Late spring and autumn
Everest, Lhotse, Sishapangma and Friendship peak
If you’re an amateur climber looking for an entrance into the realm of 8000-meter mountains, the Cho Oyu expedition is the best-suited expedition for you. That’s because of all the other 8000m mountains, technically, it is the easiest mountain to climb.
Cho Oyu derives its names from the Tibetan language, meaning “Turquoise Goddess”. During sunset, Cho Oyu turns out to be a magical mountain with turquoise color. Standing on the top of the mountain you can see splendid views of the mountains of Nepal as well as Tibet.
Cho Oyu is a stepping stone from climbers who aim to summit peaks above 8000m. It is the sixth highest mountain in the world with an altitude of 8188m. It lies 20km west of Mount Everest and stands as a mark for the Nepal-China border.
Cho Oyu is also the second most climbed 8000’er after Everest. It has the lowest death rate and the highest success rate among 8000’ers. This is one of the many factors as to why climbers choose to summit Cho Oyu before going for Everest.
Ascending the summit of Cho Oyu is possible from either the south side of the north side which is the standard route. For this expedition, you will be driving all the way up to Chinese basecamp. From there, two days of the trek takes you to the advanced base camp which is the starting point of the climb just below the northwest face.
This adventurous journey lasts for 46 days starting from Kathmandu. There are three different camps set up for the expedition excluding the advanced base camp. Camp I at the altitude of 6400m, Camp II at 7100m and Camp III at 7450m. The decisions regarding summit push depend on factors like the weather forecast, fitness, and health of our clients.
Short history about Cho Oyu expedition
When Cho Oyu was climbed for the first time on October 19, 1954, it became the fifth 8000 m peak that was climbed after Annapurna, Mount Everest, Nanga Parbat, and K2. It was climbed by Herbert Tichy, Joseph Jochler, and Pasang Dawa Lama for an Austrian expedition.
Why will you love Cho Oyu expedition?
- You can easily climb Cho Oyu with just some basic climbing experience. However, you do need to have some experience of climbing some 6000 m peaks for getting the permits.
- Climbing Cho Oyu will help you get a good insight of climbing an 8000 m mountain.
- You can witness the amazing sunset view of the “Turquoise Goddess”
- During the Cho Oyu expedition, you will get a deep insight of the people living in the Himalayan regions. This expedition takes you from Kathmandu to Tibet exploring the Sherpa lifestyle.
- Summiting Cho Oyu can help you prepare for other expeditions too. It is less technical and yet has a significant altitude.
Is Cho Oyu Expedition Right For You?
- Cho Oyu is an entrance to the professional world of climbing 8000-meter mountains. If you’re looking to start out, this is the one to go for.
- Technically Cho Oyu is the easiest mountain to climb among all 8000-meter mountains.
- You can climb ChoOyu with a relatively low cost compared to Everest.
- Three camps at different altitudes and walking through the broad plateau makes it an easy mountain to climb for any amateur climber.
Day to Day Itinerary Table – Cho Oyu Expedition
|Days||Itinerary||Altitude(in meters)||Duration(in hours)|
|Day 01||Arrival in Kathmandu airport and transfer to hotel||1400||-|
|Day 02||Preparation day for expedition.||1400||-|
|Day 03||Fly from Kathmandu to Gongkar Airport Lhasa||3650|
|Day 04||Sightseeing around Lhasa||3650||-|
|Day 05||Drive from Lhasa to Gyantse||3950||5-6 hours|
|Day 06||Drive from Gyantse to Shigatse (Xigatse)||3950||4 hours|
|Day 07||Drive from Shigatse to Tingri||4350||5 hours|
|Day 08||Rest day at Tingri for acclimatization||5000||-|
|Day 09||Drive from Tingri to the Chinese base camp||4800||2 hours|
|Day 10||Rest and acclimatization at Chinese base camp||4800||-|
|Day 11||Trek from Chinese Base Camp to Middle Camp||5300|
|Day 12||Trek from Middle Camp to the ABC||5700|
|Day 13-39||Climbing Period –Summit Cho-Oyu||8201|
|Day 40||Trek to middle camp; drive to Tingri||4348||4 hours/ 6 hours|
|Day 41||Drive from Tingri to Shigatse (Xigatse)|
|Day 42||Early in the morning drive from Sigatse to Lhasa|
|Day 43||Fly from Lhasa to Kathmandu|
|Day 44||Free day in Kathmandu|
Cho Oyu Expedition Itinerary (45 Days)
Altitude: 1400 m
The first day marks your arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. After you land, our representatives will come and get you at the airport. They will welcome and guide you to your hotel.
