How to Conquer Mount Everest on Your First Attempt


You are tired from running and your body ache all over from climbing, crawling, and swimming through muck. Your ankles are starting to swell and your knees are barely holding on. As you exit out of the previous hell-hole (like Turd’s nest or whatever) , you psych yourself up knowing that the finish line is near. Except, of course, you have to get through the vaunted Mount Everest.

fitness2xtreme-images-tough-mudder-mount-everest-x18-introTough Mudder organizers describe the Everest as “…A quarter-pipe that you’ll have to sprint up and enlist the help of other Mudders to hurl you over this beastly mountain.

Everest is coated in mud and grease, a combination which will likely send you right back from where you came.

Call upon other Mudders to catch you as you run up the quarter-pipe or work together to form a human chain so that you can scale someone’s shoulders to finally summit Everest…”

Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? Read more to learn what it is and how you can push yourself to get to the top on your first try!


Most Tough Mudders readily admit that Everest has one of the higher failure rates out of all the obstacles. That’s entirely acceptable, considering the Everest stands approximately 15 feet high with usually slick surface that will entice you to chest and/or face plant into it with your tired, wet body with shoes filled with muck.

But you have seen plenty of Tough Mudders who CAN AND DO get to the top on their first try. Although SPEED is considered to be your best chance, there are smaller things you can do to further increase your chance of success.

Here is what Paul at had to say about his experience:

“…..My vote for best new obstacle of the year! A mudded-up half-pipe that you needed to run-up as fast as possible and leap for the top, hoping that a few good Mudders would catch you and pull you up. Fantastic! I watched some hit and misses as I rounded the turn from Berlin Walls and thought that maybe I’d be a face-planter too. The key to obstacles like this – like the drill sergeant said, “Don’t think, just jump!” I targeted a set of hands atop the ramp and ran full-throttle. Near the top, I left my feet and stretched out as far as I could and made a connection with a pair of arms. They pulled me up to safety and it was my turn to help out. In terms of a thrill, assisting at the top was equal to, if not better than, the actual run and jump up the ramp. I worked with a group of Mudders to catch and pull over each of my teammates and a few others. This was Camaraderie 101 and really exemplified what the Tough Mudder event is all about. I think could have stayed there for a while, but there was more course to conquer! Grade: A+ (Forced camaraderie is often the best kind.)…”

Doesn’t it make you want to be a Tough Mudder NOW?


The physical dimensions of Mount Everest may vary mainly due to due to local building codes. After studying hundreds of photos and videos, we came up with the following (approximate) specifications for the Tough Mudder’s Mount Everest.

fitness2xtreme-images-tough-mudder-mount-everest-x22-specification fitness2xtreme-images-tough-mudder-mount-everest-x26-specification-side-view fitness2xtreme-images-tough-mudder-mount-everest-x30-specification-side-view-2

With the height of 15 feet or so with relatively steep approach angle, it takes a certain amount of forward momentum (provided by your explosive running start) so that you can jump or leap to the top from the ramp’s upper- mid point. For taller Tough Mudders, it’s somewhat easier due to longer reach (but they have to deal with greater body mass). For shorter Tough Mudders, although their reach is not as long, they also have lighter body mass, hopefully coupled with faster run time.

fitness2xtreme-images-tough-mudder-mount-everest-x40-pouring-vegetable-oilOne thing to keep in mind that some times volunteers pour oil on the surface (especially on a dry day) to make it more interesting (those bastards!).

We also noticed that some Everest ramps are covered with plastic/slick polypropylene materials with the Degree (antiperspirant) logo but some are just bare plywood sheets. We have even seen some instances where Tough Mudder organizers placed wooden cleats to make it easier to climb (although that’s rare).

As a true Tough Mudder, we can hope for the best (i.e. cleats) but should plan for the worst, right? 🙂


You will need speed, leg power/flexibility, upper body strength and mental fortitude to make it to the top on the first try:

  • Upper body strength – Whether you get a helping hands or not, you will need your upper body strength to pull yourself up. We recommend that you need to be able to do at least do 10 reps of dead hang pull ups.
  • Lower body power/flexibility – If you are unable to get to the top on your own, but someone has grabbed your handes and arms, you need to be able to swing your lower body to “hook” either legs up the ramp to climb up. If don’t know of any good lower body flexibility exercise, watch this video TRX:
  • Jump / Leap Point – some readers have suggested that you should “…keep running until you can’t run any further up, then leap up to grab a hand”. We have a slightly tweak to that approach. Before running and hoping for the best, focus on where you want to jump or leap. You should be able to get a good visual jumping point based on other Tough Mudders. In addition, eyeball who you want to get help from! If you weigh 240 pounds, look for someone who you think can handle that your weight.
  • Mental fortitude – Reassure yourself that you CAN and you WILL make it to the top. Positive affirmation has been known to work. Just ask Mark Divine, an uber athlete who served as a high ranking Navy SEAL before finding his company, SEALFit!

    Even if you don’t get to the top on your first try, don’t get down on yourself. There is absolutely no shame in trying again and again until you succeed. Remember, quitting lasts only few seconds; regret lasts a lifetime.

  • Shoes – Your shoes will be caked with dirt and muck. Since there will usually be a long wait time (sometimes as long as 1 hour), take your time to clean the bottom of your shoes to increase traction. Heck, if it is warm enough, we encourage you to take your shirt off and ring out the water to lighten the load and dry your hands!

Learning from Others – Photo / Video Gallery

No Mudder Left Behind

Congratulations on conquering the Mount Everest!

Now that you are on top of the world, take a moment to pat yourself on the back but please work with other Tough Mudders to lend a hand to others who are trying to make it to the top!

You don’t have to do it for a long time but what you think is enough time to “pay forward”.

Now on to the finish line!

PS. For more information on other Tough Mudder obstacles, click Fitness2Xtreme’s Review of Tough Mudder Challenge


  1. Thanks for the mention. I’ve tried Everest 4 times now and I’ve tweaked my approach a bit. I actually find it to be a better strategy to run as fast as you can until you can’t run anymore…again reach out your hands at the top. In other words, try not to jump. Depending on where you are on the ramp, jumping could push you out and off the ramp instead of launching you upward. So just find a willing (and able) pair of hands and sprint for them.
    Good luck, have fun, and keep mudding!

    • admin says

      Hi Paul-

      Thanks for your comment. We are sure others can use your expert advice. BTW, awesome site!

  2. It’s possible to make it up Everest on your own if you want a real challenge! I’ve made it the last 7 times I’ve tried on 4 different courses. The key is running as fast as you can! Think of it was a 30 yard sprint. When you are going that fast, you will make it most of the way up. Then, reach your arms out and you’ll either be at the top or do a quick pull up to be on top!

    • admin says


      Thanks for your input! Have you done any other obstacle courses other than Tough Mudder? If yes, may we ask which one is your favorite and why?

  3. I have 3 mudders under my belt, and Everest is the toughest obstacle for me. This is the best info I’ve seen on preparing for the “beast”. Thanks! Your specs confirm the hundreds of variations of the half pipe i’ve seen – hoping to build my own thin section to practice.


  1. […] A perfect example is Tough Mudder’s Everest. According to Tough Mudder, Everest is “… a quarter-pipe that you will have to sprint up and elist the help of other Mudders to hurl you over this beastly mountain…”. Take a look at these pictures and imagine trying to get to the top with wet and mud filled sneakers (read this for Everest tips and tricks). […]

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