Tag: Madison Mountaineering

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

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K2 2016 Climbing Season Recap:

Our K2 2016 team made a great effort to climb the peak but it was not meant to be. We are thankful that nobody was injured in the avalanche that came down from high on the mountain on July 23rd and took our Camp 3 and Camp 4 deposit off the mountain.  This avalanche resulted in the cancellation of the climbing season for all teams on K2 in 2016.  We have enjoyed our time in Pakistan and feel very lucky to have experienced this incredible mountain range, the Karakorum.  Please read the National Geographic article here for more information on the recent K2 climbing season.

To Higher Places!

Garrett Madison

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Amazing Youtube video by Petr Jan Juracka with beautiful drone shots of our 2016 K2 ascent.

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Below please also enjoy 2016 K2 climber Takayasu Semba’s photo’s from the expedition.

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Our team is now back down in base camp after our K2 summit attempt. Tomorrow was supposed to be our summit day, the weather currently looks perfect as predicted, clear skies and no wind. We had everything in position for our summit attempt, after about 5 weeks of preparations, we had established our high camps, had climbed to camp 3, and were looking forward to our summit. But it was not meant to be, as when we were preparing to climb from camp 1 to camp 2 on the morning of July 23, we saw a big avalanche come down the mountain. We later learned that this avalanche was massive, had started somewhere near our camp 4, and had covered nearly a third of the mountain down to the base,  taking out our camps 3 & 4, nothing was left. We were lucky that we were not in these camps when the avalanche occurred. Without our equipment for our summit attempt (tents, oxygen, ropes, food, etc) we cannot continue our climb, we are now heading home, as are all teams. Yesterday we searched the avalanche debris field at the base of the mountain, about 7000′ below where the slide began,  but found nothing,  as the debris was around 10-20 ft. deep in most areas. We will leave base camp in a couple of days and trek out,  then fly or drive to Islamabad and fly home. Even though we did not make the summit we had a great experience and and are thankful for the time we had in this beautiful mountain range. -Garrett Madison

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Massive avalanche on K2, camps 3 and 4 totally gone without a trace: All members currently safe in camp 2. Expedition now finished as all equipment for summit attempt (tents, oxygen, ropes, food, etc) has been lost.

-Garrett Madison

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Expedition leader Garrett Madison called in this morning to report that the team has safely reached Camp 1 and are now pinned down with harsh weather conditions. The team will wait and see if the weather stabilizes before moving higher on K2.

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This is a wind graph that we use to make data driven decisions on K2. Michael Fagin and team at West Coast Weather provide our expeditions around the world with advanced forecasting models. Michael Fagin has a background in weather forecasting for major expedition groups that climb K2 and other climbing venues. He is experienced in climate data retrieval and analysis for clients around the world.

K2 Wind Graph

*Forecast issued on July 22, 2016 and weather needs to be monitored as the weather patterns can and do change over time.

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Our climbers and guides climbing to Camp 1.

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In one day or so our international expedition of four climbers, two guides and six Sherpas will be leaving on their third and final climbing rotation, their K2 summit rotation. We expect the summit rotation to take six days to summit and return to K2 Base Camp.

Beautiful photos taken by Stuart Erskine.

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This is the first time we’ve seen K2 in a week or so as it has been non-stop fog and blowing snow.

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Broad Peak, the Godwin Austin Glacier and K2 Base Camp from partway up K2 Glacier.

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K2 glacier looking up to K2.

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K2 glacier and K2 in the middle, with Angle Peak to the left and Broad Peak to the right.

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At K2 Base Camp we’ve had snow, fog and rain for over a week now since July 13, 2016. This is our first nice day of weather and we are experiencing a lot of avalanches. This avalanche coming high off K2 from the bottleneck at over 27,000 ft has some serious propulsion and just misses the top of K2 Base Camp. The debris goes all the way across the valley towards the base of Broad Peak.

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Life is a balance. Stuart, a rock and K2.

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Stuart and his Sherpa climbed up onto the K2 glacier to the base of K2 to ponder their upcoming summit bid and contemplate safe passage on the mountain.

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The Madison Mountaineering USA International K2 Expedition are having a 7-8 day break between their second rotation that got them up as high as Camp 3 at 24,500 ft on K2 and their final K2 summit rotation. During that rest time it’s important for the guides, climbers and Sherpas to eat well, stay healthy and active.

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Photos taken by K2 2016 climber Stuart Erskine

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Climbers, Guides, Sherpas and Porters at Camp 3 at 24,500 ft or 7,550 meters in the morning during their second rotation. Everyone is getting ready to head back down to K2 Base Camp after the weather conditions changed and high summit winds started for the next 6-10 days. Broad Peak the 12th highest mountain in the world at 8,051 meters or 26,414 ft high is in the background right. The high summit winds are obvious on the summit of Broad Peak in this photo and K2 is 560 meters or 1,837 ft higher than Broad Peak.

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Garrett and Simba climbing down part of the Black Pyramid from Camp 3 to Camp 2 on K2.

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Climbers, Sherpas and Porters resting part way down from K2 Camp 3 at 24,500 ft and on their way to Advance Base Camp (ABC) at 17,500 ft. K2 is so steep, rocky and icy that 80 to 90 percent of the 7,000 ft climb down has to be done by repelling on fixed ropes for most climbers which will take about 8 to 9 hours. This is normally followed by a 2 to 3 hour trek from ABC at 17,500 ft to K2 Base Camp at 16,500 ft, all in the same day.

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An avalanche across the valley from Broad Peak Base Camp. Avalanches, rock and ice fall are regular occurrences each day during the climbing season in the Karakoram Mountain Range. The mountains are very steep and the constant changes in temperature, weather and ground conditions creates a lot of falling debris which can be very dangerous for climbers and their support teams.

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Anyone have the phone number for the K2 Fire Department?

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During this rest day the two guides and four climbers walked down to Broad Peak Base Camp which is about three hours round trip. Broad Peak is the neighboring mountain to K2 and is the 12th highest mountain in the world at 8,051 meters or 26,414 ft high. In this photo the Madison Mountaineering team is enjoying some hospitality from a climbing team attempting to climb Broad Peak, in their dinning tent.

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Our four climbers and two guides with the staff from Broad Peak Base Camp when we trekked down to visit their Base Camp.

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Our chef Antony and his kitchen staff are barbecuing some fresh chicken for supper.

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