Once you’re at the hotel, you’re free to rest and spend your time on your own. After a long flight, you might be having jetlag. Get proper rest and enjoy the delicious Nepali cuisine for dinner in the evening.
- 3-star hotel for accommodation
- Delicious, tasty and authentic Nepali cuisine
Altitude: 1400 m
This is the day when you will be doing all your last-minute preparation before leaving Kathmandu. The journey for the Cho Oyu expedition lasts for a month and a half. That’s why it requires better preparation. From food, climbing equipment to any personal belonging you can find anything in the traditional markets of Kathmandu.
Strolling around the old market place of Thamel, Assan, and Durbarmarg will help you understand the city culture better. Besides, all your permits and visas are provided to you on this day.
- Explore the bustling markets of Kathmandu
- Immerse yourself into the urban culture of Kathmandu.
Altitude: 3650 m
After breakfast, you head out of the hotel in Kathmandu to Tribhuvan International Airport. This is the day when you will be flying to the highest altitude capital city of the world, Lhasa which is the capital of Tibet.
This exciting flight takes you over the Himalayas and offers splendid views of some of the highest peaks of the world including Everest, Makalu, Kanchenjunga, and more.
On reaching Lhasa, our representatives will greet you at the Gongkar airport and guide your way to the hotel. Since Lhasa is at the altitude of 3650m, you will need a day to acclimatize with the altitude.
- Exhilarating flight over the Himalayas.
- Extraordinary views of peaks like Everest, Makalu, Kanchenjunga, and many more.
- Stay at the world’s highest-altitude capital city, Lhasa.
Altitude: 3650 m
Lhasa is at the altitude of 3650m which is quite high compared to the 1400m altitude of Kathmandu. Hence, it is wise to spend a day acclimatizing in Lhasa. In addition, there’s a lot of Lhasa has to offer. This ancient civilization resembles a beautiful balance of culture and modern lifestyle.
While in Lhasa, you can visit the magnificent Potala Palace which is home to the Dalai Lama. It is open for tourists and serves as a major attraction because of its size and architecture. Likewise, other spiritual sites like Jokhang Temple, Sera Monastery are some other sites you can visit in Lhasa.
- Experience spiritual energy with visits to monasteries.
- Admire the centuries-old art and architecture of the city.
- The rocky landscape with mountains on the backdrop provides a splendid view.
On this day, you leave Lhasa for a road trip to Gyantse. Followed by breakfast, you will be all set to hit the road on a 4 wheeler arranged for you. The journey on this day takes you further high in terms of altitude.
You will pass through the unbelievable Yamdrok Lake with its unreal colors on the way. The journey is a pleasing one with well-managed highways passing through lakes and glaciers. Kharola Glacier is one of such popular glaciers that you will be coming across.
The drive usually takes 6 hours on a regular 4 wheeler as the city of Gyantse lies 260km from east Lhasa.
- Drive through one of the most scenic and picturesque highways.
- Enjoy the comfort of driving through a well-managed highway at the altitude of 3950m.
Altitude: 3950 m
Today, you will be on a ride from Gyantse to Shigatse which is the second-largest city of Tibet. Pack your bags and hop in the vehicle for driving through the majestic landscapes with turquoise rivers, rocky mountains, and historic places.
You will notice the change in landscape as you pass through Tsang Po( which becomes the Brahmaputra river in India) and turns southwest passing through barren desert-like valleys.
- Enjoy the dreamy landscape of high altitude valleys.
