Footsteps on the Mountain travel diaries
The Wrath of the Turquoise Goddess
Battling blizzards on Cho Oyu, the world’s sixth highest mountain. August/September/October 2010.
By Mark Horrell
In the Autumn of 2010, I set off to Tibet with a dozen other hopeful mountaineers, including the Olympic rowing champion Steve Williams and former Welsh rugby international Richard Parks, to climb 8201m Cho Oyu, the sixth highest mountain in the world, whose name translates as the Turquoise Goddess in Tibetan.
It was to be an extraordinary season on the mountain believed to be the simplest and safest 8000 metre peak in the world. Battered by blizzards for weeks, many climbers were caught in avalanches, and the mountain was abandoned by nearly all the teams at Base Camp before a single summit had been attained, but perhaps even more remarkably no one had died.
The eventual tally for the season was just two successful summits and one death. This diary tells the story of how events unfolded on what was to prove one of the least successful climbing seasons Cho Oyu has seen.
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Praise from readers
"Another great read in the 'Footsteps' series. I am loving them ... I get to travel through the world's most beautiful landscapes thanks to Mark's writing skills."
"Mark's dry, self-deprecating humor and entertainingly realistic anecdotes will make the mountains and those who seek to tame them come alive for you in living color, warts and all. I can't wait to read the rest of his work."
"Nobody writes in such beautiful detail about the scenery and vistas as Mark Horrell, and always so lighthearted about his fellow companions."
"He is a great story teller and I can imagine I am with him on his travels. Love all his books."
"It is almost like the author is sitting and talking with you about his travels. Entertaining and well worth the price."
"Very well written. I had to get blankets while reading because I was so 'there'. Great storytelling."