Everest Dispatches

Today our first ascent climbing team pushed through the Khumbu icefall in great time and are now safely resting at Camp 1. Initial reports from Brent Bishop and team are that the icefall is in the best condition he’s seen it, which is great news to hear. We will have two additional waves on the first rotation that will be departing base camp in the next 1-2 days. Current agenda is to spend two nights at Camp 1 and two nights at Camp 2, then return to Mount Everest base camp. Weather today was pleasant, sunny in the morning with clouds rolling in during the afternoon with light snowfall.

Our evening movie choice has been rotating between climbers and tonight we enjoyed the original Indiana Jones. Tomorrow we will continue to train in the icefall then rest and hydrate before moving up the mountain. Antony made an amazing dessert tonight that you can see below. I’m sure the climbers will miss his cooking while up on rotations!

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first ascent climbing

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After a delicious breakfast we had another great day of training on the ice followed by an acclimatization hike toward Pumori base camp. This afternoon our Sherpa team packed their first loads and will be taking off toward Camp 1 and 2 in the next few hours. Guide’s Brent Bishop and Geoff Schellens will also be moving up toward Camp 1 with two private climbers around 5am. Over the next three days our entire team will be moving up on their first rotation on Mount Everest. Everyone is excited to start climbing!

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Pumori base camp

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The high Buddhist monk journeyed to Mount Everest base camp this afternoon and blessed our team with a joyful Puja ceremony. Our climbing and Sherpa team gathered together as one to give thanks to Sagarmatha and present gifts for safe passage. The lama was graceful and presented each climber with a blessing. After the ceremony concluded our friends on the Gurkha team (Nepal and UK) came down to our camp and joined in the festivities. Winds have finally settled down and we were all able to relax outside together and enjoy the cultural Nepalese experience.

In the afternoon, a few members of our team went out into the Khumbu icefall for additional training on the ice. We are all settling down for the night now and about to enjoy another of Antony Dubber’s amazing meals, I do believe that we are all gaining weight up here with his extraordinary high altitude culinary skills. After supper we typically partake in watching a film in our the movie theater, tonight we watched Top Gun.

Tomorrow we will not be climbing or training in the icefall in remembrance of the 2014 icefall tragedy. Our team will rest and prepare equipment for the first rotation in the days to come. The stoke is high and we are all ready to move up the mountain. To higher places!

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Joyful Puja ceremony

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Joyful Puja ceremony

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Joyful Puja ceremony

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Joyful Puja ceremony

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Joyful Puja ceremony

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Joyful Puja ceremony

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Joyful Puja ceremony

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Joyful Puja ceremony

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Joyful Puja ceremony

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Joyful Puja ceremony

Today our Mount Everest 2017 climbing team had an amazing day training in the Khumbu icefall. The winds have been fierce the past few days, gusting to 50mph at times. While we have been training between the ice towers we are protected for the most part. The sun was out all day today and the recent snowfall is slowly melting.

After a few rounds on the training circuit with fixed lines and ladders, we enjoyed a few laps of epic ice climbing on a sweet Serac. We practiced with ice climbing tools and then a select few climbers were able to scale the ice with just crampons. From the top of the ice we had great views of Everest base camp and the surrounding glaciers.

Tomorrow we will have our Puja ceremony here at base camp. Our weather forecasts are predicting decreased winds and sun, we hope this is accurate! Soon after our Puja ceremony we will begin preparations for our first rotation up to Camp 1. Enjoy the photos from today!

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Everest 2017 climbing

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Everest 2017 climbing

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Everest 2017 climbing

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Everest 2017 climbing

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Everest 2017 climbing

After a wild thunder and lightning storm last night, we awoke to about 8 inches of fresh snow here at Mount Everest base camp! Our team of climbers set off for their first day of technical training in the Khumbu Icefall. Our guides reviewed the basics to refresh our team and covered best practices for a safe climb on Mount Everest. Our amazing base camp chef, Antony Dubber, continues to impress our taste buds with amazing meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We had a special guest join us for lunch today. Ueli Steck, from Switzerland known as the ‘Swiss Machine’ shared a meal with our team and we chatted about our past and upcoming ascents.

Tomorrow we will continue our icefall training and build a more difficult course for our climbers to navigate. On the 17th we will have our Puja ceremony here at base camp where we will all be blessed for a safe season on Everest. Enjoy the pictures below!

