Everest Climbers With No Supplemental Oxygen

Quote of the Day

It has been a long road...From a mountain coolie, a bearer of loads, to a wearer of a coat with rows of medals who is carried about in planes and worries about income tax.

Tenzing Norgay, the great Nepalese mountain climber.

Everest Summit Line

Figure 1: Line of Climbers Preparing to Summit Everest. (National Geographic)

I recently have seen pictures on the news of a line of people preparing to summit Mount Everest (Figure 1), which got me thinking about the difficulty of waiting in line under low-pressure conditions. The vast majority of the people who climb Everest use supplemental oxygen. The air pressure at the summit of Everest is about 0.3 atmosphere, which is not enough to support human life for an extended period of time. But a relatively small number of people have climbed Everest with No Supplemental Oxygen (NSO). In this post, I will look at this very select group of people.

Figure 2: Elizabeth Hawley. (Wikipedia)

There is a database of the Himalayan climbers that until recently was maintained by Elizabeth Hawley, a remarkable Chicago native who has documented the climbing efforts from the 1960s until shortly before her death in 2018. Her Microsoft Visual Foxpro 9 database is continuing to be updated. The database and code to access the data are online and can be downloaded here. I used the database, which contains climbing data for many mountains, and filtered it for Everest climbers. I then exported the data as a CSV so that I could import it into Rstudio (R_source). The database has not been updated yet for 2019 activity. The video shown in Figure 3 by Melissa Sue Arnot does a great job showing how climbers worked with Ms. Hawley to record their climbing efforts – Arnot's entire series of Youtube videos are worth your time.  Arnot made her own NSO summit in 2016.

Figure 3: Solid Video on Climbing Everest By a Real Pro.

Once in Rstudio, I filtered the data for successful summits that used no oxygen. The database records if a person used oxygen on the climb, descent, sleeping, or for medical purposes. I am looking for those who did not use any oxygen. By this strict standard, the database lists 163 successful NSO summits.

The first Everest NSO summits occurred in 1978 (Table 1).

Hans EnglW Germany
Peter HabelerAustria
Reinhold MessnerItaly
Ang DorjeNepal
Mingma NuruNepal

Table 2 shows the climbers with more than one NSO summit.  The most NSO summits by far were made by Ang Rita, who has made the trip 9 times including once in the winter – winter summits of any sort are very rare. Note that the Wikipedia credits him as having ten NSO summits, but the database lists him as using O2 while sleeping on his 1983 climb.

Table 3 shows the number of NSO summits by country – Nepal really dominates this statistic.

ClimberNumber of No O2 Climbs
Ang Rita9
Anatoli Boukreev3
Lobsang Jangbu3
Pemba Dorje3
Anatoli Moshnikov2
Ang Dorje2
Babu Chiri (Babu Tshering)2
Gheorghe Dijmarescu2
Lhakpa Dorje2
Marc Batard2
Mingma Dorje2
Nima Rita2
Reinhold Messner2
Silvio Mondinelli2
Timothy John Macartney-Snape2
Vladimir Sergeevich Balyberdin2
CountryNumber of Successful No O2 Ascents
Czech Republic5
New Zealand1
S Korea1
W Germany1

Table 4 contains the entire list of NSO summiteers.

