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 Cho Oyu Spring 2000

For Autumn Cho Oyu 2000 go here

Cho Oyu 2000

Cho Oyu Spring 2000: Jagged Globe, Featured Expedition

Other Cho Oyu Spring 2000 will also be reported on this page.

Cho Oyu 2000 dispatches

Robert Anderson (Expedition Leader) Jagged Globe Cho Oyu Spring 2000

This is their  6th expedition to Cho Oyu, having completed 5 successful trips in the past. Leader, Robert Anderson is one of the USA's top high altitude mountaineers, whose career highlights include pioneering a new route on the 12000ft Kangshung Face of Everest in 1988 where Stephen Venables from his expedition reached the Summit of Everest. His quest to climb all 7 Summits solo is documented in his book of the same name. Robert led their successful Shishapangma expedition in 1999. Assisting Robert will be Javier Herrera, who has been running their extremely popular expeditions to Ecuador over the last 5 years. The multinational team comprises 1 American, 1 Guatemalen, 2 British and 2 Mexican climbers, most of whom hope to climb their first 8000m peak and some who are using this as the next step to attempting Everest. The team will send dispatches from base camp and hope to give you an insight into what it is like to climb one of the highest, but the most attainable 8000 peak. 

Dispatches from this expedition:

Dispatch One: 4/24/2000 Kathmandu Calling: 

If cities are colors, Katmandu is red. We see it as we wind down into the lush Katmandu Valley, rumpled red brick houses framed in green, then the dusty cranberry tops of umbrellas outside the cafes in the roadside tea shops and finally when we hit street level, the bright saris of the women and fading maroon of the monks robes. 
Cho Oyu summit

It's been raining in New York, London and now Katmandu, the whole world bathed by the same storm. After the journey, our faces welcomed and now anointed with a red spot on our foreheads at the Summit Hotel, we all meet for the first time, a mixing of British, Guatemalan, Mexican, American all set to be stirred into a teacup, clad in crampons, and set off on a quest to the world's sixth highest mountain. 

A day in the shopping stalls of Katmandu, procures everything from Russian titanium ice screws, to the finest pashmina cashmere scarves to warm us on the heights, all at a price that wouldn't pay an hours parking in London or New York. Behind the scenes, our five Sherpas are packing the food, sorting the tents, testing the stove and packing everything into Yak-bearable loads for when we reach Base Camp. 

Tomorrow at 5:30 a.m., a quick dip in the pool starts the day, shortly followed by a few cups of strong coffee. It will be a day that will take us up and down and up again, across the rhinocerous like hills of Nepal. We finally drop into the river valley that we follow, so far up into the sky it seems we should already be on top of the mountain, when we finally emerge on the Tibetan Plateau two days from now. We will be climbing out of a gorge much deeper than the grand canyon, via a road cut through mud, rice paddies, rock, and the occasional hanging bridge. 

We will stop along the way at about 4,000 meters, beside a small Tibetan village, the houses square as boxes, prayer flags ringing the ramparts, and pitch our tents for 3 days. We will feel lowly amongst the 6000 meter peaks, our lungs will feel the same, but after a night or two, we will be Yak-proofed and make the move out onto the heart of Plateau to the village of Tingri. From here, Cho Oyu will frame the right side of the plain, and Everest the left.

A final four hours in jeeps will take us up to Chinese Base Camp at about 5000 meters. 

Our quote for the journey into Tibet: "You have brains in your head and feet in your shoes you can move yourself any where that you choose."  Dr Seuss 

Next: How fast does a Yak move at 18000 feet (and is that faster than you)? 

Reporting live from Katmandu: Robert Anderson, Javier Herrera, Rich Lechleitner, Hugh Lowther, Jose Manuel Rodriguez, Alejandro Villarreal, Jaime Vinals 

Dispatch: We crossed the border into China with 16 people. Now at base camp we await the Yak bells, each a small church bell attached to four broad hoods. Everyone’s feeling chipper after two nights camping at 4,000m. We moved to Chinese base camp at 4,700m on Friday April 28th, just a few days ahead of schedule. The hills rise to 5,500m above us, moving away to the broad river valley. Yesterday (Saturday April 28th), we hiked up the ridge to the top of one of these.

