NEWSLETTERS - Cho Oyo Autumn 1999

Newsletter 64 September 1999

A colder night last night at around 4degC but still nothing like the deep freeze conditions we can expect up the mountain. Scott was called out early to deal with a bad cut on the eye sustained by one of the Chinese military that have a tent at BC since this valley is a major route for refugees going to Nepal. Also at BC are the TMA (Tibetan Mountaineering Association) rep. and the CMA (Chinese Mountaineering Association) rep. Russell's relationship with these guys is first class after many years of expeditions and all runs smoothly.

The morning is spent doing some training on fixed ropes using Jumars which is a technique more typically used in big mountain expeditions rather than the alpine style experience of much of the team. A jumar is a locking device that can be applied to the rope and is attached to the harness of each climber so that forward progress can be made with some help from the jumar and also the security of knowing sliding backwards is not an option.

In the afternoon we hike up a nearby mountain to 5300m for further acclimatization with no problems. Janey, Scott and Denise also took a walk down the river to look at further ruined buildings in the aftermath of the Chinese invasion. The Yak team also arrived ready for loading up in the morning for the transfer to IBC. We celebrated Sandy's ## birthday with party hats and popcorn and even some beer and wine - probably blown all the acclimatization out the window. He got a woolly hat, a pair of boobs fashioned from wax earplug material and a condom (with a promise of a blond yak later).