Cho Oyu May 2006

Cho Oyu May 2006

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The Ring Road is a 21 km road circling the city of Kathmandu. This has become an important landmark as of late. The curfews have been almost exclusive to those of us, inside the Ring, and we have heard of a planned large scale protest for tomorrow with upwards of a million people, around the Ring. Yet, here inside the Ring, life is relatively straightforward. Restaurants with limited menus, cut off cell phone service, and everpresent military guards passing the time smoking on the streets are the norm.

The scene changes dramatically along the areas of protest. Every morning we wake eager to hear what the situation is and read about the injuries involved at the fringe of the Ring. This place is full of contrast now. A scene from the ride in the other day sticks with me.... as political turmoil heated up in various parts of the city, we passed the pool area of a nice hotel surrounded by gardens complete with foriegn tourists laying out and drinking in the sun. A hundred yards away you see a trash pile collecting from countless days, with a cow standing in the middle of it. In the Kathmandu Post, over coffee, reading of 3 more deaths just a few blocks away, and in the next column "Celebrity Birthdays," to find out that it is Aaron Comess' the drummer of The Spin Doctors 38th Birthday! Cheers.

So the contrasts continue, as we tentatively plan on taking yet another now routine helicopter ride from here to the Tibetan border, driving seems highly unlikely, a random German tourist sitting directly next to me at the internet cafe is reading my last dispatch from this very trip a few days ago on certainly is weird inside the Ring.

We will wait until tomorrow when the rest of our team members arrive, have our final days of preparation and hoepfully break out of the Ring..........

Bueno Suerte,


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Update: All of our members are safely here in Kathmandu and we had our team meeting last night. We have a dinner planned for this evening and everyone has been taking care of last minute details today. Tomorrow morning we will leave at 4:30 a.m. on the road to the border. We hope for the best and look forward to getting underway. We will have some of the members writing and calling in with dispatches from Tibet so stay tuned.....

I would like to give personal thanks to the staff at the Hotel Nepa International for hosting us once again... Ryan back to top


Carlo, James and myself arrived in Kathmandu to meet the rest of the team on Tuesday. Instead of riots the celebration flags flew with communist colours. After a fine introduction talk by Lord Ryan, it was off for some food and beers. I stayed on for a few extra pints and jumped on a cycle rickshaw for the short pedal home. The rickshaw boy, picked up a passanger and took me way out of the town center. After some fruitless negociation I took over the driving and headed back with my passangers who's warning shouts saved more than one crash. Steering is difficult after six Everest beers.
Thursday was a four am start waiting for the luxury bus to take us to the Chinese boarder.When it arrived it took us at speed through the Kathmandu suberbs and out onto winding hill roads. The friendship bridge crosses a river between the two countries. Breakfast, money changing, document filling, passport showing and an electronic gun pointed at our forheads to ensure we didn't have a temperature...and we were in.
Oh no, that was just the preliminaries. Next came a two hour Chinese queue to get to the man with the real stamp. Chinese queues are a different. Any space in front of us was rapidly filled by queue jumpers, invariably Buddist Monks. I now know where enlightenment gets you - to the front queue.
Very plush landcruisers then took us to Nylam (3600m) a small town with smattering of shops and hotels to cater for the passing trade. DInner was a fine affair where the shared dishes are put on a revelving center. Half of us are still wary of the meat trying to ensure we dont pick up any bugs en route but the food so far is tasty.
Today was walking to acclimatise and resting. A wall in the center of town doubled as an alfresco cafe experience, we were joined by playful children, staring adults, wandering yaks and a very lost looking monkey. If it hitched a lift on a truck to get here it should really get a ride back to monkey land.
Everyone is well and enjoying Ryan's relaxed and friendly approach to leadership.
It is a good team.
Bye for now

Update 05/01/2006: This is Mark with the SummitClimb Cho Oyu Expedition calling from Base Camp. We arrived today. We had good weather this afternoon, however it’s snowing right now. All members are feeling good. We’re going to take a rest day tomorrow, and then make our way up to interim camp and hopefully we’ll have good weather. Thank you very much.

Here is a team roster:

Mr. REMCO BERENDSEN, Expedition Doctor. Netherlands.

Mr. BRAD CORR. Team Member. California.

Mr. PHIL CRAMPTON. Expedition Manager. Nottingham and Houston.

Ms. LIGA HARTMANE. Leader in Training. Latvia.

Mr. REINHOLD KRAUS. Team Member. Germany.

Mr. MARK MERWIN. Leader in Training. Hawaii.

Mr. DAVID O'BRIEN. Team Member. England.

Mr. JAMES VILES. Team Member. payment complete.

Mr. CARLO WAMBEKE. Team Member. Belgium.

