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K2 2016 Dispatches

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Our K2 climbers arrived safely at Camp 2 at 22,000ft or 6,700 meters ASL today. The team will rest and closely monitor the weather as they move higher up the mountain. Based on our current weather forecasts the team will be able to climb to Camp 3 tomorrow at roughly 24,770 ft or 7,550 meters ASL.

Photos taken by Stuart Erskine.

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Stuart at Camp 2 on K2. China is in the distance. Notice the tents in the background that have been destroyed by storms, which can be ferocious on K2.

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Climbing towards the chimney section of K2, between Camp 1 and Camp 2. A climber is heading into the chimney section ahead of us.

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Garrett Madison our expedition leader stops to talk to our Nepalese Sherpa on his two way radio. The Sherpas are installing fixed ropes further up on K2.

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The Madison Mountaineering 2016 K2 Expedition has four climbers, two western guides, and six Nepalese Sherpas. Our neighboring Swiss K2 expedition has eight climbers, two western guides and ten Sherpas. We are very international as we have 13 climbers from 11 countries. We are working closely and well together with the Swiss expedition. We also have about 20 Pakistani high altitude porters that will carry loads to higher camps and 15 cook and camp staff between the two expeditions. The two expeditions are working together with all route fixing, camp establishment and summit bid preparations. The two expeditions plan to be on close timing of their K2 summit bids, but each expedition will be climbing separate from each other. Due to the extreme steepness of the terrain on the Abruzi route of K2, at C1, C2 and C3 space for tent sites is very limited to only six to nine safe tent locations, so the two expeditions have to be staggered at these camps so there is adequate tent availability for climbers, guides and Sherpas on the summit bid. Good cooperation and careful coordination is critical as our summit bid weather window could be unpredictable and will likely be short.

K2 Camps: We have six camps on the Abruzi route of K2 that have to be established and all with separate tents. Therefore the Madison Mountaineering expedition has almost 70 tents. The camps are Base Camp (BC), Advanced Base Camp (ABC), Camp 1 (C1) , Camp 2 (C2), Camp 3 (C3), Camp 4 (C4) and the summit.

Current progress: Our collective Sherpas have previously established the fixed ropes to 200 meters below C3 (C3 is at 7,550 metres or 24,800 ft) over the last 10 days. On July 5, 6 and 7 the collective Sherpas climbed to C2 for their second time, and attempted to complete the installation of the fixed ropes to C3 and push ahead fixing ropes to C4. However K2 had a different plan. The weather the last few days at C2 was very high winds, blowing snow and very cold. The Sherpas waited at C2 in our tents for two days then finally have to retreat back to BC on July 8, 2016, unfortunately without any progress. With the difficult weather, terrain and altitude, the Sherpas are tired and will require a rest for a few days after this attempt, to try a third attempt to push higher up K2 above C2.

Work to be completed: Currently the Sherpas still have to install the fixed ropes from 200 meters or 600 ft below C3 to the summit of K2 (which is about 4,000 ft from C3 to the summit), establishing C3 and C4 camps and stocking C3 and C4 with tents, food, fuel, O2, equipment and other supplies.

According to our current weather reports, the next possible weather window for the Sherpas and Porters to complete their work will be from July 11 to 14. Then the Sherpas will require a rest for a few days. Currently high winds are predicted high on K2 from July 13 to 15 therefore at this time, our possible summit bid window has been moved back from July 10 to 17, to July 15 to 22.

Note on O2: Climbers, guides and Sherpas (total of about 30 people) for the two expeditions will be on full O2 from C2 to K2 summit and back to C2 on summit bid. The two expeditions will requiring over 120 bottles of O2 to be in place at the respective camps of C2, C3 and C4. Each bottle weighs about eight pounds when full of O2 and a Sherpa or Porter will normally carry 4-5 full bottles up the mountain. It’s 2-3 days to C4 from BC for Sherpas and Porters with a load as they also have to carry their own food, eating and sleeping gear.

