Mount Everest: 29,029′ (8,848 m)

We are excited to be returning to Mount Everest from the Tibet/North side in 2024!

Mountain Trip’s guided Mount Everest Climbing Expeditions provide the highest level of service to give you the best chance to succeed on this climb. An expedition to the highest peak in the world, often represents the culmination of a climber’s mountaineering career, decisions of whether or not to attempt it and with whom to go climb it are not to be taken lightly.  We specialize in small teams, focused on safety and reaching the summit.  Our teams are led by experienced Everest Guides who love being there and have shown they have the leadership to get the team to the top!

We lead professionally guided Mount Everest climbing expeditions from the North (Tibet) side of the mountain. All the logistical support and leadership necessary to make this a successful climbing expedition is included in the trip fee. Our Sherpa team is highly experienced and our American guides are the best in the industry. Mountain Trip is an American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) Accredited company, so you can be assured that your guides are not only experienced, but are also trained to the highest standards. We do not offer “Sherpa Led” expeditions with a guide or trip leader in Base Camp, as that just isn’t consistent with our approach to guiding.

Unlike many other Mount Everest climbing expeditions offered by guide services or outfitters providing logistical support, our expedition does not contain any hidden costs, extras or add-ons. We know that an undertaking like this is very stressful and we attempt to remove as much of the potential stress that is under our control as possible in order to allow our Everest climbers to focus on the task of climbing the highest mountain in the world. We provide 9 bottles of Oxygen per climber, allowing us to climb at high flow oxygen on summit day and the flexibility to take a rest day or wait for weather at high camp if necessary.

Our Everest climbing expedition will provide all the leadership and logistics necessary to climb Mt. Everest. We have our own luxurious base camp, Sherpa cooks and staff. The Everest climbing team will consist of a maximum of 4 climbers per American guide, and will be supported by an average of two Sherpas per climber. This depth of Sherpa experience, coupled with low ratios of Mountain Trip guides gives our climbers an industry high level of support on the mountain. Our 2024 Everest Expedition will be led, once again, by Jacob Schmitz. 

Logistical preparations are paramount on a guided Everest climbing expedition, and our experience and that of our team will provide you with unmatched support. This is a great opportunity for qualified climbers to join a very well organized Everest trip with a proven and experienced Sherpa team, base camp services, oxygen systems, high-tech communications, and medical support. If the weather cooperates and you put in the proper training that such an endeavor requires, we feel that our acclimatization schedule and leadership will provide you with the best possible chance for reaching the summit.

Family or Friends interested in joining the trek to Everest Base Camp?  They can join a trek with the team and enjoy the excitement of the journey, without the climb.  Check out this option on our Everest Base Camp Trek page.

Anyone considering an attempt on Mount Everest should contact Mountain Trip as far in advance as possible for additional information and to help us better determine if this is an appropriate decision for you to make at this time.

Mount Everest Expedition Itinerary China/North Side – Mountain Trip

Duration in country: Approx 60 days

Our North Side Expedition includes an acclimatization trek to over 18,000 ft in the Khumbu region of Nepal and an expedited drive into Tibet BC.  An alternate schedule without the Khumbu Trek is a few days shorter and is an option for climbers who do not want to participate in the acclimatization trek.

Please note this itinerary is merely an example. Decisions as to the actual itinerary will be made by the guides.

Day 0: Arrive in Kathmandu, Nepal

Day 1: Team meeting in Kathmandu.

Day 2: Pick up climbing permits. Free day to explore Kathmandu and visit temples.

Day 3-17: Acclimatization trek in Khumbu region.  (Optional, direct to Tibet is an option as well)

Day 18-19: Back in Kathmandu

Day 20-22: Drive to Tibet basecamp

Day 23-32: First acclimatization round up to North Col and return to Tibet BC

Day 33- 55: Second round and summit attempt!  (8 days of weather/flex days)

Day 56-58: Return to Tibet BC

Day 59-60: Return to Kathmandu

Day 61: Head on home!

Mount Everest Expedition Itinerary  Nepal/South Side – Mountain Trip

Duration in country: Approx 60 days

Please note this itinerary is merely an example. Decisions as to the actual itinerary will be made by the guides.

Day 0: Arrive in Kathmandu, Nepal

Day 1: Team meeting in Kathmandu.

Day 2: Pick up climbing permits. Free day to explore Kathmandu and visit temples.

Day 3: Fly to Lukla where we will meet our Sherpa team and start the trek to Base Camp (BC).

