Cho Oyu Speed Ascent Update: A Successful Journey To The Top

This article is part of an ongoing series covering Benedikt Boehm and Prakash Sherpa's planned speed ascent of Cho Oyu, Tibet -- the 6th highest mountain in the world. For background information, click here.

This past weekend, on October 7th, Benedikt Boehm and Prakash Sherpa raced to the top of Cho Oyu's summit in 12.35 hours. The team started the journey around midnight on October 6th and made it back down on the 7th without using supplemental oxygen. Boehm notes that the initial plan of reaching the summit in roughly 10 hours was over-ambitious as "the way was very long and also tricky."

The team ropes in during the ascent.<p>Dynafit/Benedikt Boehm</p>
The team ropes in during the ascent.

Dynafit/Benedikt Boehm

Here's a quick retelling from Boehm:

"We arrived at the summit exactly after 12:35 hours. The summit can be recognized by the weather station (video). Certainly my best time compared to an 8000m peak because it is a very long route and also high at 8201m. In addition, there were harsh snow conditions and many technical changes. A lot of wind. Both of my feet (especially me) really froze. Endlessly long route. I took the skis with me for safety reasons (leaving the death zone more quickly), but didn't use them. It was a safety issue for me, and the snow conditions were terrible. Overall it was really quick. The descent through the hard rock and the eternal moraine gave me the absolute rest. It was very, very hard for us until base camp. Prakash and I worked very well together and sometimes pushed each other. We also went down from the base camp with the yaks. We didn't make it to the border but were in Tingri. Tomorrow we're going to Kathmandu."

Boehm further explained the speed ascent in a text conversation with me over the weekend, where he detailed suffering from lung pain comparable to a lung infection and toes that were "frozen blue." He, unsurprisingly, described the climb as "really brutal."

From Tingri, Boehm returned to Kathmandu, Nepal, before making his way back to Munich, Germany.

A stroll with a view.<p>Dynafit/Benedikt Boehm</p>
A stroll with a view.

Dynafit/Benedikt Boehm

Congratulations to the team! What an effort. The team spent just over two weeks in Tibet, which is a staggeringly small amount of time to prepare for and execute the climbing of one of the tallest peaks in the world.

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