Cho Oyu September/October 2004

Cho Oyu September/October 2004

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Introduction to Cho Oyu: 4 September to 10 October, 2004

Cho-Oyu has only recently become a popular mountain to climb. It is now known to be one of the most accessible of the world’s fourteen 8,000 metre mountains. This is because the ascent to the summit is short and direct, with a few small technical sections, less than 6 metres high, climbed in safety using fixed lines. Additionally, the mountain can be easily reached by four-wheel-drive vehicle, and the trail to Camp 1 at 6,400 metres, is basically a steep walk on talus slopes, often done in hiking boots. This expedition to Cho-Oyu maximizes our previous successful ascents on the peak itself, plus many years of accumulated wisdom of the high Himalaya, a strong record of reaching 8,000 metre summits in all safety, along with an intimate knowledge of the Tibetan and Chinese officials who regulate the permit system. We must also give credit to the highly experienced and hard-working leaders, sherpas and staff here at

Members and Leaders roster:

Dan Blake, Colorado

Ron Oliver, Washington

Pete Coz, California

Ryan Waters, Georgia, Leader

Arnold Coster, Rotterdam, Leader

Roland Debare, South Carolina and Belgium

Paul Burgess, Canada

Neil Wells, England

Mon Tindale, England

Caroline Cuif, France

Jacques LeTrange, France

4 climbing sherpas and 3 cooks are planning to accompany the team, names to be announced

Thanks again for all of your fantastic support!!! From Daniel Mazur and all of us at

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Ryan Waters and Arnold Coster who are leading the Cho Oyu expedition, both summited Evererst from Tibet with SummitClimb in spring 2004. Ryan is a professional guide for outward bound.

Cho Oyu - the "Turquoise Goddess" in Tibetan - is located at the frontier of Tibet and Nepal. At a height of 8201 meters, it belongs to the Himalayan range, about 30 km west of Everest. It is the sixth highest mountain in the world and was first climbed on October 19th 1954 by the Austrian Herbert Tichy, with Sepp Jochler and Pasang Dava Lama.

"Finally, the peak is reached, the infinite hardships are ended. The last nine hours fighting with the mountain; the time in the death zone above 24,000 foot, the weeks of privations and hardships, even the risk of one's life - is this reward itself really? Yes, certainly! Not because of fame but inner satisfaction: To have found the mountain as friend and have been so near to the sky." Sepp Jochler. back to top 


September 25 Dispatch -

This is Arnold Coster calling from the Summit Climb Cho Oyu 2004 Expedition. All of our members are doing fine, and here's Neil for a short message, he's one of the members of the team. Neil:" This is Neil Wells from the Summit Climb team, calling with an update from Cho Oyu. Things are progressing well, with half the group having spent at least one night in Camp 2. Mon, Neil, Dan, Ron, Ryan, and Maya Sherpa hope to go up there on Thursday night. Pete and Nawang spent Friday night at Camp 2, with Roland, Caroline, and Jacques at Camp 1. Most of the team will be back in ABC by tonight, spending a few days resting, drinking, eating, and possibly washing before getting ready for a summit attempt next week. Conditions here are very good, and all of us are amazed by our awesome cook Kipa Sherpa's ability to knock up good food from simple ingredients. He even managed Yak Cheese Pizza last night! So at least if we're not climbing, we can all eat well. All for now, bye.


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Arnold reports in on the summit plans 9/27/2004

September 27 Dispatch -

This is Arnold Coster from the Cho Oyu Summit Climb 2004 Expedition. This is a quick message because I am very low on battery power. Today, a team is leaving for the summit, they are planning to summit on the 30th of September. The team is Paul, Neil, Mon, Dan, Ron, Arnold, and Maya. Tomorrow, another team will leave. They plan to summit on the 1st of October. That team is Ryan, Roland, Caroline, and Jacques. All the members are doing very fine, they are very eager to go to the summit, and the weather is fabulous. I hope it stays like this and [unintelligible] when we are safe, down from the summit, and having a big party in Basecamp. See you.... [cuts off]

Thanks again for all of your fantastic help and support for Himalayan climbing, you are amazing!