Day 4: Trek to Namche Bazaar at 11,300ft.

Day 5: Acclimatization day in Namche.

Day 6: Trek to Tengboche, visit the Monastery.  Overnight in Deboche.

Day 7: Trek to Dingboche, visit Lama Geshe on the way through Pangboche.

Day 8-9: Acclimatization days around Dingboche.

Day 10: Trek to Lobuche.

Day 11: Trek to Gorak Shep.

Day 12: Final Trek to Base Camp.

Day 13-17: We will acclimate and recover in Base Camp for several days. During this time we will have our Puja (an important ceremony with our Sherpa team) and practice some climbing skills (ladder crossing) before heading up the Khumbu Icefall.

Day 18-22: First rotation up to Camp 1 and then Camp 2.

Day 23-25: Rest and recover in base camp.

Day 26-30: Second rotation up to Camp 2 and a hike to Camp 3.

Day 31-38: Rest and recovery. We will descend to the village of Dingboche at about 14,000 ft/4,250 m to get a well deserved rest before the summit push.

Day 39-58: Summit attempt. We will be watching the weather closely in anticipation of our summit attempt. The typical summit window is in the last weeks of May.

Day 58: Depart BC and trek to Lukla. **optional Helicopter to Lukla or Kathmandu

Day 59: Fly from Lukla to Kathmandu.

Day 60 : Depart Kathmandu for home.

Custom Private Expeditions to Mount Everest

There are countless reasons to go on a private, custom expedition to Mount Everest.  We’ve taken groups of friends and families on custom climbs, as well as climbers with specific time constraints.  By limiting the group size, you gain a lot more flexibility as far as scheduling a trip and we can tailor your expedition to meet your expectations.  We can work with you to come up with a pre-acclimatization plan using Hypoxico tents and potentially save weeks off the normal itinerary.

The demand for more personalized expeditions has increased in recent years and the growing number of climbers who come back year after year for private trips tells us that we must be doing a pretty good job of taking care of them. Private climbs and expeditions can provide you with the extra support, flexibility, and choice to have just the level of luxury, or suffering, that you are looking for in an expedition.

Consider Mountain Trip your personal, skilled, and highly experienced climbing partner!  Climbing with us is a partnership in which we work closely with our climbers to craft the experience that best suits your vision for an expedition.  You’ll feel like a partner in that experience.

Where will your dreams take us?

Please contact us for pricing and details for a custom trip.

We generally break the skills required to climb a big mountain like Mount Everest down into three different categories. Fitness, Mountaineering Skills, and Expedition/Altitude Experience.

If you’ve never climbed before and have dreamed of climbing Mount Everest, don’t be intimidated!  It requires a lot of work, and a commitment to gaining the skills and experience, but you can do it.  One of the most rewarding aspects of guiding is working with climbers to develop long term goals and a plan to achieve them.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us and let’s make a plan to achieve your goals!  There are no shortcuts, but the journey is incredibly enjoyable and rewarding and you might learn something about yourself along the way.

1) Fitness:  You really need to be in great physical condition for this trip.  Summit day shouldn’t be maxing out your strength and endurance, it should be well within your comfort zone.  This is one thing that is within your control and can effect the safety of you and your fellow climbers.  So many variables are out of our control (weather, etc.) that we really need to be sure we manage the ones that we can.   Climbing big mountains is primarily an endurance event, but you do need strength as well.  We have a couple of resources to help give you some benchmarks to help guide your training.   Experience on a couple of other big mountains prior to going to Mt. Everest will also help you gauge where you are physically.   Start now!  Don’t expect to be able to train for just a few months and be ready to climb Mount Everest unless you start at a pretty high level of fitness.

Training for mountaineering and climbing is complicated and many of you have questions about how to best proceed. Or perhaps you don’t have the time to plan your training and would like to follow a plan designed by experts. Mountain Trip has partnered with Uphill Athlete (by Steve House and Scott Johnston) to create scientifically sound training plans designed by two professional coaches and leading mountaineers.  Even fit and experienced climbers will benefit from a good training program. Check out their program at

2) Mountain Skills:  Our Everest expeditions are not considered highly technical climbs, but you will need what we consider basic climbing/mountaineering skills.  Most of these fundamental skills can be learned on a 7-day mountaineering course, which we offer or can be found in a number of other venues with other reputable guide services.  Prior to meeting the expedition team in Kathmandu you need to be proficient in the following skills:
• Basic ice axe techniques (self-belay, self-arrest)
• Crampon skills (French technique, front pointing, descending)
• Familiarity with crevasse rescue techniques
• Using an ascender on fixed ropes
• Passing running belays
• Rappelling

These are foundational skills, taught in almost any basic mountaineering course.  Learning how to do them correctly will take you a long way in the mountains.  Learn them, practice them, and put the time in to have experience using them on other big cold mountains prior to joining an Everest team.