1978Hans EnglM34W Germany
1978Peter HabelerM35Austria
1978Reinhold MessnerM33Italy
1978Ang Dorje M29Nepal
1978Mingma Nuru M0Nepal
1980Reinhold MessnerM35Italy
1982Vladimir Sergeevich BalyberdinM32USSR
1983Haruyuki EndoM26Japan
1983Haruichi KawamuraM35Japan
1983Lawrence Darius (Larry) NielsonM35USA
1984Zoltan DemjanM29Czechoslovakia
1984Timothy John Macartney-SnapeM28Australia
1984Gregory (Greg) MortimerM31Australia
1984Ang Dorje M35Nepal
1984Ang Rita M36Nepal
1985Ang Rita M36Nepal
1986Erhard LoretanM27Switzerland
1987Ang Rita M39Nepal
1988Marc BatardM36France
1988Lydia Margaret Bakewell BradeyF27New Zealand
1988Michel MetzgerM39France
1988Ang Rita M40Nepal
1988Nima Rita M30Nepal
1989Carlos Miguel Carsolio LarreaM27Mexico
1989Nima Rita M31Nepal
1989Nurbu Jangbu M35Nepal
1990Sergei Anatolievich ArsentievM31USSR
1990Marc BatardM38France
1990Grigori LuniakovM35USSR
1990Timothy John Macartney-SnapeM34Australia
1990Anatoli MoshnikovM37USSR
1990Ang Rita M41Nepal
1991Vladimir Sergeevich BalyberdinM42USSR
1991Battistino (Battista) BonaliM28Italy
1991Anatoli BoukreevM33USSR
1991Muneo NukitaM40Japan
1991Nima Dorje (Dorje) M36Nepal
1992Alberto Inurrategi IriarteM23Spain
1992Felix Inurrategi IriarteM25Spain
1992Mario Luciano PanzeriM28Italy
1992Ang Rita M43Nepal
1993Vladimir BachkirovM41Russia
1993Oscar Cadiach PuigM40Spain
1993Hubert GiotM39France
1993Eric GramondM30France
1993Michael Graeme GroomM33Australia
1993Ang Rita M44Nepal
1994Scott Eugene FischerM38USA
1994Ralph Robison (Rob) HessM34USA
1994Lobsang Jangbu M23Nepal
1995Marco BianchiM32Italy
1995Anatoli BoukreevM37Kazakhstan
1995Alison Jane HargreavesF33UK
1995Josef H. (Sepp) HindingM47Austria
1995Christian KuntnerM33Italy
1995Reinhard PatscheiderM38Italy
1995Ang Rita M46Nepal
1995Lhakpa Dorje M29Nepal
1995Lobsang Jangbu M24Nepal
1996Anatoli BoukreevM38Kazakhstan
1996Yuri Contreras CediM32Mexico
1996Sven Hougen GangdalM41Norway
1996Johann (Hans) KammerlanderM39Italy
1996Goran KroppM29Sweden
1996Jesus Martinez NovasM31Spain
1996Josef (Pepino) NezerkaM41Czech Republic
1996Ang Rita M47Nepal
1996Babu Chiri (Babu Tshering) M30Nepal
1996Kipa/Keepa M33Nepal
1996Lhakpa Dorje M30Nepal
1996Lobsang Jangbu M25Nepal
1996Ngatemba (Nga Temba) M40Nepal
1996Panuru (Pasang Nuru, Pa Nuru) M28Nepal
1997Antoine De ChoudensM27France
1997Eero Veikka Juhani GustafssonM29Finland
1997Pavle KozjekM38Slovenia
1998Radek JarosM34Czech Republic
1998Anatoli MoshnikovM45Russia
1998Vladimir NosekM34Czech Republic
1998Vladimir (Vlado) PlulikM35Slovakia
1999Joao Jose Silva Abranches GarciaM31Portugal
1999Vladimir (Volodymyr) GorbachM44Ukraine
1999Heber Alain OronaM28Argentina
1999Babu Chiri (Babu Tshering) M33Nepal
2000Gheorghe DijmarescuM38USA
2000Josef (Sepp) HurschlerM38Switzerland
2001Theodor (Theo) FritscheM51Austria
2001Stefan GattM30Austria
2001Mark Charles McDermottM42UK
2001Silvio MondinelliM42Italy
2001Juan Eusebio (Juanito) Oiarzabal UrteagaM45Spain
2002Alexei BolotovM39Russia
2002Miroslav CabanM38Czech Republic
2002Shinji SatoM51Japan
2003Gheorghe DijmarescuM41USA
2004Khetsun (Kaizun, Kai Zhong) M38China
2004Laji (Lhagyi, La Ji) F34China
2004Lhakpa (Laba, La Ba) M39China
2004Tashi Tsering (Zhaxi Ciren) M37China
2004Claudio BastrentazM38Italy
2004Doichin Vencislavov BoyanovM27Bulgaria
2004Alessandro Mario BuscaM36Italy
2004Dawa Gelu M31Nepal
2004Lhakpa Tshering/Tshiri M28Nepal
2004Namgya/Namgyal M32Nepal
2004Pemba Dorje M27Nepal
2005Gerfried GoeschlM32Austria
2005Marcin Jan MiotkM32Poland
2006David FojtikM33Czech Republic
2006Roberto (Roby) PiantoniM28Italy
2006Kami M39Nepal
2006Lhakpa Nuru M34Nepal
2006Nima Dorje M25Nepal
2007Romano BenetM45Italy
2007Rodney William ColeM48USA
2007Nives MeroiF45Italy
2007Luis Felipe (Lucho) Ossa RodriguezM40Colombia
2007Kami (Kame) M44Nepal
2007Nima Kancha M27Nepal
2007Pemba Dorje M30Nepal
2009Ludovic Paul Nicolas ChalleatM39France
2010Abele BlancM55Italy
2010Marco CamandonaM39Italy
2010Michele EnzioM33Italy
2010Gerlinde KaltenbrunnerF39Austria
2010Silvio MondinelliM51Italy
2010Ang Pasang M42Nepal
2010Chhuwang Nima M42Nepal
2010Dawa Jangbu (Da Jangbu) M30Nepal
2010Dawa Nuru (Da Nuru) M45Nepal
2010Kami Rita (Topke) M40Nepal
2010Lhakpa Rita M43Nepal
2010Mingma Chhiri/Chhiring M41Nepal
2010Mingma Dorje M40Nepal
2010Pema Chhiring/Chhiri M26Nepal
2011Mahdi Amidi AhangM31Iran
2011Helmut OrtnerM46Austria
2011Lhakpa Tshering M38Nepal
2012Conrad Daniel AnkerM49USA
2012Mariano GalvanM32Argentina
2012Rajendra Singh JalalM40India
2012Thupten LobsangM37India
2013Rafael CaceresM32Ecuador
2013Oswaldo Aurielo Freire CartegenaM40Ecuador
2013Chang-Ho KimM43S Korea
2013Esteban Patricio (Topo) Mena YanezM23Ecuador
2013Lama M0Nepal
2013Mingma Thinduk M30Nepal
2013Pemba Dorje M36Nepal
2016Melissa Sue ArnotF32USA
2016Azim GheichisazM34Iran
2016Carla Patricia Perez RualesF33Ecuador
2016Courtney Woodward (Cory) RichardsM35USA
2016David RoeskeM35USA
2017Kalden Panjur M37India
2017Sonam Phuntsok M25India
2017Adrian John BallingerM41UK
2017Kelsang Dorjee BhutiaM35India
2017James Robert BroomanM37UK
2017Horia Dan ColibasanuM40Romania
2017Kilian Jornet BurgadaM29Spain
2017Victor Hugo Rimac TrejoM31Peru
2017Mingma Dorje M0Nepal
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2 Responses to Everest Climbers With No Supplemental Oxygen

  1. Tom says:

    I dont' see Carlos Beuler listed. He has climbed Everest 5 times included one route that has never been replicated because of its difficulty. I believe some if not all the climbs were done without oxygen.

  2. Harry says:

    2002 Hans van der Meulen (The Netherlands)
    2004 Wilco van Rooijen (The Netherlands)

Comments are closed.