In September 2016 I joined an expedition team to climb Cho Oyu in Tibet, the sixth highest peak in the world (8,201m) with 360 Expeditions, led by Rolfe Oostra.
Cho Oyu is known to be the ‘easiest’ and safest of all the fourteen 8,000-metre peaks. After Everest, I felt that Cho Oyu would give my best chance of reaching 8,000 metres altitude and putting my bad experiences to bed.
Like my other expeditions – and high-altitude mountaineering in general – things didn’t go to plan. I was badly ill with altitude sickness before we reached Advanced Base Camp, our main base camp at approx. 5,700m. Fortunately I was given the chance to acclimatise for longer at the lower Chinese Base Camp and managed to join the team again a few days later.
I was paired up with the highly-respected Dorje Gyalgen Sherpa and made our summit attempt on the early hours of 1st October from Camp 2 at approx. 7,125m altitude, my highest altitude to date. Unfortunately I had again succumbed to the altitude and quickly abandoned the attempt, descending to ABC later that day, whilst the remainder of the team made successful summits.
Nonetheless, a wonderful adventure with great company in a truly remote part of the world, that taught me so much and would ultimately change my entire direction and goals.