3) Altitude/Expedition Experience:  We generally recommend at a minimum that climbers have been on a couple of expeditions and been to high altitude a couple of times.  A good solid base of these expedition and altitude skills can be gained by climbing Aconcagua in Argentina, and Denali in Alaska.  We have found that climbers who do well on these two expeditions generally do great on Everest.  Another great training peak and climb is Cho Oyu if you are looking to gain some experience and climb another 8000m peak.  We don’t require that climbers have climbed Cho Oyu  prior to joining an Everest expedition, but it is great place to gain high altitude/expedition experience.

Aconcagua: A good starting point is Aconcagua, as it is an easier high altitude peak, providing the opportunity to join an expedition to just under 7000 meters.  While technically much easier than Everest and Denali, you’ll learn a lot of the skills and systems that will be foundational for future climbs. Plus, it is the highest peak in South America!  It’s a great trip, and really fun experience.

Denali: Denali is a big step up from Aconcagua, even though it is a lower elevation peak.  It requires the expedition and high altitude climbing experiences you gained on Aconcagua, plus a number of technical mountaineering skills.  Denali is an arctic mountain and will provide plenty of opportunity to learn how to camp and navigate life over an extended period of time in a snowy, glaciated environment.
We also host an Everest Prep Weekend and encourage all of our Everest climbers to join us in Ouray Colorado for a weekend of reviewing the skills necessary to climb steep snow and ice in order to prepare for the steeper sections of Mount Everest and to get a chance to meet and climb with your teammates.  This training weekend will be scheduled in December or January prior to your expedition.

Pre-acclimatized Expedited Programs for Everest

We can work with you to come up with a pre-acclimatization plan using Hypoxico tents and potentially save several weeks off the normal itinerary. Whether you are looking for a different kind of challenge, or just don’t have the time to commit to a standard acclimatization program, we can work with you to develop a pre-acclimatization plan using Hypoxico Tent systems.  These systems have worked well, but you need to commit to following the pre-acclimatization program for it to be successful.

We will use helicopters when appropriate to speed up the approach to the mountain as well as for the return to civilization, which is included in the price of this program. Climbers on the rapid ascent program will join the climbing team in basecamp ready for the second rotation and the summit push.

The cost for the “Rapid Ascent” program is $89,000 with a minimum of 2 climbers.  Please contact us for details on this program.

Inclusions and Exclusions

Included in the trip fee:

Climbing permits and park fees

2:1 climbing Sherpa support for each climber

All oxygen and equipment (Summit masks, regulators)

R/T transportation from Kathmandu to basecamp

4 nights hotel lodging in Kathmandu at a 4-star hotel

All food and lodging during the trek in to BC

Tents, base camp facilities, including a private sleeping tent at BC, solar power, and heaters in BC

Group climbing and camping equipment

Fixed line fees, Liaison officer fees, Sherpa and LO equipment charges

All yaks and porter support to/from Base Camp

Internet access and WiFi in Base Camp and Advanced Camps


Not included in trip fees:

International flights to and from Nepal

Kathmandu personal expenses (apart from those included above)

Personal equipment per our equipment list

Sodas, beer, bottled water, internet, and assorted “extras” on the travel to basecamp

Expenses associated with an early departure from the expedition

Gratuities for local staff, Sherpa guides, and Mountain Trip guides.

Refunds and Cancellations

Mountain Trip recognizes how difficult and disappointing it can be for climbers who must cancel expeditions which they have planned for a long time. Team members must also recognize that, due to the nature of planning expeditions and dealing with governmental permits and regulations, Mountain Trip also accrues significant expenses in the months prior to expedition departure dates. We must therefore adhere to a strict refund policy for all climbers. Trip cancellation and travel insurance is generally available for all expeditions. U.S. and Canadian residents should contact us for more information regarding travel insurance. Our refund and cancellation policy is outlined below.

• All expeditions require a deposit to secure a spot on the team. Your submission of a deposit constitutes your acceptance of this Fee Schedule, Refund and Cancellation Policy.

• All deposits for Everest expeditions include a non-refundable $3000 administration fee (we highly recommend that you consider Trip Cancellation Insurance to protect the administration fee, if not the entire cost of your climb).

