goals of our Cho Oyu Spring 2006 expedition were:
To help our friend Nawang Sherpa become the first trans-tibial amputee
and first Asian person ever to reach the summits of two 8000+ meter
(26,246+ feet) peaks using an artificial leg.
Nawang Sherpa is a native of Nepal. He is
a mountaineer and trans-tibial (below the knee) amputee, who on
May 16, 2004 became the first person with an artificial leg to climb
To showcase the strength, courage, and values of the Sherpa people
as an inspirational example of what it takes to succeed against
great challenges. For decades, Sherpas have worked hard in dangerous
conditions to help people from all over the world to climb its highest
peaks. By focusing on helping Nawang reach his climbing objectives,
we thank and honor the Sherpa people for their crucial help to mountaineers
for so many years.
objectives and unique characteristics included:
The mountain area involved: Cho Oyu (8201 meters; 26,906 feet) approximately
20 km (12 miles) northeast of Mount Everest in the Himalaya, bordering
Nepal and the Tibetan Plateau/China.
The route the expedition will climb is known as The Normal Route,
approaching from and descending back to the Tibetan Plateau side
of the mountain.
The style in which the mountain will be climbed: We will use a lightweight,
low-impact style. This will be a non-commercial expedition of two
American climbers (Tom and Pete), one Nepalese/Sherpa climber (Nawang)
and two high-altitude Sherpas helpers. It will be a culturally sensitive,
mountain fellowship-related effort using approved wilderness and
expedition ethics for this region.
The competence and experience of the expedition leadership and members:
Tom McMillan has over 35 years of experience in all types of climbing:
high altitude mountaineering in the Great Ranges, general alpinism,
technical rock climbing, big wall climbing, ice climbing, mixed
climbing, and ski mountaineering.
Sherpa has received professional training in mountain climbing and
had completed a portion of his certification work for becoming a
high altitude porter before his tragic accident. Since his rehabilitation,
he has worked on several treks and climbs in the Everest region,
and has twice climbed beyond advanced base camp on the south face
of Everest. On May 16, 2004 Nawang reached the summit Mount Everest
on his first attempt.
The organization and financing of the expedition: As a non-commercial
expedition, we will rely on corporate and private donations.
The cohesiveness and commitment of each member to the expedition:
The cohesiveness and commitment of each member to this expedition
will be even higher than it might have been if our objective were
simply a summit. The reason is that our team has come together for
a purpose far beyond self-interest or "names in the guide books".
Our expedition is focused on the success of Nawang, supporting his
lifelong dream to try to stand at the top of his second 8000 meter
peak despite his disability.
expedition will exemply mountain fellowship and "friendship beyond
borders". In a world increasingly filled with conflicts and international
strife, our expedition should serve as an important example of international
cooperation and as an inspiration to not just climbers, but to all
people in the world.