There are 414 peaks open for climbing in Nepal. Of those 414 peaks there 72 (7000m/22,965ft) peaks open for climbing. The 7000m peaks of Nepal can include some of the most daunting climbing objectives that the Himalayan kingdom has to offer. There is certainly a range of difficulty from easy to challenging to keep both the novice and expert climbers busy.
The upper 6000m peaks and the 7000m peaks also begin to form an apparent distinction. It is here that we can really distinguish between the tactics used on mountaineering peaks and technical alpine peaks. Mountaineering tends to involve more trekking on lower angle to moderately steep terrain whereas technical alpine objectives climb very steep terrain and require the use rope systems to arrest the climber in the event of a fall. Climbers will usually take the siege approach for mountaineering and higher elevation objectives. On technical alpine ascent climbers will usually go in an alpine style fixing minimal camps and in some cases no camps at all.
A 7000m expedition is a necessary and appropriate prerequisite to an 8000m expedition.
Identify the specific technical challenges that you will face during your climb. There is enough information available online today, you should not be surprised about what you will find when you arrive at your objective. Do your homework, it will increase your chances of success.
Understand your body at altitude. By the time you get to a 7000m peak you should have intimate knowledge of how your body reacts and performs at the various “marker” altitudes of 5500m, 6000m, 6500m and 7000m. A big key to high altitude climbing is just understanding the rate at which your body acclimatizes.
Build up a supporting base of aerobic activity. At least 365 days of physical activity. This translates to at least 1 year of steady aerobic activity. This can include: running, swimming, cycling, cross country skiing, soccer, competitive races such as marathons or triathlons and any other related aerobic activities. This should not be difficult for people who have an active lifestyle.
With at least 2 years of physical fitness activity under your belt you should now apply Periodization Training Models to your preparation. This will apply the proper progression, load and frequency to your training, Think of Periodization training models like sharpening a pencil: at first you have just the raw wood, but after steady and consistent work you develop that raw wood into a fine point.
Be trained and competent in several mountain skill sets including: Climbing self rescue, crevasse rescue training, advanced mountaineering skills (using ice ax, front pointing in crampons, crossing glacier) and wilderness medical training.
**Our policies for accepting clients on 7000m peaks are all the previous experience required for 6000m, the client has very good physical fitness, no high blood pressure or diabetes, 2 (6000m) peaks, several high pass treks and formal rock & ice climbing training.**
In the Nepali grading system peaks are classified by their difficulty into three general categories: Easy, Moderate and Challenging.
The peaks are then further broken down using the International French Adjectival System (IFAS). The French adjectival alpine system evaluates the overall difficulty of a route, taking into consideration the length, difficulty, exposure and commitment level (how hard it may be to retreat) of the route. The overall grade combines altitude, length, difficulty of approach and descent, number of difficult pitches and how sustained they are, exposure and the quality of rock, snow and ice.