Mr. RYAN WATERS. Expedition Leader. Atlanta. back to top


Update 05/05/2006: Hello everyone, this is Ryan calling in for the SummitClimb Cho Oyu Expedition on the Tibet side. We’re all here at Advanced Base Camp at approximately 5100 meters, or just above 18,000 feet. We arrived yesterday and established our Advanced Base Camp. Everyone’s feeling really good, everyone’s healthy, and we’re enjoying a couple of rest days here at Advanced Base Camp.

Tomorrow we plan on receiving the rest of our yak-load, so we’ll get all the rest of our gear and also some more food. We’ll also take the time to do a little skills review and do a little more resting before going up to Camp 1 for the first time. Tomorrow we’re going to send some Sherpas and Tibetan staff up to Camp 1 and establish the camp there. So we’re looking forward to getting on the mountain in just a couple of days. It’s snowing right now, it tends to snow every afternoon about three o’clock. The weather is pretty stable.

We’d also like to thank our kitchen staff, they’ve been cooking great food for us. And also we’re joined by our climbing staff, our Nepali Sirdar and we have three Tibetan climbers---they’ve been working hard already establishing our camp here at ABC and they’re going to work hard tomorrow on the mountain carrying loads up there, along with Phil, our expedition manager, going up to Camp 1 tomorrow. So everything’s good here from the SummitClimb Cho Oyu Team, and we will definitely give you a call in just a couple of days once we have gone up to Camp 1 and see how we’re doing. Thanks for keeping all the friends and family in the loop and we’ll get back soon. Thank you. Ryan Waters back to top



Update 05/20/2006: This is Ryan Waters, Expedition Leader for the SummitClimb Cho Oyu Expedition, calling to you from 6,500 meters or approximately 21,000 feet up in Camp 1. Our Summit push is on. Calling from my tent here, listening to the iPod, looking out at sunset at 8:20 at night, making some macaroni and cheese. We’re excited to be on the summit push now-- myself, Carlo, Reinhold and David are all at Camp 1. We plan to move to Camp 2 tomorrow along with Pasang Sherpa and Sadom Chemay . So we’re psyched and we’re ready to go. The weather is fairly stable. We’re getting reports of just some clouds for a few days but then hopefully clear weather on the 23rd, which is our predicted summit date.

The rest of the crew is down at ABC still and they’re going to start their summit bid tomorrow. They’ll be coming up to Camp 1 tomorrow evening, and that includes everyone else on the team. Mark, Liga, James, Brad, and Remco. We’re all excited about getting underway and we’ll have the phone with us and we’ll give you calls from high on the mountain. So stay tuned and wish us luck. Thank you. back to top


Update 05/25/2006: This is Ryan Waters calling for the SummitClimb Cho Oyu Expedition. Calling to give you guys the official update. I'm here facing ABC fending off the Tibetan porters who are trying to sell everyone odd trinkets to be found in Tibet, as we're one of the last teams remaining here.

But here goes the official update. We had two great successful summit groups. On the 23rd, reaching the Summit of Cho Oyu was Mr. David O'Brien, Mr. Carlo Wambeke, Ryan Waters with his second summit of Cho Oyu, Pasang Sherpa and Sanam Chume. Mr. Reinhold Krause also climbed to his personal high at 7,900 meters, so we're very happy about that.



On the 24th, Mr. Remco Berendsen, our expedition doctor, and Mr. James Viles reached the summit of Cho Oyu early in the AM with Pumba and Toombadendu. Mark Merwin was pretty sick, he'd been battling some stomach issues for several days, and he made Camp 3 his high point. Liga Hartmane reached high above Camp 3, climbed through the Rock Band, but she'd been battling a cough for several days, so she decided to call it quits just above the Rock Band. Also, Brad Corr reached Camp 2 earlier last week, and he made that his official high point.



For now everyone is down to ABC safe. We're waiting on just a couple more people to come down from Camp 1 and then we'll all be here. Our plan is to spend a couple more days till the Yaks arrive tomorrow and on the 27th we'll go down to Base Camp and on to Tingri for the night. And then our plan is to be in Katmandu on the 28th, so be expecting to hear from all of our team members then for all our friends and family. Thanks so much for the coverage, and we look forward to another great expedition here next year. OK, we'll check in from the road back to Katmandu. Talk to you later, bye. back to top




Update 05/29/2006: Thank you for all the support and coverage of our expedition. We are reporting from Kathmandu, we have arrived after a very long and bumpy ride from Tingri, Tibet to a welcome feeling back here in Nepal. We all went out and celebrated with food and drink last night and are now taking care of things such as much needed shaves and calling friends and family. We had a very safe and successful expedition to Cho Oyu again this year. That's all for now, thanks to our sponsors, and Everest Parivar Expeditions. Here is wishing everyone a nice spring and until next time..... Ryan Waters signing off. back to top