There are primarily two brands
used today: POISK and UK. We have used both (the UK are cheaper yet
heavier) and prefer POISK. The sherpas always want POISK.
In 1999 we carried 15 UK bottles. 4 of them broke in the
valve at C4 and couldn't be used. We were lucky to have enough spares,
but as you would imagine, it could be fatal if it happened in the wrong
place at the wrong time.
That year, we paid a visit to the POISK factory in St
Petersburg and were impressed by their manufacturing procedure. Every
cylinder is carefully tested under strict conditions. It is labeled with
an individual license, stating the date of manufacture, content, weight,
During our visit we discussed various problems involved
in ordering oxygen. Some Everest veterans had claimed sole
distributorship. It is now however possible for all climbers to order
directly from the factory and POISK will arrange for the delivery to
Get more information and place your order at
The oxygen should be used within two years from
the date of last testing.
There are not only pirate copies
of Levis and Rolex around. Believe it or not - there are also fake POISK
bottles out there. They are old POISK bottles, transported by truck to
India and refilled at a fraction of the real cost, sold to climbers as
the real stuff. The people at POISK have nothing to do with this.
We know for a fact that some commercial expeditions have
advertised POISK to their clients, only to deliver the Indian fake
If you are not buying straight from POISK (or another
brand), check with POISK (or other manufacturer) if the person you are
buying from really have placed an order with them.
This foul trade is nothing less than making a dollar out
of a gamble with people's lives. It is extremely dangerous and we hope
that it will soon come to an end.
Donít get yourself into trouble by saving money on
oxygen. Failing oxygen is a big cause of accidents on Everest. Bring
plenty and bring the right stuff. You can sell your leftover oxygen back
in Kathmandu to fall- and next years expeditions. And notify us on any
foul business. Protect other climbers, please.