Dispatches

The Madison Mountaineering Mont Blanc team summitted August 18th with 100% success! All 11 clients & 5 guides made the top with clear conditions and only a little wind. We climbed from the Cosmiques hut near the Aguille du Mide top station, and over Mont Blanc du Tacul and then Mont Maudit before reaching the summit of Mont Blanc, known as the ‘traverse’ or ‘triple summits’ route. We descended the Gouter route, some of us staying in the Gouter hut and some staying in the Tete Rousse hut, then made our way back to Chamonix, for a celebration lunch! We are very happy with our success, great weather and climbing conditions we had here in France on the ‘Mont Blanc’!  Thanks so much to our amazing climbers, as well as our fantastic guide team for making this climb a great one!

The last few days we have been climbing in the French Alps around the small town of Chamonix.  We stayed at the newly remodeled Albert Premier hut at 8,900′ and then summitted the Tete Blanch yesterday which involved some climbing on steep glaciated slopes as well as a few technical moves on rock at the top.  It was a fun ‘mixed’ climb to prepare us for the upcoming climb. The team is excited for our next challenge, Mont Blanc, at 15,773′!

We are very excited to launch our Mont Blanc climbing program in the French Alps, our team will be arriving over the next few days and gearing up to climb a few small peaks before taking on the highest peak in Europe, west of Russia’s Caucasus peaks!  At 15,773′ Mont Blanc is heavily glaciated and defines the border between France and Italy.  We will be based out of Chamonix, France, often thought of as the birthplace of mountain climbing and the location of the first winter olympics.

Garrett Madison

Successful Mount Rainier summit at (14,411 ft) this week with Climb for Conservation! Our team climbed the Disappointment Cleaver route and gained 9,000 ft and covered 18 miles. Thank you to our rockstar team who joined the Climb for Wildlife Conservation cause!

For future Climb for Conservation adventures please contact Ginna Kelly 🙂

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Mount Rainier summit

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It was going to be hot, super hot on Mount Shuksan. We decided it would be prudent to get an early start so we left camp at 1:45am walking under a moonless sky across the Sulphide Glacier. Smoke from wildfires to the north turned the sunrise into an hours long epic, we arrived at the summit pyramid just as the sun crested the horizon. The summit was cast in shadow and we hurried down before we cooked. It was a beautiful day in the mountains.

Guide Sid Pattison

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Mount Shuksan

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Mount Shuksan

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Photo credit: Melissa Arnot

Mount Shuksan

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Mount Shuksan

We had a successful Mount Rainier climb, Washington’s highest peak and largest volcano at 14,411′.  Our team elected to push for the summit in the afternoon, rather than do the traditional midnight start, so we ended up reaching the summit around sunset, it was a beautiful view from the top, and we had it all to ourselves.  Below are some photos from our climb, enjoy!

To view some of our other Washington programs please click HERE.

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Mount Rainier climb

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Mount Rainier climb

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Mount Rainier climb

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Mount Rainier climb

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Mount Rainier climb

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Mount Rainier climb

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Mount Rainier climb

 

Our climbers had a wonderful late July Mount Baker trip! Guides Sid Pattison and JR Storms safely brought the team to the summit and down safely. Please enjoy a recap below by climber, Don Storms.

On the first day we all took our time hiking up to the hogs back area, standard bivy. We spent that afternoon enjoying views, re-hydrating and preparing to possibly climb in the morning. We had a hand wavy forecast so our strategy was to be ready to go on the morning of day two. If we didn’t have climbable weather, we would try again the morning of day three. As it turned out, we had bad weather on day two. We spent the day waiting for a suitable weather window. Sid an I got up at midnight on day three, woke up all of the climbers at 1am and started our summit push at 2 am. We were able to take advantage of a small weather window that allowed us to make it the the summit of Mount Baker in six hours. All of the climbers were able to summit. Six hours after summiting, we were back at our high camp and the weather window had closed on us. We spent the remainder of the day packing up and hiking back to the car in light rain. All of the climbers were in good spirit and happy we were able to thread the small weather window and climb safely. All thing said and done, we had a very productive safe and enjoyable trip despite the poor weather window. – Don Storms

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July Mount Baker

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July Mount Baker

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July Mount Baker

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July Mount Baker

 

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July Mount Baker

 

On July 12th we were blessed with near perfect weather and climbing conditions when we reached Mount Elbrus North Summit in Russia, the highest peak in all of Europe at 18,506′, and one of the ‘seven summits’ on Earth.  David, Matthew, and myself began our climb from our high camp at 11 PM on July 11th, as the elevation gain from high camp to the summit of Mount Elbrus is 6,200′, a big summit day!  With a slight breeze we made our way up the glaciated slopes of Mount Elbrus in the dark using our headlamps, up to Lenz Rocks at 15,000′, then onward up the glacier to the saddle which is in between the East and West (highest) summits of Mount Elbrus.  We continued on up the West summit to the highest point in all of Europe at 9:30 AM, had unobstructed views as far as the eye can see, it was truly a magnificent day.  We then descended back down and reached our high camp in the early afternoon.  The following day we descended back down to base camp where we had a nice dinner and shower and slept in our comfortable cabin.  Yesterday we drove from the base camp on Mount Elbrus back to the town of Pyatigorsk and had a celebration dinner, now we are heading to St. Petersburg for some sightseeing and then home.  It has been a wonderful trip!

Note: This was a ‘North Side’ climb of Mount Elbrus, whereas our regular and other recent programs on are on the ‘South Side’ of Mount Elbrus.  Madison Mountaineering has led successful expeditions on both sides of Mount Elbrus, and as a boutique mountaineering guide service we strive to develop customer expeditions for intrepid climbers!

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Photos:

Garrett and Matthew gazing at Mount Elbrus from the hotel in Pyatigorsk

Mount Elbrus North Summit

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Summit selfie at the top of Mount Elbrus

Mount Elbrus North Summit

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Garrett and our driver Yuri enjoying dinner in base camp

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Matthew and David on the approach to high camp

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Matthew and David on the summit of Mount Elbrus

Mount Elbrus North Summit

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Watching the sun rise from up high on the glaciated slopes of Mount Elbrus

Mount Elbrus North Summit

 

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David and Matthew descending from high camp after a successful summit of Mount Elbrus!

Mount Elbrus North Summit

Mount Elbrus north route summit!! Congratulations to our team of climbers for making a safe and successfully ascent of the tallest mountain in Europe. Listen to our audio dispatch below, Garrett Madison checking in after reaching the summit with David and Matthew. Photos and complete expedition recap will be posted shortly. Onward and upward!

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Garrett with David and Matthew at high camp at the north side of Mount Elbrus, roughly 12,500ft. Our team did a acclimatization hike today. Plan to rest tomorrow and then go to the summit tomorrow night. Hopefully summit the morning of the 12th then return to high camp that day. Descend back to base camp on the 13th, everyone is doing well and excited to make the summit ascent!

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Pictures to come!! Onward and upward!