Russian expedition abandons Cho Oyu expedition – first ascents on six-thousanders

Cho Oyu (in the center of the picture the mentioned rock tower)
Cho Oyu (in the center of the picture the mentioned rock tower)

For the time being there is no new route on the Nepalese south side of the eight-thousander Cho Oyu. A five-member Russian team abandoned its attempt to reach – without bottled oxygen – the summit at 8,188 meters via the still unclimbed South-Southwest ridge and headed home.

Gale-force winds had prevented further ascent, the team announced on the website of the Russian Mountaineering Federation. In addition, time was running out. “The main reason for turning back was the understanding that there was still infinitely much ahead,” expedition leader Andrey Vasiliev told “We had about four kilometers left to the top.”

For weeks, Vasiliev, Viktoria Klimenko, Vitaly Shipilov, Sergei Kondrashkin and Kirill Eizeman had worked their way up – repeatedly stopped by bad weather that forced them to retreat. Their highest point reached was around 7,350 meters, below a high rock tower.

Anniversary expeditions

The Nepalese south side of Cho Oyu
The Nepalese south side of Cho Oyu

To mark the 100th anniversary of the Russian Mountaineering Federation, two Russian expeditions had set out to climb eight-thousanders in Nepal. In addition to the Cho Oyu team, a team of three had attempted to climb Dhaulagiri without breathing mask. As reported, 38-year-old Nadya Oleneva fell to her death during the summit attempt.

First ascents on six-thousanders

Two more first ascents on six-thousanders in Nepal were reported at the end of October. Alexey Lonchinsky and Yuri Koshelenko succeeded in climbing for the first time the Southeast Buttress of Rolwaling Kang. The first ascent of the 6,664-meter-high mountain in the Rolwaling Valley in the northeast of the country had been achieved by a Japanese team in 2016.

In Langtang National Park north of the capital Kathmandu, Ecuadorian Oswaldo Freire and U.S. American Joshua Jarrin made the first known ascent of the 6,567-meter Yansa Tsenji (Dhagpache), in alpine style via its East Face.

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