CHO OYU CLIMB Tibet  •  26,906'  •  8201m  •  6th Highest in the World
Gear List

IMG Cho Oyu Climb Gear List

This equipment list is meant to help you compile your personal gear for a high altitude trekking trip. Most items are required. Please consider each item carefully and be sure you understand the function of each piece of equipment before you substitute or delete items from your duffle. Keep in mind that this list has been carefully compiled by Eric Simonson, the expedition organizer. Don't cut corners on the quality of your gear.

Travel Items
[  ]Duffel Bags: One duffle will accompany you on the journey to BC. Climbers will need a second duffle, which will be packed and sent directly to BC by way of truck and yak. Duffels are carried by porters and yaks and should be sturdy and waterproof with name written on bag (in case tag is lost). Bags with wheels are nice for the airport, but the porters and yaks don't like to carry them, so don't bring wheeled bags. You will also store some travel clothes at the hotel in Kathmandu while trekking, so a smaller additional bag with a lock might be handy. Tip: Bring 5 large plastic garbage bags to pack gear inside duffels to protect gear from rain.
[  ]Daypack: Large daypack or bag with a shoulder strap, so you don't have to set it down while doing the duffle shuffle or handling travel documents while going through passport control and customs at the airport. It needs to be big enough to hold everything you'll need for an overnight stop.
[  ]Locks: You'll want padlocks in Nepal and Tibet, but for flying out of the USA, it might be better to use plastic zip ties which can be cut by TSA staff if necessary (bring extra zip ties).
[  ]Travel Wallet: Important for carrying your important documents including passport, extra photos, duffel inventory list, and money. We suggest that you use a travel wallet that you can hang around your neck and place inside your shirt, or around your waist tucked under your shirt or trousers.
[  ]Passport (valid for at least 6 months after the trip ends with sufficient extra pages for visa stamps and in same name as airline ticket (or with endorsement-for women who changed name w/ marriage). Get your Nepal visa on arrival in Kathmandu at the airport (and in Kodari on the return to Nepal). Scan your passport and also make a good quality hard copy of your passport and carry it separately.
[  ]2 additional color passport photos for Nepal visas.

Trekking Gear
[  ]Trekking Poles: Poles come in handy for balance and easing impact to your knees. Get collapsible poles that can attach to your backpack.
[  ]Backpacks: The "day pack" is great for a travel carry-on and may be big enough for the trek (need room for your clothes, water, camera, food, etc during the day while hiking). Climbers will need a larger pack (60-70-liter size is popular) and this will also be fine for the trek. For the international flights put your backpack into the duffle bags.
[  ]Pack Cover: Waterproof rain cover for your pack.
[  ]Sleeping Bags: Rated to -10°Fahrenheit. Synthetic or Down. Base Camp/ABC can get down to around 0°F at night... so quite chilly. Climbers will want a second sleeping bag for up high. Your second sleeping bag for up high should be 0 to -10°Fahrenheit rating.
[  ]Trekkers do not need a pad (foam mattress will be provided for trek and Base Camp). Climbers should bring a Thermarest pad to augment the closed cell pads we put in the tents above ABC.

[  ]Lightweight Shoes: Running/tennis shoes and sandals for camp, around town, etc.
[  ]Hiking Boots: Medium-weight hiking boots, waterproofed and broken-in.
[  ]Gaiters: To keep snow, mud, and scree out of your hiking boots.
[  ]Socks: 5 complete changes of socks, in a combination that you have used and know works for you. Make sure your boots are roomy enough for the sock combination you intend to use. Tight boots will make your feet cold. It is no problem to wash underwear, socks, etc at Base Camp!

[  ]Base Layer: 2 pair synthetic long johns: one midweight set and one expedition weight set.
[  ]Mid Layers: One additional warm layer (wool sweater, another fleece jacket, shelled vest, etc, that can be worn in conjunction to the other layers).
[  ]Shell Jacket: Waterproof/breathable jacket with hood.
[  ]Shell Pants: Waterproof/breathable pants (full side zips are best).
[  ]Climbing/Trekking Pants: Look for construction that provides freedom of movement and/or stretch materials. Fabric should be a breathable synthetic that preferably holds up to abrasion and dries quickly. You can wear them over longjohns if it is cold.
[  ]Warm Parka: Down or synthetic. This should be big enough to go over other garments. Many climbers also like insulated pants for cold mornings and evenings at BC / ABC.
[  ]Trekking Clothes: Light hiking pants and / or hiking shorts for warm weather down low- NOT cotton. Shirts for hiking on nice days (t-shirts OK, quick-drying synthetic fabric far better.)
[  ]Casual Clothes: For travel/meals in dining rooms. You'll want a shirt or two with a collar to wear on flights and for restaurants. A sweatshirt or light jacket might be nice in the evening.
[  ]Bathing Suit: Some of the hotels have pools (eg, in Bangkok).

