Himalaya Fall 2010: Climbers Injured In Avalanche On Cho Oyu

The fall Himalaya season is in full swing, with teams working both sides of Everest, Manaslu, Cho Oyu, and others. Most of the climbers are in the early stages of the acclimatization process and are taking advantage of the slower fall season to really enjoy the uncrowded base camps. But last Friday was a scary day for some of those climbers, who almost had disaster strike.

According to ExWeb, six members of the Chinese-Tibetan Mountaineering Association were caught in an avalanche while fixing lines just below 8000 meters on Cho Oyu, and were buried beneath the snow. Rescuers were dispatched quickly, and helped to dig the men out, and later assisted them down the mountain to ABC in bad weather. On Saturday, the avalanche victims were taken the rest of the way back down the mountain to Base Camp, where they were loaded up in vehicles and driven away for medical attention.

The ExWeb story quotes Jagged Globe team member Robert Anderson, who reports that the injuries for the CTMA climbers ranged from a few bumps and bruises to mild concussions and snow blindness. He also said that they were assisted down in blizzard conditions, with several hours between the first and last men arriving in ABC. He says that they now hope to get some more CTMA climbers on the mountain to help finish the fixing of lines above C3 once the recently deposited snow settles some. If all goes according to plan, they hope to make a summit bid sometime this week.

There is no update on the condition of the climbers caught in the avalanche, but from the sounds of things they should all be in good condition, although a bit battered. Apparently the avalanche was big enough that it knocked the men from the mountain and drove them down for some distance, and while they all suffered injuries of varying degrees, they are also fortunate to be alive.