October 2017

Our unclimbed peak expedition team is now in base camp, preparing to make a recon up to the peak to scout the potential climbing route. Our peak, Tharke Khang, looks to have a ridge line beginning from the west that appears climbable, with steep snow and ice slopes. Our base camp is comfortable with a heated dining tent and great food!

Garrett

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peak expedition

We made our from Machermo up the valley to the village of Gokyo, situated next to a beautiful aqua marine lake. After lunch a few of us hiked up nearby Gokyo Ri, at just over 17,500’. We glimpsed our unclimbed peak in the distance, still a long way off…with major challenges between us and the start of the route, about 10 miles of glacier moraine and glacier/ icefall. This will not be an easy walk to say the least…accessing the base of the route is one thing, climbing the technical ridge is another.

Exploration in essence is venturing into the unknown… and that is exactly where we are headed.

Our team is good, everyone is acclimatizing well. The weather has been favorable and we hope this trend continues. We look forward to reaching our base camp the next day or two.

Garrett Madison

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Tham Serku peak

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Ama Dablam

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Trekking through the high country towards base camp

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First view of the unclimbed peak, Tharke Khang

Machermo

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At the top of Gokyo Ri today, 17,500′

Machermo

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The village of Gokyo, at 15,600′ high in the Himalayas where we are staying

Machermo

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At one of the Gokyo lakes today

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Our head Sherpa, Aang Phurba

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Stairway to heaven

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Old chorton (in Sherpa language) means stupa

 

The Unclimbed Peak expedition team is approaching the mountain. We are trekking up the beautiful Khumbu Valley in Nepal past the iconic villages of Namche (Capital of the Khumbu), Khumjung, and soon Gokyo. Our climbers are all anticipating the moment when we pass Gokyo and can first glimpse this virgin peak. The idea of embarking on a journey where we don’t know what will lay in store for us is part of the excitement we share as every day we make our way closer to the mountain. Lead guide Sid Pattison assisted by my myself is overseeing the schedule as we push our way up the valley. The team is feeling psyched and happy to be on the move after a rest and acclimatization day in Namche drinking coffee and eating pastries.

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Unclimbed

Namche Bazaar! Despite the flights, the time in Kathmandu and the preparation, for me it always takes until Namche to start feel like we are moving forward. Yesterday we trekked from Phakding to Namche under a low cloud ceiling keeping it nice and cool. Arriving around 2 in the afternoon we all had time to wander the narrow streets and relax at the beautiful Panorama Lodge. This morning we woke up, ate breakfast and took a nice acclimatization hike up to the Everest View hotel. There we took in stunning views of Mt. Everest, Lhotse and the crown jewel of the Himalaya, Ama Dablam, our objective after our unclimbed peak. Now back at the Panorama, we eat lunch, rest and prepare to head off towards Khumjung in the morning. The team is healthy, strong and psyched to get moving!

Sid Pattison

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Namche is the main trading center and hub for the Khumbu region with many Nepalese officials, a police check, post and a bank

Namche

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Namche

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Team lunch with Ama Damblam in the background

Greetings from Lukla! We made it! After a couple of days of preparation in Kathmandu, today we boarded our Dornier aircraft and landed on Lukla. With most of our bags accounted for we are about to start off towards Phakding for the night. The crew is well rested, healthy and excited about finally being on our way to our unclimbed peak.

The Himalayan giants greeted us on arrival!

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Lukla

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Our Carstensz Pyramid team reached the summit and has now returned to Bali today, after a helicopter flight early this morning from the base camp.  The weather over the last 48 hours since we got down from the summit has been very stormy, so we were laying low at our base camp until the storm passed and the clouds and rain cleared up for a brief window to let the helicopter fly in.  Most of the kitchen and dining tents in the base camp were destroyed in the wind storm, but our personal tents held up fine throughout the storm, thanks to the great engineering from Mountain Hardwear for our Trango 3 tents!

The climb was an epic day on the tallest peak in Australasia, a rock pyramid jutting out of the surrounding jungle landscape.  We departed before dawn, climbing up the route over varying degrees of steepness on sustained slopes until we reached the summit ridge.  We then traversed the ridge to the famous “abyss” crossing, where we tip toed across a wire cable to the other side.  That wasn’t the crux, as there were a couple more challenging crossings where we literally had to leap across to the other side!  We lucked out with great weather the whole day and reached the top around 9 AM, then began the long series of rappels back down to base camp.  This has truly been an epic adventure!  We are all now on our way home after a wonderful time in Indonesia, climbing one of the world’s “7 summits“!

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Carstensz Pyramid team

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Carstensz Pyramid team

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Carstensz Pyramid weather has our climbing team positioned at base camp for another day. Garrett checks in below via satellite phone and relays that George and Audrey are enjoying the adventure while they wait for their return helicopter flight. Pictures coming soon!

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Carstensz Pyramid weather

Garrett checks in with the Carstensz Pyramid team after a safe descent from the summit yesterday. Currently our team is socked in at base camp waiting for suitable weather to fly back to Timika and then to Bali. Stay tuned!

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Carstensz

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Carstensz

Follow our progress on this real-time tracking map

Carstensz Pyramid team reaches the summit at 4,884m / 16,024ft! Listen to the audio dispatch below as Garrett checks in from the summit. Reports of variable cloud cover and stable climbing conditions. Way to go team!

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Carstensz Pyramid team

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Carstensz Pyramid team

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Carstensz Pyramid team

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Carstensz Pyramid team .

Carstensz Pyramid team

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Carstensz Pyramid team

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Carstensz Pyramid team

Follow our progress on this real-time tracking map

 
Our autumn 2017 Carstensz Pyramid expedition has launched!! Our team flew by helicopter and arrived safely at Yellow Valley base camp today. Listen in below for a audio dispatch from Garrett and climbers Audrey and George as they prepare for the ascent. Onward and upward!

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After a few days patiently waiting for the sky to clear we are off to the mountain! Carstensz Pyramid here we come!

2017 Carstensz Pyramid

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2017 Carstensz Pyramid