Ascents Cho Oyu 2005: What a beautiful morning back here in ABC
What a beautiful morning back
here in ABC. It’s Friday the 23rd here in Tibet and we’re enjoying a relaxing
beginning of the day. Looking up at the mountain we can see our tracks to the
summit plateau as well as those made from the teams who summited yesterday.
Today it looks as though there isn’t anyone making a summit attempt.
We made it back to ABC last evening in a snowstorm and quickly got to work on
some Lhasa Beer. The evening quickly got late and Mike and Kevin had Lhakchung
running around ABC trying to find them more beer. It was a treat to have
everyone here on the summit together. We ended up being the only ones on the
summit as another team of two dropped out as they neared the ridge that leads
to the summit plateau. We finally pulled out at 4:30 am on the 21st and had
spectacular weather until we neared the plateau. Though the weather was good
the snow was untracked and knee deep throughout the climb from tents to
summit. Lakpa and I traded postholing duties and the handful of times we were
treated to 20 ft or so of hardpack were blessings. Keeping with Lakpa Rita’s
record we only were able to see Mt. Everest’s summit pyramid for less than 2
minutes before it clouded over. Unfortunately Suzanne, Tony, and Tshering were
a bit behind and missed the fleeting shot that Mike, Kevin, Lakpa and I were
able to enjoy. The team all did an excellent job and were strong and moving
smoothly throughout summit day. We were all together for a few minutes just
after 11:30 am.
In the afternoon we made it back down to CII around 5 pm and tried to enjoy
our dehydrated and depleted sleep. Yesterday morning Lakpa and I finally got
our team roused and out of the tents around 10 am and we descended to CI with
very heavy loads all around. We were met by a team of Tibetans to relieve our
loads down to ABC.
It was an incredible climb for everyone to reach such heights and feel well
doing so. Luckily we were treated to good weather when we needed it. Lakpa
Rita and Tshering did an amazing amount of work fixing the lines from CI to
CII as well as fixing the lines above CIII through the rock bands. The early
arrival and summit added a bit of extra work but we were treated to an early
summit day as a reward. Everyone is grateful and satisfied to be back in ABC
after a job well done.
Tonight we’ll be opening up the Veuve Clicquot champagne. I saw Lhakchung head
out to collect some more beer this morning in order to not miss out on an
enterprising evening of beer sales.
We’ll be in touch from Tingri where we plan to be tomorrow night.
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