• Final payments for expeditions must be received 120 days prior to the Team Meeting Day.

• Failure to pay expedition fees by the date they are due constitutes cancellation of your spot on the team and forfeiture of your deposit.

• Any cancellation 120+ days before your Meeting Day will be refunded in full, less the administration fee.

• If you cancel 120-90 days before your Meeting Day, you are eligible for a refund of 50% of any monies paid, less the deposit.

• No refunds will be provided for cancellations occurring within the last 89 days prior to an expedition.

• All requests for refunds must be made in writing and received in our Colorado office.

• If you register for a climb within 90 days of the Team Meeting Date, expedition fees will be due in full to secure your spot on the team.

• No refunds will be given for unused hotel bookings due to schedule changes, late arrivals, etc.

• Mountain Trip reserves the right to cancel an expedition prior to the departure date for any reason. In the event that the expedition is cancelled based solely on an internal administrative decision by Mountain Trip (Internal Cancellation), all monies, except for nonrefundable administrative fees, collected by Mountain Trip from team members for the canceled expedition shall be refunded within 30 days. That is the extent of our financial liability for such cancellations. This Internal Cancellation provision shall not apply when external factors that force Mountain Trip to cancel an expedition against its will, including, but not limited to, international political upheaval, terrorism, drought/famine, epidemics/pandemics, and/or cancellations imposed by foreign or domestic governments or permitting agencies (External Cancellation). All External Cancellations shall not be subject to a refund unless such cancellation occurs prior to the deadlines set forth in the Refund and Cancellation policies, above.

The following applies only if all expedition fees are paid by the date they are due:

If Mountain Trip cancels your expedition due to External Cancellation factors resulting from the coronavirus pandemic more than 90 days prior to the Team Meeting date, Mountain Trip will credit 100% of your paid expedition fees toward a future program with Mountain Trip or refund all monies paid except for the non-refundable administrative fee.

If Mountain Trip cancels your expedition due to External Cancellation factors resulting from the coronavirus pandemic 90 days or less prior to the Team Meeting date, Mountain Trip will credit 75% of your paid expedition fees toward a future program with Mountain Trip or refund 50% of your expedition fee.

General Agreement Concerning Services to be Provided And Responsibilities of Team Members

When registering for an expedition with Mountain Trip we want to help make sure you understand the services we are providing and the services you are responsible for.

Transportation is incidental

The main purpose of becoming a team member is to join us on an expedition in the mountains. As such any transportation we provide or that you may contract for on your own is incidental to the trip. We suggest that you make sure you have time built into your itinerary for delays.

Transportation to and from your destination

We will designate a specific Team Meeting Day for your expedition. Transportation to the meeting point on your Team Meeting Day is to be provided by you. You must arrive in time to be ready to participate in a team meeting at the appointed time on the Team Meeting Day for your expedition. Expedition climbing is very dynamic and we will provide you with a recommendation as to when you should book your flights to and from your destination. We suggest you book a ticket that allows you to change your flight with little effort or cost.

Lodging off the mountain

Mountain Trip will provide lodging per the Inclusions and Exclusions section above. Any additional lodging is your responsibility. Don’t worry about booking a room after your expedition. We generally don’t know how long we’ll be in the mountains, and we can help arrange lodging when we return to “civilization.”

Responsibilities of Team Members

You are ultimately responsible for your own well-being, including making all necessary preparations to ensure good health and physical conditioning. You are responsible for understanding the conditions that may exist on the climb and choosing a climb that is appropriate for your abilities and interests. You are responsible for having knowledge of all pre-departure information and for assembling the appropriate clothing and equipment for your climb.

While on the expedition, team members are responsible to maintain basic levels of hygiene and to conduct themselves respectfully with other team members and members of the local population. If a guide feels that a team member is putting other members’ health or safety at risk, the guide has the discretion to remove a team member from an expedition.

Use our office staff and your lead guide as pre-trip resources to ensure that all your questions are answered. Travel insurance may help recoup expenses if you need to leave an expedition due to an illness.

Airline Responsibility Passenger/Airline contracts are in effect while team members are on board any aircraft contracted for use in the expedition.

