Winter Cho Oyu: Sherpas Retreat

The two Nepali teams on Cho Oyu’s south side are retreating in tough conditions.

Gelje Sherpa’s team set off toward the summit at midnight. According to Seven Summit Treks (one of the expedition sponsors), they reached 7,400m by dawn. Soon after, the wind stopped them in their tracks.

“They are struggling to get onto the col between Tenzing Peak and Cho Oyu Ridge, and weather [forecasts] predict the jet stream at noon. So they will descend back to a safe spot and plan further,” Seven Summit Treks’ CEO Chhang Dawa Sherpa wrote on social media.


Gelje Sherpa’s tracker shows he reached a high point close to 7,500m. Since then, he has been descending fast.

At 12:30 pm Nepal time he was back at 6,800m. Lakpa Dendi’s tracker is unavailable.

Pioneer Adventure’s team put their summit push on hold due to heavy snowfall yesterday. A spokesperson from Pioneer Adventure told ExplorersWeb that forecasts predict bad weather for the next few days.

Jet stream winds are hitting hard from the Chinese (north) side of the mountain. Therefore, the climbers decided to head back to safety. They are currently on their way back to Base Camp.

Senior journalist, published author and communication consultant. Specialized on high-altitude mountaineering, with an interest for everything around the mountains: from economics to geopolitics. After five years exploring distant professional ranges, I returned to ExWeb BC in 2018. Feeling right at home since then!

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3 months ago

I am worried for the K2 team as well and hope that they will all do the right thing for their own safety.

2 months ago

So much time and money at stake but the mountains will always be there. I hope these teams can keep their goals within a sane mindset as they are playing a game with their lives. And no amount of $$$ is worth the risks these paid porters/climbers are taking