Category Archives: Cho Oyu 2015.

Training Week 1 for Cho Oyu

Training Week 1 for Cho Oyu

View from atop a cold Signal Hill
View from atop a cold Signal Hill.

This week I got my mind in gear for the climb ahead and got off the couch and out on the streets with my pack, tires, and ankle weights.  I have two 25 lb tires that I set up to drag behind me and pull my chest back as I pull up the hill (it also slows the descent).  I learned to use the tires from my good friend TA Loeffler (her site is  She recommended that I give it a try while training for Mera Peak last year and boy did it make a difference.

A simple 20 minute hike up Signal Hill became a 30 minute adventure.  I upped the ante a bit and made it two tires thus making my ascent time approximately 45 minutes.  The interesting thing about using two tires at the same time is that the weight of the tires compresses your lungs–I strap the ropes attached the tires over my chest like a climbing sling.  The compression on my lungs makes breathing much more difficult and has helped my lung strength already.  Another added benefit of the extra tire is an additional 500-600 calorie burn for the round trip.

In addition to the two tires, I packed a 30 lb 55L Osprey pack to simulate the load that I’ll carry up high on Cho Oyu.  I find that due to my leg strength additional weight in the backpack has little impact on my ability to summit or adding much difficulty.  I may buy an expedition style backpack and try a HEAVY day with about 60-70 lbs to see what that feels like.

Last, and certainly not least, are my ankle weights.  While training, I don’t use my double-plastic boots that I’ll be wearing on the mountain.  Those plastic boots weigh about 5 pounds each–my foot is enormous!  Climbing Mera Peak, one of my complaints was tired legs up high.  One of the main reasons for that was that I had not adequately anticipated the amount I would be wearing the plastic boots.  With a 3.5 lb difference between the plastic boots and my trekking boots, I had not prepared my legs for the repetition of lifting the extra weight for significant time and distance.  This year, I will be prepared.

Off to go get another workout in!  Check out the links and photos from this week below…

Photos from the drag….

View towards St. John's from Summit
View towards St. John’s from Summit. Tyler Russell 2015.
Dragging a tire
Dragging a tire. Tyler Russell 2015.
A chance to smile about the summit.
A chance to smile about the summit. Tyler Russell 2015.

Garmin Fenix Outputs from my training last weekend


Trip Announcement! CHO OYU 2015

Deposits have been made and reality is setting in.  I’m a bit nervous, but ready to take on a challenge of this nature.  Many of you don’t know about Cho Oyu–the sixth tallest mountain on Earth.  Standing at 26,906 ft (8201m) above sea level, climbing Cho Oyu will push me past my previous altitude record of 19,849 ft (6050m), by more than a vertical mile.

Cho Oyu is on the border of Nepal and China, about 20 miles west of Mount Everest.  I will be climbing from the Chinese side (see map below).  I will fly into Kathmandu and make a several day bus ride from the city into Tibet, where we will trek into base camp.

Here is the route map for those interested.

  1. Base Camp: 18,865 ft (5750m)
  2. Camp 1: 21,000 ft. (6401m)
  3. Camp 2: 23,458 ft. (7150m)
  4. Camp 3:  24,442 ft (7450m)
  5. Summit:  26, 906 ft. (8201m)
Route Map from IMG.
Route Map from IMG.

Here are some photos from various people of Cho Oyu.  I’m really looking forward to attempting to summit a mountain of this magnitude.  This will be a training climb for Everest/Lhotse in the next couple years.

Camp 2 and above on Cho Oyu.  Photo by:  Ang Jangbu Sherpa
Camp 2 and above on Cho Oyu. Photo by: Ang Jangbu Sherpa
Climbing to Camp 1 on Cho Oyu.  Taken by IMG.
Climbing to Camp 1 on Cho Oyu. Taken by IMG.
Cho Oyu below Camp 2.  Taken by Greg Vernovage.
Cho Oyu below Camp 2. Taken by Greg Vernovage.
Cho Oyu.  Photo by Adam Angel.
Cho Oyu. Photo by Adam Angel.