Cho Oyu, which translates as “Turquoise Goddess” in Tibetan, straddles the border between Nepal and Tibet at the Western edge of the mountainous Khumbu region, around 20km from Everest. Widely regarded as the easiest of the 8,000m peaks, Cho Oyu is often seen as a stepping stone to further conquests. But this goddess still demands to be treated with respect.
Stepping stone for higher 8000er peaks
Despite standing an imposing 8,188m above sea level, the world’s sixth highest mountain is actually a relatively straightforward climb - at least when compared to some of the other 8,000ers. Its flat summit plateau, and the relatively gentle slopes approaching it don’t require the same level of technical climbing expertise that, say, Kanchenjunga or Makalu do. It’s often the first 8,000m peak that climbers tackle, and is a popular preparatory peak for people training themselves to climb Mount Everest.
Despite its comparatively mellow reputation, this is still a significant mountaineering challenge, which involves spending long hours in the death zone. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you can skimp on preparation or planning, just because it’s a popular peak.