At 8188 meters, Cho Oyu is the sixth highest mountain in the world. It is located on the border of Tibet (China) and Nepal about 20 km to the west of Mount Everest. Cho Oyu is translated in Tibetan as “the Turquoise Goddess”, from chomo=godess and yu=turquoise. This derivation of the name is not certain and other “translations” of the name includes “Mighty Head” (Tichy) and “God’s Head” (Harrer). Another alternative translation of the name is “bald god”. This makes sense looking at a Tibetan legend, where Cho Oyu, the bald god, has his back turned to Chomolongma, the mother godess, because she refused to marry him.
Some climbers claim that Cho Oyu is the easiest 8000 meter peak if anything over 8000 meters can be called easy! There’s no really technical sections and the objective dangers are close to non-existent. Its relatively easy access makes it an attractive climb for someone with limited time, as it can be attempted in roughly 6 weeks round trip. Base Camp is accessible by jeep and it is possible to reach Kathmandu in a very long day from Base Camp. Because of its ease of access, ABC is often crowded with a large number of expeditions. There have been well over 1000 ascents so far.
This mountain has also recently become popular with ski mountaineers and snowboarders due to its relatively low objective risk and good snow conditions, especially in the fall.