Guided Climbs of Cho Oyu 8,201 meters

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A guided Cho Oyu climb is the perfect choice for the mountaineer with some experience at altitude who is looking to attempt an 8,000 meter peak. Climbers who have done well on Denali are good candidates to be successful on Cho Oyu. This is a classic Himalayan Giant and a great place to get experience with the extreme altitude found only in the Himalaya. Climbing Cho Oyu is commonly thought of as a pre-requisite for the best shot at success on Mt. Everest .

Cho Oyu is on the Tibet/Nepal border and is most commonly climbed from the Tibet side. On the approach to the mountain we will travel across the Tibetan plateau and have an opportunity to experience the unique Tibetan culture. Climbing expeditions have counted on the local Sherpa and Tibetan populations to support their Himalayan aspirations since the beginning. Our local staff is an important part of our success, safety and enjoyment of the trip.

Climbing Cho Oyu is a serious undertaking involving some technical terrain, mostly surmounted with fixed ropes and jumars, as well as extreme high altitude and potentially harsh weather. We will use oxygen for sleeping at High Camp and for the summit day. The entire expedition takes approximately six weeks, so it involves a high level of commitment, both physically and mentally.

Included in the trip fee:

  • Mountain Trip Guide.  Your expedition will be led by one of our guides with extensive 8000 meter experience.
  • Climbing permits
  • Sherpa support.  We have an all-star team of Sherpa who also work with us on Everest.
  • All oxygen and equipment (Top-Out masks, regulators)
  • Ground transportation from Kathmandu to Cho Oyu base camp
  • 4 nights hotel lodging in Kathmandu at a 4-star hotel
  • Welcome Dinner in Kathmandu
  • All food and lodging during the drive to BC
  • Luxurious base camp facilities, including private tents at BC, solar power, heaters and carpeting in our dining dome at BC
  • Group climbing and camping equipment
  • Fixed line fees, Liaison officer fees, Sherpa and LO equipment charges
  • All yaks and porter support to/from Advanced Base Camp
  • Email access at base camp and advanced base camp.
  • Expedition Dispatches so your friends and family can follow along on your adventure.

Not included in trip fees:

  • Trip Cancellation Insurance.  This is very strongly recommended!
  • International flights to and from Nepal
  • Kathmandu personal expenses (apart from those included above)
  • Personal equipment per our equipment list
  • Chinese Visa
  • Gratuities for local staff and Mountain Trip staff
  • Sodas, beer, bottled water, internet, and assorted “extras” during the drive to Cho Oyu Base Camp
  • Satellite Phone and internet use other than the team email account can be arranged for a small charge.
  • Expenses incurred if you need to leave the trip early
  • Expenses incurred due to delays beyond the control of Mountain Trip

Training Climbs

Mount Vinson
12 Day Mountaineering Course

Follow Up Climbs

Mount Vinson
Mustagh Ata
Mount Everest


Cho Oyu Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Kathmandu

Day 2 Team Meeting/Gear Check,  Chinese Visas

Day 3 Explore Kathmandu

Day 4 Begin drive to Cho Oyu base camp. (Kodari)

Day 5 Cross border into China (Nylam)

Day 6 Acclimatization in Nylam

Day 7 Drive to Tingri

Day 8 Acclimatization day in Tingri

Day 9  Drive to Cho Oyu Base Camp (15,500ft/4725m)

Day 10 -11  Acclimatization and prepare equipment for upper mountain

Day 12-13  Trek to Advanced base camp (5,650m)

Day 14 – 16 Rest, acclimate and explore advanced base camp/organize equipment

Days 16-29 Establish high camps and acclimatize up to Camp 2 (23,100ft/7000m)

Days 29-33 Summit climb

Days 34-38  Weather/Contingency days

Days 38-41 Return to base camp and begin drive back to Nepal (Tingri)

Day 42-43 Drive back to Kathmandu

Day 44  Recover and celebrate in Kathmandu!

Day 45  Flights on towards home

Guide Tips

Cho Oyu is not to be underestimated, it is a big mountain, but an achievable objective for a strong intermediate mountaineer and an entry into the world of extreme high altitude.

Don’t skimp on your gear, it is an investment into your safety and enjoyment of the expedition!  This is also a great chance to test out the gear you might want to use on Everest!

