Tag: expedition

Once the expedition gets underway, follow our progress on this real-time tracking map.

 
The Carstensz Pyramid expedition team made it to Bali yesterday and we’ve been preparing for our flight to Timika on the Island of Papua very early tomorrow.  Bali is a fine tourist destination indeed, and a great “base” for us to operate our Carstensz Pyramid program from.

Bali is an Indonesian island known for its forested volcanic mountains, iconic rice paddies, beaches and coral reefs. The island is home to religious sites such as cliffside Uluwatu Temple. To the south, the beachside city of Kuta has lively bars, while Seminyak, Sanur and Nusa Dua are popular resort towns. The island is also known for its yoga and meditation retreats.

Once we arrive in Timika we will transfer to the hotel and then check in with the immigration department for clearance, then the next morning our plan is to fly by helicopter to Carstensz Pyramid base camp.  Upon arrival at base camp we will settle in and go for an acclimatization hike to the base of the route.  Assuming the weather is decent, we may go for the summit on October 15th, but we have a few extra days just in case!  We are very much looking forward to this rock climbing objective at 16,000 feet!

About 145,000 people on the Indonesian island of Bali have left their homes around Mount Agung, a volcano that is showing signs it could erupt, officials said on Friday.The 9,944-foot volcano, the highest mountain on Bali, last erupted in the early 1960s

Garden features in our hotel

Carstensz Pyramid expedition

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Flora and Fauna in Bali. Bali has an interesting collection of animal and plant life. The rice terraces are the most common sight everyday in Bali, particularly in the heavily populated and extravagantly fertile south. Balinese gardens are a delight.

Carstensz Pyramid expedition

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A jukung or canoe also known as cadik is a small wooden Indonesian outrigger canoe. It is a traditional fishing boat in this region.

Carstensz Pyramid expedition

Our 2017 Carstensz Pyramid expedition team is departing North America tomorrow to head to Bali, and from there to the Island of Papua to begin our climb of this fabled peak.

Carstensz Pyramid, as one of the most exotic climbing objectives in the “7 Summits”, is located in Western Papua and is comprised of limestone which rises abruptly from the surrounding rainforest. The highest point on Australasia, this very remote peak is an engaging challenge both in getting to the base of the climb and also in the ascent itself!  Not many climbers venture to this mysterious and unfrequented mountain, that has glaciers surrounding the rock pyramid that towers above the jungle below.

Our ascent will involve a classic rock climb along with some very intriguing cultural experiences along the way, a journey through unknown landscapes in a remote part of the world, and of course a notable achievement in reaching the top of this exotic peak.  This uncommon adventure will surely challenge us as climbers and explorers, but the rewards for venturing into this obscure region will surely be well worth the arduous journey!  Myself, along with 2 good climbing friends will be arriving in Bali on October 11th, and then we hope to reach the island of Papua on October 13th or 14th, from there the real adventure begins!

Once the expedition gets underway, follow our progress on this real-time tracking map.

 

-Garrett Madison

Carstensz Pyramid expedition team

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Today private guides Brent and Geoff moved up to Camp 3 with climbers John and Anders in three hours. The route conditions and weather made for a quick ascent. Tomorrow they will depart at 8am and continue the ascent to Camp 4 and prepare for their summit push on Everest and Lhotse. We are excited to have our team in summit position and will be up all night here at base camp to monitor their progress.

Our main team spent today resting at Camp 2 and will move up to Camp 3 early tomorrow morning. Mountain winds are expected to decrease and allow our climbers to be well positioned for clear summit days on Everest and Lhotse. The weather has been clear and sunny the past few days with little to no precipitation. All of our high camps have been stocked with oxygen and supplies by our strong Sherpa team.

To the top!

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Beautiful weather at Camp 2 today

Camp 3

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Moving between Camp 1 and 2

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Our Mount Everest and Lhotse summit rotation has launched! At 2am this morning our climbing team departed Everest base camp and began the ascent though the Khumbu Icefall. Now resting at Camp 2, our entire team will rest and prepare for the next move to Camp 3. Weather forecasts are predicting for increased wind over the next couple says so we will hold till the conditions settle down. We are all in good spirits and health and excited to continue our journey to the top of the world.

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Celebratory photo with our Ghurka neighbors! 

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Relaxing in our dining tent the evening before taking off on our summit rotation

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Happy Birthday Ellen!!

