IMG began leading Cho Oyu programs way back in 1995. At that time only 10
Americans had climbed Cho Oyu and the mountain was totally "off the radar
screen" for American guide companies. Where we went, others were sure to
follow, and now literally hundreds have climbed Cho Oyu and continue to
journey to this peak each Spring and Autumn. Since 1995 IMG has conducted 12
expeditions to Cho Oyu, and during our Autumn 2003 season we will see
(hopefully!) our 100th IMG Cho Oyu summit climber. Who will it be?
IMG takes Cho Oyu seriously, hoping to provide our clients with a great
8,000m experience which for many will become the stepping stone to a future
attempt on Everest. We try to send strong and self-sufficient teams that have
enough horsepower to be able to pull their own weight. We always try to
cooperate with other teams to help with route fixing or rescues and we commit
to removing all our garbage and oxygen bottles from the mountain. We always
seek to maintain our wonderful long-term relationships with Chinese, Tibetan,
and Nepalese partners.
I have organized a really interesting team this year. The group will be led
by IMG guides Mike Hamill and Chris Booher, with assistance from IMG guides
Garrett Madison and Justin Merle. Also on board in a leadership capacity is my
longtime friend and Kathmandu agent Ang Jangbu Sherpa and our favorite Chinese
Liaison Officer, Liu Feng. Our six climbing Sherpas, most veterans of multiple
Cho Oyu expeditions, are led by Ang Passang. Our cook staff, led by Pemba (a
veteran of 17 IMG expeditions) round out the team.
The team is en route to Kathmandu now, and we’ll look forward to getting to
know them all better over the coming weeks of the trip. We will be posting
dispatches regularly over the next 5-6 weeks as the team makes its way to Base
Camp via Lhasa and the Tibetan Plateau, and then begins the long journey to
prepare themselves and their route for a shot at the summit of the world's
sixth highest mountain.