Mingma G to Take Clients to Cho Oyu’s South Side

This fall, Mingma G will join other Sherpa teams in a second attempt to open a commercial route on Cho Oyu from the Nepal side. What’s more, he will show his belief in the route by bringing clients.

Mingma G has just returned to Nepal from skiing in Chamonix and is now ready to guide on Dhaulagiri and Kangchenjunga. He has set his sights on Pioneer Adventure’s route up Cho Oyu rather than Gelje Sherpa’s.

“[It] is perfect for a future commercial route on Cho Oyu,” Mingma G told ExplorersWeb.

Pioneer Adventure left from Thame last winter and mounted the SSW Ridge. They reached 7,650m before bad weather and lack of time forced them back.

Mingma G in Chamonix some days ago. Photo: Mingma G/Instagram


“I have discussed summit options with Mingma Dorchi [Pioneer Adventure’s leader],” he said. “We can find alternatives if the route gets too technical. Overall, I feel it can be done commercially. I am now working on putting together a team of at least seven foreign clients and 10 Sherpas.”

Mingma has his eye on four or five Nepali IFMGA guides, plus one or both of his partners from among the Winter K2 summiters: Dawa Tenzing and Kilu Sherpa. He is sure that this will attract clients interested in opening a new route up an 8,000’er.

But what about the skills and strength needed to climb Cho Oyu’s extremely long SSW Ridge?

“We’ll just set up more high camps,” he said. “A long route is not a problem unless there’s the risk of avalanche or rockfall. According to Mingma Dorchi, the route is safe.”

The highest point reached by Pioneer Adventure team on Cho Oyu, on February 28. Photo: Mingma D. Sherpa/Pioneer Adventure


The next question is, are Mingma Dorchi and his team okay with another expedition joining them on a route they pioneered in winter?

“I talked with him [about it] yesterday,” Mingma G explained. “He said he would be happy if we can complete his project together.”

Mingma Dorchi Sherpa, CEO of Pioneer Adventure and leader of the Cho Oyu South Face expedition. Photo: Pioneer Adventure


Recently, Seven Summit Treks announced that they will support Gelje Sherpa, the leader of the second team on Cho Oyu’s south side this past winter, on a second attempt in the fall. But Mingma G’s plans are independent. “I haven’t talked to them,” he said.

Mingma G’s Imagine Nepal team has already nailed down its Cho Oyu expedition dates: October 1 to November 10, 2022. Before that, they have a very busy year of climbing. Imagine Nepal is leading climbs on Dhaulagiri, Kangchenjunga, Everest/Lhotse, and Makalu in spring, K2, Broad Peak, and Nanga Parbat in summer, and Manaslu in September. He emphasizes that, like last year, they will go to the true summit of Manaslu.