Author: garrett_madison

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In a big kick-off push, the K2 team climbed from base camp (4990m) to Camp 2 (6325m) on the Česen route today.  A steady, steep climb of over 9 hours positioned them very well for moving to Camp 3 (~7000m) tomorrow.  Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, has this update:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the K2 climbing team.  Today is July 16th and we have started our summit push.  We left base camp at 3:00 AM today and climbed up the Česen route to Camp 2, a gain of about 4,400 vertical feet or 1330m.  Everyone did really good today on the way up and we had nice weather, great views.  And we are looking forward to another nice day climbing up to Camp 3 tomorrow.

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In today’s update, Garrett outlines the upcoming summit attempt plan:

Hello, this is Garrett calling for the K2 climbing expedition team.  Today is July 13th, and we had a nice rest day in base camp.  All of our Sherpas have come down off the mountain from carrying loads and fixing ropes to Camp 4 on the Shoulder of the Cesen route.  And our plan is to review our oxygen systems tomorrow and start packing up for our summit attempt.  Our plan is to leave on the 16th of July to head up to Camp 2 on the Cesen route in hopes for a potential summit attempt on the 19th of July.  Everybody’s doing great here, we’ve got nice weather in base camp, and we look forward to another great day tomorrow.

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering archives)

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With all of the team now back in base camp after successful completion of their acclimatization rotation, everyone is watching the weather and looking for that window for a summit attempt.  Garrett checks in with today’s update:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the K2 expedition team.  Today is July 12th, and we had a very relaxing day in base camp.  Our climbers Victor, Rick and Louis, came down from Camp 2 today along with Sherpas Mingmar and Dawa.  And our other Sherpas were able to fix lines up to Camp 4 today at the Shoulder on K2.  So, a very productive day all around.  Now we are all back in base camp resting up, watching the weather, and getting ready for our next move.  All’s well here in K2 base camp!

Looking up at the Cesen route on K2 right side snow gulley is the start

Looking up at the Cesen route on K2, right side snow gulley is the start

The evening view of Chogolisa from K2 base camp

The evening view of Chogolisa from K2 base camp

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The main group of climbers took a rest day at base camp and are getting psyched for summit push coming up soon.  Garrett provides the details:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the K2 climbing expedtion team.  Today is July 11th and we had a rest day today in base camp.  Everyone’s doing well here.  We resurfaced some tent platforms on the glacier and a few of our members, Victor, Rick, and Louis are still up at Camp 2 – coming down later today.  And our Sherpas are pushing up to Camp 4 and heading back to Camp 3 this evening.  So, all’s well here on K2!

Resurfacing tent platforms in base camp

Resurfacing tent platforms in base camp

View of K2 from base camp

View of K2 from base camp

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Most of the team descended from Camp 2 on the Cesen route today and are back in BC, completing their acclimatization rotation.  Here’s Garrett with the details:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the K2 expedition climbing team.  Today we came down from K2 Camp 2 on the Cesen route to base camp.  Had a nice descent, some good views, and a great lunch and dinner here in K2 base camp.  So, we’re resting up now and just taking it easy; enjoying the comforts of base camp.  A few of our climbers are still up at Camp 2.  They’re acclimatizing for additional days.  It’s Victor, Louis, and Rick along with a couple of our Sherpas, Dawa and Mingmar.  And they will be coming down in the next couple of days.  Weather looks good, and everyone’s doing well here on K2!

Climbers on the Cesen route with Broad Peak behind

Climbers on the Cesen route with Broad Peak behind

On the Cesen route with base camp and Concordia in the distance

On the Cesen route with base camp and Concordia in the distance

Gina and Liz taking a break on the Cesen route on the way down

Gina and Liz taking a break on the Cesen route on the way down

 

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Expedition leader Garrett Madison provides this update via sat phone from K2 Cesen Camp 2:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the K2 climbing expedition team.  Today is July 9th.  We had a nice rest day up at Camp 2 (6327m).  A few of us went for an acclimatization hike up towards Camp 3 (7000m).  Good weather today and all members of the team are now up at Camp 2.  Tomorrow morning we are going to head back down to base camp.  Everybody’s doing great up here, and the weather has been fantastic.  We are looking forward to getting back down to base camp and having some good rest and some good food.  And we are looking forward to the next phase of the expedition.  We’ll check in soon.  Thanks!