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Anders, Brent, Geoff and John taking off for Camp 2

Lhotse summit rotation

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Yesterday, 2 of our top fixing Sherpas in partnership with the British-Gurkha team (Sherpas and Nepali climbers) were able to reach the summit around 2:15 PM.  We are very happy that our plan succeeded, and now climbers will begin making attempts on the peak.  Our 2 Sherpas who aided in the rope fixing effort today are Lakpa Dandi and Tashi Sherpa, 2 of the 7 rope fixing Sherpas to reach the summit.

As we are now in the final phase of our Mount Everest expedition, our sights are set on climbing to the summit of the world’s highest peak, and for some of us after that also climbing to the top of the world’s 4th highest peak, Lhotse.  We have completed our acclimatization rotations on Everest, reaching Camp 3 and spending several nights at Camp 2 (21,300’) on each of our rotations. Our Sherpa team has stocked all of our high camps with essential equipment for our climb including tents, oxygen cylinders, food, etc.  We are now well rested after spending the last week in base camp or down in Namche at the comfortable Panorama lodge.  We are now waiting in base camp for a favorable weather forecast.

The current weather models show that high winds will arrive over Everest in the next day or two, so we will wait until these winds pass before making our summit attempt. Some teams may try to summit in the next day or shortly after, we prefer to wait for a better forecast before making out attempt. Our main team hopes to be ready to climb on the tail end of this wind event, perhaps as early as May 22nd if the winds do indeed drop down by then.

Currently we are all resting in base camp and passing the time watching films, reading books, going for short hikes, occasional camp maintenance projects, reviewing our climbing kit and oxygen systems, and of course coming together as a team for meal times in our dining tent.  We will continue to monitor the weather forecasts, and hopefully begin our summit attempt in a few days time, stay tuned!

Garrett Madison

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Rope fixing Sherpas

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Rope fixing Sherpas

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Rope fixing Sherpas

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Rope fixing Sherpas

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Rope fixing Sherpas

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Rope fixing Sherpas

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Rope fixing Sherpas

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Our Everest 2017 summit rotation is preparing to launch! Weather and route fixing conditions are clearing up as we load the high camps with oxygen and supplies. Over the past couple days we have enjoyed a few rest days at base camp. Some of our climbers have ventured off on day hikes around EBC or up toward Pumori. Today the weather was overcast with snowfall for most of the day. Conan (guide) will be helicoptering back up with John as the weather clears after spending a few days in Namche. We are all excited to start this next rotation and make our summit push. Stay tuned!

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Camp 1 looking back toward Pumori

Everest 2017 summit rotation

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Camp 2 looking up toward the Lhotse face

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Evening shot at EBC

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Happy team at Camp 2 on their second rotation 

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Audrey and Garrett enjoying the beautiful views at Camp 2!

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Making the ascent between Camp 1 and 2

Everest 2017 summit rotation

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Alina and Sid testing out their Mountain Hardwear down suits 

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Today we received news that the summit Sherpa fixing team will be descending down to base camp due to weather delays. With this information, guides Brent and Geoff made the descent to base camp this afternoon with Anders and John. Arriving back into base camp early evening. It is now being discussed among the main expedition teams at base camp that summit fixing will commence on the 16th and 17th based on current weather forecasts. Our guides and expedition leaders are pushing for as early a fixing as possible.

Now that the majority of the team is back at base camp we will enjoy some rest and relaxation together. Tomorrow morning our team in Namche will be helicoptering back to base camp after spending 4 nights at the Paradise Lodge. Arriving back to base camp this afternoon, Conan John and Allan will be boarding the same helicopter from base camp and travel down to Namche for a few days.  All team members are going to take advantage of a few personal days before summit rotation. Right now it sounds like the team will move up on the night of the 13th toward the summit. Variables such as changing weather forecasts and the fixing of both Mount Everest and Lhotse will determine when the team takes off.

Over the next few days the weather forecasts are calling for snow and light winds. We have been watching movies and enjoying the company of the many fascinating people here on Everest this season. Life is good!

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Dinner was on fire!

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summit Sherpa fixing

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summit Sherpa fixing

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summit Sherpa fixing

 

 

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Mount Everest 2017 Guide Sidney Pattison: 35 year old

Hometown: Winthrop, WA

First started climbing in the North Cascades, first big peak was the west ridge of Forbidden Peak at the age of 16.  In 1997, became intern at the Northwest Mountain School, led climbs on Glacier Peak, rock instruction at Smith Rock, other mountaineering programs on Mount Baker, etc.

Notable ascents include ski decent of Denali, unclimbed peaks in the Himalayas (7000m), Mount Baker & Mount Shuksan combo in 1 day.

