The Expedition Trip Notes provide detailed information and background for Adventure Consultants' Cho Oyu Expedition.
You can view the trip notes online by clicking the image or download a pdf by clicking the following link:
Cho Oyu Expedition Trip Notes
The team will have a minimum size of 5 members and 1 guide and a maximum size of 12 members and 3 guides. A team of between 3 and 6 climbing Sherpas will carry loads and support the summit climb and we will have a cook at Base Camp.
We get a wide range of experience levels and nationalities on our trips and the expeditions are geared to accommodate this. People without a lot of high altitude experience often experience trepidation about their performance before a trip and the only way to find out how you will perform is by going to altitude. Increasingly we find that accomplished high altitude climbers are using our services so they can concentrate on their sponsorships rather than private expedition organising.
We recommend to aspiring high altitude climbers that the best approach is to climb gradually higher peaks throughout your career so you can adjust to the requirements of altitude. However, anyone who is a strong and active mountaineer will most probably experience few problems at altitude under our supervision.
The Expedition Leader will be scheduled approximately six months out from the trip start. All of our trip leaders to the 8,000m peaks have extensive experience at high altitude and a proven record of safety, success and compatibility.
Based in Lake Hawea, New Zealand our NZ Chief Guide, Dean Staples, leads both international expeditions and New Zealand trips. A multi-talented IFMGA guide with over two decades of guiding experience, Dean is a super friendly guy, with great patience and leadership skills.
Among a multitude of climbing achievements Dean currently shares the record for Everest summits by a kiwi, with a total of 9 summits and as lead guide on our 2013 Everest Expedition, he achieved a double summit of Everest and then Lhotse in just over 24 hours. Other 8,000m summits include Cho Oyu, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu and Shishapangma.
Ang Dorjee Sherpa
Summiting Everest initially with Adventure Consultants in 1992, Ang Dorjee has moved on to achieve 19 summits of Everest and 28 ascents of 8,000m peaks! His skills as a climber are legendary and he brings both a wealth of mountaineering knowledge and a unique cultural insight to your Himalayan expedition.
Head Office Support Team
Running successful journeys and expeditions is more about experience, knowledge and strategic management than any other factors. As an organisation, we place a substantial amount of time and resources into ensuring our trips are well planned and supported. You can be assured that the AC staff will provide you with friendly advice and knowledgeable support throughout the planning stages of your trip and we will be there to provide backup while the trip is running.
Amelia Crofut-Brittingham, Client Liaison
Amelia has been with Adventure Consultants since October 2017 in the role of Client Liaison for European and Himalayan Operations. Having spent many years working in the ski industry, Amelia brings a wealth of experience to her role.
Expedition members will be provided with pre-trip medical advice and a medical questionnaire and asked to visit their family physician to receive a full medical examination. This information will be sighted only by the expedition leader and our medical adviser and treated with full confidentiality.
Level of Experience Required
There is no definite measure for assessing the required skill level to climb Cho Oyu so we prefer to discuss this on an individual basis. However, there are some broad guidelines that can be applied from the outset.
A successful team member will have been visiting the mountains for at least three seasons and made ascents of peaks up to 18-20,000 feet (5,500 - 6,000m). It is quite common for members to have previously climbed Mt McKinley in Alaska, Aconcagua in South America, or various Mexican volcanoes as training for Cho Oyu.
He/she will be familiar with crevasse travel techniques and have a good overall standard of fitness. See our Fitness Training Programs for details on how you can best prepare for the challenge.
Age itself is no barrier. To date we have succeeded on Himalayan trips with members aged from 22 to 65 years of age.
A fierce determination and a burning desire to climb the mountain are essential prerequisites for this expedition. The guides and other expedition staff will provide the leadership, tactics and overall decision making required during the climb, but still you will have to physically put one foot in front of the other to climb to the top and back.
Each of our trips is individually rated according to its physical and technical difficulty, displayed in the icons towards the top of each trip page. You can click on the accompanying question mark for additional descriptions and the full run-down of our grading system is available on our Difficulty Ratings page.
Cho Oyu translates to the “Goddess of Turquoise”. The first to attempt to climb Cho Oyu’s 8,201m summit was by well-known adventurers; Eric Shipton, Edmund Hillary and George Lowe as part of the British Everest reconnaissance expedition of 1952. They managed to climb to 6,800m where they were stopped by an ice cliff. This same cliff is now fixed with rope.
In 1954, a small Austrian group organised a minimally equipped expedition to again attempt Cho Oyu. Herbert Tichy, Helmut Heuberger, Sepp Joechler, Pasang Dawa Lama Sherpa and Fritz Wiessner operated the expedition with an additional 6 Sherpas and 36 Porters. On October 19, Tichy, Joechler and Pasang reached the summit although Tichy suffered severe frostbite on his hands. It was the first expedition to follow the monsoon season and the route they took over the Nangpa La (pass) is no longer passable (except for local yak herders and Tibetan traders) due to its sensitive border location.
Our Base Camp equipment and ample, nutritious meals are always the envy of other groups on the mountain!
AC will import western food for the expedition and supplement this with fresh and dried Nepalese and Tibetan products. Our expeditions are renowned for the quality of the food and the expertise of the cooks. We bring a variety of foods and snack foods to cater to most tastes however if you have a favourite snack food/treat for the trekking days or high on the mountain, you may wish to bring some with you.
We highly recommend reading Mark Twight’s book, 'Extreme Alpinism – Climbing Light, Fast and High' for ideas about nutrition for mountaineering (as well as a myriad of advice on training and mental fortitude etc.).
It is a good idea to try out different snacks, energy bars and gels during your training. It can be difficult to stomach certain foods at high altitude so finding something that suits you is very important. Once you find what works for you we suggest you bring a supply with you to supplement the snacks that we provide.
Clothing & Equipment
Expedition members will be sent a list detailing all necessary clothing and equipment to be individually provided.
Base Camp Facilities
You will have your own tent at Base Camp (BC) and our Sherpa staff will help you get settled in. Most mornings, with the arrival of the sun you will be served bed-tea; a nice touch, which our Sherpa pride themselves in. Please bring soap, shampoo, shavers, a towel, hand sanitiser and ‘wet wipes’ etc. Showers are only occasionally available at BC during times when the Sherpa are not too busy in the kitchen. Please do not expect to shower on a daily basis! In addition, there will be access to hot water for you to do a small amount of clothes washing.
The tents in Base Camp consist of the following:
- Mess tent: Includes sufficient tables and padded chairs for the group to eat in
- Members cook tent: Staffed by our experienced expedition cooks who provide excellent western style food
- Toilet tent
- Shower tent: Available for a shower between trips onto the mountain
- Member’s tents: Individual spacious tents with foam mattress and closed cell foam pad
- Sherpa tents: Usually shared
We have audio speakers into which you can plug your iPod, tablet or phone, please feel free to contribute your preference in music. Otherwis,e you will be subjected to your guide’s choice of music! We also treat ourselves to the occasional movie night.