Cho Oyu on the Run: Prakash Sherpa and Benedikt Boehm

Fastest known times are a new trend on the 8,000’ers. Last Saturday, as the drama unfolded on Shishpanmaga, Prakash Sherpa and Benedikt Boehm had Cho Oyu almost to themselves. They sped up from Advanced Base Camp to the summit in 12 hours and 35 minutes. The round trip from Base Camp took 19 hours.

The team started at midnight from 5,600m, according to Altitude News. Boehm told Yahoo that he carried skis on his back “for safety” but didn’t use them in the end because snow conditions were very bad.

They only had a few days to acclimatize because they got the green light for Tibet at the last minute.

Increasingly, speed climbers are attracted to the 8,000’ers. Recently, Pemba Gelje whizzed up Manaslu in 12 hours on the same day Tyler Andrews made a similar speed attempt (though he turned around after Camp 4).

Yet there is no agreement on how FKTs on these climbs should be classified. Several factors have an impact, such as conditions, the kind of support (oxygen, fixed ropes, etc.), and the exact starting point, particularly from the largest base camps.

Prakash Sherpa is a UIAGM-credited guide and a character worth keeping an eye on. Last spring, he climbed Pumori in good style with Christian de Jong. The pair then moved to the other side of the Khumbu glacier and made it to the summit of Nuptse in one push.

German climber Boehm works in the outdoor gear industry and has previous high-altitude experience. He summited Gasherbrum II in 2006 and Manaslu in 2012.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.