Saturday, 19 March 2011

Climbing - a wild idea

Watching the TV series, Everest -Beyond the Limits, I have been struck by a number of interesting points. For instance, after his failure in the first series, Tim, the LA biker with numerous bits of metal holding him together, made it to the top. He is a real burk and is definitely not what you would call a mountaineer, but none the less, there he was, getting to the top. And then there is the 71 year old Japanese retired school teacher. After climbing Cho Oyo, he has attempted Everest and is now the oldest person to have reached the summit. It is tempting to say that if they can make it, maybe I am being too circumspect in looking at what I might be able to do.

So a brief internet search locates a UK company called Jagged Globe, which runs a who series of high-end climbing expeditions. And they run a number of 8,000m peak trips, my focus being on Cho Oyo. They don't avoid the difficulties, but there is loads of information on the site and this had caused me to consider some pretty radical ambitions. Cho Oyo costs just over £10,000 and takes 45 days. For the moment, this is the mountain I am thinking about - with a tentative target date of Autumn 2013. Maybe do a winter climbing trip next January, followed by something in the summer and autumn of next year, and so on. At the very least, this provides some good motivation for going to the gym (where I can now do 50 lengths of the pool and 25 mins on the cross trainer - such a jump from 3 or 4 weeks ago)

A view down to Everest, with Cho Oyu to the left and the somewhat easier trekking peak, Mera Peak, in the foreground

From the walk in to Cho Oyu

And a view of Cho Oyu that makes it look quite imposing. The sixth highest mountain in the world, but also widely considered the easiest 8,000m peak

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