Author: kurt_hunter

Welcome to Everest base camp!  Today the team completed the final leg of the trek from Gorak Shep (5164m/16,942ft) to base camp (5364m/17,598ft).  Everest guide Stuart Robertson provides today’s update:

Hey folks!  Stuart here with Madison Mountaineering.  Just checking in with progress today.  I’m pleased to report the whole team is up at Everest base camp, the staging point for our climb ahead.  Beautiful day today.  We left Gorak Shep this morning and followed up the lateral moraine of the glacier.  Nice, easy day, got into base camp and quite a testament to Garrett and the Sherpa team and [guide] Conan [Bliss] about beautiful this place is (!), and luxurious.

 

The team’s all doing really well, we’re listening to Stevie Nicks at the moment, having some fun.  We just had a great dinner from Deepak, an Indian meal this evening, some cake for desert.  A little bit different from I was here last in the mid 1990’s.  Joyce [Azzam] is saying something in the background, but we are ignoring her because she did this cast yesterday.  So maybe Joyce can do it again in the future.  But again, everyone sends their love.  Thanks for tuning in.  Tomorrow’s going to be a little bit of an active rest day.  We’re just gonna walk around base camp, probably meet some friends, maybe visit HRA, the doctors at base camp, and breath some of that thinner air to continue the aclimitization.  Again, thanks alot for tuning in and bye for now!  (team shouting byes in the background)

Leaving Gorak Shep for base camp

Leaving Gorak Shep for base camp

At the top of Kala Patthar

At the top of Kala Patthar

View from Kala Patthar

View from Kala Patthar

First close up view of Everest approaching base camp

First close up view of Everest approaching base camp

 

Team member Joyce Azzam (@joyceazzam7s) provides today’s Everest expedition dispatch from the final village before base camp, Gorak Shep:

Okay, hello Kurt.  How are you?  So, today is Thursday, 11th of April.  We left the lodge from Lobuche village at 8 am.  We had a beautiful hike.  The views…, we just…, we got Everest, can you imagine?  It was really beautiful blue sky.  All the team got to Gorak Shep now.  All the team got really in good shape and we had a wonderful lunch.  Then, after an hour of break, we went to Kala Patthar.  We all summited together.  One of the team members had a very nice interview with a French channel.  Then we just hang out, played cards, and had dinner.  We just send you lots of kisses.

We are excited to announce the new Madison Mountaineering Alexa Flash Briefing Skill.

Adding the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing Skill to your Alexa app lets you easily listen to daily audio dispatches from expedition leader, Garrett Madison. It’s a great way to stay up-to-date with our expedition teams.

Be sure to check in regularly for new updates and announcements of our expedition progress!

To add the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing Skill to your current news roundup:

  1. Open your Alexa app
  2. Search for ‘Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing’ in the skills tab
  3. Enable the skill on your device

Once you’re all set up, simply ask:

MM Flash Briefing example

As Alan Arnette continues his outstanding all-things Everest news coverage, we are delighted to see his interview with Garrett Madison posted today: http://www.alanarnette.com/blog/2019/03/28/everest-2019-interview-with-garrett-madison-a-leader-on-everest/.

In addition to our Madison Mountaineering expedition dispatches, Alan’s Everest 2019 blog provides a nexus of information for the ‘big picture’ of the Everest season.  Check it out and be sure to support his drive to end Alzheimer’s.

Welcome to Everest 2019!  Our annual spring Mount Everest expedition begins in just 45 days.  Our strong team of international climbers will gather at the Hotel Yak and Yeti, our Kathmandu home-base and the launching point of countless Mount Everest expeditions over the years.  Here in Seattle, we are now gathering expedition equipment, food and supplies, making logistical arrangements with our Nepal support staff, and ensuring that all of our climbing team members and trekkers have everything ready to go.  Busy times at Madison Mountaineering HQ!  We are looking forward to our continued best-in-class rate of success and safety on Everest.  Leaders in setting the fixed ropes, we have put the first team on top in 2016, 2017, and 2018.  And we aim to do so again this year!

We are very excited to announce that we have added a second Mount Everest expedition for this year!  In addition to the Spring expedition, we are leading another in the much lesser-climbed Autumn season.  Looking for an alternative to climbing in the busy Spring Everest season?  In Autumn we will pretty much have the entire mountain to ourselves.  The conditions will typically be more winter-like and the days shorter, but the Autumn weather-window should present a great chance for success.

