Our expedition began in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. After touring Kathmandu and securing our Tibetan visas, we travelled overland to the border town of Kodari. Here we met our Tibetan staff and journeyed west by road. On the way to Chinese Base Camp (16,400ft), we stopped overnight at various towns along the way including Tingri. We also took short acclimatisation hikes above the towns to help us acclimatise, amidst the harsh landscape of the high Tibetan plateau. Once at Chinese Base Camp, we met our Tibetan yak drivers and their animals. Yaks carried our loads to Advance Base Camp (18,500 ft) at the foot of the famous Nangpa-La Pass.
The next three or four days were spent establishing Advanced Base Camp and making short acclimatization forays to the lower reaches of the West Ridge. With the assistance of our Sherpa team, we placed Camp I (21,000 ft) atop the West Ridge. Over the following days, we established Camp II (23,100 ft) and Camp III (24,500 ft) and made two rotations to prepare for our final summit attempt. Once our last camp was set and the team had rested for a few days at Advanced Base Camp, we began the summit climb. Prior to our summit attempt, we spent a few hours resting at Camp III sleeping on supplemental oxygen.
Our summit push began around midnight. We climbed with supplemental oxygen from High Camp, ascending the West Face through a rock band and up snow slopes of 25° to 40° to reach the West Ridge proper. This gentle ridge lead to the large summit plateau at approximately 26,000 ft. From there, we spent the next hour traveling across this plateau to reach the true summit of Cho Oyu and a spectacular 360° view! This included Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and an array of Himalayan peaks! To the North lay the Tibetan plateau (the highest in the world), and to the South stood hundreds of Nepalese peaks.
After reaching the summit, our team descended all the way back to Camp 1 for the night. We then continued the next day down to Advanced Base camp, where we packed up the camp and moved all our equipment back to Chinese Base Camp. Here we said farewell to our Tibetan yak drivers and began our return to Kathmandu.