Favorite mountaineering equipment:

-ATC guide, due to the auto blocking abilities for both belaying and rappelling.  Can be used as a rope ascension device, for crevasse rescue, a simple device without any mechanical parts.

-Down Suit: Mountain Hardwear Absolute Zero Suit: A slim fitting one piece suit with deep hood, pockets in all the right places, and good length on the arms and legs, doesn’t bunch up in the middle.

Sid is very excited to be guiding Mount Lhotse with our team, the 4th highest peak in the world at 27,940’ (8516m).  The Lhotse couloir will be the final ascent route to the summit of Lhotse.  The couloir is the ‘corridor to the impossible’, allowing one to be in a place where without that ‘weakness’ the climb would be near impossible.  As Madison Mountaineering is the only guide company regularly offering the ‘Everest & Lhotse’ combination climb, this means that climbers will reach the summit of Mount Everest and then return to high camp at the south col (Camp 4), rest about 9 hours then depart high camp to climb to the summit of Lhotse, usually reaching the summit of Lhotse the next morning just after sunrise.  Sidney will be waiting for our team to return from the summit of Everest to high camp, and then he will be fresh to climb with us to the summit of Lhotse.  As the support person at high camp while we are on our Mount Everest summit attempt, Sid will also be supporting us by looking after the camp with our Sherpa staff that remain in high camp preparing water, food, and making sure the tents are secure as high winds regularly torment the South Col high camp, resulting in many tents blowing away.

Sidney is scheduled to guide our unclimbed peak expedition in the Gokyo region of Nepal (near Mount Everest) this autumn, a beautiful virgin peak over 6000m!  This will be an amazing experience with aesthetic ridge climbing on steep snow, ice, and rock!

In the late winter and early spring before our Mount Everest season Sidney works as a heli ski guide in the North Cascades of Washington State.  During the summer Sidney works as a mountain guide on Mount Rainer and other notable peaks in Washington State such as Mount Baker, Mount Shuksan, Mount Olumpus, and the North Cascades, etc.

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Everest 2017 Guide Sidney Pattison

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Our climbers are in good health and spirit on Mount Everest as a joint-effort Sherpa route fixing team makes their way to the summit. At base camp we received good news today, the line fixing to the summit will continue tomorrow and should be completed over the next 2-3 days on Everest. Tomorrow guides Brent and Geoff will move up to Camp 3 with Anders and John. If the weather conditions and fixing go as planned, they will move to Camp 4 the follow day.

Up at Camp 2, our Everest Express team (Conan, Allan and John) are on their first rotation and will be returning to base camp on the 9th. They then plan to fly to Namche by helicopter upon arriving back to base camp to rest and recover before their summit rotation.

A few members of our main climbing group are down in Namche now. Sangeeta, Drew, Alina and Billy will be resting and up at Paradise Lodge for the next few days before coming back for their summit rotation. We are hearing that they are enjoying the delicious bakeries and mountain luxuries in Namche.

The past couple days it has been quite at base camp, lots of reading and resting up with the remaining climbing team. We have been receiving steady snowfall in the afternoons, typically it clears up in the evening with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. The moon shines so bright you can see everything, it’s spectacular!

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Garrett and team moving up to touch Camp 3

Sherpa route fixing team

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High altitude rest break

Sherpa route fixing team

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On the ascent toward Camp 3

Sherpa route fixing team

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Happy climbers

Sherpa route fixing team

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Moving through the Khumbu Icefall

Sherpa route fixing team

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Everest 2017 Guide Conan Bliss :

Growing up in Colorado left an indelible imprint on Conan as a boy.  The mountains beckoned.  At an early age, he enjoyed sojourns in the Rocky Mountains with his father, Robert, being exposed to all sorts of inclement weather, steep pitches and exciting adventure.  Rather than turn to more docile pursuits, he carried forth in the hills as a young man, seeking more diverse and intriguing climbing, regardless of whether a route was a well known classic or an obscure piece of unknown rock.

As a climbing guide, his path has taken him around the globe, from the trade routes of the North Cascades, the cold reaches of Alaska, the airy peaks of the Andes, to the shimmering heights of the Himalayas and Karakoram.  He has no favorite peak, no favorite route, as every climb is different and unique in its own right.  To him, the essence of the climb is the the symbiotic energy of the climbers and the mountain, so the same peak will be a different climb each day, week, and season.

Outside of work, Conan enjoys traveling the world with his girlfriend, Gesine, as well as other more domestic pursuits such as cooking and woodworking.  They are looking forward to their new home base at the foot of the Alps this summer.

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Everest 2017 Guide Conan Bliss