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  SummitClimb Autumn Cho Oyu 2010: ABC

25 September, 2010

Hello, this is Dean Cardinale with a dispatch for the SummitClimb Cho Oyu autumn 2010 expedition. Today is the 25th of September.

All members are back at Advanced Basecamp after 2 days of rest. Mark Herbick has left the group after dealing with an ongoing medical ailment the last 5 days. His time was cut short and he decided to head back towards Kathmandu.

On the mountain, above camp 2 in the icefall, we saw multiple avalanches that have occurred. Some were human triggered and others natural.

We spent last night resting in Advanced Basecamp and the skies cleared overnight. It was the first night of no snowfall at ABC. Temperatures dropped as the skies cleared.

Today the whole team is moving from ABC up to camp 1 to continue our push on the mountain. Our members remain upbeat and optimistic that the weather will afford a summit attempt. We look forward to more news dispatches and photos coming your way soon. Bye.

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 camp.

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 process.

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 expedition.


Max Kausch

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.


Max Kausch

18 September, 2010

Hi this is Max Kausch writing a dispatch for the Cho Oyu 2010 Autumn expedition.

I'm currently typing from ABC, its -15C outside my tent, I'm almost freezing my fingers.

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!


Max Kausch

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.


Max Kausch



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