Hi, this is Max Kausch writing a dispatch for the Cho Oyu autumn 2010
expedition. Today is September 23rd 2010.
I'm currently at ABC with our whole team. Yesterday the team tried to reach C2
but the snow conditions were too bad and they decided to stay at C1 and come
back to ABC. Our team took a safe decision while others decided to go up
despite the conditions. There were a few avalanches at the ice cliff at 6700m.
Also some above it, on the second ice fall. No one got hurt and we are very
glad that the teams that nearly got taken by the avalanches are safe back at
This monsoon seems very persistent and stronger than the last ones. I have
seen the start of it here in Cho Oyu last spring, seen some of its results
during june/july in Pakistan, and here I am now, waiting for it to finish so
we can climb Cho Oyu again. We faced extreme weather conditions at the start
and during the monsoon. We hope it won't be too bad at the end of it.
3 weather forecasts agree that the monsoon precipitation will end during the
next few days, then the winds will pick up. We hope to use the windy days to
reach C2, sleep there and come back down to ABC and finish our acclimatization
The rope fixing works ended last week with the avalanche at 7700 that took 7
tibetan sherpa (all survived). After meeting with most of commercial teams, we
decided to fix whatever is left ourselves during our summit push.
With all these poor weather conditions, we expect now to push for the summit
on the 4th of October. But it all depends on weather... Thinking now, I don't
remember of a totally clear day since we start of the expedition. Snows every
day lately and it's very hard to keep stuff dry even inside the tent.
Dan Mazur sent us a message from the other side of the Himalayas, and say that
the weather is the same over there.
On the bright side of things, our members ended up spending 3 nights at 6400m
and super acclimatized and ready for the push to 7100m! At ABC we try to keep
ourselves busy although there isn't too much to do when it's snowing. I
believe this is the greatest challenge when climbing 80000m mountains and the
team is doing this VERY well on this.
Julie and Calin Lewis improved their timing to C1 and back and we are very
proud of them. Mike is also getting faster every time. We hope all 3 of them
will archive our next 2 goals (C2 and summit). Matti is getting very fast and
is now running down the moraine slope! Paul adapted very well to altitudes and
is keeping a steady pace at every camp he goes to.
Nathalie and Rolf say that they feel like at home when sleeping at C1,
although its 6400m high!
Mark and Dean are feeling very strong and deciding the next steps on the
22 September, 2010
Hi, this is Max Kausch writing a dispatch for the Cho Oyu 2010 Autumn
expedition. Today is September 22nd.
Yesterday the whole team went to C1 to then try an acclimatisation push to C2.
The weather didn't cooperate and now everyone is stuck at C1 and will be back
to ABC tomorrow morning. The weather forecast doesn't look good, some say
there will be precipitation until the end of the month. Most of the teams are
back down to ABC.
The Tibetans who were responsible to fix the ropes this years went back home
due to an avalanche at 7700m. Now, the commercial teams such as ours are
responsible to fix the route from the rock band to the summit.
We hope the weather improves a little during the next few days so we can push
for our acclimatisation to C2.
18 September, 2010
Hi this is Max Kausch writing a dispatch for the Cho Oyu 2010 Autumn
I'm currently typing from ABC, its -15C outside my tent, I'm almost freezing
Today I have two sad news to give you:
Mr Stephen Ranger had to leave our expedition due to a case of pulmonary
oedema. A doctor from the Amical Expedition examined him and found irregular
blood pressure and heart rhythm. We tried our best to keep him here, but it
was impossible to keep him on the expedition without proper medical attention
(reminding you that ABC is 5700m!). Steve left camp 2 days ago a crossed the
Nepali border safely and went straight to a hospital in Kathmandu. He was
diagnosed with having pulmonary oedema. The descent from the high altitude
probably saved his life. Steve is a nice guy! We will really miss Steve and
pray for a fast recovery and hopefully enjoy his company again on another
trip. Steve, please send us some news!
In another unhappy event, an avalanche at 7700m swept a lot of Tibetan sherpas
and injured 7 of them, 2 very seriously. After a very complex rescue, they are
all stabilized at ABC or BC and are now on their way to a hospital in Lhasa.
They were sent to fix the route very early in the season.
From ABC we can even see avalanches over the rockband at 7700m. We hope they
recover from the injuries and don't get any more complications.
Now the good news. Our team is doing great! We all spent a night at C1. The
sherpas, Raj and I worked hard to dig good platforms at 6450m, just above the
normal C1. The views from there are great, I wish you could see what we see
from that altitude! We even had a kitchen tent set up with our amazing kitchen
boy Chiring. The members love him! Every morning, afternoon and sunset he
brings hot beverages and hot food to our tents. This really helps with the
acclimatization. Everyone woke up in a great shape.
Today we geared up and climbed part of the route that leads to camp 2. The
weather was great (for a while). After reaching 6600m, everyone returned to
C1, left all the heavy gear and continued to ABC. Our cook waited for us with
meat stew and Swiss potato pancakes (Nathalie and Rolf were VERY pleased!)
Everyone is in great shape and fully acclimatized to 6400m.
We'll spend another 2 nights, then head to C2 to finish our acclimatization
plan, which seems to be working very well!
That is all the news so far. Steve is great guy and we will all miss him!
16 September, 2010
Hi, this is Max Kausch writing a dispatch for the SummitClimb Cho Oyu 2010
Autumn expedition. Today is September 16th 2010 and we are back to ABC.
Yesterday, all the members reached camp 1 (6400m). Our sherpa and porters
worked very hard yesterday and today to set our camp and take all logistics up
there so our members can go to sleep there tomorrow.
As we were coming down from camp yesterday, the weather got really bad and
hasn't improved since. Our weather forecast says that tomorrow should be a
good day. Everyone continues to adapt very well to the extreme altitudes. If
the team continues like this, we should be ready for the summit push in less
than 10 days!!
The CTMA is association with the Tibetan Climbing School became responsible
this year for fixing the route. We contributed with rope, equipment and staff.
The Tibetan team already fixed the route to the rock band at 7700m and surely
will finish the job by the time our team is acclimatizing. We are very
thankful to them for this.
Tomorrow we will have breakfast and start to move up slowly to reach camp 1
and spend 1 night there. The next day we are planning a acclimatization climb
to the ice cliff at 6700m.
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