In the summer of 2007, the German climber Robert Jasper traveled to Tibet to attempt a solo climb of Cho Oyu, the sixth highest peak in the world.
In Jasper's own words, “First I [will] try to climb alone the NW ridge (classic route) to the summit. If the conditions are well, I will try to solo a first ascent using new route up to the summit.”
Last week, Jasper experienced an ice avalanche on Cho Oyu's glacier. Here, he tells the story:
By Robert Jasper
After an interesting journey through Tibet from Lhasa, I reached base camp safely. I started from camp ABC (advanced base camp) 5700 meters in perfect weather for the acclimatization up the mountain.
I reached camp 1 at 6400 meters and set up my very small bunker tent. Some days later I was back on the way to camp 1 to climb higher up the mountain. Suddenly, a very big serace collapsed at around 7000 meters and crashed down to the glacier were I was climbing up.
I jumped behind a small boulder. The pressure and the snow stopped my breathing and I thought, “It's over.” But luckily the big ice and snow avalanche stopped some meters in front of me. I injured my shoulder and neck during this action but at least I had very big luck to survive.
After a check by the expedition doctor at base camp and some rest days, I tried to climb the mountain again but the pain and the injuries were too big.
For me [there is] now no chance to climb at the moment and to try to summit.
So this expedition is over but I am lucky to survive.