Summiting late evening, Alex saw a mountain ghost rising in the sky. Cho Oyu was the first 8000 meters experience for him and his mate Sergiu Matei - an experience they shall never forget, and not exactly for the climbing (click to enlarge).
While I was up the mountain, pursuing my personal dream, other people were trying to pursue theirs...some 80 tibetan people were trying to cross Nangpa La into Nepal and India to see the Dalai Lama, reported Alex. In the image, Alex's summit self-portrait (click to enlarge).
"On October 1 I heard machine-gun bursts... Chinese militias hunting Tibetans like rats, dogs, rabbits - you name it. In the image, Sergiu Matei during the approaching trek. All images courtesy of the Romanian team / CloudClimbing.ro (click to enlarge).
Romanian Nangpa La report: "Tibetans were hunted like rats"
Posted: Oct 10, 2006 03:09 pm EDT
(MountEverest.net) Romanian Alex Gavan summited Cho Oyu on October 2 without supplementary O2 (Alex was very surprised to note that 95% of the summiteers used bottled oxygen).
Cho Oyu was the first 8000 meters experience for him and his mate Sergiu Matei (who stayed behind for altitude problems) - an experience they shall never forget, and not exactly for the climb. Currently back in Kathmandu, the guys spare no harsh words on the shootings at Nangpa La. Here is the two climbers report.
Alex: Cho Oyus killed dreams
While I was up the mountain, pursuing my personal dream, other people were trying to pursue theirs...some 80 tibetan people were trying to cross Nangpa La into Nepal and from there to Dharamsala, India, on a pilgrimage to see the Dalai Lama, reported Alex. They were men, women and children, barely wearing decent winter clothes. After an actual human hunt, 8 of them wont live to see their dream fulfilled. They have been killed in cold blood by the Chinese militia after a snitch between them. This happened in front of many expedition teams. The dead were simply buried in the glacier and left there without any memorial symbol.
Big expedition outfitters like HiMex, Jagged Globe, Adventure Consultants or Alpine Ascents* will never speak about that. Otherwise they will be banned from the Tibetan side of the Himalayas. And this will mean no more bucks for them anymore. And they don't want that, of course. It has indeed nothing to do with the spirit of mountaineering (which has been lost in those commercial outfits) but with the basic human values.
2008 Olympic host slaughtering its citizens
China, a country to host the Olympic Games in 2008, is slaughtering its citizens.
I've been here, I saw that: Tibet is a country under communist occupation. Tibetans are slowly losing their identity which is exactly what Chinese intend. Tibetans are treated as a sub-human race in their own country. If one speaks or wears upon a portrait of the Dalai Lama, one is put in jail.
Bellow is Sergiu's account of what he has witnessed, of what he has risked and of what he has done to help a Tibetan refugee to escape Chineses terror and death.
Sergius report: Witness of a human hunt
... Just when I thought it's all useless and was no more entertainment for me in ABC, on October 1 I heard machine-gun bursts - I was having my black tea in the chicken tent, reports Sergiu.
It was actually the Chinese militias hunting Tibetans onto the glacier... How nice, the season is open! They were shooting Tibetans like rats, dogs, rabbits - you name it.
80 Tibetans were crossing Nang Pa La to Nepal and then to India to see the Dalai Lama. For them it is just like for Christians going to the Vatican to see the Pope. Now, you count 8 that will never see their Pope again - among them 2 teenagers. Other 20 got jailed for the same reason and 7 kids... What a good capture for this season! Some big Chinese c**t is going to have a salary rise after this hunting season.
Bodies left in the glacier
And if you think the fun part of this power display was over you are wrong! The bodies of the eight Tibetans were not send home to the family, but buried on the glacier.
And all this happened in the presence of a lot of climbers, and other people like if there was no one there to see it.
There is a refugee hiding in our toilet!
Later that afternoon the kitchen boy came and told the BC manager a refugee was hiding in our toilet. I rushed in to see it with my own eyes: The guy was there - thank God he was fine. I took him some food and told him to stay put. I don't think he understood a word of what I was saying, but somehow he did what I told him.
After a few hours trying to convince the Monterosa crew that we should get him out or he would freeze to death, they gave up and agreed to help.
Concerns on Chinese searching the camps
I took him into our mess tent and gave him one polar fleece and a pair of socks that Cosmina had bought for me. I don't know why I didn't film the scene I just didnt seem relevant for me back then; all I could think of was to see that guy crossing Nangpa La without becoming a practice-target for the blood-thirsty Chinese boys.
I went again in the tent and gave him some milk and cornflakes. Then I told him to leave as soon as possible, since the militia was on the prowl after two missing Tibetans and they might search the camps looking for him. Thirty minutes later I showed him the shortest way across the glacier, and off he went towards what they call their spiritual father. He crossed the col at around 2 am.
(Ed note: The dispatch is an important, personal account. It has to be noted however that there's still no confirmation on the numbers of killed in the shooting and while most outfitters did keep quiet - the news initially broke thanks to a commercial guide. In addition, *American Alpine Ascents filed a report immediately with Save Tibet in DC.)
A few days back, the International Campaign for Tibet organization stated that 43 Tibetans from a group of more than 70, including children escaping from Tibet were apparently able to escape last weeks shooting at Nangpa La and safely reach Nepalese territory. The whereabouts of the more than 30 remaining Tibetans from the group was not known and Tibetans feared that there might be more than one fatality.
In an update from the organization, it is reported that after the Tibetan 25-year old nun was shot dead by Chinese security forces, a group of children apparently traveling with her was marched in single file through advance base camp at Cho Oyu.
Between 2,000 and 3,000 Tibetans make the dangerous crossing through the Himalayas via Nepal to India each year, seeking refuge after repression in Tibet, simply to be in the presence of the Dalai Lama, or for other personal reasons. Approximately a third are children who are being sent to study in Tibetan exile schools. Many others are monks and nuns seeking a religious education that is not possible in Tibet due to the restrictions imposed in monasteries and nunneries.
Cho Oyu was the first Himalayan experience for young Romanian climbers Alexandru (Alex) Gavan and Sergiu Matei. Alex summited on October 2, 2006 without supplementary O2; Sergiu aborted his attempt due to AMS.