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Thanks for your fantastic help in posting the dispatches for our Cho Oyu climb. Here are the final dispatches from the Cho Oyu team, transcribed by Mike O'Brien, former SummitClimb Cho Oyu member.

October 2 Dispatch -

Hello! This is Ryan Waters calling for the Cho Oyu 2004 SummitClimb team. On behalf of myself and co-leader Arnold Coster, I'd like to announce that we have successfully placed 13 people on the summit of Cho Oyu!

This includes our 9 foreign members, along with Maya Sherpa, the first Nepalese woman to summit Cho Oyu, as well as 3 Tibetan climbers.

Congratulations to them all! Right now it's 2pm and we are at ABC, sitting here in a light snow, with the weather getting colder. Everyone is safe here at ABC, except for Roland, Jacques and Caroline, who spent an extra night at Camp 1, and plan on walking down to ABC today. To confirm the summits, on September 30th, we have successful summits by Arnold, Paul, Neil, Mon, Dan, Ron, Maya Sherpa, and two Tibetan climbers, Nawang and Tendup. Then on October 1st we had another successful summit day with Ryan, Roland, and Jacques all reaching the summit, as well as a Tibetan climber Pasang. The yaks are scheduled to come tomorrow night, the night of the 4th, and we'll pack up ABC here and then we are scheduled to travel down to Basecamp and then on to Tingri on the 5th. So, everyone is in good spirits here, and we are looking forward to disassembling ABC and heading back to Kathmandu in the next few days. We will call back with more information when we have it, thanks again for all your support. Goodbye.

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October 3 Dispatch -

This is Arnold Coster from the Summit Climb Cho Oyu 2004 Expedition. Today, alot of our members have returned from a successful attempt of Cho Oyu. Nine of the 11 members reached the summit. Paul, Neil, Mon, Dan, Ron, and Arnold are back in ABC now. Also, Maya Sherpa is back in ABC, after becoming the first Nepalese woman on the summit of Cho Oyu. Ryan, Roland, Caroline and Pete are still on the mountain, they will back back tonight, I think, in ABC. Unfortunately, Pete had to turn back from his summit attempt due to health reasons. So, so far it has been a very successful climb, and I hope to meet the rest of the team tonight in camp so that we can have a big party. We will keep you updated, and tomorrow we will give you a full report from the other members, who will have returned to ABC by then. Thanks for the support! Goodbye.

Thanks for posting this news and your fantastic support of Himalayan Climbing overall. Yours Sincerely, from Dan and all of us at back to top 


Hi, thanks for your great help, and we are so thrilled that 9 out of 11 of our members representing 7 countries just summited Cho Oyu with Maya Sherpani, the first Nepalese woman to reach the summit, and 3 Tibetan climbing Sherpas. Here are some more fun dispatches written by former summiter Mike Obrien, for you to post from our Cho Oyu expedition:

Checking in from Kathmandu, Nepal. This is Ryan Waters, SummitClimb Cho Oyu Expedition leader saying hello on behalf of our entire team and staff. We made the hike down from ABC to Basecamp on October 5th. The members began catching Landcruisers for the ride to Tingri, and the staff loaded all of our gear on a truck and the whole team made it in time to spend the night in Tingri. Thank god, because as we all know, that is where the nearest disco was located. After many a day on the mountain, Neill had lots of performing built up in his system and took control of the Kareokee situation. There were many great performances that night including a beautiful duet rendition of "Like a bridge over troubled water" by Jacques and Roland.

The next day, October 6th, we traveled to the Nepal border where we were met by our trekking agent Murari Sharma and a bus to take us the rest of the way to Kathmandu. All the members were happy to get a good shower and go out for some good food. Some made it out to Tom and Jerry's for a few libations and the start of the celebration of a successful expedition. Tonight we have been invited to Mr. Murari's house for a celebration dinner, which we are all excited about. Over all it was a safe, fun, and successful trip and on behalf of myself and Arnold Coster, and the rest of our staff, I would like to congratulate all of our climbing team members. Thanks to friends, family, and sponsors. And congratulations to Ms. Maya Sherpa, believed to be the first Nepalese women to reach the summit of Cho Oyu, the sixth highest mountain in the world.

We wish the best of luck to our friends on the SummitClimb Ama Dablam Expedition which is now underway. Thank you to for your coverage.

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