Cho Oyu update: Second fixing team avalanched - several teams heading home

Cho Oyu update: Second fixing team avalanched - several teams heading home

Posted: Sep 28, 2010 03:25 pm EDT

(ExplorersWeb/Madrid) A group of sherpas fixing the route in the last day were avalanched above the second rock band -- in a similar situation as the TMA's crew was a week ago, according to FTA home team member Stu Remensnyder.

"The reports are that one Sherpa was pretty shaken up but that they are all descending," Stu wrote. "They had been attempting to finish the route in time to rejoin their teams for the summit bids ahead." Catalan climber Marti Gasull confirmed one injured Sherpa, who was helped down back to BC.

According to previous reports, at least part of the Sherpa team belonged to IMG expedition. An update on IMG website yesterday reported on the Sherpas being forced back by excess of snow and the team aborting the expedition, but mentioned no avalanches.

Over for IMG team

"IMG sherpas Danuru (nine Cho Oyu ascents) and Mingma Tenzing, along with a number of Sherpas from other teams, found the conditions above C3 to still be heavy, loaded with snow, and unsafe, IMG leader Mike Hamill told his home team. "They have decided to pull the plug on the fixing, and are descending."

"Mike and the climbers are spending the night at C1 but are going to come back down to ABC tomorrow and head for home," IMG's director Eric Simonson added. "There is just too much snow up high. It sounds like a number of the other teams have made the same decision."

As for FTA, on their latest report yesterday they were still aiming for a summit bid on Friday, October 1. "The winds look to be reasonable for the 30th and 1st and as there are large crowds (some 400 climbers) our team plans to let the larger wave go first and be part of a smaller second wave. Due to the weather window constraints we will be launching our bid from C2 on the 1st very early (or perhaps late on the 30th!)."

"At this time the conditions on the mountain remain poor with shifting slabs of snow and high avalanche risk in several places," they noted.

Adventure Consultants: Sherpa meeting

"The incident (the third on Cho Oyu this season) was extremely sobering and has understandably brought rope-fixing to a halt," Adventure Consultants team reported live over CONTACT-5 today. "The irony is that the weather has cleared up and would be perfect for a summit bid, but for the lingering unstable snow.

"This morning the members of Adventure Consultants (who were happily climbing to C2 as when avalanche news hit) all relocated back to ABC. We are currently gathering information, considering our options and deciding the most prudent course of action."

"Today there was a meeting of Sherpas to decide whether or not to continue fixing, but this matter remained unresolved. A further meeting will take
place at 9AM tomorrow. Meanwhile this fine summit spell looks like it will end on the October 3 and then strong winds will return."

Links to teams currently on Cho Oyu:

Walter Nones

Adventure Consultants


Jagged Globe



Argentina expedition

Kari Kobler

Toni Raigon

Valladolid al Everest

Hirotaka Takeuchi

Martí Gasull


Live image over Contact 5.0 of the Sherpas meeting earlier today in Cho Oyu ABC.
courtesy Adventure Consultants, SOURCE
The image of Cho Oyu upper slopes shows the rock bands and the area of the avalanche-prone slopes.
Image by Stu Remensnyder courtesy Stu Remensnyder/FTA, SOURCE