Cho Oyu Mountain - The Turquoise Goddess

Cho Oyu Mountain is known as ‘The Turquoise Goddess’. Her unfailing beauty is seen in her awe inspiring stature as she stands with the mighty Everest above all the surrounding mountains. It is at 8,201 meters, making Cho Oyu the sixth highest mountain out of Nepal’s eight and out of the twelve which exist in the whole world. This gracious mountain lies to the East of Nepal on the border of Tibet standing west of Mount Everest and has become a common sight for those who have decided to take the challenge and ascend Mount Everest along its northern face.

Like many of the eight thousanders which make up the famous mountains of Nepal it also belongs to a distinct range known as the Himalayas. Unlike most mountain ranges which have developed at a rather slow pace such as the Alps, the Himalayas is regarded as a quite youthful in geological terms. The result of these extensively young Mountain ranges is due to the collision between two mighty continents, that being India and Asia. The greatest difference is at the rate of speed at which these two continents collided thus resulting in some of the highest mountains in the world. It was just some 10 million years ago that the Indian plate lay some 500 kilometers to the south of its position it holds now, while the Asian plate has remained in a constant position. And so when you gaze at the beautiful Cho Oyu Mountain it will be the effect of the impact of the Indian plate having slid beneath the Asian plate causing crumpling and folding to occur at an extremely fast rate.

On the west of the Cho Oyu Mountains lies the 19,000 foot Nangpa La glacier pass, which is the main trade route involving Tibet and Khumbu Sherpas. It is because of this close proximity to the Nangpa La pass that Cho Oyu has been defined as one of the easiest peaks at 8,000 meters to ascend by climbers, but this should not be taken lightly as four members of the failed international women’s expedition were killed in an unforeseen avalanche - one of nature’s deadly secrets.

Many well-known climbers have ascended Nepal's Cho Oyu, with the first climbing expedition being lead by the famous Edmund Hillary and his party on the Northwest face. However, it was the Austrian party lead by Herbert Tichy that would make an unbelievable ascent of this Northwest face without oxygen, a new revolution in climbing with some of the largest mountains rewriting mountaineering history as never before. The first fatal climb came with the second ascent by Sherpa Pasang Dawa lama part of an Indian expedition and, who had also been part of the famous Hillary party in the first ascent would unfortunately never descend successfully. The largest controversial third ascent though would take place on this mountain with a German expedition who claimed they had reached the summit but had no proof of this during which two members died in ‘camp four’ from exhaustion at 7,600 meters high.

 



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