No Guaranteed Outcomes

While it is one of our goals to help every climber on every Mountain Trip expedition reach the summit, Mountain Trip cannot guarantee that you will reach the summit.  Any number of factors, including weather, the conditions encountered on the route, your personal level of fitness or ability, the abilities of your team mate(s) or any number of other circumstances might result in you and/or your team turning around before reaching the summit.  Failure to reach the summit due to any reason associated with mountaineering, such as weather, team dynamics, route conditions, avalanche hazard, rockfall hazard, etc, or due to your lack of fitness or preparation are not the responsibility of Mountain Trip and will not result in a refund or a rescheduling of your expedition.

The following is a general list of required gear for climbing Mount Everest.  Many of the items on the list need to fit you well in order for you to fully enjoy your experience on the mountain. Please plan ahead with equipment purchased for your trip so you can be certain that your gear fits you well.  Base Camp on Mount Everest is not the place to discover that your pack is too small for your torso, or that your boots give you blisters. Recommended items reflect the opinions of our guides. We have used and have faith in all of our recommendations, but they may not necessarily fit or work for you.

Call or email us with any gear questions. We want you to be as prepared as possible for your expedition.

Please follow this list closely and do not hesitate to call us for clarifications or to solicit an opinion about anything you are considering. Gear is available in Kathmandu, but it can be an un-necessary pre trip stress.  Only bring quality gear that is in very good condition on your expedition.

Print Equipment


GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
BootiesLightweight down fill booties both work well on expeditions. These are great for camp and tent comfort and allow you extra opportunity to dry out your mountain or ski boots.
Light Hiking ShoesComfortable, well broken in trekking shoes or light weight boots are critical, as we will hike a lot of miles in them before we start the climb. Look for breathable shoes, but it can rain and/or snow, so a gore tex line shoe/boot is not a bad idea. Some people prefer a light trail running shoe, but if you haven't spent a lot of time in them a more supportive shoe may be more appropriate.
Warm Boots for Base CampIt is nice to have a good pair of comfy, warm insulated boots for hanging out in camp. Classic Winter Sorel Boots, Uggs, etc. all work.
SocksBring 8 - 10 sets of light, medium and heavy weight socks, as you will want a variety for versatility. Make sure they fit in your boots and hiking shoes.
CrocsCrocs make a great lodge/camp shoe. They are lightweight and versatile, you can wear them with a sock in the evening, and even use them for a shower shoe.
Mountain Boots 8000 Meter PeaksWhen you are going to extreme altitudes, you can't skimp on equipment, particularly your boots. There are several companies that make great boots for 8000 meter peaks, including the LaSportiva Olympus Mons, and the Millet Everest boots. These are insulated boots with a warm removable liner and built in, insulated overboot.Make sure these fit you well, not at all tight, but you don't need to oversize too much.We also recommend getting a battery powered boot warmer as some extra insurance for the toes!
Custom InsoleA custom insole can help fine tune the fit of your boot, support your feet. A good fitting boot will be warmer and prevent blisters.

Torso Layers

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Expedition Down ParkaThis is an important layer so don't skimp! You do not need the heaviest 8000meter parka for peaks like Denali and Aconcagua, but you should have a warm, baffled parka with a hood.
Base Layer Top(1 or 2 sets) of Wool or Capilene light weight base layers. Long sleeve or short sleeve base layers work well.
Light Fleece HoodyLight/mid weight fleece (or wool) top with a hood. You will wear this over your light weight base layer.
Puffy Light Insulated JacketSize this layer to fit over your light fleece hoody and wind shell, and it is often layered underneath your expedition parka. Synthetic is easier to deal with and not worry about getting compared to a down filled layer. A hood on this layer in mandatory!*** Guides Tip! Use TWO lightweight puffy layers in the early season or if you are worried about being cold. A Micro or Nano Puff jacket with a Ultra Light Down Jacket or Vest allows versatile layering options.
Hard Shell JacketThis jacket should be large enough to go over your light puffy jacket layer. You do not need the burliest/heaviest Gore-Tex jacket you can find, and we prefer the lightest weight versions.
Soft Shell Wind JacketMany high alpine peaks are cold and dry. We are huge fans of very lightweight softshell wind jackets for high, dry, cold peaks. Weighing just a few ounces, these can be carried in your pocket or in the lid of your pack for rapid deployment. This layer is used in addition to your more waterproof hard shell jacket.
“T” or Sun ShirtSynthetic or synthetic/cotton blend shirts are nice for hiding from the sun. Long sleeve "sun hoodies" are becoming increasingly popular, as they provide a high level of sun protection. Other people favor ventilated, button up shirts- either long or short-sleeved. Whatever you choose, consider it as part of your system, and try it out before your trip.
Down SuitYou are spending a lot of money to go to a cold and extreme environment. A Down Suit is an important piece of equipment and you'll be living in it above 7500 meters. Summit day begins in the dark and at such high altitudes, it can be difficult to stay warm. Consider down-sizing your suit a full size or more smaller than you typically wear as most of them fit large.
Base Camp ClothingWe spend a lot of time in base camp so make sure you have a pair of extra clothes. Jeans and a cotton t-shirt work fine and it’s nice to get out of synthetics for a change!
Sun HoodyA Sun Hoody is a great lightweight layer to help protect you from the intense UV at high altitude. It's a go-to layer for our guides, as it both keeps the sun off your skin and helps keeps you cool.

