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In the Autumn of 2010, Mark Horrell set off to Tibet with a dozen other hopeful mountaineers, including an Olympic rowing champion and a former Welsh rugby international, to climb 8201m Cho Oyu, the sixth highest mountain in the world, whose name translates as the Turquoise Goddess in Tibetan.

Cho Oyu is considered to be the simplest and safest 8000 metre peak in the world, but it wasn't living up to its reputation. Battered by blizzards for weeks, climbers were forced to wait patiently at base camp until the weather suddenly turned and perfect blue skies emerged.

Hundreds of climbers were ready to ascend, but the Turquoise Goddess had become a death trap, with powder-snow slopes ripe for avalanche. This diary tells the story of how events unfolded on what was to prove one of the most extraordinary climbing seasons Cho Oyu has seen.

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