Beautiful photos taken by climber Stuart Erskine

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K2 Base Camp

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Muhammad Mohsin Khan is the Pakistani military Liaison Officer with the Madison Mountaineering 2016 K2 expedition. Mohsin is from Peshawar, KPK, Pakistan and has a wife and three kids, one girl aged eight years old, two boys ages two and four years old. He has fourteen years of air force military service and is currently an air traffic controller for military and civilian flights. All expeditions to the Northeastern region of Pakistan are required to have a military Liaison Officer with the expedition at all times, which means from the time all foreign members arrive it Pakistan to the time they all leave Pakistan. The Liaison Officers responsibilities are to check all members permits and security clearance and correct paperwork for the expedition. Each Liaison Officers are selected by Pakistani military and must be military officers with significant military and mountaineering experience and qualifications.

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Klara Kolouchoua lives in Prague, Czech Republic with her husband and two kids, one boy two years old and a girl eight years old. Klara started climbing in 2005 and has summited Aconcagua, Cho Oyu, Everest North Face, Denali West Rib, Elbrus plus various other peaks in Europe. Klara was the first Czech lady to climb Everest in 2007 and climbed with Tashi Tenzing, the grandson on Tenzing Norgay, the first summiter of Everest with Edmond Hillary. When asked why K2? She said: “it’s the right mountain at the right time of her life”.

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Takayasu Semba lives in Tokyo, Japan with his wife and one daughter aged 20. Takayasu started climbing internationally in 2013 and climbed all of the seven summits in two years and also summited Manaslu, Matterhorn, Monte Blanc, Wascarun, Peru. When asked why K2? His response was; ” the challenge and commaradery”.

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Antony Dubber, our expedition chef is from Hertfordshire, England and has been a chef for 20 years. His chef career started with three years training at a chefs college in Hertfordsire, then working in a local bakery, and working his way up the chef ladder to corporate dinning, fine dinning, restuarant work, expedition chef, contract chef work, then a private chef for some of the rich and famous. Antony has been a chef on three separate 18 month long expeditions for British Antarctic Survey in Halley, Antartica which is at 76 degrees south. He has also been a chef for Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions for four summers at Union Glacier, Antartica. He has also been the chef at Everest Base Camp for Jagged Globe Expeditions for two years. Antony was a chef on South Georgia, Sub-Antarctic Islands for the Scottish Heritage Trust for a rat and reindeer eradication project for four months and also a chef for a boutique hotel in Svalbard, Northern Norway. Antony does various contracts as a chef around the world including working as an chef on super yachts in the Mediterranean for the rich and famous and as a chef on oil rigs off the north east coast of Scotland. He is our expedition chef at K2 Base Camp for 2016.

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Rene Bergsmr lives in Amsterdam, Holland with his wife and they have no kids. Rene was initially a marathon runner and ran over 30 marathons. He started climbing thirty years ago by completing all the courses available with the Dutch climbing club. He started climbing in Europe and climbed the Matterhorn, Eiger, Monte Blanc, Jungfrau, Weisshorn and Schreckhorn. Rene began climbing Internationally in 2004 doing the seven summits, Mt. Alpamayo in Peru, Mt. Cotopaxi and Chimborazo in Ecuador and Manaslu, Lhotse, Makalu and Ama Dablam in Nepal. Rene attempted K2 and Broad Peak in 2015. He is hoping to summit K2 in 2016 and Broad Peak, G1 or G2 for 2017.

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Stuart Erskine lives in Camrose, Alberta, Canada and has three daughters ages 24, 19 and 17. He is a marathoner, ultra marathoner and adventure racer and started climbing in June 2014 by attending a climbing course on Mt. Rainier, Washington, USA. Since then, Stuart have summited all of the Seven Summits, Mt Whitney and skied to the South Pole in 22 months.

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Shinji Tamura is originally from Osaka, Japan but has lived in Zermatt, Switzerland since 1989 with his wife and their 18 year old boy and 15 year old daughter. Shinji is a international mountaineering and skiing guide and owns a travel agency in Zermatt. Shinji has summited Everest four times, Cho Oyu twice, Manaslu three times, Ama Dablam once and various other international mountains.

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Garrett Madison the company owner and expedition leader lives in Seattle and had been guiding professionally since 1999. Garrett previously guided and was guide manager for Alpine Ascents for eight years before starting his own guiding company, Madison Mountaineering company in 2014. Garrett has summited Everest seven times, K2 once, Lhotse twice, Ama Dablam three times, Vinson ten times, Aconcagua twelve times and many other international mountains. This is Garretts third time leading expeditions to K2.

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The Muslim Pakistani high altitude porters, kitchen staff and camp helpers are celebrating the end of Ramadan for 2016 with some traditional Balti singing and dancing.

