Back to "Monthly Program History"
November 28, 2007
"Experiencing Tibetan culture and
climbing an 8,000 meter peak in Sept 1997"
by Chris Horley
It was just over 10 years
ago that I went on an expedition to climb the sixth highest peak, Cho
Oyu at 26,901 feet. This peak sits on the border of Nepal and Tibet and
is 18 miles from Everest. The climb was approached from the north side
and required several days of travel through the heart of Buddhist
Tibet. I will be showing slides and some video of this disappearing
Tibetan culture. The second half of the show will be about the climb.
This was to be my first
summit above 20,000 ft and I had the opportunity to join a guided
expedition lead by Eric Simonson and guides Robert Link and Jake
Norton. We had a small group of six climbers and several Sherpa's.
Unlike many guided 8000 M expeditions, we did carries to high camps to
stock them and also carried gear on the final push. What did separate
this from a self-guided trip was the absence of the considerable
strategizing to predict who, when and what would move up the mountain.
Observing the process was a valuable lesson for future self guided
The post monsoon season in
1997 was not favorable to nearby peaks. As described by Eric: "The 1997
post monsoon season in the Everest region of the Himalaya was largely a
bust. Dozens of teams failed on Everest from both the north and south
sides, and all attempts on Nuptse, Lhotse and Makalu were also rebuffed.
I will discuss the
preparations and training involved for these types of climbs and also
discuss the physical and psychological dynamics of climbing at high
"We made it
this time. We are happy. Next time maybe we'll be a day late and a
dollar short and get our butts kicked."
More details of the climb
can be found here. Chris' abbreviated
mountaineering biography can be found