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  Autumn 2003: International Mountain Guides 8000 meter Coverage

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Latest News: Cho Oyu 2003 down safe! Yahoo!!

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.

Eric Simonson, International Mountain Guides coverage will include dispatches from the IMG Cho Oyu Expedition along with exclusive dispatches from Nancy Norris as she warms up for Everest 2004, when she hopes to attempt to become the oldest American woman (at age 60!)to summit Everest.

Eric Simonson, veteran expedition leader, Everest Summiter, author and motivational speaker. To book Eric

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