Everest Summits and More! The latest from the Himalaya

It’s been a very exciting week in the Himalayas, with news filtering through thick and fast of summits on Everest and other 8000 ers as the weather windows materialised for the first waves of climbers. We’ve been eagerly tracking progress and are delighted to report on a successful start to the Himalayan season.


The big one. Standing at 8848 m, Everest is a true test. This season has been a record breaking year on Everest, with Kami Rita Sherpa summiting for the 26th time when he topped the world’s highest mountain as part of the rope setting team earlier in the month. Friend of The Altitude Centre, Kenton Cool, set a new British record as he summited for the 16th time in an impressive record stretching back to 2004.

The Altitude Centre has a long history of training climbers to reach the highest point on Earth, and this year was no exception. First up was Jessica Hepburn, who summited on 14th May with Climbing The Seven Summits. Jessica trained relentlessly with us on site, building her mountain fitness and pre-acclimating, before hitting topping off the pre-acclimation with a month in an altitude tent prior to departure, all under the watchful eye of Lead Performance Specialist, James. It was 3rd time luck for Jessica, who committed 100% to the training program James set, and the results speak for themselves.

Next up, on 15th May, was Steve Davis. Steve climbed as part of Nirmal Purja’s Elite Exped group, having integrated altitude training into his home training program in the build up to the climb, as he has done for the past number of years. This is the culmination of an impressive mountaineering palmares for Steve, who has consistently reaped the benefits of hypoxic training for pre-acclimation. Also climbing with Nims was Martha Misztal, friend of The Altitude Centre, who summited on 16th May.


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A post shared by Steve Davis (@stevedavis72)

With the weather window still just about open, keep your eyes peeled for more updates!

Update 24th May: This year the season just keeps on giving, and summit waves have continued well into May! Across the weekend, Garth Miller summited Everest and Lhotse back to back within 24hrs. You’ve heard of a flash ascent, but Garth’s climb goes to another level. He went from London to the roof of the world and back again (via Lhotse) in just three weeks, a remarkable achievement. To help prepare for this extraordinary climb, Garth went all in on his hypoxic training, even setting up the home office within an altitude tent so that he could spend all day at high altitude. This, coupled with regular IHE sessions, and exercise at high altitudes, all in the comfort of his own home helped Garth accumulate upwards of 600 hours at altitude prior to departure.


While Everest is the highest mountain in the world, it’s not the only one to provide a serious challenge for mountaineers. This year, we saw a number of climbers heading to Kanchenjunga, to test themselves on the technical slopes and the long summit push to 8536 m.

The Altitude Centre saw Adam Booth and Nick Martiny-Roberts summit with Jon Gupta, alongside friend of The Altitude Centre Rupert Jones-Warner. The group summited on 15th May after a long push to the Summit. Nick made the most of his pre-acclimation, sleeping in an altitude tent and smashing the IHE sessions in the month prior to departure, while Adam’s acclimation was overseen by Senior Performance Specialist Nick. (Update 24th May: so strong was Adam’s physical condition on Kanchenjunga that he and guide Jon Gupta made an impromptu decision to attempt Makalu. Needless to say they were successful, and in fact they were able to move so fast that Jon reported they waited for half an hour below the summit to wait for sunrise!).


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A post shared by Jon Gupta (@mountexpeds)

Adriana Brownlee’s successful season continued on Kanchenjunga, as she summited with Seven Summit Treks on 14th May, just 2 weeks after topping out on Annapurna. She now moves quickly to Everest Base Camp for an attempt on Lhotse.

Update 24th May: Adriana successfully summited Lhotse, which leaves her with an attempt on Makalu to round out a very successful season.


An update from Makalu, as keen advocate of pre-acclimation techniques, Adrian Ballinger, became the first person to ski from the summit of the 8463 m peak.


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A post shared by Adrian Ballinger (@adrianballinger)

It’s not just the Himalaya in which The Altitude Centre climbers have been active. Late May and June sees the season shift focus to the Karakorum for Broad Peak and K2 in the East, and to the West, all eyes on Denali. The Altitude Centre sees coached athletes head to both ranges, and with climbers making their way out at this time, we’ll be sure to update you when we have news from some of the toughest mountains on Earth.