Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sophie SUMMIT CHO OYU on 05/05/11 without oxygen

Sophie jumping at the top of Cho Oyu, 6th highest peak in the world
Summit day : 05/05/11 at 1pm

"best Summit day ever"

Despite an awful night at camp 3 : The wind almost crushed our tent and the snow kept being blown into our tent. Moreover, we did not have any sleeping bags. The night was extremely cold, so Mama and I, had to wake up every 2h to boil water to refill with hot water our small water bottles to keep us warm.

Sophie in the tent - freezing cold

The climbing plan was starting at 3am. We should have share the "breaking the trail" effort among 4 teams : Bolivian, Spanish, French and us. That was initially the plan, but due to the wind storm, we were all kind of down, and decide to start around 5:30am.

View from the Yellow Band - Start climbing at 5:30am

The summit climb starts by climbing the "yellow band" or about 200meters of blue ice and rock more or less vertical. this year is particularly difficult because it is a fairly dry year.
As we are the first for the summit push, we climbed this section alpine style (without/limited access to rope). I do feel very comfortable with such terrain, but I would not call it an easy climbing section.

Yellow band

The rest of the climb was a dream. Once we were half way, and because we start climbing so late, the question of turning around popped. But I checked myself, and I am thinking, "well! My toes are ok. My fingers are not cold. So let's do it!

Here we go, the last steps  ... which took us a long time, as the summit is a long, infinite plateau .... We finally summit on May 5th, 2011 at 1pm. I am the First Woman in 2011 to summit Cho Oyu !

Sophie at the Summit. I dedicate my Cho Oyu Summit to Raphael my godson

The views are stunning! Cho Oyu climb with or without summit is a MUST. the views are just breath taking !

View on the way down from the Summit

We were pretty tired. Fully aware that most of the accidents happen on the way down, we did not rush and take the way down easy. 

We went down to Camp 2 everybody was exhausted. People could not even walk down. They just sat down and let themselves slide down ....

for the little story Ulie Stek and Don Bowy summit the same day than us :p

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