Everesting - Minimum Watts per Kilo

Hi Guys,

Is there any data or any recommendations on a minimum watts per kilo for a successful Everest? My watts per kilo is about 2.67 with an FTP of 215 which I think would be way too low for an Everest based on the numbers I see others doing.

I’m guessing for the length of time on the bike, most of the wattage would need to be 55-65% of FTP otherwise it would be too hard.

Thanks in advance,
Chris

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Best to get your route and related info into this great tool:

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You can do it at any W/kg level as long as you have the time and the ability to fuel and ride that long. I targeted 80% FTP on the climbs and was able to hold pretty close to that. Do you think you can hold 172W all day with short breaks every 15-20min or so?

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You have to do at least 87kJ per kg of system weight based on just potential energy. I’ll assume your bike plus gear are ~10kg. Given that you are ~80kg that means that you need to do ~7900kJ. Assuming you want to do it during the ‘day’ the solstice gives you ~12.5h of light, this varies by location but you can look it up if you want. Take that 12.5 hours and the 7000kJ calculate watts you need to average 174 watts for 12.5 hours. If you have a climb that lets you spend ~80% of your time climbing that means you need to do 220W while climbing. If you want to stay in ‘z2’ while climbing you would need an ftp of no less than 295W or given the 80kg body weight 3.69 W/kg.

Turning this into gear choices and hill choices… Assuming you use a 42T GRX Rear Derailleur with a RC-RX810-2 chainring you will go ~8.5 km/h at 90rpm. Taking that over to bikecalc that means you should be looking for a hill that averages at ~9.5% grade.

Edit: Updated to include bike and gear… which moves the number significantly (from 3.25W/kg to 3.69W/kg).

Edit 2: More nerding.

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My very rough guesstimate for you is 18hrs, give or take an hour or so based on stops. So it’ll be a long day! But I’ve seen plenty of other Everesting attempts that took that long. Can’t hurt to try it, go for a half Everest and see how you feel, with lights and support on hand in case you want to keep going!

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Thx for the breakdown!

There’s some details that I missed. Didn’t add in the bike weight, could probably work out minimum grade given the 80% climbing assumption as well.

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W/kg are on an hour basis (and usually estimated); a w/kg of 2.5 but can hold it for two hours will do better than a cyclist with a w/kg of 4 but can only hold it for the hour. W/kg is pretty irrelevant to me, it’s more if you have the stamina and time.

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Pretty close to an actual double century at 92kg from 4 years ago:

With different numbers, but as you said tweaking the calc a bit would be more accurate. And that was a double century not an Everest.

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Everest it is about your mental make up and fatigue resistance not a W/kg value for an hour. What’s your W/kg for 20 hours near continuous would be a more pertinent question.

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9.5k feet of climbing, tut tut.

Depends how steep the climb is that you’re doing. W/kg matters more on a 10% gradient vs a 5% gradient both from a speed and gearing perspective. Like others have said, FTP w/kg doesn’t really matter since you’re gonna be out there all day- it’s about having the muscular endurance to keep going.

In regards to pacing, with proper fueling, you should be able to hold much more than 55-65% of FTP. I would think that your pacing would be similar to a full ironman, so ~75-80% FTP. You’ll have to adjust that for the length of your climb- a longer climb will have a lower % of FTP since you have less frequent recovery and longer intervals.

For context, I did an Everest at ~4w/kg in 12 hours total last summer (10:30 moving time). I did literally everything wrong- some jackass stole my cooler and most of my nutrition an hour in, the climb was steeper in parts than stava indicated (10% on strava which I could handle, vs actual 12-13% for .5 miles), and I had to ride to a gas station a few miles away a couple times because said nutrition was stolen. My strength is holding sub threshold for a long time, so even though I didn’t have a super high w/kg FTP, I should’ve been able to hold 85-90% of that FTP if I could’ve fueled and hydrated properly.

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Big guy has gotta have a dream! Hmmm, about 3W/kg on good day so a ‘freestyle half Everest’ is probably the right target for this year. In the past I did 15,400 feet of climbing in 11.25 hours at ~3W/kg. Good motivation to keep losing some kg.

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Since I was giving you a hard time on 9.5k ft of climbing. This was at 165lbs.

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Nice! Didn’t realize you had some longish 4+% climbs so close to DFW.

Not sure that I would call 3 hours one way ‘closeish’.