Cho Oyu and Beyond ...

Cho Oyu climb for a cause is an awareness and fund-raising campaign aimed to help provide much needed education to our often neglected indigenous children in the remote parts of the country. The climb objective is to set a new altitude record, an attempt of the 6th highest mt & one of the peaks in the death zone. This event intends to bridge the education gap, and hope we provide our indigenous children a better future -- safe and away from a possible 'death zone'.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Cho Oyu Summit

Sept 28 - New altitude record set last September 26, 10:30 AM Nepal time.
Romi Garduce summits the top of Mt Cho Oyu, the 6th highest mountain. This
record gives the title to the first Filipino to reach an 8000m peak (also
known as the 'death zone').

More update to come in 3 to 4 days when Romi is back in Kathmandu. He 's
still in ABC (advanced base camp) as of this writing.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Thursday, Sept 15

Short update from ABC

Sept 15 - Romi and his team are on their 3rd day in ABC, Advanced Basecamp
is almost at 19000 ft. Bad weather for the past 3 days is so far the only
flaw in an otherwise perfect picture, as the whole team is feeling fine. In
a few more days the guys will start with the carry-up of gear to Camp 1.
This is a tedious task as this needs several up and down climbs from ABC to
Camp 1. Though tiring, this is a good way to acclimatize. Garduch estimates
they will push for the summit in 12-15 days. He hopes to give another
update(thru satfon) before the big day.

Writing for Romi

Monday, September 05, 2005

Dispatch from Nayalam, Tibet (email)

Here's a quick update:
Aug31 - got back in KTM after a short climbing trip in Langtang.
   Still raining a lot, it rained when we were in Langtang, in Kathmandu, and later on in Tibet, at least up to Nayalam - where i am writing this).
Sep1-2 - last minute shopping.  Tried to fix last minute gear problems, my crampons wdn't fit my size 12 plastic boots, and so I have to make some slight reconfiguration on it.  It will be a hell if that thing detach itself from my boots every now and then (recalling the my unpleasant times in Caucasus Russia).  I decided not to buy Shell pants anymore, hopefully the North Face Downsuit (parang pang astronaut na gear) will be ok from C2 and up, even if the temp dips to -40C (incl wind chill) during the trek.
Sep3 - Ride to Tibet (China) - Nepal border, then on to Zhangmu (6hrs).
  It was a welcome change of food environment, now we got to eat real chinese chow, and away from the monotonous nepali-indian cuisine.
I was imagining to see a flat Tibetan plateau, but instead, the border, Zhangmu and the next 2 towns are smuck in the middle of mountainous area, reminding me of places like Banawe or Sagada.
Sep4 - we continued our trip to Nayalam (2hrs?).  But we have to stay here for 2 nights due to its altitude (3800m/12,600ft).  We walk a bit after arrival, the South African felt the sudden change of altitude and complained of sleeplessness(?) and minor headache.  But he was fine.
Our team is composed of 5,  3 of us (Australian, South African, and myself) will do it together, with our Sherpa crew,  the German - who's making his 2nd attempt of Cho Oyu, decided to do it semi-solo (he'll be on his own after Advanced Basecamp or ABC), and the Japanese has to rush it w/ his Sherpa after ABC, to climb another 8000m peak (Shishapangma, also in Tibet).  The Jap is already 61yrs old, but strong as a yak.   We did a short acclimatization climb today, and he and the German guy just zoomed up the mountain with relative ease. 
Sep5 - still stuck in Nayalam, we'll move to the last town tomorrow - to Tingri.  Then it will be full-on outdoors from then on.
We did another acclimatization climb to about +4300m today with a pathetic packed lunch of boiled eggs and chapati.  But good to have tried a Tibetan stew after our march, sarrap... It was also good to witness 2 huge vultures flying and circling us overhead (for more than 10mins) while we were trekking, probably checking if we'll fall down and die, they must be hungry hahaha.
So far we only saw 4 expedition teams for Cho Oyu this season (including our team), another team might arrive tomorrow and we'll probably meet them in the basecamp.  It wd be boring if there are very few people in this huge mountain, and probably more difficult as breaking trails (on heavy snow) and fixing ropes are difficult tasks for only 1 team.
Here's our rough schedule ahead:
Sep6-7 - Tingri (4300m)
Sep8-10 -  Chinese basecamp (4700m)
   we'll haul our gears and supplies from here using Yaks up to ABC.
Sep 11 - we might move to intermediate BC, or straight to ABC, depending on our health conditions.
Sep 11-13 - ABC (19,000ft)
     Advanced basecamp is actually our real basecamp.  The chinese basecamp is too far out for real action on the mountain.
Sep14 - 20s
     Acclimatization and carry-up (of gears/supplies) to higher camps, this is a boring and tiring and dangerous up and down move from ABC to highcamps (1 and 2), then back to ABC.
     If all is well,  (health ok, weather ok) we'll move to highcamp3 (~7400m/24,000ft) and do a summit assault from there.
   Umm, the summit day could actually be my birthday-  on sep29. ;)
   If I reach the summit, that would be a real treat =)
Oct wk1
   Going back from ABC, back to chinese basecamp, then onwards up to Kathmandu.  Let's hope i'll bring home some good news.
Unfortunately, my team do not have sat-PC, so i won't be able to do email.  hopefully the sat-fon in ABC is working properly for regular updates.  I'll try to give update before we move to C1 (from ABC), and maybe before we move up to C3 (for the summit assault).  And hopefully another update call after the climb.  I'll be doing satfon calls only in ABC (if that thing even works ;)
So that's it for now, until my next update.
Romi (by email)

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