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  SummitClimb Cho Oyu Autumn 2005: Johan Frankelius Cho Oyu summit picture show

On the windless morning of September 28th, 2005, I spent one hour and twenty-five minutes fooling about on the summit of  Cho Oyu  taking a few photos. Here are two of them. I used Kodak Plus-X 125 black and white film before I switched over to colour reversal film.


Mountaineer Johan Frankelius from Summit Climb/Everest Parivar Expedition standing together with Tibetan- and other Asian climbers on the summit of Mt Cho Oyu (8201 m/Tibet & Nepal) - 6th highest in the world - facing Mount Everest thirty-two kilometers towards the south east by east at around 9.15 am . The oxygen mask (taken off for about forty-five minutes on the summit), on which hose a chunk of ice has formed due to air exhalation, can be seen above the coat of arms of the Swedish province of Östergötland. Tursje - or Tumba as he is called by us Westerners -  stands to the far right. He is a student from the Tibet Guide School in Lhasa. Along with other Tibetan climbers he helped us carry through the climb by, for example, putting up tents, carrying group- and some of our personal gear up on the mountain. Prayer flags on the summit is a peculiarity of Himalayan climbing peaks. On the Cho Oyu summit plateau the flags mark the highest point seen on this photo, which was taken by means of a monopod and a self-timer. Photo: Johan Frankeliu



About five vertical meters  [in Himalayan climbing the metric system is used] below the summit and 50 meters towards the east, Cho Oyu-Summiters have this breathtaking panorama. The highest peak is Mount Everest  or Chomolungma (8850 m/world's highest); to the right of Everest is Lhotse (501 m/world 4th highest) and between Everest and Lhotse South Col (7006 m), which is the highest col/mountain pass in the world; the high and pointed peak to the right of Lhotse is Nuptse (7861 m), and between these two peaks (small, light and square as seen on this photo) protrudes the upper region of Makalu (8481 m/world's 5th highest); to the right of Nuptse, in the distance, is a peaked mountain named Cho Polo (6734 m); Pumori (7145 m), also a rather peaked mountain, is below South Col and Lhotse; below South Col and to the left  of Pumori is Everest West Shoulder (7309 m); the big rock face to the left of Everest West Ridge is Everest North Face, and to the left of the latter is Changtse (7583 m) - a peaked mountain which lies entirely in Tibet. Everest North Ridge starts from North Col (7066 m), to the right of Changtse, and continues upwards to Everest Northeast Ridge, which in turn leads up to the summit of Everest. In the upper region of Lhotse Face there is, to the left, a v-shaped rock structure of which the left part of the "v" is called Geneva Spur. Just below the right part of the "v", at a height of approximately 7500 meters, is a spot which I visited on another sunny and windless day of May 28th, this year, during an Everest expedition. The snow in front of the Mount Everest massif belongs, of course, to the Cho Oyu summit plateau. So, this picture includes four of the six highest mountains in the world, namely Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Cho Oyu.  I think Kangchenjunga (world's 3rd highest) is obscured by Everest. Photographing Everest in the morning from the summit of Cho Oyu is fairly difficult since it is against the light. Photo: Johan Frankelius


I needed six hours and fifteen minutes to ascend from Camp 3 (C3) at 7450 meters to the summit (8201 m), which, according to experienced climbers I have spoken to, is normal. (From C3) I chose to use supplementary oxygen (regulator set to release two liters of oxygen per minute) to minimize the dangers of climbing an eight-thousand-meter peak (such as frostbite, hypoxia and fatigue). I was told, however, that only one more hour probably would have been required for me to reach the summit had I chosen not to use supplementary oxygen, so apparently the difference is not that big. Still, one extra hour is yet another one during which you can get sick, as I see it. On Cho Oyu about 50  percent of the climbers use supplementary oxygen.


This very same morning Mark Little, Guntis Brands, Douglas Cote, and Herve Coron from my team also summited Cho Oyu. I had the pleasure to meet them on the summit and on the summit plateau. Also, three of our climbing Sherpas (i.e. Tibetan climbers) - Tumba, Pemba, and Dorje - summited on the 28th of September.


Although it was great spending some time on the summit of this immense mountain, and quite a beautiful one too, I got a bout of melancholia even before I began to descend. Maybe it simply had something to do with the fact that the climb was  more or less over. I believe we got to the summit quite fast - in just a couple of weeks after having arrived in Advanced Base Camp (ABC) - and I was not tired on the summit. Now that we had attained our goal there seemed not to be much left to look forward to … except for some good wining and dining in ABC!


The other team members of this expedition are: Ray Butler, Tunc Findik, Gernot Gessinger, Richard Lindsköld, Ulrica Lindsköld, Francois Niering, Thierry Auberson, Andrew Sloan, Edward Buckingham, Matt Ward, Nick Williams, Dominic Faulkner, Ben Stuckey, Jon David Stewart, Maya Sherpa, Phil Crampton (expedition manager), and Arnold Coster (leader).  Our team included twenty-two climbers from nine different countries. Johan Frankelius


This is our team:


Arnold Coster, the Netherlands- Leader

Phil Crampton, UK -Expedition Manager

Thierry Auberson, Switzerland

Guntis Brands, Switzerland

Edward Buckingham, UK

Ray Butler, UK

Herve Coron, France

Doug Cote, USA

Dominic Faulkner, UK

Tunc Findik, Turkey

Johan Franlelius, Sweden

Gernot Gessinger, Austria

Richard Lindskold, Sweden

Ulrica Lindskold, Sweden

Mark Little, USA

Francois Niering, Switzerland

Maya Sherpa, Nepal

Andrew Sloan, UK

Jon David Stewart, USA

Ben Stuckey, USA

Matt Ward, UK

Nick Williams, UK


Introduction to Cho Oyu: 4 September to 10 October

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 SummitClimb.com

Leader: Arnold Coster, an accomplished and friendly leader who has led successful expeditions to the summit of Cho Oyu and Everest. Arnold's last expedition placed 9 of 11 members and 4 Sherpas on the summit of Cho Oyu; Organizer: Jon Christian Otto, fluent Chinese speaker, Tibet and China Expert, with 10 years experience organizing Himalayan climbs.

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.

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