Leg Layers

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Base Layer Bottoms(1 or 2 sets) of Wool or Capilene light weight base layers.
Light Fleece BottomsAs the air thins and the wind picks up, you'll want a bit more insulation on your legs. This should be a slightly warmer layer that can go over your base layer bottoms when it gets cold.
Soft Shell PantsSoft Shell pants are the workhorse in the mountains and you'll be wearing these day in and day out on most expeditions. On peaks like Denali and Aconcagua, you can wear them in lieu of your hard shell pants for much of the expedition.
Hard Shell, Waterproof PantsWhen it's raining a soft shell pant just isn't enough and you'll need a waterproof "hard shell" pant, meaning Gore-Tex or equivalent. These should be as light weight as possible. Fully separating side zippers will help you get them on without taking off your boots. On some peaks, you might carry hard shell pants for the lower mountain, but switch to soft shell pants for the colder and drier upper mountain.
Puffy Insulated Expedition PantsOn summit day or on a cold morning, you will need a warm layer that can go over your baselayers and softshell pants. This layer should be down or synthetic (ie. Primaloft) filled and must have fully separating side zippers. Practice putting these puffy pants on and taking them off while wearing your boots before you leave for your expedition.
UnderwearConsider synthetic or Merino wool for your underwear. Most longer trips, such as Aconcagua or Denali, typically require 3-4 pair, but choose your quantity based on your personal level of comfort.
Lightweight Softshell Trekking PantsA lightweight synthetic softshell pant is a great layer that you'll wear every day on a trek or for an ascent of a peak. These are water resistant, breathable and comfortable in a wide range of weather and temps.

Head and Hands

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Heavyweight GlovesWarm, insulated gloves are the day-to-day workhorses on cold peaks or for cold days of ice climbing. We prefer gloves with removable liners for ease of drying.
Medium Weight GlovesA mid-weight glove will generally be a softshell type glove with some light synthetic insulation.
Light Weight GlovesWhen the sun comes out on a glacier, the temperature can soar. Light weight, soft shell gloves are great for keeping the sun off your hands, while still giving you a bit of protection from the wind and cold.
60 Second GlovesVery light weight, liner-style gloves have earned the nickname "60 Second Gloves" on cold mountains, because you can wear them under your mittens to provide a modicum of protection for briefly pulling your hands from your mitts in order to perform tasks like clipping ropes through carabiners. Choose the lightest synthetic or Merino wool gloves you can find, and consider them to be somewhat disposable, as they are not generally very durable.
Buff Neck GaiterBuff is a brand of light weight neck gaiters that have grown to become a staple of every guide's kit. These are amazingly versatile, and can be worn as a hat, a neck gaiter or pulled over your face for protection from the wind or sun. They come in many thicknesses nowadays, but we prefer the original weight for its versatility.
Summit MittensThick, warm mittens made from down, synthetic fill, or a combination of insulation are crucial for summit morning on many big, cold mountains. Most come with some form of retention straps, which can help reduce the chance of losing them to a gust of wind or in the event of a fall. Good mittens are expensive, but how much is one finger worth?
Warm HatBring one warm hat or two hats of different weights. Wool or fleece are fine, but your hat must provide ear protection from the cold.
Sun HatBaseball type or wide brimmed sun hats are required for protection against the intense sunshine found on many peaks. You can combine a baseball hat with a BUFF for good sun protection or go for a wide brimmed version to protect your face, ears and neck.
Hand WarmersBring 4 -6+ sets of these disposable insurance policies, depending on where you are climbing. Make certain that your hand warmers are relatively new, as they do go bad over time.
Glacier GlassesGood, dark (Category 4) glacier glasses are a must for high altitude climbs. They must have side protection and filter 100% UVA and UVB rays.
Expedition Ski GogglesThese are necessary for use while traveling during storms or during really cold and windy weather. These must have double lenses and provide full UV protection. Fogging is a real challenge, so goggles that actively vent are worth the investment. Julbo's Aerospace or Airflux have a slick venting system or Smith makes battery-powered "Turbo Fan" models. Select a general purpose lens that will provide some protection in bright light, but not be so dark as to make them useless on a cloudy or flat-light day.
Nose GuardBeko makes nice nose protectors that keep the wind and sun from wreaking havoc on your skin.