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Yesterday we completed our K2 climbing rotation of 5 nights above base camp, up to Camp 2. We climbed the Abruzzi ridge route and notable features such as House’s chimney to reach our Camp 2, where we spent 2 nights. Yesterday we descended in winds and snow (stormy weather) to base camp, where we enjoyed another amazing dinner by our base camp chef Antony Dubber.
Photos taken by 2016 K2 expedition climber Stuart Erskine
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Petr flying one of his drones at K2 Base Camp with K2 in the background. In this photo Petr is landing the drone after a flight, directly into his hand.

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Petr flying one of his drones at K2 Base Camp with K2 in the background.

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Petr climbing to Camp 1 on K2 at 20,000 ft or 6,100 meters ASL with his camera equipment and drone in his backpack.

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Petr flying one of his drones at Camp 1 on K2 which is at 20,000 ft or 6,100 metres ASL. He flew for three minutes which could be the highest altitude drone flight on K2.

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Looking up K2 from Camp 2. The weather is very fickle and highly changeable on K2, which ads to the other dangers on this mountain. The top you see here is far from the summit, which is still about 6,500 ft from this location of Camp 2. Note the tents that are destroyed by previous bad weather and how the current tents are tied down in preparation for bad weather.

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This is the kitchen tent where food is prepared for the four climbers, two guides, photographer and chef. Antony Dubber from the UK is our chef and is preparing a soup for lunch. We have Antony our chef and his five kitchen helpers cooking for eight of us.

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A typical Base Camp lunch for the climbers and guides which is prepared by our chef Antony and his five kitchen helpers. While at Base Camp meal times are typically 8:00 AM, 1:00 PM and 6:30 PM.

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Our first rotation. This is Camp 2 on K2 in the middle of summer at 22,000 ft or 6,700 meters ASL. K2 is a steep, inhospitable and dangerous place when the weather is not on your side. High winds and blowing snow kept us in our tents for 36 hours, before we retreated in bad weather back down the steep mountainside of K2. From Camp 2, to Camp 1, to Advanced Base Camp (ABC) to Base Camp in one day. From Camp 2 at 22,000 ft to ABC at 17,500 ft is 4,500 ft altitude loss, of which about 80% of it has to be repelled on a rope as its too steep to free climb or arm wrap a rope down.

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Living on a glacier has its challenges as the glacier is constantly melting, moving and changing. Our team spends time each day repairing the bases for all of the personal sleeping tent sites.

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K2 Base Camp on July 5, 2016
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Two Pakistani army helicopters have flown from Skardu to K2 Base Camp (50 minutes one way) to evacuate one climber on another team that has altitude sickness. K2 is seen on the left and Broad Peak on the right with the Godwin Austin glacier in that middle. K2 Base Camp is behind the landed helicopter.

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One of our climbers, Mark Shuttleworth, was having knee issues  and has left the expedition and is now on his way home, below is a photo of Mark with 3 Army majors, who flew him out from base camp to Skardu yesterday.

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We climbed from Camp 1 to Camp 2 on the Abruzzi ridge on K2, House’s Chimney was one of the most interesting parts of the climb, steep rock and ice for about 60 feet. We had some inclement weather in the afternoon, big gusts of wind and some snow, now it has calmed down, and the view was spectacular! We are all tucked into our tents and resting, everyone is doing well.

-Garrett Madison

Photos taken by Stuart Erskine

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Climbers, guides, sherpas and Pakistani high altitude porters are climbing from Camp 1 to Camp 2 on K2. Camp 1 and Advanced Base Camp are visible in the background directly below the climbers.

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Climbers getting ready to leave Camp 1 on K2 to climb to Camp 2 on July 1, 2016. Broad Peak and the Godwin Austin Glacier are in the background.

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Climbing from Camp 1 to Camp 2 on K2, July 1 2016

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Climbing from Camp 1 to Camp 2 on K2, July 1 2016

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Climbing from Camp 1 to Camp 2 on K2, July 1 2016. K2 is extremely steep and rugged with highly erratic weather.

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Climbing up the steep section of K2.

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Climbing up from the chimney section towards Camp 2 on K2.

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Two climbers make their way up through fog, wind and light snow to Camp 2. The weather is notoriously changeable on K2. Being prepared for the extremes of K2’s weather is a challenge, especially at higher altitudes.

