Author: kurt_hunter

Lead guide Rob Smith provides the Kilimanjaro expedition kick-off dispatch from Arusha, Tanzania:

Welcome to the Climb for Conservation Kilimanjaro trip guided by Madison Mountaineering.

The drive from the airport passed through verdant fields of maize, sunflowers, and coffee. Roadside sellers had all sorts of goods including freshly butchered meat, charcoal for fuel, lumber for building and 3 piece furniture suites. School children dressed smartly on their uniforms made their way home. A boy with freshly caught fish slung from his hand boarded a bus and a motorbike so laden down with sugarcane veered across the lane to halt beside another stall. Small vans full of passengers decorated with everything from Jesus to football teams to machine guns picked up more passengers on their way to somewhere else. This is everyday life in this part of Tanzania, a small slice of what the country has to show us.

 

John, Jaclyn, and Kristin arrived yesterday afternoon and have settled into the hotel, despite one of the reservations being a double room for Mr. and Mrs. Madison. A minor delay while we explained there was no one called Madison in our group and no couples.

 

This morning we did gear checks, making sure we have the right clothing and equipment to take us to more than 19,000′. It’s hard to imagine in the heat of the day here, that we will need down jackets and the rest of the warm gear we have with us. But then again the famous Snows of Kilimanjaro would not exist unless the temperatures were freezing up there. This afternoon we had a look around Arusha, the town where we are staying and had lunch with our local Guide Daniel. Much more colour, hustle and bustle on the streets, compared to our ordered Western lives.

 

Tonight we make our final preparations and pack our duffles to leave for the start of our Kilimanjaro climb tomorrow. Exciting times.

John, Jaclyn, local guide Daniel and Kristin explore Arusha

John, Jaclyn, local guide Daniel and Kristin explore Arusha

Everyday traffic in Tanzania

Everyday traffic in Tanzania

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On the eve of their summit push, climbing team member Dr. Rick Thurmer provides today’s K2 expedition dispatch.  The plan is to climb to Camp 2 (6327m/20,757ft) on the Cesen route tomorrow morning.  C3 on Wed, C4, on Thu, and make their summit attempt on Friday, July 19th.  This is it – the week mountaineers dream of!  Stay tuned here for updates.  Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, is planning to bring a portable satellite terminal up the mountain, so we expect to be receiving photos and high-quality audio dispatches for the entire summit attempt!  Godspeed team!

Hi, this is Dr. Rick Thurmer.  We’ll be heading up K2 for our summit bid at 3:00 AM tomorrow morning!  Let me tell ya, we are all very, very excited.  We’re all packed, prep’d, and ready!  And I can tell you honestly, I’ve dreamt of this my whole life for this very moment.  So keep us all in your prayers, good night, and God bless.

K2 Cesen and Abruzzi Google Earth map

K2 Cesen and Abruzzi Google Earth map

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K2 climbing team member Gina provides the update from base camp today where part of the activities was oxygen system practice.  Summit bid begins on July 16th with a summit target of July 19th:

Hi!  This is Gina coming to you live from K2 base camp!  We just finished having a great dinner of kebabs and pasta.  Today we had a busy day of trying on oxygen masks and packing up our food.  Getting ready to head out very early on the morning of the 16th.  And we are very excited!  Talk to you soon.  Bye.

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Madison Mountaineering guide Conan Bliss reports in on the team’s first rotation progress from Camp 2 on the Cesen route:

Hi!  This is Conan checking with everybody out there in cyberspace for the Madison Mountaineering K2 expedition.  Today we had a stellar move up to Camp 2 on the Cesen spur.  Everybody’s had a good dinner and are tucked into their tents tonight.  Spectacular day today with an unbelievable view over the Karakoram, Concordia, and the Baltoro Glacier.  We are planning on staying here tonight.  Tomorrow should be a mellow day, also should be nice weather.  I will check in with you then.

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering archives)

All climbers, guides, and Sherpa from the 2019 Madison Mountaineering Everest expedition have safely returned to base camp.  More details and recap of the climb coming soon…

We are pleased to announce the following members of the 2019 Madison Mountaineering Everest expedition successfully reached the summit of Mount Everest (8,848 m / 29,029 ft) on May 23, 2019, at approximately 6:30 AM NPT (local time).

# Name Country
1 Ms. Nadhira Alharthy Oman
2 Ms. Nelly Attar Lebanon
3 Ms. Joyce Azzam Lebanon
4 Mr. Sherief Elabd Egypt
5 Mr. Wojciech Falkowski Poland
6 Mr. Chad Gaston USA
7 Mr. Elia Saikaly Canada
8 Ms. Mona Shahab Saudi Arabia
9 Mr. Garrett Madison USA
10 Mr. Conan Bliss USA
11 Mr. Stuart Robertson United Kingdom
12 Mr. Aang Phurba Sherpa Nepal
13 Mr. Phurba Ridar Bhote Nepal
14 Mr. Pasdawa Sherpa Nepal
15 Mr. Lakpa Bhote Nepal
16 Mr. Siddhi Bahadur Tamang Nepal
17 Mr. Ming Dorchi Sherpa Nepal
18 Mr. Kul Bahadur Thapamagar Nepal
19 Mr. Phree Chhombi Sherpa Nepal
20 Mr. Sher Bahadur Thapamagar Nepal
21 Mr. Dorchi Bhote Nepal
22 Mr. Nima Lhaten Lama Nepal
23 Mr. Prem Magar Nepal
24 Mr. Tenzi Sherpa Nepal
25 Mr. Lenduk Lhomi Nepal
26 Mr. Dawa Nurbu Sherpa Nepal
27 Mr. Pasang Dawa Sherpa Nepal
28 Mr. Chhiring Bhote Nepal
29 Mr. Pasang Kaji Sherpa Nepal

We are pleased to announce the following members of the 2019 Madison Mountaineering Everest expedition successfully reached the summit of Mount Everest (8,848 m / 29,029 ft) on May 16, 2019, at approximately 3:15 AM NPT (local time) and have returned safely to Camp 4 on the South Col.

# Name Country
1 Mr. Kenton Cool United Kingdom
2 Mr. Michael Lavelle United Kingdom
3 Mr. Dorji Gyaljen Sherpa Nepal
4 Mr. Kam Dorchi Sherpa Nepal
5 Mr. Tenji Sherpa Nepal
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While most of the team is still breathing in the richer air down at Nachme Bazaar, a few members have hiked back up to Everest base camp.  But wherever they are, everybody has the upcoming summit rotation on the mind!  Our members in Nahcme will be heading back up to base camp in the next few days.  The weather should be cooperating to allow the high camps to be stocked and the fixed lines to be put in place to the summit, opening the summit bids just as the team returns from the drop back and settles back into base camp.  Everyone is raring to go!

While we wait for the big dance to start, enjoy some recent photos taken around base camp, courtesy of expedition leader, Garrett Madison.

The Khumbu Icefall in the evening Sun

The peaks behind EBC

Base camp in the evening

Base camp at sunset

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

 

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