Equipment List


  1. MOUNTAINEERING DOUBLE BOOTS: Boots fall into two categories, traditional double boots and boot systems with integrated gaiters. Try on a variety of boots as they all fit differently and get the one that fits well. Though expensive; the system boots are worth every penny!
    Recommended System Boots: La Sportiva “Olympus Mons EVO,” Scarpa “Phantom 8000″
    Recommended Double Boots: La Sportiva “Spantik”, Scarpa “Inverno” with High Altitude Liners. *A great addition is the Intuition “Denali Liner” which is very warm and light. *** All double boots need Overboots and Gaiters, including.
  2. OVERBOOTS: Neoprene overboots such as 40 Below’s K2 are best. O.R. and Wild Country insulated overboots work well if they fit with your crampons.
  3. GAITERS: These should be full height, such as Black Diamond GTX Frontpoint Gaiter or O.R. “Crocodiles.” These are only necessary if you are wearing Double Boots.
  4. BOOTIES: (Optional) Synthetic or down fill booties. These are great for camp and tent comfort and allow you extra opportunity to dry out your boots.
  5. HIKING BOOTS OR SHOES: Comfortable, broken-in (!) footwear for day hikes and trek to base camp. The trail is rough and rocky so have supportive shoes.
  6. BOOTS FOR BASE CAMP: Optional A good pair of comfy, warm boots for hanging out in base camp are really nice to have. Sorels or Uggs work well.


  1. BASE LAYER: (2 or 3 sets) Synthetic or wool tops and bottoms such as light or mid-weight Capilene or Wool 1 or 2 from Patagonia.
  2. HEAVY FLEECE: Top and bottoms made from 100 weight or Powerstretch fleece. A zip T-neck is great for ventilating. Guides Pick: Patagonia R1 tops and bottoms.
  3. “SOFT SHELL” PANTS: Soft shell pants are becoming increasingly popular due to the broad comfort range they provide. They block most of the wind and are very breathable. Guides’ pick: Black Diamond Alpine or Patagonia Guide Pants.
  4. FLEECE OR PRIMALOFT JACKET: Size fleece to fit under your shell jacket or size the Primaloft to fit over your shell. We are fans of the puffy, primaloft jackets because they are lighter and warmer than fleece and compress down much smaller. Guides’ pick: Patagonia Micro Puff Jacket.
  5. SHELL JACKET & PANTS: They should be large enough to go over your pile clothing layers and the pants must have side zippers. They do not need to be the burliest Gore-Tex on the planet. Look for a lightweight, water resistant, and windproof shell. This is a very important layer so look for function and quality.
    ***Expedition Down Layer(s): Feathered Friends, Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, and The North Face all make good quality 8000m down products. Please bring either an 8000m down parka and pants or a down suit. You are spending a lot of money to go to an extreme environment. Consider replacing your down parka and pants with a down suit as additional insurance.
  6. DOWN JACKET AND INSULATED PANTS: Your expedition down layer(s) will get carried up high and it is nice to have warm layers for around Base Camp. Guides’ Pick: Patagonia Down Jacket and Micro
    Puff Pants
  7. T-SHIRT: 2 or 3 synthetic shirts or t-shirts for the hike in.
  8. REGULAR UNDERWEAR: 3 or 4 changes. Look for synthetics such as Patagonia Capilene.
  9. BASE CAMP CLOTHING: We spend a lot of time in base camp so make sure you have a pair of extra clothes. Jeans and a cotton t-shirt work fine and it’s nice to get out of synthetics for a change!
  10. SOCKS: 8-10 sets of light, medium and heavy weight socks. You will need a variety for versatility. Make sure they fit in your boots and shoes.
  11. GLOVES: Light or medium weight Windstopper or Schoeller fabric (2 pairs). Insulated gloves: Warm, insulated gloves are the workhorse on Cho Oyu. It’s hard to stress how much you’ll be wearing these, so do not skimp on this item. Guides’ Pick: Black Diamond Guide Glove.
  12. SUMMIT MITTENS: Choose warm, non-constricting summit mittens made of Primaloft or down. Guides’ pick: Outdoor Research Alti Mitts. They aren’t cheap, but are extremely warm and have tough palms.
  13. WARM HAT: One warm hat or two hats of different weights. Wool or pile is fine. Your hat must provide ear protection.
  14. BALACLAVA: Bring two; one heavyweight and one lightweight.
  15. FACE MASK: Neoprene or Windstopper work equally well.
  16. BUFF: This is a lightweight neck gaiter that can be used for sun protection as well as for warming the air you breathe while you are climbing. Some people find it useful to help prevent high altitude
  17. SUN HAT: Baseball type or wide brimmed sun hat for the intense sunshine of the lower mountain. You can combine a baseball hat with a bandana for good sun protection
  18. GLACIER GLASSES: They must have side protection and filter 100% UVA and UVB rays.
  19. SKI GOGGLES: You’ll use these while traveling during storms or during really cold spells. These must have doubled lenses and provide 100% UV protection. Optional- bring a second pair of goggles with clear lenses for the start of summit day. We start in the dark and it can be nice to have eye protection from the cold and wind. Goggles with built in fans work well with oxygen masks.


