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Gear List

Gear List Cho-Oyu

Climbing Equipment

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Ice Axe (with Leash)


A general mountaineering axe with an attached waist leash. Too short is always better than too long. Size according to height; under 5'2'' use a 50cm axe, 5'3'' to 5'7'' use a 55cm axe, 5'8'' to 5'11'' use a 60cm axe, 6'0'' to 6'2'' use a 65cm axe, above 6'3'' use a 70cm axe.

Accessory Cord or Pre-Cut Prussiks

40 feet of 6mm accessory cord to be used for prussiking and other climbing rigging. Bring pre-tied prussiks if you already have them, or bring one continuous length to be cut.



General mountaineering crampons. We recommend modern steel 12-point crampons with anti-balling plates. 10-point, aluminum, or single-piece ridgid crampons are not recommended.

Carabiner System

Two (2) auto-locking carabiners, one (1) small screwgate locking carabiners, and three (3) non-locking wiregate carabiners are required.

Alpine Climbing Harness


Your harness must fit over all of your clothing, feature gear loops, adjustable leg loops and waist belt, and must be able to fully separate at the legs and waist.

Belay Device

Modern tube-style belay device. Avoid super-specialized belay devices which cannot accept a wide variety of rope diameters.

Trekking Poles


Collapsible skiing/trekking poles with snow baskets. Three-section varieties are preferred.



One right or left-handed ascender (pick your dominant hand to choose which style ascender). This item must be in good condition.


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High-Altitude All-in-One Boot

Used instead of the high-altitude double-boot, this all-in-one integrated boot system is warm enough for use without overboots, and eliminates the need for gaiters.

Camp Boots

Optional. Insulated, non-technical winter boots for time spent around Base Camp.

Insulated Camp Booties

Down or synthetic insulated camp booties for use inside boot shells or when sleeping in your tent.

Light Hiking Boots or Trekking Shoes

For any approaches across dry trail. Light weight, high comfort, plenty of room in the toe box, and good support should be stressed here.

Wool or Synthetic Socks

Four (4) pairs of heavyweight socks. If using liner socks, these must be sized to fit with your liner socks. Check the fit inside your boots, and be sure to bring new socks.

Liner Socks

Four (4) pairs of smooth, thin non-cotton socks to be used as liner socks to be worn underneath your wool or synthetic socks.

Technical Clothing

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Baselayers - Top & Bottom

Two to three (2-3) each of lightweight baselayer pants, long-sleeved shirts, and short-sleeved shirts. Non-cotton fabrics only- consider merino wool blends or synthetic fibers such as polyester.

Heavy Baselayer Bottoms

Heavy, expedition-weight baselayer bottoms designed to be used while climbing in very cold conditions. Fabrics such as Polartec Power Stretch, Capilene 4, and Polartec Power Dry will work well.

Midlayer Top

A mid-weight, form-fitting, lightweight fleece layer for use over baselayers or as a baselayer in cold conditions. Hoods are optional but recommended.

Trekking Pants

1-2 pair of lightweight nylon trekking pants. We recommend models that are simple, made with synthetic fabrics, and offer pockets for convenience.

Softshell Pants


Stretchy, comfortable, non-insulated softshell pants which should fit comfortably with or without your baselayer bottoms.

Softshell Jacket


This breathable but wind-and-weather resistant jacket is a key part of a mountaineering layering system. We recommend a hooded model. This layer must fit well over your midlayer top and baselayer top.

Hardshell Pants


Non-insulated, fully waterproof shell pants that must fit comfortably over your baselayer bottoms and softshell pants. Full-length separating size zippers are preferred; shorter side zippers are allowed if you can put on and take off your pants without removing your boots.

Hardshell Jacket


A non-insulated, fully waterproof shell jacket with a hood. Must fit comfortably over your baselayer, midlayer, and softshell. Helmet-compatible hoods are required.

Insulated Synthetic Hooded Jacket


A synthetic insulated, hooded jacket sized to fit comfortably over your baselayer and midlayer.

Expedition Down Parka


An 8000-meter rated, expedition ready parka. This parka must be in excellent condition, fully baffled, and should be brought recently cleaned with Nikwax Down Wash to ensure maximum loft.

Expedition Down Pants

In complement to the Expedition Down Parka, these heavily insulated down pants must be sized to fit over all other layers, with a weatherproof outer shell fabric.

Down Suit

This item is optional but recommended. If electing to use a down suit, separate down pants and a down parka are not required, as they are replaced by the suit.

Insulated Synthetic Pants


A synthetic insulated pant with full-length separating side zips. Ski pants are typically not appropriate for this layer.


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Lightweight Liner Gloves

Very lightweight wool or synthetic liner gloves that offer a snug, comfortable fit. Lighter colors absorb less sunlight while still offering UV protection. Black or dark-color gloves are also acceptable.