Limited spots on the team are currently available for qualified climbers, contact our office for details.

Our final Mount Vinson expedition of the season was able to go all the way from Mount Vinson High Camp to Union Glacier Camp in a day.  Listen in to expedition leader Garrett Madison‘s audio expedition dispatch:

Hello!  This is Garrett calling in for the Mount Vinson expedition with Jim Lumberg and Garrett Madison (in conjunction with PolarExplorers).  Today is January 19th and we have arrived back at Union Glacier Camp.  We had a great summit yesterday on Mount Vinson, the highest peak in Antarctica.  Today we woke up at High Camp, packed up our camp, descended down to Low Camp, and then all the way to Vinson Base Camp.  We were very fortunate to be met by a Twin Otter aircraft which then shuttled us 45-minutes back to Union Glacier Camp, the main hub here in Antarctica.

 

The plan is that tomorrow we hope to fly out on the llyshun jet back to Punta Arenas, Chile.  Then, in the next few days, be homeward bound.  We were very lucky to get out today from Mount Vinson to Union Glacier.  We are both doing well, just had a great dinner, and looking forward to some much needed rest.

 

Thanks for following along.  We will check in soon.

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering 2019 Mount Vinson team two)

This just in from expedition leader, Garrett Madison.  Our third and final expedition of the season reached the Mount Vinson summit making 3 for 3!

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for Mount Vinson expedition with Jim Lumberg and Garrett Madison.  Today is January 18th and we summited Mount Vinson today!  We had a beautiful summit day with the mountain all to ourselves.  We are back at High Camp about to have some pad thai dehydrated meals.

 

Our plan is to head down tomorrow to Vinson Base Camp and hopefully soon catch a flight to back to Union Glacier Camp.  It’s been a great climb so far.  We just have to get down the steep fixed rope section tomorrow and down on to Vinson Base Camp.

 

All is well here and it’s been a wonderful expedition!  This is Garrett Madison and Madison Mountaineering in collaboration with PolarExplorers.

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering 2019 team two)

Our final Mount Vinson expedition, in conjunction with PolarExplorers, made the move to High Camp today as reported in the satellite phone dispatch from expedition leader, Garrett Madison:

Hi, this is Garrett calling in for the Mount Vinson expedition number three with Garret and Jim Lumberg.  We are up at high camp today on January 17th.  We made the push from Low Camp up to High Camp after waking up this morning at Low Camp and having a nice breakfast.  Then we climbed up the fixed ropes about 1,000 meters or 3,300 feet to High Camp.  It was a little cool and windy once we got to High Camp.  But we managed to set up tents, get some water going, had dinner.  And now we are tucked into our sleeping bags, ready for a nice long sleep.

 

There were a couple of other teams that were up here and summitted today:  the Alpine Ascents and IMG crews.  They will be heading down tomorrow and it will be just us up here!  So we are looking forward to having the mountain all to ourselves.  We are going to take a rest day tomorrow and see what the weather forecast brings for a potential summit the following day.

 

Everything is great here on Vinson!  We will check in soon.

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering Vinson 2019 team two)

Our third and final Mount Vinson expedition for 2019 got going in style today, moving all the way from Union Glacier to Mount Vinson Low Camp as reported by expedition leader, Garrett Madison:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for Mount Vinson expedition number three:  Garrett Madison and Jim Lumberg in collaboration with PolarExplorers!  Today we left Union Glacier camp and flew via Twin Otter aircraft to Mount Vinson base camp at 7,800 ft..  We rigged our sleds and backpacks and started climbing up to Low Camp.  It took us about five and a half hours to get to Low Camp.  We arrived, pitched our tents, fired up our stoves, started melting snow for water, and cooked a great dinner.  Now we’re getting ready for bed.

 

Tomorrow our plan is to climb up the fixed ropes to High Camp, gaining just over 3,000 ft..  Then we will settle into High Camp around 12,400 ft. and see what the weather brings.  We are both doing well here!  It’s a beautiful day on Mount Vinson – sunny / no wind.  We are the only ones here in camp, so we have the mountain to ourselves!  It’s really special to be here.

 

We will check in soon.  Thanks!

(photo:  Vinson 2019 team two from earlier this week)

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