Sleeping Gear

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Inflatable Sleeping PadInflatable pads have improved tremendously in recent years, they are the foundation of a warm and comfortable night!
Foam Sleeping PadBringing two sleeping pads, one closed cell foam and the other an inflatable pad, will provide additional comfort and insulation, as well as a bit of insurance in case you have a catastrophic failure of your inflatable pad.
Second Sleeping BagThis is Optional, but it is nice to have a second bag for base camp. This saves you from hauling your bag up and down the mountain as higher camps are established, reducing your pack weight and enabling you to move more efficiently. This bag should be rated to -20F, as it can get chilly, even at base camp!
Compression Stuff SackGranite Gear, Outdoor Research and others are all making nice, lightweight compression sacks. These are essential for sleeping bags and recommended for your summit clothes, such as your parka, mitts and warmest pants, so you might consider bringing two.
Sleeping Bag – 8000 meter peaksA good warm sleeping bag is an important piece of gear for a high Himalayan expedition. A good down filled sleeping bag is the only option, synthetics are too heavy and bulky to carry up to high altitude. You should choose a high quality bag rated to -20 to -40 degrees.

Packs and Duffels

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Large Zippered DuffelYou'll want an XL sized (90 – 100L) duffel for your expedition. Lightweight and inexpensive bags work fine, although water resistant bags like the Patagonia Black Hole Bag 100L are nice for their toughness to weight ratio. A quality duffel bag can work for a sled bag on Denali, a mule bag on Aconcagua and a great all around travel bag.
Everest PackA lightweight, 55 - 70 liter pack will work well for Mount Everest, with the emphasis on light. Look for one that weighs 4 pounds or less.

Climbing Gear

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Ski / Trekking PolesAdjustable poles work great and are easier to travel with as they fit better in your duffel bag. The small “trekking” baskets on some poles are not large enough for use on soft snow, so make certain your poles have bigger “snowflake” style baskets for any climb with glacier or snow travel.
AscenderYou need one full-sized ascender such as the Petzl Ascension to clip into the fixed lines on the route, and to use for crevasse rescue applications.
Ice AxeA general use, mountaineering axe is sufficient for this climb. Some axes are much lighter than others, so select for weight as well as a size for your height. Most climbers do well with a 60 - 75 cm axe. On less technical routes, a longer axe can act like a walking stick on flatter terrain.
Alpine Climbing HarnessYour harness should be adjustable enough to accommodate several layers of clothing. As with most items on this list, choose a light weight harness.
CarabinersBring eight regular (non-locking) carabiners. Please do not bring “bent-gate” carabiners, as these have certain limitations that do not make them appropriate for how we will use them. Mark your 'biners with colored tape for identification.
Locking CarabinersBring three locking carabiners. Screwgate or auto-locking 'biners work equally well, although the new magnetic gate versions seem like they might be less prone to freezing closed. Select light weight carabiners.
Climbing HelmetMake certain it fits over your warmest hat and under the hood of your shell. The super-lightweight foam helmets are great, but can get crushed in your duffel bags during travel, so protect your lid!
50′ of Accessory CordAccessory cord, made of nylon, is useful for all manner and sort of purposes on an expedition. We'll have a good supply, but you should bring 50 feet of 6mm cord for your prussiks and other purposes.
CramponsSelect a pair 12-point Mountaineering Crampons that fit your boots well. Step-in or strap versions work equally well; just make sure they fit your mountain boots and overboots. You may need to lengthen your crampons to accommodate your overboots, please make sure you can make this adjustment in the field. Aluminum crampons are not acceptable for expeditions.
Figure 8 Style Belay/Rappel DeviceFor rappelling on fixed ropes, which can be thick and potentially iced, a Figure 8 style belay device works best.


GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Stuff SacksWe are fans of the very light stiff sacks made from Sil Nylon fabric. Bring enough for your clothes and personal items. Light, zippered stuff bags are really nice for toiletries.
Two (2) One-Liter Water BottlesYou will need two, 1-liter plastic water bottles. Please bring wide-mouth bottles, such as those from Nalgene, as these are much easier to fill than bottles with small openings.
Insulated Bottle Cover(s)Water bottles freeze when it gets cold. Crazy, but true! Extra clothing can help insulate bottles, but dedicated water bottle insulators do a much better job. Bring at least one.
Large Plastic BowlBowls are much easier to use and are much more versatile than are plates. Bring a 2-4 cup camping bowl or a plastic "Rubbermaid" style container for your mountain dining.
Insulated Cup or MugA 12 - 16 ounce (350-500 Ml) mug with an attached lid will help keep you hydrated. The Kleen Kanteen Insulated Bottle with the "Cafe Cap" is pretty nifty, as it is a mug and a thermos all in one!
Lexan SpoonA soup spoon made from Lexan will survive most trips and is more useful and versatile than a fork or even a "spork." Mark your spoon with your initials to keep spoon rustlers at bay.
Lip Balm (2 tubes)Protect your lips! Bring two tubes of high quality lip balm with SPF.
P-BottleWide-mouth, collapsible Nalgene Cantenes work great- they make a 96 ounce version, which will come in handy during long storms or if you take Diamox. Ladies- look for an appropriate adapter available at your local outdoors store. These items can both be tough to find in Anchorage so plan ahead!
Toiletry KitTooth brush & paste, dental floss, Handi-wipes (1 per day on average), a small bottle of hand sanitizer, perhaps some foot powder… keep it small!!!
Personal Medical KitMountain Trip's guides will have fairly comprehensive medical kits developed by our Medical Director, but we encourage each climber to bring a small, personal kit. Items to consider bringing include: blister treatment and prevention, pain relievers, and antacids. Presctiption medications should be based on consultation with your personal physician. Suggested drugs for altitude expeditions include: Diamox (acetazolomide) 125 mg, Decadron (dexamthazone) 4 mg, Nifedipine XR 30 mg, and a couple of antibiotics for respiratory and gastrointestinal issues.
Journal (and pencil)Expeditions can be a great time for reflection and a journal can be a nice way to wax poetic or just keep track of what you did each day. Keep it small and leave the leather bound version at home.
Book(s) or E-ReaderThere is a lot of "down time" on an expedition, even when you have good weather. An expedition can be a good time to catch up on reading!
CameraMost climbers these days use their phone as a camera, but if you plan to bring a dedicated camera, consider a small, light weight point and shoot camera. If you are a photography buff and really want to bring a DSLR, plan for that extra weight with your training!
Altimeter WatchAn altimeter watch can be fun to have on an expedition to keep track of your ascent and to watch for changes in barometric pressure.
LighterYour guides will have plenty of lighters, but it is nice to have one lighter per tent, as cord always needs to be cut and melted.
Small KnifeA small knife or small multi-tool is also handy to have. One per tent is sufficient. There is emphasis on the word small when it comes to multi-tools!
Several Good Jokes!"A Moose walks into a bar..."
SIM CardWe’ll have a satellite phone and you are welcome to use it, but if you plan on making many calls, please purchase and bring your own SIM card to use. Contact us for details about which card to purchase.
Towel, Shampoo and SoapFor showers at base camp!
Sunscreen for EverestBring 1 large tube of sunscreen for the approach and for use in base camp, plus one or two, 1-ounce tubes for use on the mountain.
SunscreenThe sun can be intense at altitude. Bring one small tube for use while climbing and one larger tube for use while not on route.
Water Purification SystemThere are many good options, and they get better every year. Pumps work well, but can be heavy. Our favorite is the relatively easy to use and lightweight water treatment drops by Aquamira. The SteriPen style water treatment is not recommended. Be certain to have enough to treat 3-5 liters per day for the duration of your trip.
HeadlampBring an extra set of batteries, as well. Lithium batteries work the best in cold weather!! For some trips (Carstensz, Everest, Cho Oyu) where we will be frequently climbing at night a second headlamp is a good idea, and always bring extra batteries!
Solar Panel/Battery *optionalIf you are planning to charge your iPhone, inReach, or other electronics on the expedition you will need a good, small solar panel. We recommend using the panel to charge a battery and then charging your devices from the battery. This is definitely some extra weight, so keep it light and maybe share a panel and battery with your tentmate!
Pee FunnelThis is a women's specific tool for expeditions and winter trips that gives women the ability to pee standing up like men. This also creates a little more privacy and protection from the elements when on a rope team. We prefer this hard-sided version.
Camp TowelA small microfiber, quick dry, hand towel to use in camp.
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