Madison Mountaineering Everest 2017 Recap, “The Leader” on Everest
Success / Safety:
All of our climbers and Sherpas are off the mountain and now and preparing to head home! We have had a fantastically successful expedition, with all 8 of our clients reaching the summit of Everest, along with 4 American guides, and 15 Sherpas. We also had several of our climbers complete the Everest & Lhotse “peak to peak” combination, where they climbed Mount Lhotse (4th highest mountain) the day after reaching the summit of Mount Everest. This amazing and unmatched level of success among all the teams on Mount Everest is secondary to our number one priority, that all members (clients, guides, & Sherpas) made it safely off the peak.
Rope Fixing to the Summit:
Our team took the lead in partnership with the British – Nepal Gurkha team in fixing the ropes to the summit of Mount Everest on May 15th. This was not part of our original plan, as the rope-fixing project was taken upon by several other teams at the start of the season. Unfortunately, after several mishaps, the lead team had to abandon the rope-fixing project along with their partners. Without any clear consensus on how or when the lines would be put in to the summit, our team stepped up to finish the job. This “mission critical” project was necessary so that teams could begin their summit attempts on Mount Everest, with teams reaching the summit the following day on May 16th and continuing to reach the summit today. We are glad that our team had the capability and prowess to organize and execute such an important task, when no other teams on the mountain could summon such an effort, at such a critical stage in the climbing season.
Our team was at the South Col when several climbers who had pushed themselves very hard on summit day returned and needed critical medical attention. Our guides came to assist with medicine (dexamethasone, etc) and supplemental oxygen. However, what stands out the most is that one of our veteran guides, Brent Bishop, along with our Sherpas, rescued the Slovak Climber from the Balcony (27,500’), lowering him all the way down to the South Col high camp. Our Sherpas gave up their oxygen for him to use on the descent. This heroic effort by Brent and our Sherpas involved abandoning their own summit attempt, just hours away from the top, and spending the day giving their all in an effort to save a life.
We feel very fortunate that our expedition was a stunning success. We attribute this to our careful team selection and training, our top notch Everest guides and leadership, and of course our incredible Sherpa team who we invest heavily in year after year.
Photo: At the top of Mount Everest on May 23rd, 2017
Our Sherpa team in base camp
Descending Mount Everest with a little wind on our summit day!
View from the top!!
Summit ridge of Mount Everest all to ourselves May 23rd, 2017
We are now going to relax and enjoy the post summit euphoria before returning to our friends, families, and loved ones, as well as our busy lives back home! Thanks for following along!
Today our team trekked from the village of Lobuche to Gorak Shep, then after lunch we climbed Kala Pattar, about 18,600′! We had great views of Everest Base Camp, and the surrounding peaks of Mount Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Pumori, Ama Dablam, and many others. Now all members are in the lodge in Gorak Shep and resting. We very much look forward to arriving in our base camp tomorrow! Everyone is doing well and enjoying the beautiful Khumbu valley.
Our climbing team had a wonderful ascent of Haba ‘Snow Mountain’ above the village of Haba in the Yunnan province of China. The climb was only 3 days followed by some sight seeing in the historical city of Lijiang. The summit of Haba is 5,396m or nearly 18,000′ so this was not a small climb by any means!
We hiked from the village of Haba on our first day of the trip through the dense forest and along mountain streams then came to grassy meadows as we approached our base camp. By the afternoon we reached our camp and had a glimpse of the peak.
On summit day we awoke at 3 AM and departed camp around 4 AM for the summit. We climbed up the rocky slopes and gained the glacier just as the sun began to rise, where we roped up and donned crampons. We then climbed the snow and ice slopes and reached the top at 10:30 AM. We saw only a few other climbers on our ascent, even though it was a holiday weekend in China. At the summit we found the peak marker and savored the moment before heading down to our camp. The next day we hiked down through the lush forest back to the village of Haba, then drove along the scenic ‘Tiger leaping gorge’ back to Lijiang, where we visited the beautiful ‘old town’ that dates back to the 1300’s and enjoyed a traditional Chinese dinner typical of the Yunnan province. It’s been a great adventure with climbers Scott, Florian, Lloyd and Rafael!
To higher places!
To view our climbing team’s exact route to the summit you can view our RainOn mapping platform here!
Today both the climbing & trekking teams hiked up from Lobuche to village Gorak Shep and had a nice lunch, then trekked up Kala Pattar peak (18,315′) for a spectacular view of Mount Everest! This is one of the most beautiful day climbs as our teams make their way toward Everest Base Camp. We had clear skies and a bit of wind at the top, but they views were most definitely worth it! The climbers & trekkers are all together now at our lodge and will trek to Everest base camp tomorrow. We are all very excited to finally reach Mount Everest base camp!
After a rest day and acclimatization hike in Dingbuche the team moved further up the Kumbu Valley. We passed through the Everest Climbers Memorial where many large memorials are built. As the team moved onward they are surrounded and guarded on all sides by the tallest mountains in the world it is certainly one of the most stunning and beautiful monument locations on earth. We will spend the night in Lobuche and hopefully move futher up valley in the morning.
After a pleasant breakfast in Dingboche our climbing team set out and trekked above and past the village of Pheriche, then stopped for a break in the outpost Thugla. Enjoying hot tea and beautiful views with every stop. We continued onward to the memorials below Lobuche, where we took some time to pause and reflect, then continued to our lodge for the night. We are warm and comfortable and everyone is doing well. Another great day with amazing views of the peaks surrounding Mount Everest. The weather has been sunny and beautiful in the day with temperatures quickly dropping once the sun goes down.
Today our trekking team hiked up the valley and visited Lama Geshe in Pangboche for a blessing, a very special occasion! Each trekker received a blessing and a special gift as we make our war toward Everest Base Camp. We then continued up to Dingboche to spend the night. We had another stellar day with great views of Mount Everest, Mount Lhotse, and Ama Dablam! Everyone is doing great and we look forward to another wonderful day tomorrow! The weather has continued to be absolutely beautiful in the day with temperatures dropping once the sun goes down.
Photo: A spectacular view of Ama Dablam as our trekkers make their way toward Everest Base Camp!
Today our Everest base camp trekking team went on a nice acclimatization hike and had amazing views of the surrounding peaks. After a hearty lunch our trekkers enjoyed one of the local bakeries where they have fresh apple pie and great coffee! Looking forward to the trek to Lobuche tomorrow, everyone is doing well and in good health! The weather has been absolutely beautiful with great views of the surrounding peaks. The team should be arriving into Everest Base Camp on April 11th and will have the exciting opportunity to spend the night before heading back toward Lukla.
Beautiful shot on one of our acclimatization hikes!
Today after breakfast we hiked up the Nangkar Tshang to about 16,200′! We had great views of Mount Lhotse (4th highest), Mount Makalu (5th highest), and Mount Cho Oyo (6th highest), as well as the very stunning Ama Dablam. Mount Everest was hiding from view, we will see Everest in a few days time when we trek into base camp. By climbing high and sleeping low our bodies can build more red blood cells to allow us to climb higher in the days ahead!
Today our Mount Everest climbers stopped in Pangboche and visited Lama Geshe, the high lama of the Khumbu valley. The climbers received individual blessings from Lama Geshe as well as a team blessing. We then hiked to Shomari for lunch and then on to Dingboche for the night. The food has been delicious and we have been enjoying hot tea with every stop. Everyone is doing well and ready for an acclimatization hike tomorrow! The weather has been fantastic and everyone is in good health and spirits! The team is very excited to continue toward Everest Base Camp and begin the journey to the top of the world.