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Cho-Oyu Mountain Expedition Itinerary Overview

Our Cho-Oyu mountain expedition begins in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. After touring Kathmandu and securing our Tibetan visas, we fly to Lhasa and travel by jeep, visiting Tibetan towns and monasteries en route to Base Camp (16,400 ft.), This give us a a great introduction to the hearty people and harsh landscape of the high plateau. 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

Note about itinerary: We generally complete our trip in the prescribed days but note extra days built in that may or may not be used. Scheduled is flexible. Always a chance of road closure (Friendship Highway still closed, thus the alternate route below); and possibility we may have to fly to Lhasa, Tibet.

Day 1

Depart home country

Day 2

Spent in transit

Day 3

Arrive Kathmandu

Day 4

Rest day/visa process in Chinese embassy in Kathmandu

Day 5

Fly to Lhasa, 12,000 feet

Day 6

Lhasa  tour

Day 7

Drive to Shigatse, 12,500 feet

Day 8

Overnight Shigatse and acclimatization hike

Day 9

Drive to Tingri, 15,000 feet

Day 10

Overnight Tingri

Day 11

Drive to Chinese Base Camp

Day 12

At Chinese Base Camp

Day 13

At Chinese Base Camp

Day 14

Travel to Intermediate Camp at 17,000 feet with Yak support

Day 15

Trek towards Advanced Base Camp – Mid Camp (18,700 ft.)

Day 16

Base Camp set up and organization

Day 17

Rest day and short hikes

Day 18

Rest Day

Day 19

Climb to Camp I at 21,000 feet, return to BC

Day 20

Rest day and short hikes

Day 21

Rest Day

Day 22

Carry and sleep at Camp I

Day 23

Climb to Cliff Ice and return to Camp I

Day 24

Rest in Camp I

Day 25

Carry to 1.5 camp at 22,500 feet

Day 26

Carry to Camp II 23,400 feet

Day 27

Descend to ABC

Day 28

Rest in ABC

Day 29

Rest in ABC

Day 30

Rest in ABC

Day 31

Carry to Camp I – Overnight

Day 32

Carry to Camp II – Overnight

Day 33

Move to Camp III 24,800 feet

Day 34

Summit Attempt

Day 35

Extra Day

Day 36

Extra Day

Day 37

Extra Day

Day 38

Return to ABC

Day 40

Trek to Intermediate Camp and Drive Tingri

Day 41

Drive to Shigatse

Day 42

Drive to Lhasa

Day 43

Fly to KTM

Day 44

Fly KTM Home Country

Day 45

Arrive Home Country

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.

I thoroughly enjoyed the expedition. Everyone was very supportive, considerate, and caring to the climbers on the expedition. Even though this is the first AA expedition where I did not summit, I will say it was one of my favorite in large part due to Ben, Lakpa, and Tshering.


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