NEWSLETTERS - Cho Oyo Expedition 2003

Newsletter 415 September 2003

Dispatch Four: Camp One Acclimatisation
The plot thickens !!!!! Meaning that in a little while we will be off on the quest for the summit of Cho Oyo....More of that later..

Firstly it is to our great relief that we can inform some very good news regarding the injured Yak man.. After being treated at the Xigatse hospital it
is now almost certain that he will keep his eye and even more vital, his sight.. This is very good news and undoubtedly this man will be forever grateful to Russell for taking action when others who should have did not !!!!!

And now finally after a long time we must oblige to a young man's beggings !!
To Kevin's mum....Kevin eats very well and is feeling fine !!!!

7 Years in Tibet....No we are not referring to the movie and the ever attractive Brad Pitt (sorry girls) (hopefully not boys!!!!) The following should have appeared in the last dispatch, however, surely due to our hypoxic state it slipped our mind...
Rob and Jo, our Aussie/British couple celebrated having shared the last 7 years together, so a special table was prepared for them by Lacchu in our lovely 5600 meter ABC restaurant.... The food, as always, was fantastic, and Russell somehow had found a bottle of whiskey in a crevasse, amazing...
Being the serious mountaineers we are, it was still half full when we went to bed....Or maybe we are just a bunch of softies ?????

This expedition group is, as mentioned, multinational which is sometimes very obvious at the dinner table.. The food is sometimes a tad spicey, leaving some people looking kind of strained and others apparently immune... Our Japanese team member Makato, however, is used to spices, so he has always been smiling at us when we were on fire... Yesterday, at last, the good man overdid it and we spotted him sweating quite a bit.. Nice

Friday was our first big day on the mountain. This was the day that we did the first proper gear carry to camp 1 at 6400m. This was a critical day, to get our important upper mountain gear to Camp 1 and also to acclimatise higher. It is fair to say that some of us were nervous about the carry and sleeping and working higher on the mountain. We had an early lunch and then headed off. Some took three hours, others seven, it was a hard day. The night was then spent at Camp 1. Some were more comfortable than others. The next day most of the party headed up to the Ice-cliff at 6700m. Russell, closely aided by Richard and to a lesser extent the group, then fixed a new, much more efficient, diagonal fixed line up the ice-cliff. We then returned to Camp 1 where we decided to stay one further night. Unfortunately Lacchu's pizza was long since eaten. It was a comfortable but long and empty-stomached evening at camp 1. The next day we descended to a late lunch at ABC.

You may have gathered from some of the detail, that within the group there is one strong element gunning for an early summit bid and a slower element who perhaps will need a little more time before going for the summit. We have discussed this within the group and we all agree. So now a plan exists for the whole group to move to camp 1, camp 2 then the stronger element will head for camp 3 then the summit with oxygen with the exception of Mogens who will attempt with no oxygen. The remainder and those who do not feel ready will descend to ABC from camp 2 with the intent of a later summit bid again with oxygen. We all have a good idea of where we stand, we have the benefit of Russell's vast experience and we realise that mental focus is now the key. We are all excited but have to remain relaxed in the wait for the right weather and the day we leave ABC for camp 2 and the summit.

signing off

Mogens Jensen
Julian Haszard