June 8, 2010

Cho Oyu at dusk, outside Tingri, Tibet, China

Location : Cho Oyu from Tingri, Tibet, China (28° 34′ 0″ N, 86° 38′ 0″ E)
Date : 24 April 2003; 5.45am
Camera : Canon G1

Cho Oyu or jo bo dbu yag in Tibetan at 8,201m is the 6th highest mountain in the world. It is one of those giants that lie right at the border between Nepal and Tibet, China. Just like Everest or Qomolongma in Tibetan, expeditions to climb these mountains often start from both sides of the border. Cho Oyu is supposedly the easiest of the 8,000 metres Himalayan peaks to climb. The pass, Nangpa La, which lies a few kilometres west of the mountain used to serve as a main trading route between the Sherpas of Khumbu, Nepal and the Tibetans; and Tingri (4,300m) was a very important trading post for such traders. The Sherpas used to trade rice, grain and so on for Tibetan wool, livestock and salt. Today Tingri is still a small town of about 500 people but has a large PLA garrison/barrack at the edge of the town. No tourists will really go to Tingri unless they are on their way to the Everest Vase Camp or overland to Nepal. This will probably preserve the town's character a little longer but probably not for too long as an overland trip to the so-called Everest Base Camp (on the Chinese side ie the northeast face) is like part of any trips to Tibet.

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