Cho Oyu stands out as one of the world’s tallest mountains.
Its name is Tibetan for “Turquoise Goddess.”
Why Is It Famous?
Cho Oyu rose to fame due to its height of 8,188 meters (26,864 feet) above the sea level. This qualifies it as the world’s sixth-highest mountain.
The mountain sits in the Mahalangur Himalayas, specifically the Khumbu subsection, where it is the major peak furthest to the west. It is about 20 kilometers west of Mount Everest and borders China and Nepal. It is also only a few kilometers east of Nangpa La, a famous glaciated pass that is the major trading route for the Sherpas in Khumbu and Tibetans.
The geology of Cho Oyu makes it the easiest of the peaks above 8,000 meters to climb. This comes from the proximity to the famous Nangpa La pass and the fact that the northwest ridge route has moderate slopes. As such, it has the lowest ratio of death-to-summit. This makes it easy for geologists and other interested parties to explore and gather more information. Even so, it is still a challenging climb.
Interestingly, Cho Oyu’s original height measure was slightly less than the current figure of 8,188 meters. The first measurement put it at 8,150 meters, making it the seventh-tallest mountain. In 1984, the estimate turned to 8,201 meters, bringing it to sixth place. The current measurement of 8,188 meters came in 1996.
Events in Time
The first climbing attempt of Cho Oyu was in 1952 with financing from Great Britain’s Joint Himalayan Committee. Avalanche danger and technical difficulties, along with proximity to Chinese troops, made the team turn around. The first full climb was in October 1954, with an Austrian expedition climbing the northwest ridge.
Cho Oyu is among the highest mountains in the world and one of many notably tall peaks in the Mahalangur Himalayas.