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  Summitclimb Cho Oyu 2009: Camp 2

21-Sep-09: Dear friends and family, this is Ry Fable calling in a dispatch for the SummitClimb Cho Oyu expedition for September 21st, 2009.

Most of the climbers made it to camp 2 at 7100 metres/23,300 feet. We had a cold night’s sleep with temperatures around -20 Celsius. After waking, most climbers began the laborious process of melting snow to make water. Adam Dixon and Gavin Vickers climbed above camp 2. The rest of the team descended to camp 1 as the sun peaked over the mountain at 10:30 a.m.

The descent to camp 1 was uneventful except for a few inexperienced climbers from other teams having trouble at the ice-wall abseil. After a brief stop in camp 1 to stash gear, make water, and take a  break, the team proceeded to ABC for some delicious food and much needed rest.

Spirits are high as we rest and prepare for our final push to the summit. For me, I’m looking forward to a shower tomorrow. We thank you for your support and keeping us in your thoughts.

20-Sep-09: Hello this is Wiktor Mazur for the SummitClimb autumn Cho Oyu expedition. I’m calling in a dispatch for 20 September from camp 2 at 7100 metres/23,300 feet.

All but 3 of our group have arrived in camp 2 and we plan to spend the night here in our comfortable sleeping tents. For most people, including myself, this is a new altitude record. It is with a lot of satisfaction we look back on the long day we had getting up here to camp 2. It took us about 9 hours to reach this height.

After we wake up tomorrow, the plan is to head back to ABC and rest before the summit push. I know I speak for myself and many others when I say that our thoughts are on the mountain, but also with our friends and family back home. Wish us all luck as we push for our summit attempt and we’ll see you all back home soon. Take care.

19-Sep-09: Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold, the leader of the SummitClimb Cho Oyu expedition, calling from camp 1 at 6400 metres/21,000 feet and today is the 19th of September.

All members made it up to camp 1 again. Everybody is healthy and strong and, for most members, this is their 3rd visit to this camp already, so we’re all getting very eager to go higher on the mountain. Tomorrow we plan to go up to camp 2 at 7000 metres/23,000 feet. It’s going to be a lot more difficult climbing tomorrow because we have to carry some rope, our down suits, sleeping bags, and some food because we’re going to need that next time we go up there for our summit attempt.

Ridlon went to intermediate camp to recover from a headache. I just spoke to him on the radio and he’s doing fine and back in ABC. He wants to come up to camp 1 tomorrow. One of our sherpas is going to go to ABC to climb with Ridlon to camp 1, while we’re going to camp 2.

Right now we’re enjoying our food in camp 1 and getting ready to go to sleep. I’m here with my Chinese friend, Asu, in the tents. Asu even carried some hamburger up to camp 1, so I think it’s pretty amazing what we’re eating high up in the Himalaya.

So that’s it for now. I’ll call back tomorrow with some more news. Bye, bye.

Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold, the leader of the SummitClimb Cho Oyu expedition, calling from camp 1 at 6400 metres/21,000 feet and today is Wednesday, the 16th of September.

All of the members did great climbing up to camp 1. Everybody made it in good time, good health and spirit. The sherpas did a great job pitching our camp. We didn’t have to do anything, as everything was set up for us already, so it was easy mountaineering. Christian, our German member, decided to turn around because he was not feeling too good from the altitude, so he went back to ABC to rest a little bit more. He’ll try to catch up with us later.

Tomorrow our team members will try to climb as high as possible and then all back down to ABC. We have to climb up and down a lot because our bodies are not yet used to the altitude and it is very hard for us to rest high up on the mountain. The longer we stay up, the weaker we get. That’s why we climb up and then go down to sleep and eat so we get strong again for the next push. Every time we push to go up we try to go a little bit higher.

Our sherpas will go to camp 2 again tomorrow to put up some more tents, bring some more gas and food. Without our awesome sherpas these expeditions would be much more difficult.

One of our sherpas joined the group who is fixing the route, which means they are going to try to fix all the ropes to the summit ridge tomorrow during the day time. That is great because the fixed rope is our safety line. It’s very dangerous to do the climb roped together. That’s why we used fixed lines, so it’s easy to go up and down and you don’t have to use the same rope in the same place all of the time.