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering archive)

Google Earth 3D map of K2 Cesen route tracking map

Cesen route vs. Abruzzi Spur route. Team at Camp 2.

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Most of the team is up on the Cesen route acclimatizing and the rest are heading up tomorrow morning from base camp (in ~7 hours).  Expedition leader, Garrett Madison provides today’s update:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the K2 climbing expedition team.  Today is July 8th, and we are up at Camp 2, most of us.  We had a great day today:  we climbed halfway up to Camp 3 for acclimatization and familiarity with the route.  Had beautiful weather today; great views of the surrounding peaks and the Godwin-Austen Glacier.  We are back to Camp 2, tucked in and ready for bed.  Our plan is to probably spend another day up here at Camp 2 acclimatizing and then heading down in a couple of days time.  All’s well here on K2.  We’ll check in soon.  Thanks!

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering archive)

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The K2 team’s first rotation is coming up and expedition leader Garrett Madison had this update today:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the K2 expedition.  We had a great day of training yesterday out on the ice near base camp – practicing fixed line ascending, repelling and footwork, all in preparation for our first rotation up the mountain.  Our sherpas were able to fix to Camp 3 on the Česen route yesterday.  Which is great progress.  And we’ll keep working to fix higher, hopefully, they can reach Camp 4 in the next few days or so.  Our plan is to head up tomorrow morning early on our first rotation to spend a few nights upon the Česen route acclimatizing and getting familiar with the route.  Everybody’s doing great here at base camp.  Beautiful weather and we look forward to more great days ahead!

Chogolisa as seen from K2 base camp

Chogolisa (7668m/25,157 ft) as seen from K2 base camp

The K2 Cesen route is one ridge in from the right side

The K2 Cesen route is one ridge in from the right side as seen from base camp

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Expedition leader Garrett Madison and the team wish Americans everywhere a happy Independence Day from K2!

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the K2 expedition team.  Today is the Fourth of July!  Happy Independence Day to all the Americans on our team and elsewhere.  Today we went for an acclimatization hike up to advanced base camp.  Great weather, nice views, nice to stretch our legs, and get some fresh air.  We made it back in time for lunch and then this afternoon we had a small party with some other members from other teams in camp here to celebrate our holiday back in the United States.  Tomorrow we are planning on more training here in base camp.  All’s well on K2.  We will check in soon.  Thanks!

View of K2 and the Cesen route from hike to ABC

View of K2 and the Cesen route from hike to ABC

On the way up to ABC - K2 on the left

On the way up to ABC – K2 on the left

Going through the small icefall on the way to ABC

Going through the small icefall on the way to ABC

USA Independence Day dinner celebration with our team and friend Mike Horn

USA Independence Day dinner celebration (left to right: Garrett, Gina, Rick, Mike Horn, Brian, Louis, Victor, Valerio, Conan, Elizabeth)

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Today on K2:  Puja!  As is the custom before any climbing begins, a Puja ceremony is held to ask the mountain for blessings and safe passage.  What follows is a fun afternoon party.  Here’s Garrett with the details:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the K2 expedition team!  Today we had our Puja ceremony.  It was a great day with all of our climbing members, our Nepal sherpa staff, and our Pakistani climbing staff and base camp team.  We asked the mountain for safe passage and blessings.  We had a Buddist Lama conduct the ceremony and afterward we had a dance party!  It was a lot of fun – good spirits all around.  And now we are excited to begin climbing up the mountain.  Beautiful weather here on K2 and looking forward to another great day!

Climber Brian leading the dance at the Puja ceremony

Climber Brian leading the dance at the Puja ceremony

Climber Louis dancing at the Puja ceremony! Our liaison officer Captain Faiz on the right

Climber Louis dancing at the Puja ceremony! Our liaison officer Captain Faiz on the right

Climbers Elizabeth and Gina with K2 behind

Climbers Elizabeth and Gina with K2 behind

 

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