May 2018

Ready To Move For Summit Push!

Today our madison everest team climbers with guides Garrett Madison, Conan Bliss, & Sid Pattison along with climbers Josh, Matt, Randy, Tym, & David are resting in base camp up . They are waiting to begin the summit rotation, this is the final rotation on Mount Everest and hopefully will culminate in reaching the summit! The weather has been windy, more so than the specialized weather forecasts have predicted. So, we have been conservative in our decision making and decided to hold here in base camp until the weather trend looks suitable for us to move us.

Then our Everest climbers will climb from Everest base camp through the Khumbu Icefall and negotiate the many ladders which span crevasses, sometimes about 20 ft. (6m) in width, along with the steep ice and vertical sections of the route. We will go up past Camp 1 through the Western CWM (Valley) to Camp 2, our Advanced Base Camp and from there take a rest day to re evaluate the weather, route conditions, etc.

Our 2 advance teams are already enroute on the final summit rotation! Ed & Ant, our first team, are at Camp 2, having moved up from Everest base camp 2 days ago, and are assessing the mountain conditions which includes the weather, the rope fixing progress, etc.

Our second advance team with Kenton, Ben, and Mark left Everest base camp yesterday and are currently also at Camp 2. They reported very good conditions in the Khumbu Icefall and after arriving at Camp 2 are also reassessing the mountain conditions in preparation for moving up higher on Everest.

Rope Fixing Update!

Our rope fixing Sherpas moved up to the South Col (Camp 4) yesterday in preparation to fix ropes from there to the Balcony (27,500 ft. / 8,333m), despite strong winds on the Lhotse Face. Yesterday we had a huge wind storm on Everest that lasted through the night and many teams lost tents at Camp 2, fortunately we had our entire Sherpa team (22 Sherpas plus camp staff) in our Camp 2 (Advanced Base Camp) so they were able to secure and protect our camp during this massive wind event. Thankfully, our Sherpas reached the South Col (Camp 4) and established a camp there, and then commenced the first part of the rope fixing project today, reaching the Balcony (27,500 ft. / 8333m).

Weather & Other Update!

If the weather is good, and mountain conditions are favorable (they reported deep snow on the route), and our team has the physical energy and mental fortitude, then hopefully our Sherpas will be able to finish the summit rope fixing and open the route by the end of May 12th, so that the route will be open for all climbers on Mount Everest by May 13th.

This is our plan, and with determination and good luck we expect our 4 teams of climbers (Sherpa rope fixing team, advance team of Ed & Ant, second team of Kenton / Ben/ Mark, and third team of Garrett / Conan / Sid with Josh / Matt / Tym / Randy / David to be reaching the summit of Mount Everest between May 12th and May 18th, weather pending! Fortunately the weather forecast looks good through May 21st, so we have a very good weather window in which to make our summit attempts. Thanks for your kind thoughts and prayers! We hope Mount Everest (‘Sagarmatha’ in Nepal) will grant us safe passage to the top of her peak and back!

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Lightning, Thunder & Storm!

Last night at around 3 AM we had an exhilarating electrical storm here on Mount Everest complete with lightning, thunder, then a few inches of snowfall. Today our advanced climbing team (Ed & Ant) moved up from Everest base camp and will stay at Camp 2. The ‘Everest Link’ Internet WiFi system that most of the climbers here in Everest base camp rely upon was knocked out by a lightning bolt.  So, repairs are under way and hopefully the system will be back up and working again soon!
All of our climbing Sherpas are up in camp 2, and it was a good thing today because the winds have been very high at camp 2 . As a result many teams had tents damaged or completely blown away. Fortunately our Sherpas were able to secure and protect our tents in camp 2 from blowing away.
Our plan is to re-evaluate the weather tomorrow and see if rope fixing to the summit is reasonable over the next few days given the weather forecast. Hopefully, the winds will die down in the near future and make climbing possible.
Our main team of climbers is tentatively planning to move up from Everest base camp to camp 2 on May 11th . Then, will take a rest day at camp 2 and reassess the weather, route conditions, and feasibility of making a summit attempt. Everyone here in base camp is doing well and resting up for our final rotation. That is, our attempt at the summit of Mount Everest!
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Ready For Summit Attempt!

Our team of Sherpas left Everest base camp early this morning and climbed to Camp 2, twenty two Sherpas in all. They will rest tomorrow and then 6 of our Sherpas along with 2 from Adventure Consultants team will head up to the South Col high camp (Camp 4), as long as the winds die down.  Then, begin the final stage of the rope fixing project to the summit of Mount Everest. Our plan is to have the route finished to the summit by May 12th, weather pending. Usually when the first climbers are setting the route to the summit they have to break trail through waist deep snow, and set the anchors and climbing rope along the route.

The first stage will be to move to the South Col and establish camp, the second stage will be to fix ropes up the Triangular Face to the Balcony (27,500 ft. / 8333m), and the third stage will be to fix ropes from the Balcony up the South East ridge to the rock bands just below the South Summit of Mount Everest, over the South Summit, and then along the summit ridge to the top of Mount Everest! We hope the weather and route conditions will be favorable for our Sherpas as they work hard to establish the final section of the climbing route to the top of the mountain for our team and all teams on Mount Everest, so that all climbers may have the opportunity to climb safely and efficiently.

Team Updates!

