Cho Oyu is the 5th tallest mountain above sea level in Nepal and 6th in the world. Its highest peak towers to 26,864 feet above sea level. Cho Oyu is part of the Mahalangu Himalaya range in the western most area of the Khumbu sub-section. Everest is only 16.25 miles (peak to peak) from Cho Oyu. Cho Oyu is regarded as the easiest 8,000-meter peak to climb due to its gently rising slopes. This article is about Cho Oyu, its climbing route and indigenous people of the area.
Cho Oyu was originally inaccurately measured to be 26,750 feet above sea level in 1802. This mismeasurement made it the 7th tallest mountain in the world, just below Daulagiri I. In 1955, Edmund Hillary approximated the height to be 26,867 feet. The mountain was re-surveyed in 1996 and found to be at a height of 26,864 feet.
Cho Oyu was first officially climbed on October 19, 1954 by Joseph Jochler and Pasang Lama. They were part of an Austrian expedition. It has since been summited over 25,000 times. This mountain was the 4th 8,000er to be climbed after Annapurna 1, Everest, and Nanga Parbat.
Cho Oyu has the lowest death to summit ratio out of all the 8,000ers (9 people per 100 safe returns). Because of Its gradual slopes and plateaus, Cho Oyu is considered a “trekking peak.” Trekking peaks are perfect for entry level mountaineers who are physically fit. They are also perfect for intermediate to experienced mountaineers.
The most common route to the summit of Cho Oyu is via the Nangpa La pass. This route follows the glacier along the north face of the mountain in China. From here climbers and trekkers will stop at a series of camps until the summit is reached. The summit is a flat plateau and is often misidentified as not being the summit.
Sherpa, Tamang, and Sunwar are the primary ethnic groups of the Sagarmatha area. There are also other indigenous groups, which include Bhote, Jirel, and Thami. However, I do not have any information on the last three groups.
Sunwar people are from eastern Nepal. They primary follow animism, which is similar to shamanism. There are 52 different subgroups or clans of Sunwar people. Sunwar means gold.
Sherpas are one of the most famous groups of Nepal, receiving notoriety for their ability to live in high altitudes. They are hired to carry equipment for people who attempt to summit Mount Everest. The word Sherpa means Eastern People, which describes where they live and where they come from. Sherpa people speak a dialect of Tibetan. There are many sub-groups or clans of Sherpa people.
The Tamang are an indigenous group of people in the north east area of Nepal. Their name means horse trader in Tibetan. Tamangs are divided into several subgroups or clans. They have their own language that is similar to Tibetan-Bhurmese like the group Gurung. Most Tamangs follow Buddhism.