Cho Oyu

Cho Oyu is the sixth highest mountain in the world, and one of only 14 mountains that have an elevation of more than 8000 metres. It is located a short distance to the west from Everest (the highest) and Lhotse (the fourth highest) in the Khumbu region of Eastern Nepal along the Tibetan border.

The peak of Cho Oyu, or the Turquoise Goddess as it is known, together with Everest towers well above the surrounding mountains. It became a familiar landmark to climbers ascending Everest's north face. Just west of Cho Oyu is the Nangpa La, a 19,000-foot high glacier pass, the main trade route between the Khumbu Sherpas and Tibet.

Cho Oyu was first attempted in 1952 by an expedition organised and financed by the Joint Himalayan Committee of Great Britain as preparation for the successful and world-famous attempt on Everest the following year. This expedition did not reach the summit because technical difficulties at an ice cliff above 6,650m (21,820ft) proved beyond their abilities

The mountain was first climbed on October 19, 1954 via the north-west ridge by Herbert Tichy, Joseph Jöchler and Sherpa Pasang Dawa Lama of an Austrian expedition. Cho Oyu was the fifth 8000 metre peak to be climbed, after Annapurna in June 1950, Everest in May 1953, Nanga Parbat in July 1953 and K2 in July 1954.

The peak glows turquoise when seen from Tibet in the light of the afternoon sun. Cho Oyu forms part of Tibetan mythology where we find Cho Oyu as a god who turned his back on Chomolungma, the mother goddess (Mount Everest), because she refused to marry him.

Quick facts

• Also known as ‘the Turquoise Goddess;
• 8,201 metres
• (26,906 ft) high 6th highest summit in the world
• Located in the Himalayas
• First attempted in 1952
• Cho Oyu has claimed over 40 lives so far


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