Tomorrow I’ll have more news when we’re back in ABC. We’re all going to sleep now here in camp 1. Bye, bye and take care

14-Sep-09; Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold, the leader of the SummitClimb Cho Oyu expedition, calling from advanced basecamp and today’s date is the 14th of September.

Today all of our members climbed to camp 1 at 6400 meters/21,000 feet and everybody did very well. Everybody made it within 4 hours, so I think we have a very strong, motivated group and they will do well going up to the next camp. Also, we brought about 500 kg of gear to camp 1, so we have a good stash of supplies now to make camp 2 and camp 3 in the next couple of days.

Tomorrow all members will rest in ABC to do small things like laundry and washing before we go up to camp 1 again this week. The plan is that we are going to sleep in camp 1 on the 16th.

All members are strong, their spirits are high, and I’m very happy to be the leader of this group. Until I have more news, that’s it for now. Bye, bye

11-Sep-09: Dear SummitClimb news readers,
Today we had our first full day in ABC at 5750 metres/18,900 feet. Most members spent their day getting settled in their tents. After all, this is our home for the next month! I think we have a great ABC with all the comforts we need. Every member has their own tent, as well as the team’s large dining tent, kitchen tent, storage tent, toilet tent and even a shower tent. ABC is like a small village.
Tomorrow all sherpas from all teams will have a meeting about fixing the ropes to the summit of Cho Oyu. Our team will have a rope practice to go over all the rope techniques again to make sure everybody can travel safely on the mountain.
Sunday we will have our ‘puja’ ceremony. In this Buddhist ceremony we ask the mountain god for safe passage, but it's also a social gathering and helps breaks the barrier between staff and members, so we all feel like a unified team.
I think we have a very strong team with high spirits.
Stay tuned for more news.........
Arnold Coster - expedition leader

12-Sep-09: Hello to all from advanced basecamp on Cho Oyu, Tibet. This is James Wilde calling in on the 12th of September.

The weather has been good except for some light rain and snow showers. The views of Cho Oyu, surrounding mountains and glaciers were phenomenal today. We went ahead with plans and practiced on the fixed lines using ascenders, rappelling and making sure everyone is set for going further up on the mountain. It was good times. We took a lot of photos and video, which we’ll try to send in as soon as possible to post.

After our successful training session we returned to ABC and life at 5750 metres/18,900 feet. We told a lot of jokes and stories along the way down and I can honestly say that this is a fun group and everyone has a great sense of humour. I think I’m speaking for all of us when I say that the team is having a tremendous time. We all miss our family, friends and loved ones and are looking forward to seeing you all soon. Best regards, Jamie.

Earlier: Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold Coster, the leader of the SummitClimb Cho Oyu expedition calling from advanced base camp at 5760 metres/18,900 feet and today is the 10th of September.

We made it to ABC today. It was a long day for most members and also for the yaks. We left early this morning from interim camp and some of the yaks didn’t arrive in ABC until 5:00 in the afternoon, which created a bit of difficulty because those yaks were carrying our kitchen equipment. All are members had to wait until they arrived to melt water and get dinner, but everybody is doing fine now and our cook managed to make a very good meal late in the evening.

Tomorrow we are just going to relax, make ourselves more comfortable in ABC, put up and use the shower tent, and make our camp really nice. The day after we are going to do our ‘puja’ blessing ceremony because our sherpas won’t go up on the mountain until it has been performed for the team and all of our equipment. Then we’re going to do some rope practice and a bit of training.

When I have some more interesting news to share I will call in again. Bye, bye.

Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold Coster, the leader of the SummitClimb Cho Oyu expedition calling from intermediate camp at 5380 metres/17,600 feet and today is the 9th of September.

We spent the morning organizing and weighing our equipment for the yaks. In total we had to bring out 3600 kg/7900 pounds of equipment and we had to load 60 yaks to get here, so we were busy with that all morning.

All of the members hiked up here to intermediate camp pretty fast and everybody is doing great and all healthy.

We will wake up early tomorrow and continue our journey to ABC at about 5800/19,000 feet. After tomorrow we can finally settle in one place. ABC is going to be our home for the next 3 weeks. I heard we already have good spot at ABC, so no worries about that.

Everybody is healthy and we’re just relaxing. Samdien, our Tibetan cook, made a delicious meal for us tonight, which was great. So, everybody is strong and eager to go up tomorrow.

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