Softshell Gloves


Midweight, lightly insulated gloves for use when mittens are too warm and liner gloves are not warm enough. Leather construction offers ideal durability and grip on ropes and other gear.

Insulated Shell Gloves

One pair of warm shell gloves with insulated removable liners. Excellent for use when conditions are too cold for softshell gloves, but too warm for expedition mittens.

Expedition Mittens


Expedition-rated mittens with an insulated removeable liner. Please be sure this mitten is the warmest model available by any manufacturer.


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Climbing Helmet


A lightweight climbing-specific helmet. This must fit comfortably over your bare head, hat, and/or balaclava, and your headlamp must be able to strap securely to the outside of the helmet.


A must-have for all outdoor activities, the UV Buff is a versatile replacement for the bandana and serves a multitude of purposes.

Sun Hat

Any style of lightweight hat for shading the head will work well. Baseball caps and sombrero-style sun hats are the most common.

Balaclava System

Two full balaclavas, one heavyweight and one lightweight, that will comfortably layer together. These items are not replaced by a Buff.


Neoprene models are recommended; be sure your facemask is sized well to your face. Balaclavas with built-in facemasks will also work well.

Glacier Glasses


High-quality glacier glasses offering full coverage around both eyes and across the nose. Removeable side-shields are not required provided eye coverage is sufficient.

Ski Goggles


High-quality goggles for sun and wind protection at altitude. The lens should offer visible light transmission (VLT) of no more than 30%. Those with light-sensitive eyes may wish to use a darker lens. Photochromatic models are ideal for use in changing conditions.

Nose Guard

Nose guards are optional, but can be useful for those with extra-sensitive noses in lieu of constant sunscreen application.



A modern outdoor LED headlamp offering 90-200 lumens of output. Fresh, installed batteries plus spare batteries. Weather-resistant models are strongly preferred.

Personal Equipment

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45-Liter Climbing Pack

Capacity is approximate. Keep it simple and light. We will use this pack on the trek in to base camp.

Expedition Backpack


An expandable expedition climbing backpack with approximately 75-liters of carrying capacity. Keep it simple and lightweight. Climbing-specific designs are recommended.

-40 Down Sleeping Bag


This sleeping bag should be appropriately rated to -40 degrees. Down bags are a must- synthetic bags are overly bulky and heavy when rated below 0-degrees.

-20F Down Sleeping Bag


This sleeping bag should be rated to -20 degrees Fahrenheit and must be down-filled rather than synthetic filled for the sake of weight and bulk. Be sure to include a correctly sized compression stuff sack.

Inflatable Sleeping Pad


A full-length, modern inflatable sleeping pad is recommended. Older-style three-quarter length pads have been superseded by ultralight full-length pads. We recommend bringing a valve repair/body patch kit.

Foam Pad


This pad should be either 3/4 or body length. Cut pieces of closed cell foam or industrially-crafted pads are both acceptable.

Water Bottles

(Two to three 1 litre capacity bottles) Bottles should be wide mouth made of copolyester (BPA free plastic). No water bag or bladder systems, they freeze or are hard to fill and no metal bottles as lips have a tendency to stick.


One insulated outdoor-style mug with a removable lid. Your mug should retain heat well and be spill resistant. 12-20 ounce models are acceptable.


Medium size. Keep it simple and light, needs a blade and screwdriver.

Pee Bottle (1-1.5 Liter)

One wide-mouth, clearly marked collapsible container or wide-mouthed bottle for use overnight.


One durable hard plastic or anodized metal spoon. Longer spoon stems can be helpful for eating while wearing gloves.

Water Bottle Parkas

Two total. Fully insulated with zip opening. Neoprene 'cozy' style does not provided enough insulation and is not recommended.

Pee Funnel (for Women)

Optional. Practice is critical for the use of this item.


One two cup capacity packable bowl. Collapsible versions occupy less space in a pack. Lids are not necessary.


A fully vacuum-insulated thermos is recommended for hydration, comfort, and safety on cold days on the mountain. 1-liter sizes are strongly preferred.

Trash Compactor Bags

Three bags for use as waterproof pack/stuff sack liners. Compactor bags are made from a heavy plastic and stand up well to prolonged mountain use.


Optional. Small point-and-shoot cameras are ideal & work well at altitude. Alternatively, you may opt to use your smartphone camera. Large dSLR cameras are strongly discouraged.

Large Duffel Bags

Two (2) large duffel bags should be used for transporting all gear to basecamp. Bags with rollers or wheels are not accepted. Soft-sided, water-resistant duffels are required.

Water Purification Tools

We double-treat all drinking water. Bring several bottles of chemical-based water treatment, such as AquaMira, as well as one Steri-Pen device per person. The Adventurer-Opti Steri-Pen is the recommended version due to long battery life and reliability.

Toiletry Bag

Include toilet paper (one roll stored in a plastic bag), hand sanitizer, toothbruth, toothpaste, and floss.


