Blog

Cho Oyu Team Update

 

The Journey to Cho Oyu

After months of endurance training, weeks of logistics planning, and days of travel, Alpenglow’s Cho Oyu Rapid Ascent expedition has begun their climb. The team is lead by guides Chad Peele and Esteban Topo Mena.

The team successfully made the trek from their respective hometowns to Chengdu and then on to Lhasa, with all bags in tow. This is the first victory of the trip, and always a good omen. After 2 days of driving across the Tibetian Plateau, the team arrived in Base Camp to settle in.…

Keep Reading...

What’s in Adrian’s Closet?

 

“Frostbite is Failure” Interview with Adrian Ballinger: A run-through of every climbing shoe and mountain boot in his arsenal.

Mountain guides may be the most shoe-obsessed people on the planet. From rock shoes to 8,000m boots, every shoe has an ultra-specific purpose. In this interview, Adrian walks us through his favorite La Sportiva footwear for each climbing discipline. Have you ever wanted to take a peek inside Adrian’s closet? This is your chance!

Tahoe Via Ferrata TX4 Approach Shoe

“There are two reasons I really like this shoe for the 

Keep Reading...

What’s Great About the “End of Summer” in Tahoe?

It’s that peculiar time in Tahoe past Labor Day when everyone seems to be worried about the “end of summer.” There’s a frenzy to squeeze in one more beach day at Donner Lake or one more mountain bike ride on the Flume Trail. But here at Alpenglow, we’re kind of wondering what everyone is getting so worked up about. After all, autumn is tied with spring and summer as our second favorite season (of course, winter is our first love!) September and October are prime for a good time: the Tahoe crowds dwindle, temps are pleasant, and…

Keep Reading...

Cho Oyu 2019

Alpenglow’s next Himalayan expedition will take us to the 6th highest peak in the world, Cho Oyu. We’ve put together a full team this upcoming season, all of them ready to take on the 26,906’/8188m mountain in our Rapid Ascent style. The 2019 team will be led by Topo Mena, with Chad Peele as the second guide. Topo is currently on K2 with Adrian and Carla in a support role. Chad spends his summers in Colorado leading clients in the San Juan mountains.

Sun kisses Cho Oyu

Starting July 28, the team will begin pre-acclimatizing with…

Keep Reading...

Cho Oyu: An Interview with Topo Mena

Cho Oyu, the 6th tallest mountain in the world at 26,906′ /8201m

Here we come Himalaya!

Things are heating up at Alpenglow Expeditions as we make our final preparations for our Cho Oyu Rapid Ascent Expedition, which begins next week. Just hours before guide Topo Mena boarded his flight for Tibet, we had a chance to catch up with him at our office in Squaw Valley, California. We got the full scoop on the upcoming expedition, check it out below.

First, a quick bio on Topo: …

Keep Reading...

Sweet Summit Success on Cho Oyu

   

On Top of the 6th Tallest Mountain in the World (26,906’)

Starting their 16-hour summit push in the wee hours of the morning.

Congratulations to Adrain Ballinger and the Cho+Everest Team for their successful summit of Cho Oyu this weekend! After a heroic 16-hour summit push, a mere 9 days after leaving home, The Cho+Everest team stood atop the 6th tallest mountain in the world (26,906’).

Despite ominous weather forecasts (projected temps were -49°F) the team was lucky to sneak through a closing window of calm winds and mild temps. The team even went so…

Keep Reading...

The Puja Ceremony – Everest Commencement!

A successful Everest journey begins with Puja.

Before leaving Everest Base Camp and beginning their arduous journey to its summit, Climbers and Sherpa take part in the Puja ceremony. A literal “right of passage”, the Puja ceremony is performed to make contact with divine Sagamartha, Mount Everest, and pray for a safe expedition.

In preparation for the ceremony, a large cairn is constructed with long strands of prayer flags. The team makes an offering of special foods and drinks and brings their climbing gear to be blessed for the journey.

Tsampa flour, a staple of the Tibetan diet, is spread on the faces of…

Keep Reading...

Cho Oyu & Everest Team Update

Monday, April 30:

In preparation for a Cho/Everest push, guides Adrian and Topo tested their team of climbers with an acclimatization climb up

Lhotse (27,940′). 

Conditions were good with “real low wind and not much snow, just a little cloudy.” The team had a successful summit push and returned to base camp to organize gear and prepare for puja the next day.

After some well-deserved sleep, they reported, “All sherpa down and resting after big effort! Sunny and beautiful this morning after a bit more snow last night”

 

Keep Reading...

What is a Puja Ceremony?

Puja Ceremony on Ama Dablam

“A puja is a ceremony in which meditational prayers are offered to the Buddhas and holy beings to request their blessings or help. Traditionally in a monastery monks and nuns perform prayers for the long life, health and success of their teachers, friends, benefactors, all living beings, and for world peace. Pujas are performed to avert or clear three kinds of obstacles: worldly, inner and secret obstacles; conditions which prevent us from achieving our worldly and spiritual goals.” [1]

Shown here, the Alpenglow team celebrating yesterday on Ama Dablam and also last month on…

Keep Reading...

Successful Summit for Cho Oyu Rapid Ascent and Lightning Ascent Teams

They did it! On October 1, 2016 in sunny and warm conditions both our Rapid Ascent and lightning ascent expedition teams summited Cho Oyu (26,906′ / 8200m). (Lightning ascent is Adrian Ballinger’s vision of summiting an 8,000m peak in two weeks door to door from the United States)

The Rapid Ascent team of Brooks Entwistle, Panuru Sherpa and Palden Sherpa was led by Zeb Blais and reached the top before our lightning ascent team did. They left Camp 3 (24,250′ / 7400m) in the dark with Adrian reporting that they summited Cho “super fast” and in good style. Zeb skied the upper slopes in marginal snow…

Keep Reading...