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Tukuche 8000m Preparation Expedition
**This page is a historic page frozen in time - see Our treks for the current website**
The comprehensive fast track to 8000m peaks
So you want to climb an 8000m mountain? Sound preparation is the key so while climbing Tukuche, a 6920m mountain, we discuss everything, practice with oxygen sets, work on high altitude issues and brush up any mountaineering weaknesses you may have. As a bonus you get to meet your potential guide and some of the sherpas for Everest and other 8000m mountains.
If you are not an experienced climber then we recommend a progressive build up to Everest with:
a 7-12 day mountaineering course
more mountaineering experience soon after the course
a high altitude trek or better a 6000m/20,000ft mountain in the Himalaya
Aconcagua, Denali (or similar) or a 6400m+/21,000ft mountain in the Himalaya
an 8000m peak such as Shishapangma or Cho Oyu (or possibly Gasherbrum II or Manaslu)
then you should be ready for Everest. This progression really is the most thorough way to prepare, and we do recommend this.
Our fast track way
BUT a lot of people simply won't commit to this progression so if you are confident in your abilities we run this 8000m prep program for competent people who have plenty of common sense and can listen.
First you MUST:
complete a basic/technical mountaineering course or have real mountaineering skills
have trekking/mountaineering altitude experience to at least 4300m/14,000ft
be reasonably fit, especially good cardio fitness
Note this is NOT a climbing instruction course for complete novices, rather it is a fast track expedition to get onto the 8000m mountains quickly.
See the dispatches and conclusion from the 2008 Kangguru expedition and see the dispatches from the 2007 Shishapangma Expeditions, where we (sort of) ran an Everest Skills sub-expedition.
We start with the trek around Dhaulagiri to get us up to Hidden Valley. This is a classic but it it tough and should not be underestimated. We trek in an ultra-light style, staying in local houses and lodges and you carry your own trek clothing for this section as we don't take porters. In the higher sections we camp and the sherpas will carry the shared tents and meals. Climbing gear etc will go in via a different route. Expeditions take time and for this peak it is sensible to allow the full length of the expedition. There are some other options following.
Tukuche Peak with Dhaulagiri behind, we climb the right ridge - Jamie
A section of the trail to the last village; wide but check that exposure! - Jamie
A rustic, adventurous bridge - Jamie
Our cooks at Salla Ghadi, the dal bhaat was delicious - Jamie
Thank you for your good leadership for Kang Guru expedition.
Anne-Mari Hyryl�inen, 8000m Preparation Expedition to Kangguru, 2008
I enjoyed Phil's company and his way to share his big experience in climbing.
Peter Adolfson, Sweden, 8000m Preparation Expedition to Kangguru 2008
The expedition was good. It would have been nice to summit if the weather and mountain would have been cooperative, but that's all part of mountaineering. ... The food, Sherpas, support staff and Phil were great.
Rusty S, USA, 8000m Preparation Expedition to Kangguru 2008
With sometimes tightly focused lectures, sometimes wide-ranging discussions, we want to answer all your questions about climbing 8000m mountains.
+ use of a PAC bag
+ oxygen discussion and practice
+ first aid kit assembly
+ basic cramponing and climbing techniques
+ using fixed ropes and abseiling
+ Nepal-Tibet health
+ camp management
+ climbing equipment and personal camping equipment
Note that we cover climbing on fixed ropes, and issues surrounding this. We do NOT necessarily cover in detail other alpine climbing-style techniques such as technical crevasse rescue or placing rock and alpine protection. Join a course run by a UIAGM guides for professional instruction on these techniques.
Comparing Aconcagua and Tukuche 8000m Preparation expeditions
There are real differences...
Day 1 - arrive Kathmandu 1350m
We meet you at the airport, look for a Project Himalaya sign with your name on it.
2 - in Kathmandu
Meet the team! This is a last minute preparation and shopping day. You can leave any gear which you don't need during the expedition at the hotel.
3 - fly Pokhara, drive Darbang, trek Bima Khara
We take a morning flight to Pokhara, hop on a bus from the airport and drive to the end of the road, Darbang (which is past Beni), then in the late afternoon we see if we can trek to the first village, and there is a simple lodge here that has surprisingly good dal bhaat.