Several 1-2 ounce tubes of SPF 30+ sunscreen. Zinc-oxide added versions are preferred. One ounce is typically sufficient per week, but several tubes . Sunscreen loses SPF rating over time; we strongly recommend brand-new sunscreen.


Several tubes of SPF 30+ lipscreen. As with sunscreen, be sure your lipscreen is new. Recommended: Aloe Gator Medicated 30 SPF Lip Balm.

Running Shoes

Lightweight, comfortable running or walking shoes are recommended for off-mountain use and pre-and-post trip travel. In some situations, these may also serve as approach shoes.

Small Personal First-Aid Kit

Basic medical supplies in a compact package- we recommend basic painkillers, Moleskin, first-aid tape, Band-Aids, and anti-septic wipes or gel.

Medications & Prescriptions

Bring any personal prescriptions, plus Pepto Bismol, Cipro (500mg tablets), Metronidazole, Z-Paks (250mg tablets), Diamox (125mg tablets), and a variety of standard painkillers.

Hand and Toe Warmers

Bring 3 sets of each. Toe Warmers are different that hand warmers. They are formulated to work in a lower oxygen environment, like the inside of a boot, they also burn out more quickly.

Base Camp Comforts

It is good to bring additional other items which you have previously found useful- playing cards, music players, board games, reading tablets, etc.


Please review the food and water information available in your Climber Information Packet. A close reading of this information is important towards a smooth trip. We recommend taking plenty of time consider this information. Please contact the Gear Department with any food-related questions.


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Travel Clothes

Clean 'town' clothing is recommend for use traveling as well as pre-and-post trip. We recommend bringing a comfortable variety of clothing for peace of mind, including some t-shirts.

Climber Information

Rental Agreement Terms and Conditions

I promise to return all equipment rented from Alpine Ascents International, Inc. in good condition at the end of my climb/course. I agree and authorize Alpine Ascents International, Inc. to charge my credit card on file for repairs and/or replacements of damaged, lost or stolen gear. And I agree not to hold Alpine Ascents International, Inc. responsible for any injuries incurred through the use of its rental equipment.

Rental Information

Reserving: Please submit one reservation per person per departure. We recommend submitting reservations at least one month in advance to ensure adequate time for processing. Incomplete reservations may cause delay or failure to reserve requested items. Cancellations must be made three weeks in advance of your departure.

Washington Rentals: All rental equipment for trips taking place in Washington will be picked up at your gear check. At that time, payment will be taken for all rented items. No security deposit will be charged for Washington rentals; however, Alpine Ascents reserves the right to assess fees for the replacement or repair of any damaged items.

Alaska Rentals: Due to the unique nature of Alpine Ascents' Alaska program, some items requested may be picked up in Talkeetna at your gear check rather than shipped directly to you. However, not all rental items are available for pickup in Talkeetna. Payment for Alaska rentals will be charged to the on-file credit card after your gear check, including a $50 security deposit per item. Alpine Ascents reserves the right to withhold all or part of your security deposit for the replacement or repair of damaged items. All equipment, whether shipped to you or picked up in Alaska, may be de-issued at the Alpine Ascents Alaska facility at the end of your trip.

International Rentals: All rental equipment for trips taking place internationally will be shipped to you approximately two weeks prior to your trip departure date. A USA address must be provided for rental shipments. Rental equipment may not be shipped internationally. At the time of shipment, charges will be assessed to the credit card on file, including shipping charges, rental fees, and applicable security deposits. Please immediately contact the Gear Department with any questions.

Confirmation: Allow 48-72 hours for rental confirmation via email. If you have any questions or have not heard back from us within three (3) working days, please email or call (206) 378-1927 and ask for the Gear Department.

Payment: The credit card on file will be used to process rental payment. For climbs in Washington, payment will be taken at your gear check and no security deposit will be required. For climbs taking place outside of Washington, charges are processed at the time of shipment (approximately two weeks prior to departure date) and will include a $50 security deposit per item plus shipping. Shipping cost is based on size and weight and can only be determined at the time of shipment.

Security Deposit: Fees are fully refundable upon a timely return (one week from the end of trip). Fees may be assessed for repair or replacement of damaged item(s). Please allow up to two weeks for your refunded to be credited. Please note that for items not returned within one week after a trip end date Alpine Ascents reserves the right to withhold all or part of your security deposit.

Shipment: Rental items for climbs taking place outside of Washington are scheduled to ship two weeks prior to your trip departure. Once received, please verify that all items are correct and fit appropriately. Please note that sizing information provided is used to determine the sizes of items shipped. You are responsible for rentals once items are shipped and until items are received back at Alpine Ascents. We encourage you to insure your shipment.

I had an excellent time during the entire expedition. From the moment I met Jiban and our guides at the Yak & Yeti, and our Sherpas later on, I felt we had the best people for this adventure.

Partners & Accreditations

Alpine Ascents International is an authorized mountain guide service of Denali National Park and Preserve and Mount Rainier National Park.
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