April 2019

Our Everest team is staying fit and motivated at base camp before the start of the second rotation.  Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, calls in today’s update:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Mount Everest team.  Today we had a great day in Everest base camp.  We went out and trained on the Khumbu glacier here next to base camp.  We practiced climbing steep ice and then descending steep ice in preparation for our next rotation up the mountain where we are going to climb on the Lhotse face.  So, after a few hours of training, we came back and had lunch and a restful afternoon.  And we just finished up dinner and a movie.  Tonight we watched “First Man” about Neil Armstrong landing on the Moon.  Our plan is to go for a hike tomorrow to keep our fitness up.  All’s well here in Everest base camp.  Thanks for checking in!

While the team did a day hike to Gorak Shep and back, Garrett and other team leaders met to discuss the status of the route rope fixing project.  Garrett Madison reports:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Mount Everest team.  Today we had a restfull day in base camp.  The team when for a hike to Gorak Shep and back.  They got to pick up some extra snacks in Gorak Shep for base camp.  Beautiful day here in base camp; everything’s going really well.  We had a meeting about the rope fixing with some of the other teams and gave an update on the status, where the project is at right now, and the expected date of completion – weather pending.  Tomorrow we are going to do a little more training here in base camp.  So, everything’s good and we will check in soon.  Thanks!

Our Everest 2019 team did more training today around base camp today.  Listen in to Garrett’s update:

Well, hello from Everest base camp!  This is Garrett calling in.  Today our team had a great day training on the Khumbu Icefall.  We did some repelling practice in preparation for steep ice of the Lhotse face, which will be coming up on our next rotation up the mountain here.  The team climbed some steep ice and did some ladder practice as well!  We are just trying to hone our climbing techniques and skills for our next rotation through the Khumbu Icefall, the Western Cwm, and up onto the Lhotse face at Camp 3 so that we are as ready as we can possibly be.  Everybody’s doing great here at Everest base camp.  We’ll check in soon.  Thanks!

Today was an EBC rest day.  Here’s Garrett’s update:

Hello!  This is Garrett calling in for the Mount Everest team.  Today we took a rest day in Everest base camp.  It was a beautiful day; the Sun was out and warm temperatures.  So we just lounged around base camp, did some laundry, and relaxed and enjoyed a beautiful day here.  We had three nice meals.  Tomorrow we are going to go out and do some training in the lower Khumbu Icefall area here near base camp to brush up on some technical skills that we can apply when we are climbing up high on the mountain, in the icefall, and on the Lhotse face.  The whole team is down here doing well, and they are looking forward to another great day here at Everest base camp.

The first acclimatization rotation is complete and the team is safely back in base camp.  Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, provides this update:

Hello, this Garrett calling in for the Mount Everest climbing team.  Today is April 25th and our whole team came down from Camp 2 today to Everest base camp.  We had a good day coming through the Western Cwm between Camp 2 and Camp 1 and then on down through the Khumbu Icefall.

 

We also were able to get the fixed lines put in to Camp 3!  Conan Bliss, one of our guides, stayed back with Aang Phurba Sherpa, our Sirdar, and put in a second rope the way up to high Camp 3.  So there is an up line and a down line now, which is good for all teams on the mountain.

 

We are happy to be down in base camp and having a rest for a few days.  All’s well here and we’ll check in soon!

Climbing above Camp 1

Climbing above Camp 1

Khumbu Icefall

Khumbu Icefall

Climber Chad Gaston in the Western Cwm

Climber Chad Gaston in the Western Cwm

The team spent the day acclimatizing around Camp 2.  And plan to head back down to base camp tomorrow to complete the first rotation.  Garrett Madison reports:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Mount Everest climbing team.  Today is April 24th and we are up at Camp 2!  We had a great day moving up from Camp 1 to Camp 2 yesterday and a good night’s rest.  Today we went for an acclimitization hike up on the west shoulder of Everest with great views all the way around our Camp 2, which is our advanced base camp, of the surrounding peaks of Everest, Lhotse, and Nuptse.  Our plan is to head down tomorrow after a good rotation up here.  Everyone’s doing well and we’ll check in soon!