Clothing Accessories
[  ]Gloves: Light gloves for hiking and warm ski gloves. Bring mittens too if your hands tend to get cold.
[  ]Hats: Warm wool or heavy fleece hat, sun hat and bandana.
[  ]A "Buff" or light balaclava to breathe through in the cold dry air. Good for preventing "Khumbu cough" (which can occur in Tibet as well!).

Camp Accessories
[  ]Headlamp: With several sets of extra batteries. Climbers should bring a second "back up" headlamp. (Beware of headlamps which do not accept lithium batteries).
[  ]Water Bottles: 2 water bottles with foam insulation shells. Bring a Pee bottle too.
[  ]Water Treatment: Iodine tablets (Potable Aqua or similar) or iodine crystals (Polar Pure).
[  ]Camera: With spare batteries, and film or memory cards.
[  ]Pocket Knife.

Personal Accessories
[  ]Wrist Watch: With alarm and light for reading in the dark. We like the Suunto ones.
[  ]Eyewear: Bring good sunglasses. For contact lens wearers, ski goggles with light color lenses (for use at night) might be useful in windy conditions that cause blowing dust.
[  ]Vision correction: Bring extra prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses if you wear them. Lens solutions are not widely available in Nepal, bring enough.
[  ]Skin Care: Maximum SPF sunscreen and lip balm.
[  ]Basic First Aid and personal: Bring plenty of hand sanitizer (Purell). Also you'll want moleskin, tape, aspirin (many climbers take an 81mg aspirin every day to prevent stroke), ibuprofen / acetaminophen, Imodium and Pepto Bismol for diarrhea, Band-Aids, antacid, insect repellant, ear plugs, and several rolls of toilet paper (we will have a supply at Base Camp), small towel, soap/shampoo, a few disposable dust masks, hand cream (for chapped hands).
[  ]Prescription Medications:
  1. Two regimens of antibiotic for respiratory and GI problems (azithromycin / "Z-Pak")
  2. Diamox (acetazolamide) for acclimatization (125 mg tabs recommended, enough for a week)
  3. Sleeping pills for jet lag
  4. Malaria Chemoprophylaxis, if needed based on travel plans
  5. Asthma medication, if any history (many climbers use Advair inhalers at high altitude to prevent "Khumbu cough")
  6. nifedipine (for pulmonary edema)
  7. dexamethasone (for cerebral edema)
[  ]Cold medicine (Sudafed, etc), Chloroseptic or Tessalon Perles throat lozenges.
[  ]Personal Snack Food: Approximately 5 pounds of personal snacks, also some drink mixes if you like these (add drink mix to your water bottle after giving iodine tablets 30 minutes of contact time). Summit climbers should bring some extra high-altitude snacks they know they will like to eat up high!
[  ]Books/music. Plan on sharing among your team members. Bring a thumb drive for swapping photos.

Climbers add the following:
[  ]Ice axe: We like a general-purpose axe in the 60-70cm range, depending upon your height and the type of climbing you anticipate. A wrist leash is useful for wearing while crossing snow bridges or on steep slopes where losing an axe would be a big problem. A spike with a point is preferable to a tubular shape (which can glance off the ice at certain angles).
[  ]Crampons: The number one rule with crampons is that they need to be compatible and stay on your boots, period! Petzl Vasaks, BD Sabertooth, Grivel G12 are all reasonable choices. Make sure your crampon straps are long enough to go around your big boots
[  ]Helmet
[  ]Bowl, Cup, Spoon
[  ]Climbing Harness: We prefer a harness with a minimum of padding that can be adjusted to fit over bulky clothing with leg loops that open up so you don't have to step into the harness.
[  ]Ascender & Hardware:
  • Two large locking carabiners
  • Mechanical ascender
  • Rappel device (Figure 8 or ATC that will work on a variety of rope diameters from 7mm to 11mm)
  • 4 extra 48" sewn runners with carabiners
  • 20 feet of 8mm accessory cord to rig your ascender and safety sling (we will show you a good way to do this at ABC).
[  ]Warm shelled mittens (down or similar insulated preferred).
[  ]Plastic double boots and overboots or many climbers prefer the triple boot like Millet Everest or the La Sportiva Olympus Mons boots which have an integrated gaiter.
[  ]1 pair of Glacier glasses, with a spare pair as backup.
[  ]A "Buff" or light balaclava to breath through in the cold dry air
[  ]Goggles (a second pair of light yellow or clear lens for nighttime is recommended)
[  ]Small repair kit. We'll have a large repair kit at Base Camp with tools, etc.
[  ]A good 1-liter thermos bottle
[  ]Extra socks (you can hand wash socks and underwear at BC, no problem).
[  ]Down pants that work with the down parka or a down suit. Summit day can be very cold! Many climbers also like insulated pants for cold mornings and evenings at BC / ABC.
[  ]Second sleeping bag rated 0 to -10°Fahrenheit (available for rent)
[  ]Second headlamp for backup
[  ]12 AA Lithium Batteries for use in the handheld radios on your summit rotation