Instant Expeditions: Everest in 3 Days

Thin Air: Maximize Your Limited Vacation Days from Work

Stefan Nestler ran a blurb Saturday about Alpenglow’s “instant expedition” to Cho Oyu, scheduled to last only 30 days. The outfitter’s trademark pre-acclimatization of clients in Hypoxy tents back home is key. Why the hurry? Trophy tourism is in demand and climbing guides are fighting to maintain business in a frantic world.

Interestingly, even this approach is tedious if speed is what you’re after. Closed supplementary oxygen systems could make it possible for summit-hunters to scale peaks such as Everest in 3 days. Clients would trek in special climbing suits, somewhat like the spacesuits Astronauts use when venturing outside the ISS.

It’s not as far fetched as you’d think. Experiments with closed 02 systems have been done on Everest in the past. The time involved in the climb is not the actual ascent (which takes only 3 days or so) but the procedure needed to acclimatize the body to the thin air. Using a closed breathing system removes all the trouble, including the exposure of climbing up and down the slopes.

Of course you’ll lose out on most of the fun/experience associated with mountaineering and if you take the rig off you’ll die, but the upside is you could ‘climb’ all 8000ers in one month.

Read more about Everest oxygen systems in this classic series.


Sky-skiing Makalu: Interview with Adrian Ballinger, final (2015)

Interview: The Pre-Acclimatized Ballinger, Baranov Lhotse Couloir Ski Attempt (2013)