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Aus Army Alpine Assoc. Reach Cho Oyu Summit

Department of Defence
Media Release DPAO 100/00
Monday 22 May, 2000

ARMY ALPINE ASSOCIATION MEMBERS REACH CHO OYU SUMMIT

Three members of an Australian Army Alpine Association team have successfully reached the summit of Cho Oyu, the world's sixth highest mountain at 8,201 metres in the Himalaya.

In news just to hand, expedition leader Captain Roger Grose of Canberra and Sergeant Brian Laursen of the RAAF from Melbourne reached the summit on 16 May with Captain Matt Shepley from Perth reaching the summit on 17 May.

Cho Oyu is the fifth 8,000 metre summit successfully climbed by members of the Army Alpine Association, the others being Broad Peak (8046m) in 1986, the south east ridge of Everest in 1988, Dhaulagiri I (8167 m) in 1997, and Shishapangma, (8027m) in May 1999.

Chief of Army, LTGEN Frank Hickling congratulated team members and said their success highlighted the excellent climbing and safety record of the Army Alpine Association and embodies the qualities of the Australian soldier, namely courage, initiative and teamwork.

Expedition spokesman and leader of the Army 2001 Everest Expedition Major Zaharias said all members of the Cho Oyu expedition reached Camp 3 at 7,500 metres however illness and high winds prevented summit attempts by other members.

He said the Cho Oyu expedition was part of preparations for Army Alpine Association's Everest Expedition in 2001 and Cho Oyu was selected for its height and lengthy route which closely approximate the proposed North Ridge on Everest.

With the exception of the Everest Bicentennial expedition in 1988, Cho Oyu is the highest mountain the Army Alpine Association has ever attempted and builds on the Army Alpine Association's highly successful Shishapangma expedition last year.

Note: team members will be available for interview on their return to Australia on 28 May or by telephone interview in Kathmandu from 25 May

Further information is available at: www.armyalpine.org.au

Issued by Defence Public Affairs & Corporate Communication, Department of Defence, Canberra, ACT, 2600 Media releases are available by email if you register at the Media Centre at www.defence.gov.au


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