Our climbers are all now in Everest base camp and some who took a 4 day rest in Namche are back now so we are all together as we make final preparations for our summit attempt! We are checking our equipment and readying our minds and bodies for this epic challenge, the culmination of our last 6 weeks here in Nepal. In the next couple of days we will be moving up to Camp 2 (our Advanced Base Camp) and from their we will reassess the summit rope fixing progress, the weather forecast, the mountain conditions, and make a final decision on moving up to the higher camps on schedule for our summit attempt!

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Staying at Basecamp!

We are now resting in Mount Everest base camp, waiting for the high winds to die down so that we can begin our summit rotation. All of our members are down in base camp or in Namche resting and recovering from our last rotation when we touched Camp 3 on the Lhotse Face. Our Sherpa team is also resting in Mount Everest base camp and also in Camp 2, waiting as we are for the good weather window to materialize. We are doing base camp chores such as laundry, resetting our tent platforms as the glacier ice melts during the season, and enjoying the occasional hot shower in Everest base camp! The days have been sunny and warm, with a small amount of light snowfall at night.

Today we took our breakfast (French toast, fried eggs, bacon, fresh yoghurt, & espresso coffee) outside our dining tent in the morning sun! We are soaking up the stunning views of Mount Everest and the surrounding peaks and preparing ourselves for our final objective in a few days time, when we will depart Everest base camp for our summit rotation, our journey to the top of the world!

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Second Rotation Succeed!

We concluded a great second rotation today by descending from our Camp 2, known as our Advanced Base Camp, all the way down to our Everest base camp. While on our rotation we spent three nights at our Camp 2, and were very lucky to have great weather. To begin our rotation, we departed our base camp at 4 AM and climbed all the way to Camp 2.

Then, we took a rest day to recuperate and recover from the big climb, nearly 4,000 ft (1,212m) of vertical gain. After our rest day we planned to climb to our Camp 3 on the Lhotse Face, so we departed our Camp 2 (Advanced Base Camp) at 8 AM .We climbed with our down suits to the base of the Lhotse Face, then began our ascent up the steep ice wall on the fixed ropes towards Camp 3. It is situated about halfway up the Lhotse Face at approximately 23,500 ft. (7,121m).

The Lhotse Face is notably icier this year and requires good crampon technique! After 5 hours of climbing we reached our Camp 3 and took a long break to rest, hydrate, and eat a few snacks. We also had the privilege of enjoying an amazing view from Camp 3, looking down over Camp 2, the Western CWM, and Camp 1. We then descended the fixed rope designated for rappelling and made good time in our descent, reaching our Camp 2 just an hour later for a late afternoon lunch. It was a very productive rotation in that we accomplished our goal of climbing to Camp 3 to acclimatize . Additionally, we also familiarize ourselves with the steep and technical terrain of the Lhotse Face.

Rope Fixing Update!

Our Sherpas have been busy carrying loads of equipment to the South Col high camp (Camp 4) for the final stage of the rope fixing project . This involves setting the ropes from the South Col to the Summit of Mount Everest. They have done an exemplary job so far by setting two lines up to Camp 3. One for ascending and one for descending, as well as an additional line above Camp 3 to ease congestion on the route. We have received many compliments regarding how the lines are set in a safe and desirable fashion on the Lhotse Face which makes for efficient climbing.

Lines have also been set on the Geneva Spur, the final rock ridge before the South Col, so that climbers can go up and down on separate lines for safety and efficiency. At this time Sherpas have been utilizing these ropes to carry loads of oxygen cylinders, tents, food, and fuel to position at the South Col for the eventual summit attempt on Mount Everest!

Weather Forecast!

According to our weather forecasts, it appears that a major wind event is approaching Mount Everest, probably in the next day or two. Our Sherpas will make good use of tomorrows marginal weather forecast to position additional loads at the South Col high camp, and then see if the following day is appropriate for climbing above 8000 meters. The jet stream will likely cover the Mount Everest region for up to a week and no climbing will take place above 8000 meters during this time, so we are preparing to hold tight and wait for the opportunity when the Jet Stream passes and the winds are calm enough for a summit attempt! Until then we plan to rest and enjoy the amenities of our Everest base camp!

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Mission Everest Continues!

Yesterday the weather was good up here , we took some rest in Camp 2. Today we departed Camp 2, our Advanced Base Camp, at 7 AM to climb up the Lhotse Face to Camp 3 at nearly 23,500 ft. (7120m) We donned our Down Suits to stay warm in the early morning before the sun arrived on the Lhotse Face at around 9 AM. Climbing up the steep ice was challenging, but our steel crampons held firm as we made our way up the face to Camp 3.

Upon reaching Camp 3 we took a long break and had a snack before making our way down the Lhotse Face, rappelling the steeper line over the blue ice to the base of the Lhotse Face near the Bergschrund. We then made our way back to Camp 2 for dinner and a restful sleep. Our plan is to either descend tomorrow or take a rest day and descend the following day down to Everest base camp, and then take a long rest before embarking on our summit rotation!

Today our climbing sherpas carried loads to the South Col high camp (Camp 4) in preparation for the final rope fixing to the summit of Mount Everest – Our Rope fixing team fixed the rope upto South Col! . Now that all of the essential equipment is in place for the rope fixing (ropes, ice screws, carabiners, oxygen, etc) we are keeping an eye on the weather for an opportunity to fix the final portion of the route up the Triangular Face to the Balcony (27,500 ft / 8335m), then up the south east ridge and over the rock bands to the south summit, along the summit ridge to the top of the world! Stay tuned for updates from our rope fixing team!

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