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Cho Oyu Autumn 02
Dispatches
Facts & History
Gallery
Eric Simonson
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
Cho Oyu - the "Turquoise Goddess" in Tibetan - is located at the frontier of Tibet and Nepal. At a height of 8201 meters, it belongs to the Himalayan range, about 30 km west of Everest. It is the sixth highest mountain in the world and was first climbed on October 19th 1954 by the Austrian Herbert Tichy, with Sepp Jochler and Pasang Dava Lama.

"Finally, the peak is reached, the infinite hardships are ended. The last nine hours fighting with the mountain; the time in the death zone above 24,000 foot, the weeks of privations and hardships, even the risk of one's life - is this reward itself really? Yes, certainly! Not because of fame but inner satisfaction: To have found the mountain as friend and have been so near to the sky." Sepp Jochler.

The History

1952: First reconnaissance of Cho Oyu's Northwest face by Edmund Hillary and party.

1954: A small Austrian expedition, under the leadership of Herbert Tichy, make a spectacular first ascent without oxygen on the Northwest face. This new style of climbing big mountains with alpine techniques rewrote mountaineering history.

1958: Second ascent by an Indian expedition. Sherpa Pasang Dawa Lama, who was part of the first ascent, reached the peak for the second time. First death on Cho Oyu.

1959: Four members of an expedition are killed in an avalanche during a failed international women's expedition.

1964: Controversial third ascent by a German expedition. No proof of reaching the summit. Two mountaineers die in Camp 4 of exhaustion at 7600 m (25,000 foot) height.

1978: The Austrian alpinists, Koblmuller and Furtner, succeeds in a spectacular ascent of the extremely difficult and dangerous southeast face.

1983: Reinhold Messner succeeds on his fourth attempt.

1985: First winter ascent of the South buttress by a Polish expedition. The South Buttress is the most difficult route on Cho Oyu to be completed successfully.