- Comfortable ride through one of the best high altitude highways in the world.
Altitude: 4350 m
Continuing our road trip through the Friendship Highway we drive from Shigatse to Tingri on this day. You will see the charismatic view of Everest along with many other peaks as you drive by.
You will notice monasteries and other interesting places on your way. But, unless you have the right permit, you’re not allowed to visit the place.
Crossing several high altitude passes and places like Xegar we reach the old settlement of Tingri. It is one of the remotest regions of Tibet. The place has decent facilities to offer accommodation and food.
- Explore the remote high altitude region of Tibet.
- Splendid panoramic views of world’s highest mountains
Altitude: 5000 m
Before heading further for the expedition, this is the place where you should acclimatize. When it comes to acclimatization, always listen to the guide and strictly follow the rules. Since Tingri marks the 5000 m altitude mark on your Cho Oyu expedition, you should at least spend a day here to acclimatize.
During acclimatization, you can explore the local culture by taking a stroll down the main town area. Or, you might as well hike up a hill and enjoy some peaceful time on your own.
- Explore the local culture of the town.
- Capture perfect views of peaks like Everest, Cho Oyu, etc.
Altitude: 4800 m
From Tingri, the roads start to become rough with gravel and stones along the way. After driving for about 2 hours, you will reach the Chinese Base Camp. Though the estimated time is for 3 hours, it might take a bit longer as well as the road conditions are unpredictable. Cho Oyu seems really close from here.
- Short but scenic ride takes you close to Cho Oyu peak.
- Spectacular canyon views.
Altitude: 4800 m
At the Chinese Base Camp, you will spend a day for acclimatization as well as preparation for the expedition. Before you head to the advanced base camp with all the necessary equipment for the ascent, all your preparations like arranging yaks are done here at Chinese Base Camp.
Since it is a one-day long trek from Chinese Base Camp to advanced base camp carrying heavy equipment through the high altitude above 5000m, proper acclimatization and preparation is done here
- Last-minute preparations for the expedition.
Altitude: 5300 m
On the first day of leaving the Chinese base camp, you will be walking all the way up to the middle camp at the altitude of 5300m. This walk is a long walk through the valley before reaching base camp.
On reaching middle camp, you will be arranging your equipment preparing ahead of our expedition.
- A comfortable walk through the rocky and deserted landscape.
- Close view of the highest peaks in the world.
Altitude: 5700 m
Continuing the same walk up through the valley, you will reach the advanced base camp on this day. On reaching base camp your tents would be set up by the guides for your accommodation. Everything else from food to toilets is arranged by your guides. However, you need to prepare or arrange your equipment yourself for the following day.
- Final preparation for ascent.
- Stand at the base of Cho Oyu.
- The turquoise sunset view of ChoOyu is a view of a lifetime.
Altitude: 8201 m
Today marks the day when you begin the actual ascent of Cho Oyu peak. Within the next 26 days, you will be climbing through camps set up at different altitudes before making the final push to the summit.
The lower part of the mountain is a bit technical compared to the high parts. You will be climbing a little and descending again to the lower multiple times for acclimatization. This will also help you enhance your climbing besides making it easy for you to adjust with the altitude.
Your guides will be fixing the ropes ahead as you climb. Depending on the weather conditions and your acclimatization with the altitude, your guide will decide on the time for the final summit push.
On reaching the top, you are awarded spectacular views of Everest, Makalu, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, etc. The sunset view of mount Cho Oyu is known among one of the best views.
On the 39th day, you will be down at the base camp after a successful ascent with a satisfying feeling of accomplishment.
- Technical at the lower part and easier at the higher part of the peak.
- Spectacular views of surrounding mountains like Everest, Makalu, Kanchenjunga, etc.
- Excellent management of camps with the best food and accommodation services.
Altitude: 4348 m
This is the day when you start tracing back your way from the base camp after a successful ascent. You along with your guides and sherpas trek back through the long valley to middle camp carrying your tents and equipment on yaks.