Camp 2 on Everest - our advanced base camp

Camp 2 on Everest – our advanced base camp

View of Lhotse - world's 4th highest peak

View of Lhotse – the world’s 4th highest peak

Inside the dining tent at camp 2

Inside the dining tent at camp 2

On their first acclimatization rotation, the team is sleeping at Camp 2 (6533m/21,434ft).  They are spending a couple of nights there before descending back to base camp.  Here’s Garrett’s recap of the day:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Mount Everest climb.  Today we woke up at 5am at Camp 1, had some breakfast, got packed up and then climbed up to Camp 2.  We had a beautiful day, the Sun was out and it wasn’t too hot.  We made our way around some big cevasses and got up to Camp 2 here about mid-day, had lunch, and now just relaxing and getting ready for dinner and a good night’s rest.  Everybody’s doing really well up here and we look forward to a couple nights up at Camp 2 and then we will head back down to base camp.  Thanks!

 

Durning today’s acclimatization hike above Camp 1, the team had a scary moment and needed to perform a crevasse rescue as expedition leader, Garrett Madison reports:

Hey, this is Garrett calling in for the Mount Everest expedition team. Today we had a good acclimatization hike above Camp 1 here in the Western Cwm on Mount Everest. However, one of our team members punched through a snow bridge into a hidden crevasse and fell down about 10 or 15 feet. But, thanks to quick action by our guide team and some other friends who were on route, he was able to get out of the cevasse quickly and without any injuries or complications. So big thanks to Ryan Waters and Tashi Sherpa from Mountain Professionals who were on the scene and helped out. All’s well that ends well. So we are all back in Camp 1 having a good dinner and looking forward to a move up to Camp 2 tomorrow. Thanks for checking in.

Crevasse rescue 1

Crevasse rescue

Crevasse rescue 2

Crevasse rescue

Crevasse rescue 3

Crevasse rescue

Crevasse rescue 4

Crevasse rescue

Camp 1 from above

Camp 1 from above

Hanging out at Camp 1

Hanging out at Camp 1

Today the team made their first climb up through the Khumbu Icefall and is spending the night at Camp 1.  Garrett provides this update from Camp 1 (6055m/19,865ft) on Everest:

Hey, this is Garrett calling in for the Mount Everest climbing team.  Happy Easter!  We are up at Camp 1 on Mount Everest.  We had a great climb today up through the Khumbu Icefall from base camp to Camp 1, gained about 2,000 ft. (610m).  It was a beautiful night, a Moonlit night, almost didn’t need a headlamp to see.  Then the Sun rose and eventually it warmmed up.  Just a beautiful day, a really fun day.  Easy climb through the icefall relatively – it didn’t feel too dangerious.  So we are all up here at Camp 1 and our plan is to spend a couple of nights here before heading to Camp 2.  All is well.

Climbing up through the icefall

Climbing up through the icefall

Randy Perkins at a rest break

Randy Perkins at a rest break

Nearing the top of the icefall

Nearing the top of the icefall

Look back toward base camp

Look back toward base camp

The Everest team is preparing for the first rotation up the mountain – early in the morning on April 21.  Network connectivity at base camp was very poor and expedition leader, Garrett Madison, made this audio dispatch via satellite phone.  The audio quality is poor – below is our best attempt at a transcription.  Today, our team assisted in flying over 700 kg of rope fixing equipment to Camp 2.  This gear will soon be used by our Sherpa team in fixing the route to the summit.  The return flight brought down almost 190 kg of trash that was collected by our Sherpa team over the past few days at Camp 2.

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Mount Everest climbing team.   Today our team ventured into the Icefall and climbed up to the first few ladders.  We got some great views of base camp, and then came back down for lunch.  So, it was a good exprience for us to get a sense of what the Icefall feels like.  [garbbled] [Tonight] our plan is to leave base camp and climb up  to Camp 1 to start our first rotation on Everest aclimitizing […garbbled…] then back to base camp.

 

We got to help this afternoon with the helicopter operations to shuttle rope fixing equipment to Camp 2 [for placing the fixed lines up the route to the summit of Mount Everest] and we also flew down almost 190 kg of trash, that our Sherpas collected, that was left by teams in the past at Camp 2.  So, great job to our Sherpa who worked hard the past few days up there collecting that trash and bagging it up.  Then putting in the helicopter for flying down to base camp here.  We were able to […garbbled…]

 

Great day on Everest today, very productive and possitive day!

With ~700 kg rope fixing equipment at helipad

With ~700 kg rope fixing equipment at helipad

Loading the helicopter

Loading the helicopter at EBC

Helicopter pilot Maurizio Folini flying loads to camp 2

Helicopter pilot Maurizio Folini flying loads to camp 2

Flying into the Western Cwm

Flying into the Western Cwm

Everest Camp 2

Everest Camp 2

187 kg of trash our team collected from Camp 2 and flew to EBC

187 kg of trash our team collected from Camp 2 and flew to EBC

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