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Cho Oyu Expedition 2004

By October 1, 2004Current Trips

Team Leader: Di Gilbert and updates
View Cho Oyu details and book online

Team: Mr Paul Crowley, Dr Robert Major, Dr Ellis Muggleton, Mr Andrew Hubbard

18th September: With Ellis resigned to the fact that he will not be returning to the mountain the remaining team members; Rob, Andy, Paul and Di; head up to Camp I for the final time. I would love to paint a glorious picture of this trek up to camp I but I would be lying – this has to be one of the most tedious treks I have done and long live MP3 players or Bipods where you can ‘rock out’ up the scree slopes to camp. The first time was quite nice but by the forth it was somewhat of a trudge. We knew that our summit attempt would not be in perfect weather but with a very small opening on the 21st it was make or break time for the team. News around camp was not to head onto the mountain due to the big storm coming in – not quite sure where this information came from since both our weather forecasts were not predicting this. As long as we could get to the summit in poor visibility and moderate winds (30 knots) we would be ok.

19th September: We head up to Camp II today with Mingma and Purba catching us up and reaching Camp II before us. The majority of the people we meet today are heading off the mountain in anticipating of the big storm coming in. Quite a pleasant day with the weather being fairly kind to us.

20th September: This is to be the first venture up to Camp III for the team.

Unfortunately, Andy who had been having problems with cold feet on previous days decides to call it a day due to his recurring cold feet problem. At the same time Rob comes down with SVT (a very fast heart beat) – he’s a doc and I aint going to argue with that one. It was a very easy decision for him to abort his summit attempt. Rob and Andy then return back down the mountain and in very poor conditions finally make it back down to Camp I. Meanwhile Paul and Di head up to Camp III.

21st September : It was as the weather reports had predicted. A gusty evening with little sleep and by 0200 Paul and Di along with Mingma and Purba set off to ‘bag’ Cho Oyo. I reckon there were 17 individuals in total attempting (and all summitting) Cho Oyo on this blowy morning. Along with the Adventure Peaks team were the Alpine Ascents team, one Singaporean and one Chinese along with Sherpas. Trail breaking must be given credit to both Mingma and Purba with Purba trail breaking to the top of the fixed line and Mingma taking over and breaking trail to the summit – this was up to knee deep on occasions and to hear a Sherp whimper was a first for me! White out conditions and a max of 30 knot winds – could have been on the Cairngorm plateau really. By 11am all had stood on the 6th highest mountain in the world and departed. No stunning summit photos – must have got a clearing of about 3 seconds to identify Everest and the whole of the Khumbu valley. Paul left and spent the night at Camp III and Di returned to Camp II.

Rob and Andy return to ABC today.

No other teams head up to Camp III today.

22nd September: Another very blowy evening and it wasn’t until I started meeting people when I was returning to ABC to I learnt that the summit was engulfed in a huge lenticular cloud. Paul and Di finally return to ABC and Mingma and Purba clear the mountain of all the Adventure Peaks equipment. Too tired to enjoy a social in the evening. Thats all folks,Dii

Sun 12th September – The full team moved upto Camp 1, the weather now having turned to clear skies with a little wind. Ellis returned to ABC Andy, Rob, Paul and Di slept at Camp 1 after to digging out the tents after the last few days of snow.

Monday 13th September – Our Sherpa team left ABC early to meet up with the team as they left camp 1 for camp 2 where a comfortable night was spent. Ellis remained at ABC.

Tuesday 14th September – Sherpas went to set up Camp 3 ready for the teams summit attempt. Andy and Rob returned to BC, Paul and Di walked a little way up towards camp 3 before returning to ABC.

Wed 15th September – The whole team is now resting and preparing for their summit bids we anticipate they will leave base camp again on Saturday with next Wednesday 22nd being their preferred summit day, weather permitting.

We hope the next update will be on Friday 17th with news that the team will be leaving for their summit bid.It appears we are not going to be able to fix the e-mail facility for which we apologise .Dave Pritt, Adventure Peaks UK Office

10/09/04: Camp 2 is now fully established and the equipment for the top camp has been moved to camp 1 ready to go higher. Everyone at the moment is taking advantage of the current poor weather and taking a well earned rest, it has been snowing throughout Thursday and Friday. It is hoped after a third days rest whole group will move up and sleep at camp one on Sunday, then upto Camp 2 (7000m) on Monday where Rob, Andy, Paul Di will sleep, Ellis plans to drop back down to camp one for his second night there before trying to sleep at camp 2. Tuesday will see their first movement up to Camp 3 after which the group will return to ABC for a good rest and then perhaps a summit bid in about 7-10 days time.We hope the next update will be on Wednesday. Dave Pritt, Adventure Peaks UK Office

06/09/04: Everyone continues to be in good health. Following two days rest and time to fully establish ABC, the Sherpas did their first carry to Camp 1 at 6400m on Saturday. On Sunday 4th September the majority of the group did their first trip to Camp 1 carry light loads for acclimatization. Ellis will do the same journey on Tuesday, following an additional acclimatization day. Currently (Monday 6th) it is snowing, so time to rest. Dave Pritt, Adventure Peaks UK Office

03/09/04: Our expedition arrived safely and in good health at Base Camp and have recently (Wed 1st September) moved up to ABC. Other news is limited for the moment as the Server which supports our expedition e-mail has been getting upgraded and we have not been able to receive additional detailed reports. We hope an update can be given on Monday 6th September 2004. Dave Pritt, Adventure Peaks UK Office

Di Gilbert

About Di Gilbert

Di Gilbert works full time as an Independent Mountaineering Instructor, based in the Cairngorm National Park. She has never had a proper job and it is unlikely that this will change now. Di has stood on the bottom of the world without falling off, she has stood on top of the world without suffering from vertigo, she has climbed the world's 7 summits and completed all 282 Munros.

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