Ueli Steck and climbing partner Don Bowie have sent an update from Cho Oyu, the next stop in their Himalayan Triple Header this spring. You may recall that Ueli topped out solo on Shisha Pangma a few weeks back, and now the duo are prepping to go for the summit on the 8201 meter (26,906 ft) Cho Oyu.
According to the dispatch, since arriving on Cho Oyu last week, Ueli and Don have been acclimatizing at altitude and building their camps. They’ve been up as high as 7000 meters (22,966 ft) and are back in ABC and watching the weather closely. The forecast said that a window could open as early as today, and if that holds true, they may have already started the ascent.
It should be noted that they are not making an attempt on any kind of speed record on this climb. They do home to go light and fast, but beyond that, they’re saving their strength for their final challenge, Everest from the South Side, which will take place in a few weeks time.
As for questions that continue to surround Ueli’s speed climb of Shisha, I’m not sure why we haven’t seen any summit photos. Perhaps Ueli didn’t take the camera with him since he wasn’t expecting to go for the summit that day. That seems unlikely, but it is a possibility. We have seen video of him high on the mountain and moving upwards very rapidly, but so far there has been no definitive proof that he has stood on top.
Perhaps once the entire expedition is over, we’ll get plenty of that evidence offered to us, but for now, we simply have the reports from Ueli, Don, and their companions.
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