the summit, our team will descend to Camp II. It takes approximately five days to clear the mountain and move equipment back to Base Camp. Once we have arrived at Base Camp and said farewell to our Tibetan yak drivers, we’ll begin our return to Kathmandu. After arriving in Kathmandu, we’ll sort equipment and celebrate in the fascinating capital city before our international departures.

Day-to-day Itinerary

Day 1

Depart home country

Day 2

Spent in transit

Day 3

Arrive Kathmandu

Day 4

Overnight in Kathmandu for Visa

Day 5

Overnight in Kathmandu for Visa. Possibly leaving this day as the visa is usually ready.

Day 6

Cross border and spend the night in Zhangmu 7,300ft

Day 7

Travel from Zhangmu-to Nylam 12,800 ft

Day 8

Acclimatization day in Nylam

Day 9

Drive to Tingri

Day 10

Acclimitazation in Tingri (14,400 ft.)

Day 11

Drive to Chinese Base Camp 16,100 ft.

Day 12

Short acclimatization hikes, gear organization and rest

Day 13

Organize loads to be transported to Advance Base Camp

Day 14

Travel to an intermediate Camp (17,700 ft.) accompanied by our yaks

Day 15

Move to Advanced Base Camp (18,700 ft.)

Day 16

Organize and set up camp

Day 17

Rest and short hikes

Day 18

Hike to Lake Camp and return to ABC

Day 19

Rest days


Rest days

Day 21

Carry and sleep at Camp I

Day 22

Climb to Ice Cliff and return to Camp I (21,000ft)

Day 23

Descend to ABC

Day 24

Rest in ABC

Day 25

Rest in ABC

Day 26

Rest in ABC

Day 27

Climb to Camp I and spend night.

Day 2

Carry to Camp II (23,400ft) Overnight.

Day 29

Return to ABC

Day 30

Rest Day

Day 31

Rest Day

Day 32

Rest at ABC and prepare for summit push.

Day 33

Move to Camp I.

Day 34

Move to Camp II.

Day 35

Move to Camp III, 24,800ft

Day 36

Summit Attempt.

Day 37-38

Extra days

Day 39

Return to ABC.

Day 40

Organize loads for trek out.

Day 41

Yaks arrive to carry our gear and we return to Base Camp. Drive to Zhangmu and Overnight

Day 42

Drive to Kathmandu

Day 43

Depart Kathmandu for Home Country

Day 44

Arrive home country

Note: Teams must travel with guides and Sherpa as a group, thus flying to Tibet is currently not an option.

Please ensure that this departure date is flexible. Do not plan any important business for two weeks following the expedition and ensure that your plane ticket is changeable.

The expedition was great! It was the best trip of many great trips that I have taken with Alpine Ascents. Off the charts in a positive direction.

Partners & Accreditations

Alpine Ascents International is an authorized mountain guide service of Denali National Park and Preserve and Mount Rainier National Park.
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