NEWSLETTERS - Cho Oyo Autumn 2001

Newsletter 27 September 2001

Base Camp to Advanced Base Camp

These updates are being sent via the Indian Ocean INMARSAT satellite.

Friday 7/9: Now acclimatising at Advanced Base Camp (ABC) after a long day yesterday. Spent an extra day, Wednesday, at BC after Russell predicted bad weather. The team joined the yaks & sherpas at BC. What could have been a long afternoon was taken up in an animated game of Monopoly in which Yamada's grip of commercial opportunism & ruthlessness won out. To make sure this Japanese grip on games doesn't hold, we plan to play Scrabble next!

Joined at BC that day by a young Norweigan contingent, who kindly invited us to join them for the evening viewing a film on DVD. Whilst it is not the purpose of this 'Cho Oyo newsletter' to offer cimematic criticism, we all thought the film - The Matrix - awful. Only plausible mitigation could be that a crucial bit of plot was lost during conversion to DVD & adding Chinese sub-titles.

Most groups break the BC to ABC journey into two days. We know why. Taking it in one day - 22 kms along & over 1 km vertical - makes a hard day. The start altitude is just short of the top of Mt Blanc. All the team reached ABC in eight hours, which promises well for the days ahead. ABC is in a wonderful location just below Cho Oyo. Precariously positioned on the moraine, it boasts a view direct across to the 'Pang La' Tibet-Nepal crossing point.

Today's event was the 'Puja' - the traditional pre-expedition ceremony was led Phurba. Rice and Stampa was tossed to the wind, and juniper burnt for the gods. We rest today & tomorrow ahead of acclimatisation forays up towards Camp One.