Cho Oyu expedition

Friday, September 1, 2006 - 21:00

NYALAM (3,700m)

...we got a little bit slower as the air got a little bit thinner here in Nyalam, at 3700m  since our acclimatisation process hardly begun. Now is September 2nd and we are having a day rest since yesterday we had our first acclimatisation trek on a 4200m unnamed peak near Nyalam. While climbing it we had the fist glimpse over Tibet, just enough to excite us at the maximum for the days to come. From place to place on the mountain, including the top, were Tibetan prayer flags blowing in the wind the sacred mantra "om mani padhme hum". They are humbly practicing their religion on the holy summits as I am humbly  practicing in the same places my very own: mountaineering. And maybe all this, one day might meet in a single place, at the top, within myself, or somewhere I can't even imagine while writing this dispatch.

...we left Khatmandu in the very morning of August 31st. We started a  6 day trip to reach the Chinese Base Camp in Tibet at around  5500m alt.

We spent the first night in the border town of Zhangmu at 2300m altitude at a strange hotel having the reception at the last floor (4th). Same as Nyalam, Zhangmu is a strategic Chinese town to securise their shouthern border after the Chinese  invasion of Tibet in the 50's.

Despite what one might think, Himalayas, the mightiest mountains on earth, are not an uninterupted range but fragmented in few places by deep valleys that make possible their crossing from south to north. One of this places is the deep valley of Sun Kosi River and had been our gateway into Tibet. 

30 km far from Zhangmu, almost on the other side of the mountains, is the one street town of Nyalam, our actual location. There is only one place in town where you can make a decent shower in the real sense of the word and this is not located in our Hotel (Snow Land Hotel, considered by Lonely Planet the best place to stay here:)))), but 40m down the street, "positioned" to foreigners as ZA place to bath:) 

Tomorrow, September 3rd we will reach Tingri,the first authentic Tibetan settlement on the way, at an elevation of 4390m. We'll spend here two more days for further acclimatisation, second day climbing in the sorrounding mountains of Tingri one summit close to 5000m. (ALEX) 

...than we went in the room (Khatmandu, August 30th) and finished packin' the barrels and stuffed the camera and the sat phone deep in the barrels , otherwise we had to pay some cash to the chinese customs, 700 for the sat phone and 5000 for the camera ,and these number beeing associated with us Dollars! 
Not that I was cheatting or something but, since those money are not going to Lama's people what's the point.And anyway the custom officer has deleted two pics with Alex and me from our hp camera just because they were made 50 meters away of the border check and you couldn't see nothing  anyway coz were made in the oposite direction. He wanted to delete the all pics
but Alex just popped out 'c'mon maan, this is not 'and the guy just gave up the camera . What a RELIEFF... This  one was pretty close to the edge!.

This happened after we reached Zangmu gates.

So here we go heading closer Cho Oyu through another world. 

Different worlds with different kind of perspective on life. Places are named just like in fairy tales. Nyalam for instance a little strange place that was build by the chinese aministration just to have a buffer area between Nepal and China, soldiers running on the main street of Nyalam in the morning setting on the alarms of the equipment trucks, well the name of the city Nyalam means Hell's Gate. 
I thought Nyalam was supposed to be a wonderfull place ... Well it is for passenger tourists just like me and all other mountanieers, but for the people living in this places is the real Hell on earth.  Looks like They have been abandoned by  they're Gods Shrynes of prayers rising up to 4200 meters in the sky asking for changing winds. 

Yesterday we went for an acclimatisation ascent from 3700 m alt up to 4200 m to start having a little advantage on the process. I took my camera with me and the tripod aswell so I can take a few shoots with the surroundings of  Hell's Gate . 
  Once I  started shootin' the scenary become clear, shrouds of clouds embraceing the rough rock ridges that we are walking on;the sun's games launching sharp beams through the clouds and finally drawing the snowy ridges of the higher mountains.
 There's only one play for this show , no directors or actors ,and if you get to see a little part of this huge spectacle ,you can say the World was at you're  feet . (SERGIU)






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