  1. EXPEDITION PACK: (3500 – 4000 cu in or 60 to 70 lt.) Be certain that your pack fits you! Get used to your pack, train with it.
  2. 2 LARGE ZIPPERED DUFFELS: Make sure they are durable and waterproof. Don’t forget locks! Guides’ Pick: Patagonia Stellar Black Hole Duffel.


  1. EXPEDITION SLEEPING BAG: Rated to 40 below. Even though synthetic bags are getting much better we still recommend down bags as they are lighter and more compressible. Make sure it is a quality
    product. Guides’ Pick: Feathered Friends Snow Goose
  2. EXPEDITION SLEEPING BAG: (Optional) Rated to 20 below. This is a second bag for base camp. This saves you from hauling your bag up and down the mountain as higher camps are established.
  3. COMPRESSION STUFF SACK: These are essential for sleeping bags and recommended for your other clothes such as your parka, mitts and warmest pants. Guides’ Pick: Outdoor Research Helium Compression Sacks
  4. 2 SLEEPING PADS: You need at least two pads. One should be a closed cell pad such as a Ridge Rest or a Karrimat. The other pad should be an inflatable style. It is a good idea to bring along one extra closed cell foam pad as well. Guides’ pick: Therm-a-rest Pro-Lite 4 with a Ridge Rest.


  1. ICE AXE: 70-80 cm length. Guides’ Pick: Black Diamond Raven Pro.
  2. CRAMPONS:12 point crampons that fit your boots! Make sure they fit with your mountain boots and overboots if you are using them.
  3. HARNESS: Adjustable leg loops are required. The Black Diamond Alpine Bod Harness is both lightweight and functional.
  4. ASCENDERS: You will need one full-sized ascender for Mount Everest.
  5. CARABINERS:Bring two large locking carabiners and eight regular carabiners. Please do not bring “bentgate” carabiners. These have certain limitations that do not make them appropriate for how we
    will use them. Mark them with colored tape for identification. Guides’ Pick: Black Diamond Neutrinos are very light weight.
  6. PERLON CORD: 50 feet of 5 or 6 mm for Prussiks.
  7. RAPPEL/BELAY DEVICE: You will need this for rappelling the fixed lines.
  8. TREKKING POLES: Adjustable poles work best. Guides’ Pick: Black Diamond Expedition Poles


  1. 2 HEADLAMPS WITH LOTS OF BATTERIES: Both should have at least a 35 meter beam.
  2. STUFF BAGS Bring enough to keep your stuff organized.
  3. CAMELBACK HYDRATION SYSTEM (optional, but if you bring one, also bring an insulated tube and mouthpiece) This DOES NOT replace your Water Bottles!
  4. (2)ONE LITER. WIDE MOUTH WATER BOTTLES: Please do not bring narrow mouthed bottles.
  5. (1) .5 LITER WIDE MOUTH WATER BOTTLE: This size fits nicely inside your parka.
  6. INSULATED COVER: 2, one for each one liter bottle.
  7. LARGE PLASTIC CUP OR BOWL Bring one for eating out of on the upper mountain.
  8. INSULATED CUP 12 or 16 ounce plastic cup for hot drinks
  10. 2 SMALL LIP BALMS (WITH 30+SPF): Two small tubes are easier to keep from freezing than one big tube.
  11. SUN SCREEN 3-4 OUNCES- two to four small tubes work better than one large tube
  12. TOILET KIT (Tooth brush & paste, floss, Handi-wipes,… keep it small)
  14. PEE-BOTTLEMake sure it is a least 1 L. Our Guides’ Pick is the collapsible, 96 ounce canteen from Nalgene.
  15. HAND WARMERS: Bring 8+ sets of these disposable insurance policies.
  17. CAMERA: Digital cameras are both lightweight and takes lots of pictures. Be sure to bring extra memory and at least one extra battery.
  18. TOWEL, SHAMPOO AND SOAP: For showers at base camp!
  19. OTHER ITEMS: Journal and pen, books, altimeter watch, foot powder, maps, spare sun glasses, personal music player with 12 volt charger.
  20. SIM Card: We’ll have a satellite phone and you are welcome to use it, but if you plan on making many calls, please purchase and bring your own SIM card to use. Contact us for details.

There are many good options for equipment. Our Guides’ Picks reflect gear that we know to be of the highest quality and are biased toward companies that we feel are leading the industry with their environmental and social policies. We want you to be ultimately prepared for your climb. Please contact us with any and all questions or thoughts on your kit.

Contact Mountain Trip: PHONE: 866-886-TRIP (8747) inside the US or +1-970-369-1153 | EMAIL: [email protected]

FAX: +1-303-496-0998 | P.O. Box 658 | Ophir, CO 81426 | © 2015 Mountain Trip | Site by Dayzign Graphics