4 - trek Bogahara
This is classic middle hills trekking and will be hot today. We take the shortcut route to the village, a small and sometimes exposed trail. There may be one section where ropes are required. This is not the normal, longer trekking route via Takum.
5 - trek Doban 2450m
We leave the last village behind and trek to a grazing kharka with a couple of simple lodges.
6 - trek Italian Base Camp 3620m
We leave early as this is a relatively long day and we are getting to real altitude.
7 - rest Italian Base Camp 3620m
We have gained some altitude and tomorrow will gain more so we have a rest day here. We will inspect the route on to the glacier and fix a rope.
8 - trek Japanese Base Camp 4220m
We leave the simple teahouses behind and descend the rope to cross the glacier, then climb up the other side. It is a spectacular trail, but there are some dangerous sections, BEWARE of rock fall in a couple of sections. We camp, sharing tents, on the glacier. Or perhaps you want to sleep outside? Consider taking Diamox here, talk over with Phil.
9 - trek Dhaulagiri Base Camp 4650m
Route-finding is critical today, and beware of crevasses if off route. We camp at the base camp used to climb Dhaulagiri via the normal route.
10 - rest Dhaulagiri Base Camp 4650m
We acclimatize to lessen the pain for tomorrow. Enjoy the massive mountain scenes!
11 - trek French Col to Hidden Valley 5100m
Again ensure you are on the right route. We cross the 5370m French Col for new vistas, and trek down to our base camp in Hidden Valley. This will already be set up and Sarki and the crew will be waiting for us with some good food!
At BC you get your own tent.
12-13 - Base Camp 5100m
We acclimatize further and have a puja, a ceremony to show respect for the mountain. The puja is held on an auspicious day decided by the sherpas.
We will set up several camps on the mountain, and spend time acclimatizing, building up to a summit attempt. The summit attempt will be somewhat weather-dependent, as all big peaks are. It will be cold, probably down suit conditions for summit day...
Most days we will have a loosely structured discussion on an aspect of 8000m climbing, and some days we practice either on the mountain or near BC.
We hope to spend plenty of nights up on the mountain and make a very high camp, perhaps at around 6800m so that you get to sleep really high, but this is conditions dependent.
If we summit early there are a number of other peaks around worth looking at.
30 - trek Yak Kharka/Marpha
The beauty of Tukuche is we can get back to Kathmandu quickly, and today we trek to Yak Kharka, although it is possible to get to Marpha if you push it (hard on the knees, a 2585m/8500ft descent).
31 - trek Jomsom
We trek via Marpha and its good restaurants to Jomsom, the district headquarters here. Hot showers (do you have any clean clothes?)!
32 - fly Jomsom-Pokhara-Kathmandu
We take a morning flight out. The flights are reasonably reliable here but if it is postponed then we can bus to Pokhara in a long, tough day.
33 - Kathmandu
This is a free recovery day. (If we didn't fly yesterday then we fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu today).
Day 34 - depart
We are climbing a 7000m mountain later than normal and it will be COLD (but hopefully gloriously fine). Trekking and at BC, and even lower on the mountain should be pleasant enough but the high camps and summit will be savagely cold, perhaps like a reasonable summit day on Cho Oyu. So these are good conditions to use your 8000m gear. Do review our Cho Oyu-Shishapangma gear list and basically the only changes are
- one sleeping bag only
- down suit is optional but if you don't have then you need a thick down jacket and warm primaloft or similar pants
- one set of mattresses
- small summit pack not necessary
- trek with your expedition pack
Gear will be packed in kit bags rather than drums, crampons and ice axe separately (we will handle). Pack your climbing gear separately from trekking gear. The climbing gear will not necessarily be accessible during the trek in. Do consider how to pack and how to keep your gear to a reasonable quantity. Also consider whether you will trek in with a large day pack and a porter carrying a kitbag or carry most or all of your trekking gear yourself, either way is OK.
We have run many successful and safe expeditions however you must understand this is as real as it gets. We try our best with safety and gear within the limits of the expedition budget but this is 7000m and anything can happen. Even with good gear, good everything, the risk of death is small BUT REAL. As with most mountains there is UNAVOIDABLE avalanche danger, although the probability is low.
We try our best and we are very responsible, caring people however we are not liable for anything, full stop.
The trekking pole and longer ice axe combo is often more appropriate than fancy dual technical tools - Jamie