Sunday, August 31, 2008

Zhangmu

6 PM Chinese Time August 31, 2008

Our group made it into Tibet and we will be working our way to Cho Oyu basecamp over the next four days.  Tonight we will stay in Zhangmu, then two nights in Nylam, and finally 2 nights in Tingri.

I am writing from Zhangmu and this place has changed a lot since I was frst here in 1993.  The streets are paved, there are well stocked grocery stores, internet cafes abound, cell phones exist and work. I can't say that I mind the improvement as this has traditionally been a difficult place for climbers to stay healthy.

We believe we may be the only Western group to be climbing on Cho Oyu in the Fall of 2008.  No Western groups climbed ths Spring.  Although it will be odd to be there without all the other climbers, we are looking forward to seeing the mountain as it must have been 20 years ago.

As we are still very low in elevation and close to Nepal, the Monsoon rains are soaking us this afternoon.  Tomorrow we will drive up the very wild road to Nylam and hopefully have good views of Shishapangma, the first peak I attempted in Tibet back in 1993.

More news to follow.  We are very happy to be here.

All best-

JR

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Olivia and John headed to Nepal

Olivia and I are headed to Nepal.  I will be climbing with my good friend Bob Meyer of Indianapolis on a Northwest Mountain School climb of Cho Oyu and Olivia will be leading International Mountain Guide's, expedition to Cho Oyu, the world's 6th highest mountain.  Bob's wife Gayle will be accompanying us on the trek portion of the Cho Oyu trip.  Bob, Gayle, Olivia, and I all went to Aconcagua a few years back, and we also climbed Denali and the Mexico Volcanos with Bob.  This first post would be missing something without saying "hello" to the whole crew form Indianapolis: Ace Yakey, Dave Carter, Ron Steele, George Vail, Mark Ryan and the amazing Larry Howald, who recently finished the last of his 54 Colorado 14'ners.  I am sure all these folks would be with us if they could.  I will be gentle with Bob so that you can have more adventures with him in the future.

  This will be my 3rd trip to Cho Oyu after successful climbs in 1996 and 2001, and Olivia's 2nd after a summit in 2001.  Additionally I was on Shishapanga in 1993, and Everest in 1994 and 2001 as part of the Mallory and Irvine Research Expedtion.  

Prior to the climb we will be trekking in the Annapurna region to acclimate a bit prior to the adventurous drive to Tibet.  

At the moment we are in Bangkok waiting for out flight to Kathmandu after a 17 hour direct flight from Los Angeles to Bangkok.  Guiding has had me flying a lot over the years and this was the longest flight I have been on to date.  Amazing how much portions of the trip have changed since my first Himalayan Expedition in 1993.  I worked on my laptop for much of the way here and then plugged right back in here in Bangkok and picked up e-mail and other correspondence right where I left off in Leavenworth 30 hours earlier.  Things are much more connected. 

We hope to make some regular posts throughout the expedition, so keep an eye on this spot.  You can also go to http://www.mountainguides.com/cho-oyu08.shtml and this will have daily posts once the expedition is underway.  

That is it for now.  

JR