To prepare ourselves for Everest, Samantha, Dave, Douglas and me had decided to climb Cho Oyu first. Cho Oyu is a 8201 m mountain and is known to be the “easiest” 8000 m peak. This climb was going to give us a first indication whether Everest was achievable. And it would allow us to get used to the use of oxygen bottles. Victor Saunders was our expedition leader.
On 27th August, 2006 the team arrived in Katmandu. After a few days, we flew from Katmandu to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. As a start to our acclimatization, we had planned a few days in Tibet. The road trip brought us to Tingrit and from there on to the first basecamp at 4800 m. We stayed a few days in this basecamp, while making day hikes up to 6000 m to acclimatize further.
On 12th September we arrived in the actual basecamp at 5700 m. We did more acclimatization trips of a couple of days each to camp 1 and eventually camp 2 at 7200 m.
Unfortunately, when our acclimatization was completed, it started snowing. We ended up being stuck in basecamp for 5 days, while we were waiting for the weather to improve. On 26th September it finally stopped snowing and we could make our final preparations for a summit attempt.
On 1st October we left around midnight from camp 2 with oxygen bottles and we reached the summit of Cho Oyu at 7 am. From the summit, we could see Everest: our main goal for 2007.
Name: Cho Oyu
Altitude: 8201 m
Coordinates: 28° 06’ 00’’ N, 86° 39’ 00’’ E
Summit reached: 1st October, 2006