Mornings are sunny, clear azure blue skies, tan brown hills, grey rock river bottoms and sandy flowing rivers, ripe with glacial salt. Overhead a pair of Lammergeiers with wing spans stretching for 3 meters, soar on the wind. Frost covers the tents in the morning, by midday the down-valley winds whistle through camp. Today a little snow falls out of the clouds on Cho Oyu. The mountain dominates the southern horizon, rising over 3 vertical kilometers above us.

Tomorrow, we start our work week with a hike up the valley accompanied by 38 yaks and 14 yak drivers. We follow the ancient trading route leading to Nang Pa La, a high pass that crosses over to Nepal. For a second day of hiking, we’ll take this to base camp at 5,700m.

Meal times we’ve had apple pancakes, for lunch we’ve had tomato, onion and cheese toasted sandwiches. For dinner we’ve been enjoying spaghetti, meat and veggie momos. This contingent has especially enjoyed the Heinz baked beans! Our appetites indicate that everyone is well-acclimatized with everyone enjoying 12 hours sleep last night. We are all looking forward to moving higher on the mountain.

Robert Anderson, Expedition Leader.

Update 5/8/2000: The disappearance of Ms. Noora Toivonen (age 25) and a Russian climber has been reported by Finnish News Agency, at least 4 newspapers  and 2 TV channels. 

Her aim was to ski down from the top with partner Mr. Jukka Rasanen. However, Rasanen was forced to retreat from the mountain due to symptoms of cerebral edema. This happened 10 days ago. Ms. Toivonen continued according to plan. 

There are still 5 Finns on Cho Oyu. They try to find out what has happened. The organizer of the expedition is Ms. Marina Ershova. 

Further information:

Update: Cho Oyu Spring 2000: Jagged Globe, Featured Expedition http://www.jagged-globe.co.uk/

More details on the Cho Oyu Climbers:

  • Robert M. Anderson: Expedition Leader, 41, has climbed all over the world, from attending  Outward Bound at age 16, to  Norway, where he made more than 50 new climbs in the Trollryggen area of the Romsdal Valley. Most famous for in the 1985 American Expedition West Ridge Direct on Mount Everest and in 1988, as part of the expedition that succeeded in a new route on the 12,000 foot Kangshung Face.

  • Assistant leader: Javier Herera (Ecuador) - 31 years old.  He was 6 times (1987-1988) the Ecuadorian national champion for cycle road racing!  Has climbed and guided many of the high peaks in Argentina, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia (inc Chimborazo, Huascaran, Illimani, Aconcagua - Polish Gl) by both the normal and more difficult routes.  Javier has also done a lot of climbing in the French and Swiss Alps and is one of the few S Americans to become an aspirant guide.  He has run Jagged Globe's expeditions to Ecuador's volcanoes for the past 6 years.
  • Richard Lechleitner (USA) - 43 yrs old, works as a climbing ranger at Mt Rainer National Park.  He has climbed and skiied numerous snow peaks in NW North America.  Has climbed Mera, Island and Parchamo in Nepal and Aspiring in NZ.  Richard is a keen all-rounder, spending a lot of time in the last couple of years rock climbing in the Bugaboos and Yosemite.  He has spent 4 weeks in the Khumbu to 'warm up' for Cho Oyu
  • Hugh Lowther (UK) - 44 yrs old.  Has done Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua, Mt Blanc, Matterhorn.  Been to top camp on Denali.  One of Hugh's other pastimes is hunting up in Scotland.  Would like to see if he can do an 8,000m peak "before old age and seniltiy gets to me".
  • Jaime Vinals (GUA) - 38 Years old.  Been to Everest twice before.  Has climbed Carstensz, Aconcagua (twice), Huascaran, Elbrus, Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, Denali, Kilimanjaro and many other peaks in S America.  Jaime is hoping to gain some more 8,000m experience and return to Everest in the future, with the aim of competing his 7 Summits.
  • Josι Manuel Rodrνguez (MEX) - 46 yrs old.  Has climbed Aconcagua, Illimani, Misti, Huascaran, Mataraju, Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, Denali, Matterhorn, Kenya, Kili and volcanoes in Mexico.  Josι has guided volcanoes in Mexico in the past and feels like it is time for him and his friend, Alejandro to attempt an 8,000m peak.
  • Alejandro Villarreal Pars (MEX) - 27 Yrs old.  11 peaks above 6,000m in Argentina, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador.  Alejandro has climbed Aconcagua 4 times (1 solo ascent and a one day ascent from Base Camp).  He has also soloed Illimani and Denali (from above 4,200m).  Alejandro says about his reason for joining the expedition "I have trained and climbed for three years preparing for an 8,000m peak.  I want to do my best along the expedition to gain experience and inspire youth in Mexico to pursue dreams and goals".

