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Cho Oyu Autumn 2002
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Eric Simonson
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
IMG Cho Oyu Expedition Autumn 2002

Update # 3 September 3, 2002: Ben Marshall reports that all is well at Chinese Base Camp with the team and that they were working on getting packed up, sorting yak loads, and getting the solar panels out so they could charge the batteries for the satellite phone, video cameras, and various music devices belonging to team members!  The team is expecting the arrival of the yak drivers and yaks later today.  These  guys and their animals are crucial to getting the team moved into place at ABC, but since the rates they charge have gone up dramatically the last year,  it is more important than ever to pack carefully.  Now, if you need any more than your allotment of yaks, you have to pay 9 days wages for both the yak and the yak driver, just to get them to go up to ABC and back, a trip they can do in one day if they start early in the morning.  It has really become quite the little yak cartel, with the local yak drivers making a lot of money off the climbing expeditions! 

Tomorrow the team will leave Base Camp en route to the intermediate camp (which will only be occupied one night) and then on up to Advanced Base Camp the next day.  The route to ABC starts out following the river from the Gyabrag Glacier in a pretty valley.  Soon it becomes a barren glacial outwash plain with lots of rocks, which continues up to the terminal moraine.  The route then continues along the lateral moraine on the east side of the glacier, until a nice grassy meadow at a side valley is reached, about 16,500 feet.  After a night here, the team will continue to follow the Gyabrag Glacier lateral moraine, on increasingly rough terrain.  Finally, at nearly 18,000 feet, a glacier coming from the east blocks the way, forcing the team to turn left and follow the moraine of this side glacier.  Eventually ABC is reached, tucked onto the moraine at about 18,500 feet.  From ABC, the view to the south is across the glacier to the famous Nangpa La pass.  Occasionally yak herders can be seen crossing the pass, often with long lines of yaks carrying Chinese merchandise to sell in Namche Bazaar.  Looking east from ABC provides a great view of the west side of Cho Oyu and the climbing route.

Regards,

Eric Simonson

Expedition Organizer

Eric Simonson, veteran expedition leader, Everest Summiter, author and motivational speaker. To book Eric e-mail web@everestnews2004.com

Dispatches