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lightning storm

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After an amazing trek through the Khumbu Valley, our team of climbers and trekkers have arrived safely to Mount Everest 2017 base camp. As we arrived to camp we caught two time Grammy Award nominee Paul Oakenfold playing a set at Everest base camp. Our Sherpa team danced along with fans from around the world as we laughed and enjoyed the beautiful setting.

With a warm welcome from our chef (Antony Dubber), we all enjoyed fresh Norwegian salmon and a tasty variety of side dishes. I think we will be eating well on this expedition! The weather here at Mount Everest base camp has been warm and sunny the past few days, allowing for ample reading outside with magnificent 360 degree views of some of the tallest mountains in the world. Today we are having a personal day where we are able to do laundry and set up personal tents. Over the next few days we will start training in the Khumbu icefall in preparation for our first rotation to Camp 1 on Mount Everest. We are excited to be here and look forward to making our ascent. Onward!

Follow us on social media @MadisonMtng on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter. Thank you Mountain Hardwear, MusclePharm, Thuraya, Wicis and Modern Oats for your support on this expedition!!

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Kala Patthar, meaning ‘black rock’ in Nepali and Hindi, is a notable landmark located on the south ridge of Pumori in the Nepalese Himalayas. Thank you to our expedition friend Rob Mens for sharing these.

Mount Everest 2017 Kala Patthar

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Kala Patthar view at sunset

Mount Everest 2017 Kala Patthar

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Kala Patthar view at sunset

Mount Everest 2017 Kala Patthar

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Kala Patthar view at sunset

Mount Everest 2017 Kala Patthar

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Yak train looking over Mount Everest base camp and the Khumbu Icefall

Mount Everest 2017 base camp

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So happy to have the world traveling chef Antony Dubber here with us this season!! 🙂 

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Norwegian salmon as our team arrives at base camp. So tasty!!

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Mount Everest 2017 base camp

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Madison Mountaineering’s Sherpa team enjoying an awesome gig by Paul Oakenfold!

Mount Everest 2017 base camp

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Paul Oakenfold rocking the stage on Mount Everest!

Mount Everest 2017 base camp

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.Namche

Today our team had a very relaxing day in Namche Bazaar. In the morning we enjoyed a nice hike up to Everest View Hotel where we had our first glimpse of Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam. Everyone is doing well and enjoying the adventure 🙂

Tomorrow we will depart Namche and continue trekking. Stay tuned!

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Namche Bazaar

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Namche Bazaar

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Namche Bazaar

Our climbers and trekkers have all made it safely from Kathmandu to Tenzing Hillary Airport in Lukla. From here we passed through several Sherpa villages, and entered the beautiful Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park. After crossing the river by suspension bridge, we arrived in the village of Phakding. After a good nights sleep we continued trekking along the scenic Dudh Kosi River through the village of Monjo, then up the steep hill to Namche Bazaar. Currently we are spending our second night in our comfortable lodge acclimatizing and enjoying the sights, cafes and tasty pastries in Namche. This afternoon we saw our first view of Mount Everest!

Follow us on social media @MadisonMtng on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter. We love to hear from you 🙂

Onward and upward!

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Prayer wheel in Kathmandu 

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Early morning flight from Kathmandu to Lukla

Tenzing Hillary Airport

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Tenzing Hillary Airport

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Last chance for Starbucks 🙂 

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Prayer wheel near Lukla

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2017 Mount Everest climbing and trekking team leaving Lukla 

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Relaxing at a local tea house

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Geoff and John

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Amazing views on the trek to Namche

Madison Mountaineering’s 2017 Himalayan expedition team of Everest & Lhotse climbers have arrived from around the world. We are now  in the final stages of logistical preparation before our exciting flight to Lukla. After our short flight tomorrow from Kathmandu to Lukla, we will begin the journey toward Mount Everest, known by the locals as Sagarmāthā. Mount Everest is earth’s highest mountain at 8,848m (29,035ft) above sea level. Tonight our team of trekkers and climbers will enjoy the comforts of the city before we take off early tomorrow morning. Here we go!

Expedition dispatches will be posted here as frequently as possible. Follow us on social media @MadisonMtng on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter!!

Below are some photos of our city tour today around Kathmandu.

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2017 Himalayan

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2017 Himalayan

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2017 Himalayan

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2017 Himalayan

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2017 Himalayan

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2017 Himalayan

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2017 Himalayan

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Local Nepal street art

2017 Himalayan

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Monkey Temple 

2017 Himalayan

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Money Temple

2017 Himalayan

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Received a departing blessing for a safe passage through the Himalaya.

2017 Himalayan