All Everest expedition dispatches

Namche Bazaar is an ancient nexus of trade between the lower regions of Nepal and the Tibeten Sherpa people coming over the Nangpala pass. The team arrived early afternoon into Namche and will spend at least one night here resting, acclimatizing, and enjoying the shops and bakeries before moving higher. The weather has been consistently sunny with beautiful clear views in the morning with rolling clouds coming in throughout the afternoon. Everyone is healthy and strong and looking forward to continue the journey toward Everest Base Camp! The team plans to do a few short hikes above Namche and get a glimpse of Everest in the far distance.

Photo: the team on the trek today

Today the climbers completed a beautiful trek to Namche Bazaar, the capital of the Khumbu! We had good weather, and some spectacular views of surrounding peaks! The team is strong! After arriving in Namche we visited the bakery, had a few pastries like chocolate cake & apple strudel, with a few cappuccinos. Then we went back to our lodge and took hot showers, a great way to end the day, We are now enjoying our dinner! We plan to spend two nights here in Namche as we continue to acclimatize and enjoy the spectacular views. Onward!

Photo: Stuart at the sagarmatha park entrance gate

The weather cleared late morning in Phapolu and the team was able to arrive in Lukla and begin our trek toward Everest Base Camp. A three hour walk took us up to Phakding where we will stay for the night. It felt great to stretch our legs for a bit and take in the sites of the Dudh Koshi River valley and the many prayer wheels, flags and rock carvings that line the trail. Tomorrow the trek will begin in ernest as we will climb to Namche Bazaar at over 12000 feet. Below is a photo from today in the trek.

Our Trekkers left Kathmandu this morning on the way to Lukla, but due to quickly deteriorating weather conditions the aircraft was diverted to Phaplou, nearby Lukla. The team will spend the night there and attempt to finish the flight tomorrow morning. All is well, and we are keeping our fingers crossed for good weather tomorrow!

Today we caught the first flight out of Kathmandu to Lukla! We lucked out before the clouds and rain, and trekked through lush green river valleys and over suspension bridges to our destination for the evening, the Paradise lodge in Phakding. We are very happy to be on our way to Everest base camp! The fresh mountain air is a nice change from the bustling capital city of Kathmandu. Our trekking team’s flight could not land at Lukla so currently they are in Phaplu, and will try to fly to Lukla later today or tomorrow.  Here is a photo of our team on the trek today, and another of our plane taking off on the runway at Lukla after dropping us off.

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Arrival into Tenzing Hillary Airport, Lukla

The Madison Mountaineering Spring 2016 Everest trekking season has officially launched! Today our second trekking team of the season is arriving in the capital city of Kathmandu, Nepal. Trekking through the Khumbu Valley to Everest base camp is a life changing experience for many, as the spectacular mountain scenery integrated with Sherpa culture and Buddhist religion makes for a truly engaging combination. Our team’s will follow the same route to Base Camp as the Everest climbers and recount the historical ascents with the climbers who share our lodges along the way.

Beautiful photos taken by Fred Crosetto below from our first Spring 2016 Everest Trek! Enjoy 🙂

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Madison Mountaineering climbers around the world are gearing up for Everest 2016! In a few short weeks we will converge in Kathmandu, Nepal and begin the journey to Mount Everest, known by the locals as Sagarmāthā. Mount Everest is Earth’s highest mountain at 8,848m (29,035ft) above sea level. Here in Seattle,WA our team is actively preparing mountaineering gear, food supplies, and taking care of other important expedition logistics before our departure. We look forward to returning to Nepal to witness and share with you the growth and progress that has been made since last year’s season ending earthquake.

Expedition dispatches will be posted here as frequently as possible. Also follow us @MadisonMtng on Twitter , Instagram , and  Facebook.

Stay tuned!  🙂

Interesting Everest Fact: The international border between Tibet and Nepal runs across Everest’s precise summit point. 

Base Camp Prayer Flags

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Last night we had our final team dinner at a nice restaurant in Kathmandu, where we began our expedition just over one month ago. Although this season on Everest was marked by tragedy, it felt good to be together and enjoy a nice meal among friends back from the mountain. Yesterday I went to the Ministry of Tourism to sign off on the expedition paperwork, and received notice that the SPCC had officially cancelled any plans to re fix the route from base camp through the Khumbu Icefall to Camp 1. We understand all teams have abandoned their climbs, both on the North and South sides of Everest, as the mountain is “closed” on both sides, by the Chinese and Nepalese governments respectively.

All of our climbers are now either on their way home or planning to leave Kathmandu in the next day or two. The damage caused to the city of Kathmandu by the earthquake is evident, but things seem very much back to normal, although the city is quiet and many businesses are still closed.

Our expedition had been going perfectly up until the earthquake occurred on April 25th. We had trekked to base camp, reviewed technical climbing skills for a full week in the lower Khumbu glacier, and had almost reached Camp 2 on our first acclimatization ‘rotation’ when the mountain shook. Those of us up high on the mountain were lucky, those in base camp were not. Our hearts go out to the family of our wonderful base camp doctor, Eve Girawong, and the others who perished at Everest Base Camp as a result of the earthquake. The overall loss of life in Nepal is very tragic, and we recommend the below relief fund if you wish to donate. There is much work to be done in helping the people of Nepal and in rebuilding the areas devastated by the earthquake, we will continue to support these efforts.

International Medical Corps

Although this season on Everest was challenging on many levels, we will continue to climb, and we will return to Everest.

Garrett Madison, Expedition Leader
Madison Mountaineering

The climbers are all back in Kathmandu and preparing to head home soon.

Climbers back in KTM

Garrett, Vibeke, Andrea, and Karl arrived in Lukla yesterday and are hoping to be able to fly to Kathmandu today. The rest of team has already made their way to Kathmandu and some on to their home countries.

More details as we get them.