Cho Oyu - West Flank - 1954

Cho Oyu was climbed for the first time in 1954, by Austrians Herbert Tichy and Sepp Jochler and Sherpa Pasang Dawa Lama

First ascent of Cho Oyu ( 8201m )

West Flank

Himalaya, Nepal

19 October 1954

Climbed by Pasang Dawa Lama, Herbert Tichy, Sepp Jochler

Other members of the expedition: Helmut Heuberger, Ajiba, Angnima, Gyalsen

The first ascent of Cho Oyo, on the Tibet-Nepal border, was made in 1953 by Pasang Dawa Lama from India and Austrians Herbert Tichy and Sepp Jochler. They were supported by 6 more Sherpas and by Austrian climber (and expedition doctor) Helmut Heuberger. The climb was made without supplementary oxygen.

Cho Oyu is the sixth highest mountain in the world and was the fifth of the world's 8000m peaks to be climbed.

The expedition tackled the mountain via its western flank (in Tibet), which they reached from Nepal over the Nangpa La, a 5800m pass.

Cho Oyu had been attempted in 1952 by a British expedition led by Eric Shipton, but the team had been unable to find a way through an icefall that runs across the glaciated face of the mountain at around 6500 - 7000m.

The Austrian team broke through the barrier with surprising ease, with Pasang Dawa Lama ( a very experienced climber) leading.

"I could hardly believe our luck. Perhaps we had been fortunate enough immediately to find the only possible flaw—perhaps the break had altered since Shipton’s attempt. In my wildest hopes I had not thought to pass so quickly and easily." - Herbert Tichy

Ropes were fixed through the different section and the following day Camp IV was established above the icefall. Herbert Tichy, Pasang Dawa Lama, Ajiba and Angnima spent the night there, intending to make an attempt on the summit the next day.

A storm developed overnight and continued the next day, forcing the climbers to descend. Herbert Tichy suffered frostbite to his hands. Heuberger, at Camp 2, administered injections.

The weather continued cold and windy. Pasang and another Sherpa made a trip back over the Nangpa La for further supplies. In the meantime, a Swiss expedition arrived at the base of the mountain.

Sepp Jochler, Helmut Heuberger, Herbert Tichy  Pasang, Ajiba and Gyalsen then moved back up to Camp IV, above the icefall. Tichy was still suffering badly from his frostbite injuries.

At 3pm the next day - 19 October - Herbert Tichy, Sepp Jochler and Pasang Dawa Lama reached the summit.

More about this ascent

External references for this climb.

Cho Oyu in the Ascent Book

Other climbs on Cho Oyu in the Himalayan Climbs mountaineering database

Mountain Facts

Cho Oyu, Khumbu, Mahalangur Himalaya, Xizang (Tibet) , China

N 28° 5′ 38.7312″ W 86° 39′ 39.0348″

Elevation: 8201m