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 The International Mountain Guides Cho Oyu 2001 Expedition

Join EverestNews.com as we cover IMG's Autumn Cho Oyu 2001 Expedition. First Dispatch >>>>

INTRODUCTION: International Mountain Guides conducts Cho Oyu expeditions in both Spring and Autumn.  The Autumn 2001 expedition is the tenth time IMG has conducted this trip since 1995  (eight of nine previous expeditions successful, over 65 persons to the summit).  The IMG Cho Oyu trips are organized by Eric Simonson.  For more info on IMG programs, please check www.mountainguides.com

LEADERSHIP:  This years autumn trip is led by IMG Senior Guide John Race. This is John's fifth expedition to Tibet (he summitted Cho Oyu on the 1996 IMG expedition).  John is a long time senior guide on Mt. Rainier and Mt. McKinley and (when not guiding elsewhere) operates his own company, Northwest Mountain School, (www.mountainschool.net), serving youth climbing programs.  John was a member of the 2001 Mallory & Irvine Research Expedition and he will get help on the Cho Oyu trip from Rainier guide Olivia Cussen, who will be the Base Camp manager for the team.

TEAM MEMBERS: This year's team includes climbers Bruce Turner, Chris Nichols, and Slate Stern. On a non-guided basis, climbers Reid Carter, Mike Bell, Scott Johnston, and Steve House will also join the team. Trekker Gavin Symonds rounds out the group and provides extra company at BC and ABC. We will be supported by Sherpas Ang Pasang, Ang Chhiring (Kami), Phu Nuru, Da Nuru, and cook Pemba Tshiri. These Sherpas have all been on many IMG expeditions.  Ang Passang and Kami are from Pangboche and have each summitted Everest and Cho Oyu several times.  Da Nuru and Phu Nuru are from Pangboche.  Da Nuru has climbed Everest twice, and Cho Oyu several times. Phu Nuru has summitted Cho Oyu and was with us on Everest this past spring. This is Pemba's fourteenth IMG expedition as cook.  We are climbing with an AWESOME Sherpa team that we are proud to count as friends and team members, not just hired help. 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.

First Dispatch >>>>

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