Cho Oyu

The south face of Cho Oyu from Gokyo

Seen north side of Cho Oyu from Tingri


Cho Oyu or Qowowuyag ( Turquoise Goddess; Tibetan: jo -bo - dbu yag; Chinese卓奥 友 山, Pinyin Zhuó'àoyǒu Shān ) is an eight-thousanders in the Himalayas. It is located in the central Himalayas, 20 km west of Mount Everest and Lhotse and represents the cornerstone of western Mahalangur Himal in the Himalayas main ridge represents the border between China and Nepal passes over the summit of Cho Oyu.


The name Turquoise Goddess refers to the visible from Tibet turquoise glow of the summit in the afternoon light. The name is probably composed of the Tibetan words Chomo (Goddess ) and yo (turquoise), this derivation is not substantiated. First climbed by Herbert Tichy learned from a Lama in Namche Bazaar, the name means " mighty one head ". Heinrich Harrer suspected, the mountain hot " cho -iu " (God's head); on earlier maps of the mountain was phonetically similar lists with Cho Uyu. An alternative Tibetan translation of the name ( " Bare God " ) coincides with Harrer's version and with a legend according to which the Bald God Cho Oyu, the mother goddess Chomolungma facing his back, because she refused to marry him.


The Cho Oyu has been recognized as the sixth highest of the fourteen eight-thousanders only thanks to a recent survey in 1984. By then he had ( 8156 m) taken with a supposed height of 8153 m behind Dhaulagiri ( 8167 m) and Manaslu the eighth. After measuring its height in 1984 was initially set at 8201 m and corrected according to recent measurements in the 1990s to 8188 m.

Climbing history

First ascent

Because the Swiss had previously come to the British in 1952 with the approval of the Mount Everest, the British concentrated this year on the Cho Oyu, where participants already approved for 1953 Everest expedition tested their equipment and height adjustment. Edmund Hillary and George Lowe explored while the Northwest Additions of Cho Oyu, the south side was considered unassailable. At a trial ascent of the north but was waived because expedition leader Eric Shipton did not dare to set up a warehouse chain across the border into forbidden Tibet.

With the Tyrolean Sepp Jöchler Sherpa Pasang Dawa Lama and the - - On October 19, 1954 a small Austrian expedition led by Herbert Tichy managed the first ascent of the mountain without supplemental oxygen. The path on the north side of a Icefall had proved to be easier than feared by the British two years earlier.

Other ascents

1958 created an Indian expedition, the second ascent. In the same year there was also the first death on Cho Oyu. The Sherpa Pasang Dawa Lama conquered the summit for the second time. The Mountaineers Pasang and Sonam Gyaltsen received from the Indian Prime Minister Nehru in New Dheli, also in Kathmandu they were celebrated, because for the first time came during an expedition to the summit alone the Sherpa success. The third ascent by a German expedition in 1964 is still controversial, as there is no evidence for reaching the summit. Fritz Stammberger had indicated that they had reached the summit alone, after his Sherpa 150 meters remained below the summit. The probative value of the alleged summit photos was denied then.

1978 rose Austrian alpinists Edi Koblmüller and Alois Furtnerteich the extremely difficult and dangerous southeast face to the summit. 1983 succeeded the South Tyrolean Reinhold Messner together with Michl Dacher and Hans Kammerlander the fourth documented ascent. They climbed in alpine style on a new route from the South-west by the south-west wall to the summit. Until that time, eight people, including 1982, the famous German mountaineer Karl Reinhard, were died in failed ascents of Cho Oyu. 1985 managed Maciej Maciej Pawlikowski Berbeka and from a Polish expedition led by Andrzej Zawada, the first winter ascent via the south pillar, which is still regarded as a difficult route. A few days later were with Jerzy Kukuczka and Andrzej Heinrich two other expedition members successfully

The first ascent of a women's team succeeded in Czecho Slovak Dina Sterbova and the American Vera Komárková Ang Rita Sherpa and together with Nuru Sherpa on May 13, 1984.

In 1988, the north wall is climbed by a Slovenian team for the first time. The south-west wall was first climbed in 1990 by Wojciech Kurtyka, Erhard Loretan and Jean Troillet. In 1996, the north ridge is climbed by the Spaniard Oscar Cadiach and Austrian Sebastian Ruchsteiner first time. The Kazakhs Dedeshko Boris and Denis Urubko succeed in 2009 is a direct route from the south-east wall. This first ascent is awarded the Piolet d'Or.

Climbing statistics

The Cho Oyu after Mount Everest 2790 summit success (as at 30 June 2009) of the most frequently climbed eight-thousanders. He counts on his normal route to the " lighter " eight-thousanders with low objective difficulties. Therefore, it is often the destination of commercial expeditions and has a ratio of one death at 65 Summit successes the lowest risk of all eight-thousanders on.

Commercial expedition companies that organize an ascent of Everest, thus recommend clients who are inexperienced in extreme altitudes, often, before taking part in an expedition to Cho Oyu. Besides the commercial interest provides a transition to Cho Oyu all participants an opportunity to assess the individual ability to adapt to high altitude and lack of oxygen.


In September and October 2001, the Norwegian mountaineer and ambient artist Geir Jenssen ascended the mountain and field recordings made ​​during the rise of the natural and ambient noise to. The recordings were made in 2006 under the title Cho Oyu 8201m - Field Recordings From Tibet published.