Dispatch 5/8/2000: Hi, this is Robert Anderson calling from Cho Oyu base camp. We arrived here safely a few days ago. We'll have our rest and then we'll be moving up, carrying to camp 1 on Tuesday (9th May) and then we'll be moving up to stay at camp 1 on Thursday (11th) for a couple of nights before we come back down here. 

Everybody's great and all here. Greg Horne's party, the Japanese member Yoshi is down at [Chinese] base camp, just spending a bit more time acclimatizing, but set to appear today. 

All's well, we'll bring you more details later this week. 

Robert Anderson, Expedition Leader.

May 10th Marina Ershova, the leader of expedition summited to the top of Cho-Oyu from Camp II together with Sherpas of Iranian expedition. It was a lot of fresh snow and they had to brake the trail so they moved slowly, and she had been back to Camp2 at 20:00. She returned back to ABC on May 11th. 

Today two other Russian climbers Nasedkin and Kuzmin started from Camp 3 and summited at about 14:00. At 17:00 they returned to the tent of Camp 3. Tomorrow they have to return to ABC. 

No sign of the two climbers who disappeared the other day has shown up. 

Hi, this is Robert Anderson calling from Cho Oyu base camp. Everything is fine here. All members have been up to camp 2. We're down for a couple of days rest and we'll go back up for the summit probably starting the 17th or 18th, hoping to summit about the 20th. 

Most of the groups are leaving here shortly, so we won't be able to call you again until we get back down to base camp, which may be as late as the 27th.

But if we have a chance we'll call you before then. But just to let everybody know that we are well, acclimatized and feeling good. 

Thanks and bye for now.

Robert Anderson, Expedition Leader

15.05 News from Cho-Oyu expedition. Marina Yershova reports from Chinese Base Camp, 5000m, May 15.... details 

  • Cho Oyu 2000

The Jagged Globe Expedition Summits on the 19th with the others going on the 22nd. Still no details due to technical problems...

Reliable Sources report to EverestNews.com: Nine members of the International Mountain Guides Cho Oyu Expedition  summitted Cho Oyu on the 12th of May.  They were: Craig John (Leader), USA, Jim Crichton (USA), Aaron Miller  (USA), Stuart Smith  (USA), Pa Nuru Sherpa, Da Nuru Sherpa, Tashi Dorje Sherpa,  Ang Phinjo Sherpa, Phunuru Sherpa

Name of the Expedition : International Mountain Guides Cho Oyu Expedition
Expedition Leader : Craig John
Country : USA
No. of Team Members :9
Ascent Route : North West Ridge (Normal Route)
Date of Summit : 12 May 2000
Starting Point : 3rd Camp
Time of Summit : 9:30 AM
Time Spent on the Summit : About 20 minutes
Returned to : 2nd Camp

  • Cho Oyu 2000:

As reported on the Belgian climbing network's website (www.belclimb.net), the expedition to Cho Oyu, organized by the Belgian Alpine Club, was a huge success : 6 climbers reached the summit on 12th May : Dirk Boons, Luc Hoornaert, Hugo Van Praet, Xavier Georges, Rodolphe de Hemptinne en Laurent Morel. Route : normal 

  • Cho Oyu Spring 2000:

Update: As I mentioned from BC, the last phone went down the hill the 17th so sorry for the silence. We're all safe and well in Katmandu. Myself, Alex, Richard and our Sirdar Ang Temba summitted on 19 May, climbing from Camp II at 7100 meters all the way to the summit. A long day (14 hours) but mostly good weather and great views from the top of Cho Oyu across to Everest. Hugh reached 7000 meters on an earlier foray towards Camp II, as did Jose Rodriguez. Jaime reached 7800 meters on our summit bid, then spent over 5 days above 7000 meters, before making a second attempt with Javier Herrera [assistant leader] from Camp III. But unfortunately, the monsoon had moved in and a few feet of snow precluded them from reaching the summit, which they could have done with a little more luck from the weather. Full report after we've rested a little!

Robert Anderson, Expedition Leader

  • Cho Oyu Spring 2000:

Update: Katmandu feels very civilized after the hills and hotels of Tibet. We came down so quickly from the mountain there was little time to realize we were here until we woke up with the strange sensation of sleep without being inside a sleeping bag. We left our Advanced Base Camp and walked the ten miles to Chinese Base Camp on 27 May, followed closely by our 33 Yaks and 11 Yak drivers. Four jeeps and a large truck picked us up there and we drove 2 hours in the setting sun to the small village of Tingri, Tibet. Our first dose of city life was Momo's and boiled potatoes, and a bottle or two of extra fizzy Chinese Beer. At 5 am the following morning, we were off again across the Plateau, sun rising and heat on high in the jeeps. By noon we were at the border town of Zhangmu, carrying our packs down through town for an hour as they are paving the road and it is currently closed to vehicles. A long wait for our truck and baggage almost meant we would be staying the night, but just before 4 pm, everything arrived and we were able to descend the steep hill to the Friendship Bridge and enter Nepal. 

Dinner was a stroke of traveler's luck, a riverside cafe where steaming plates of rice, lentils and fresh banana's were served up by a family very happy to have 16 hungry climbers descend on them. Dinner cost 80 cents for all we could eat and we made the most of it. We arrived in Katmandu and the Summit Hotel at 10:30 pm.

And a few more comments on the summit.

Cho Oyu traditionally has three camps, but on our successful summit bid, we used only two of them. Using the third Camp would of put us closer to the summit, but sleeping and eating at 7400 meters is very difficult. And as a number of members had acclimatized very well and were climbing strongly, we left Camp II at 2:30 am on 19 May. We reached Camp III about 6 am. From here we climbed straight up through a steep rock band comprising about 30 meters of near vertical rock-a quick way to wake up. A number of previous expeditions had problems here, with some of their members turning back, but the time we had spent in the glacier training and members experience meant we climbed this with little problem-a challenge best described as 'sporting,' At 7800 meters, Jaime Vinals and Kam soo Sherpa decided to descend, while myself, Alex, Richard and Ang Temba continued. We knew we would summit later in the afternoon, but the weather was good, only the occasional cloud rolling over, so we kept climbing steadily on up to the immense summit plateau and across to the summit. We knew we were there when Everest and Lhotse rose above the ridge and the North Face dropped away steeply below. We spent about half an hour on the summit, then climbed down quickly, getting through the rock band by dark. From there it was just a long walk down the 400 meters and back to our tents at Camp II. We'd been climbing about 19 hours and up for 24 by the time we were back happily in our sleeping bags.

Jaime was to spend a total of five days above 7,000 meters, but deep snow on the 21st and 22nd precluded them reaching above Camp III again. Hugh Lowther and Jose Rodriguez both climbed to 7000 meters earlier in the expedition, but the effects of high altitude didn't allow them to continue onto the summit this time. 

Over the next few days, we will pack up our climbing equipment, have two lunches every day and soon be heading home.

Robert M Anderson Expedition Leader


  • Cho Oyu 2000: Corrections with additions

3 Spanish (all 17th) and 3 Australian (16-17th) reached the summit of Cho-Oyu on 16-17th May 2000. The name of the Spanish Expedition is"8.201 M Cho-Oyu" led by Jordi Tosas. Jordi Tosas is believed to be the first Spanish climber to descend from the summit with his snow board. Other summiteers are Joseba Gutierrez and Ricardo Valencia rather than Ricardo V. Martinez(41) and Joseba Koldo Jauregui(30) as earlier reported by Asian Trekking. Along with Sherpas Ringee and Sonam.

Australian Alpine Army Cho-Oyu Expedition led by Roger Grose. Summiteers are Leader Roger Grose (16th), Brian Laursen (16th) and Matt Sheply (17th) . They reach the summit on 17th May 2000. 

Both of these Expeditions were supported by Asian-Trekking.

Sources: Asian trekking, Barrabes, Jordi Tosas, and the Australian Alpine Army Cho-Oyu Expedition

  • Back to Jordi Tosas
Jordi Tosas on the Summit of Cho Oyu !!

Click on the picture to see full a wonderful full sized version. 

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