Training for no-O2 Everest

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  • #6790

    Hi Scott, last year I decided to climb my first 8k without O2. Before I’ve climbed some 7k. I decided to go with Manaslu. I’ve did extensively training for for a year using schemas from “Training for the new Alpinism” book and Ueli Steck training schedule. Many thanks to you for such systematic and grounded book. During preparation I really got into ultrarunning, managed finishing some of 50k-100k races before climb.

    Unfortunately, I partially failed on Manaslu. I’ve used medical O2 near the summit due to legs frostbites, but that was because of gear and logistic mistakes. Generally, I found climbing Manaslu physically easy for me.

    Now I really looking to climb Everest, but again, without supplemental O2. I am sure I can climb one of the lower 8k no-O2 next time. But as I know, higher 8k, and especially Everest are different beasts.

    I wonder, is any “specific” training program make sense or even possible for Everest?
    Now I consider to take some “exotic” training on deep diving specific hypoxic exercises.
    Would appreciate to hear you opinion, is it theoretically possible to train for condition which is enough for no-O2 Everest, or its more matter of your genetic?

Posted In: Alpinism

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    Anonymous on #6799


    I don’t know of any special training method to help you deal with lower O2 concentrations other than the ones we talk so much about in our book and on this website. Get as fit as aerobically as possible and you will have your best chance of success.

    We have worked very closely with some top alpinists and can tell you when it comes to guys like Steve, David Goettler, Ueli and Kilian that the one ingredient of training they all share is to train a hell of a lot (as much as their bodies can handle) in the aerobic range. This means massive volumes of distance and vertical. That HAS to be the biggest part of the training program for success on 8000m peaks. If you are not doing that then trying things like deep diving or sleeping in an artificial hypoxic tent or any other ‘magic’ is not going to help you. If you are training 20 hours a week with at least 5000m of vertical each week and you have the time energy to try these other things then for sure, give them a shot. They might add a few percentage points to your performance but with out that training base you will be fooling yourself.


    Thrusthamster on #6904

    Those 20 hours, are those all endurance training, or do they also include strength/core/climbing skill? Because 5000m vertical at 500m/h would be just 10 hours of pretty “easy” endurance training.

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