It takes around 4 hours to get back to the middle camp from where you will be picked up by a 4 wheeler. From there, you will be heading to Tingri for an overnight stay. It takes six hours to reach Tingri.
- Descending from higher altitude makes it easy for walking.
Altitude: 4350 m
You wave your goodbyes to the mountain and enjoy your last view of Cho Oyu from Tingri before hitting the road back home. As you descend in altitude and trace your way back through high altitude passes you will see the change in landscapes and surroundings.
- Comfortable roads to drive along with outstanding views.
- Overnight in a comfortable hotel after a long time.
Altitude: 3650 m
Duration: 8 hours
The next day, we will be driving back from Shigatse to Lhasa enjoying the beautiful landscape of lakes, fields, canyons, and mountains. After an early breakfast, you will be traveling with a feeling of achievement and a heart that is self-satisfied.
Finally, you reach the capital of the city where you can enjoy some luxuries you have been missing while in the mountains.
- Long yet fulfilling drive through high altitude valleys with best views of mountains.
Altitude: 1400 m
A short flight for a couple of hours takes you from Lhasa to Kathmandu on this day. On reaching Kathmandu, you will meet our representatives at the airport who will guide you to your hotel. Once reaching the hotel, you’re free to enjoy the day on your own. Get a much-needed rest and enjoy the comfort of a 3-star hotel.
- Enjoy the luxury and comfort of a 3-star hotel in Kathmandu.
This is the day for you to enjoy in the capital of Nepal. You can do anything you wish for, either treat yourself to a massage or relax in hotels’ swimming pools. If you wish to explore, you have multiple options too. You can explore world heritage sites, markets or residential sites to get a deeper insight of culture and lifestyle. Take an evening stroll through the busy streets of Thamel, enjoy live music, and taste delicious Nepali food.
Cho Oyu Expedition Cost
- Arrival and departure cost on domestic and international flights
- Food and accommodation in Kathmandu on B/B plan
- All the meals (Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast) During the Trekking and climbing of Amadablam Summit and back
- All of the transportation service from initial and endpoints of Amadablam Expedition
- Climbing Sherpa guide for the expedition
- Amadablam Expedition Group climbing equipment like climbing rope, ice axe, ice screw, ice bar, etc
- All the required permits for Amadablam Expedition
- High altitude meals
- All of the insurance and expenses of Liaison officer (Government of Nepal)
- All necessary camping and kitchen equipment provided including base camp tents, dining tent with table and backrest chair, kitchen with all utensils, toilet with commode, etc
- High altitude tents and the crucial gadgets like EPI gas and burner for the high climb
- Warm clothes and trek gear for Nepali staffs including porters
- Life and medical insurance of all the staff and porters
- Portable Altitude Chamber (PAC) and Gamow Bag along with the comprehensive first-aid kit
- Communication devices like a walkie talkie and satellite phone in case of emergency
- Emergency Oxygen with regulator and mask while climbing Amadablam
- Agency service charge
- Farewell dinner with Nepali song and dance
- International airfare as well as airport tax
- Nepal entry visa fees
- Medical and personal high-risk insurance
- Lunch and dinner while in Kathmandu
- Bar and beverage bills
- Personal climbing gears and equipment
- Emergency rescue evacuation
- Climbing bonus and tips for Amadablam Base Camp staffs and personal expenses
- Permit fees and charge for satellite phone, communication gadget, and commercial filming while on Amadablam Expedition.
- Garbage deposit USD3k (sharing of the total person), and the deposit fee won’t be refunded if the climbers don’t take back their garbage to Kathmandu.
Well Qualified Teams
Our team of experts at NST are a group of experts who are well qualified in their respective department or works. Over the years, we have managed to gather a team of hardworking, passionate, and dedicated and well-organized members.
Our guides have 5 years of experience in mountaineering and all of them have scaled Everest at least 3 times. They are associated with the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association(IFMGA). Thus, you can expect world-class professional service.
We have a high success rate with 100+ expeditions on peaks including Everest, Manaslu, Amadablam, Baruntse, Lhotse, Nuptse, Amadablam, and other 6000+ peaks over time.
