The first eight-thousander summit success of the fall season is reported from Tibet. Twelve clients and eleven climbers working for the operator Tibet Himalayan Expeditions reached the summit of Cho Oyu today, confirms Mingma Sherpa. The head of the Nepalese operator Climbalaya has good contacts to China. The Chinese expedition team had set off for Cho Oyu on 14 September.
Permits only for Chinese mountaineers
Like last spring, the mountains in Tibet are not accessible to foreign mountaineers this fall due to the corona pandemic. In spring, only a Chinese expedition had received permission to climb Mount Everest via the Tibetan north side. About 50 members had then reached the highest point on earth. During the expedition, the altitude of Everest had been remeasured. The result is still pending.
New route via the south side?
The 8,188-meter-high Cho Oyu is the sixth highest mountain on earth. Up to now, expedition operators have only offered ascents on the normal route in Tibet via the northwest flank of the mountain, mainly in the fall season – the technically relatively easy route to the summit at 8,188 meters, which was also chosen in 1954 by the first ascenders Herbert Tichy and Josef Jöchler from Austria and Pasang Dawa Lama. However, in recent years the Chinese-Tibetan authorities had drastically tightened the price screw for Cho Oyu and issued permits rather restrictively.
The announced project of Nepalese mountain guides to open up a new technically not too difficult route on the south side of the mountain for clients of commercial expeditions has not yet progressed. There are some problems with the government, Maya Sherpa, one of the initiators of the project, writes to me – adding that probably nothing will come of it this year.