Cho Oyu - The sixth highest mountain in the world

Cho Oyu (Nepali: चोयु) is the sixth highest mountain in the world at 8,188 meters (26,864 ft) above sea level. It is located on the border of Nepal and China. The mountain is the westernmost major peak of the Khumbu sub-section of the Mahalangur Himalaya 20 km west of Mount Everest.

Nangpa La (5,716m/18,753 ft), a glaciated pass is few kilometers west of Cho Oyu, that serves as the main trading route between the Tibetans and the Khumbu's Sherpas. This pass separates the Khumbu and Rolwaling Himalayas. Due to its proximity to this pass and the generally moderate slopes of the standard northwest ridge route, Cho Oyu is considered the easiest 8,000-metre peak to climb. It is a popular objective for professionally guided parties.

Cho Oyu's height was originally measured at 26,750 feet (8,150 m) and at the time of the first ascent it was considered the seventh highest mountain on earth, after Dhaulagiri at 8,167 meters (26,795 ft) (Manaslu, now 8,156 meters (26,759 ft), was also estimated lower at 26,658 feet (8,125 m)). A 1984 estimate of 8,201 meters (26,906 ft) made it move up to sixth place. New measurements made in 1996 by the Government of Nepal Survey Department and the Finnish Meteorological Institute in preparation for the Nepal Topographic Maps put the height at 8,188 m, one remarkably similar to the 26,867 feet (8,189 m) used by Edmund Hillary in his 1955 book High Adventure.

Climbing History Timeline

  1. 1952 First reconnaissance of north-west face by Edmund Hillary and party.
  2. 1954 First ascent by Austrians Joseph Jöchler and Herbert Tichy, and Pasang Dawa Lama (Nepal)
  3. 1958 Second ascent of the peak, by an Indian expedition. Sherpa Pasang Dawa Lama reached the peak for the second time. First death on Cho Oyu.
  4. 1959 Four members killed in an avalanche during a failed international women's expedition.
  5. 1964 Controversial third ascent by a German expedition as there is no proof of reaching the summit. Two mountaineers die of exhaustion in camp 4 at 7,600 m (24,930 ft).
  6. 1978 Edi Koblmüller and Alois Furtner of Austria summit via the extremely difficult southeast face.
  7. 1983 Reinhold Messner succeeds on his fourth attempt, with Hans Kammerlander and Michael Dacher.
  8. 1984 Věra Komárková (USA) and Dina Štěrbová (Czechoslovakia) were the first women to climb Cho Oyu. Štěrbová was also the first woman from Czechoslovakia to climb an 8000er.
  9. 1985 On February 12, Poles Maciej Berbeka and Maciej Pawlikowski make the first winter ascent. It is the only winter ascent on eight-thousander made on a new route. Repeated three days later by Andrzej Heinrich and Jerzy Kukuczka.
  10. 1988 On November 2, a Slovenian expedition consisting of Iztok Tomazin, Roman Robas, Blaž Jereb, Rado Nadvešnik, Marko Prezelj, and Jože Rozman, reach the summit via the never before climbed north face.
  11. 1994 On May 13 Carlos Carsolio sets a world record speed ascent from base camp to summit, ascending in 18 hours and 45 minutes.
  12. 1994 First solo ascent via the South West face by Yasushi Yamanoi.
  13. 2004 Second summit by a double amputee (Mark Inglis)
  14. 2007 Second Indian ascent. An expedition led by Abhilekh Singh Virdi.
  15. 2009 Clifton Maloney, husband of US Representative Carolyn Maloney and at that time the oldest American to summit an eight-thousander, died at age 71 after summiting on 25 September. His final words were "I’m the happiest man in the world. I’ve just summited a beautiful mountain."
  16. 2011 Dutch climber Ronald Naar dies after becoming unwell at 8,000 m (26,250 ft).


  1. Hillary, Edmund(1955).High AdventureBloomsbury Publishing.ISBN0-7475-6696-8.Retrieved2014-01-15.

Other Sources

  1. "ChinaI: Tibet-Xizang". Peaklist.org. Retrieved 2014-05-29.
  2. "NASA Earth Observatory: Cho Oyu".NASA. 2018.
  3. "Cho Oyu". Peakware.
  4. Tichy, Herbert (1957). Cho Oyu: by the favor of the gods Methuen. p. 195. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
  5. 288615 Pasan Lhamu Chuli map
  6. Hillary, Edmund (1955). High Adventure.OxfordUniversityPress.p.49.
  7. Barnett, Shaun (7 December 2010). "Cho Oyu expedition team, 1952". The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography.
  8. EverestNews.com."Cho Oyu History". Retrieved 2008-04-12.
  9. Günter Seyfferth, Cho Oyu, 8201m, Erkundung, Erstbesteigung, Erstbegehungen, Ereignisse (inGerman).
  10. "Goddess of Turquoise: my attempt on Cho Oyu". Mark Horrell. August2010.
  11. "Stairway to heaven". The Economist. 29 May 2013. Retrieved 2015-09-07 As of March 2012.
  12. "ALL 8000ers – ASCENTS vs FATALITIES". 8000ers.com 2008.
  13. "Cho Oyu – World`s Sixth Highest and Most Accessible 8000 Metre Peak". Summit Climb.com 2018.
  14. "When is a summit not a summit?". Mark Horrell. 12 November 2014.
  15. "Cho Oyu summit: Where is it exactly". Explorersweb.com. September 2017.
  16. "Guest: Carlos Carsolio" OutsideOnline. 2000. Archived from the original on 13 August 2007. Retrieved 2014-01-15.
  17. Griffin, Lindsay (11Oct2011). "Pioletsd' Or Asia honors Urubko". The British Mountaineering Council. Retrieved 2014-01-15.
  18. "Double amputee scales Mt. Everest". BBCNews.16 May 2006. Retrieved 2014-05-17.
  19. "Timeline Climbing Of Cho Oyu" theworldmountain.blogspot.com. June 2011. Retrieved 2014-01-15.
  20. "Clifton Maloney, 71, died on one of highest peaks". thevillager.com Archived from the original on 10 October 2016. Retrieved 2017-11-08.
  21. "Rep. Carolyn Maloney's Husband Dies During Mountain Climb - Gothamist". 2009-10-01. Archived from the original on 2009-10-01. Retrieved 2017-11-08.
  22. "Dutch Climber Ronald Naar dies on Cho Oyu". The Outside Blog Dispatches. OutsideOnline. 25 May 2011. Retrieved 2014-01-15.
  23. "Dutch mountaineer Ronald Naar dies during China climb". Dutch News.nl. 23 May 2011. Retrieved 2014-01-15.

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