Higher Success Rates
NST has built up its reputation over a long period of time with a high success rate compared to its competitors. Our guides and their tactical approach in expeditions have helped us in building trust and reputation. We provide the climber to guide to the ratio of 1:1 for expeditions above 7000 meters. This provides higher support and safety to each individual climber.
There are no issues of trust when you work with NST. You get what you are promised. Unlike other agencies, we do not make false promises. The packages we have tailored for you are specially designed to cover the wide range of clients that we receive. Also, if you want to make adjustments in the package, you can do so by coordinating with our office staff.
In the mountains, communication regarding weather conditions is the most important thing for a successful expedition. In that regard, we at NST use the best and the latest technology for weather forecasting and communication. Harsh weather conditions and improper channels of communication causes serious problems that can risk lives in the mountain. We use the latest high-tech satellite phones for communication that ensures uninterrupted communication between teams at different camps, climbers, and their families. The weather forecasting team consists of meteorologists and veterans who have known these mountains and their weather conditions for years.
Excellent Food and Accommodation Facilities
Our clients come from all over the world. Most of them have different cultures regarding food and accommodation. Hence, we acknowledge this variation and try to do justice to our clients by ordering food from abroad. Our sherpas in the kitchen make sure that you do not miss the taste of home away from home. Likewise, accommodation facilities throughout the expedition range from 5 -star hotels to, teahouses to tents depending on the remoteness and altitude of the place.
FAQs about Cho Oyu Expedition
The Cho Oyu expedition journey in our package lasts for 44 days. Among these 44 days, the climbing period lasts for 17 days where we ascend and descend repeatedly across different camps at different altitudes.
Climbing Cho Oyu is considered easy among all other above 8000m mountains by mountaineers. However, it is technical at the lower part and broadens on the higher part. You will need some prior experience of climbing before scaling Cho Oyu.
Cho Oyu peak lies at the Nepal China border in the Khumbu region of Nepal. However, Its north face which is the best side for ascent is accessible from the Tibet side of the mountain.
Once you confirm your trip with NST, you’ll receive a list of equipment that we recommend you to bring. We have also included a comprehensive list of equipment in the article above. In case you forget to bring some of the necessities, you will get an opportunity to prepare once you’re here in Nepl too.
For a foreigner climbing in the spring season, the Cho Oyu expedition costs around $1800. Likewise if you choose to climb in autumn it will cost you $900 and $450 if you climb it in summer or winter season.
There are 3 camps above the base camp set up for Cho Oyu expedition. The Camp I is set up at 6400m, Camp II at 7100m and Camp III at 7450m.
Here are some of the personal trekking gear that you can carry during Amadablam Expedition:
Waterproof Stuff Sacks (large and small)
Trekking Shirt – Pack 4 to 5 breathable trekking shirts, balancing both half and full sleeves.
Thermal Layer – At least one pair of a thermal layer.
Fleece Jacket – Pack a light-weight fleece jacket for the lower region.
Trekking Trousers – Minimum 2 water and wind-resistant trekking pants.
Trekking Shorts – Pack a couple of trekking shorts for lower reaches of the trek.
Lightweight, long underpants- pack 2-3 pairs.
Mid-weight long underpants- pack 2-3 pairs.
Down Jacket – Carry a high-quality down jacket to keep you warm from the extreme weather in the upper reaches of the trek.
Waterproof Shell Jacket – One waterproof jacket to stay protected in the wet weather.
Breathable Underwear – Carry at least 4 to 5 pairs of breathable and comfortable underwear.
Gaiter (For Winter)
Sun Protection Hat
A Pair of Inner Gloves
A Pair of Outer Gloves
Heavy gloves (mitten)
Sleeping Bag for Base Camp
Down Sleeping Bag – 20 to -40 degree celsius for extreme conditions
Thermarest Mattress (Cell Foam and Inflatable)
UV Protection Sunglasses
Water Purification Tablets
Headlamp with Spare Batteries
These are some of the important climbing equipment that you should carry while taking on the Amadablam Expedition: