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  Cho Oyu Route

The Northwest Ridge: Also known as the Tichy Route, the Northwest Ridge was the route of first ascent and is the route we will climb. It begins from the Gyabrag Glacier at the base of Peak 6446. Advanced base camp (ABC) will be located here, at about 5500 m (18,000') depending on snow levels. The route is predominately 35 to 50 degree snow and ice with a few short bands of rock and vertical ice sections.

The route ascends the scree and firn of Peak 6446, skirting the summit of Peak 6446 on its western side. Camp 1 will be put in at about 6400 m (21,000'), where Peak 6446 joins the Northwest ridge proper of Cho Oyu. From Camp 1 the route follows the Northwest ridge, and then opens out onto the Northwest face of the upper mountain. About halfway between Camp 1 and Camp 2 the ice cliff is encountered, which is a 150 foot mix of short bands of near vertical ice. Most of the route between Camp 1 and 2 will be fixed with rope. Camp 2 will be located at about 7000 m (23,000'). Some expeditions have put in a temporary intermediate camp between C1 and C2, below the ice cliff on the Northwest ridge at about 6600 m (21,600'), especially during the first or second acclimatization trip.

High camp will be placed at about 7450 m (24,500') to maximize the chance of success on summit day. From here, the first obstacle is the "Yellow Band"  (same as on Everest) which is usually fixed with rope, and which requires some strenuous climbing.  Above this, more rocky bands and steep snow put the climbers on the summit ridge snowfield.  Expeditions usually continue up this steep snowfield to the crest of the Northwest Ridge and the false summit.  From here climbers cross a broad plateau, with a very small rise to the true summit of 8201 m (26, 901 feet).  From the true summit it is possible to get an incredible view of Everest.

Cho Oyu Base Camp
(Courtesy of Eric Simonson
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