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Camp 2 on K2. It’s way steeper than it looks. At Camp 1 and 2 you need your boots, crampons, harness and to be clipped into a fixed rope or to a tent if you want to walk around. Broad Peak, the Godwin Austin Glacier, Concordia, and the Baltoro Glacier are all in the background.

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Today we climbed up the Abruzzi ridge about 3000 ft to our Camp 1. The terrain was steep, sometimes up to 70 degrees on snow and rock. We are doing well and will climb to camp 2 tomorrow.

-Garrett Madison

Photos below are taken by Stuart Erskine. Enjoy!

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Having supper at K2 Advanced Base Camp.

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Our guides Garrett and Shinji doing some great domestic duties after supper at K2 Advanced Base Camp. 

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Our climbers and guides climbing from Advanced Base Camp to Camp 1 on K2 on July 30, 2016.

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Garrett Madison, our expedition leader is leading our group of climbers that are moving toward Camp 1 on K2 on July 30, 2016. 

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Climbing from K2 Advanced Base Camp to Camp 1 on fixed ropes.

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Climbers arriving around noon to Camp 1 on K2 on June 30, 2016. 

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Tent sites are limited at Camp 1 on K2 and the locations are precarious and prone to serious rock fall and avalanche risk. We use Mountain Hardware Trango 3 tents. We use the Trango 3 tents as a one person tent at Base Camp, two person tents on our trek in and climbing on the mountain, and at camps where space is limited or at high altitude camps, we may have three persons per tent. The Trango 3 is well tested in the world’s harshest environments and is one of the most common tents used on many extreme expeditions.

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Camp 1 on K2 at 20,000 ft ASL on June 30, 2016. Broad Peak, one of the world’s highest fourteen 8,000 metre peaks and the 12th highest mountain in the world is in the background. The Godwin Austin Glacier is in the valley below and flows down into the large Baltoro Glacier.

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Yesterday our climbing team successfully moved up to our K2 ABC (advanced base camp). After a good nights rest we took off this morning and climbed partway up the Abruzzi ridge route and returned to our ABC to sleep. Our plan for tomorrow is to climb up to Camp 1, at about 20,000′. Everyone is doing well and the weather is holding out for us at the moment.

-Garrett Madison

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Climbers moving up the icefall en route to ABC.

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The K2 climbing weather is excellent (sunny and cold) and the forecast is for the same good weather for the next 5-7 days. We are all eager to make as much progress as possible with the good weather. We arrived at K2 base camp a few days ago and have settled into our home for the next 4-6 weeks. Yesterday we did our Puja ceremony with our Sherpa team, asking the mountain for safe passage. Today our Sherpas are establishing our advanced base camp. We have all had hot showers, and our chef (Antony Dubber) is keeping us well fed with his marvelous food creations. The weather looks very favorable the next few days so we are pushing ahead with establishing the climbing route and our higher camps. Everyone is doing well and we look forward to start our first rotation.               -Garrett Madison

Amazing photos below taken by Stuart!

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Our first view of the summit of K2 from Concordia on June 21, 2016.

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Porters, sherpa’s and climbers leave at 5:00 AM from Broad Peak Base Camp to K2 Base Camp on a cool snowy morning.

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After a hard day of trekking, the Pakistani porters huddle in groups around the camp at Broad Peak Base Camp.

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Porters, sherpa’s, and climbers make their way from Concordia to Broad Peak Base Camp on their way into K2 Base Camp. K2 can be seen faintly in the background middle left as it is shrouded by clouds.

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Sunset on Broad Peak from K2 Base Camp. Broad Peak is the twelfth highest mountain in the world at 8,051 meters or 27,414 ft.

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Climbers trekking up the upper Baltoro Glacier early in the morning on their way to climb K2.

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Good morning Pakistani style. While at Base Camp our kitchen staff prepare and deliver Balistan tea to our personal sleeping tents at our get out of tent time. All the climbers and guides have a personal three person tent to themselves at Base Camp. On the trek into Base Camp we share two persons to a tent. While climbing on K2 the camping spaces are very limited and dangerous, so we will be sleeping two to three people to a tent.

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Mules, donkeys, and horses stand waiting at K2 Base Camp for their 130 km return journey to Askole.

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Our first meal in our new dining tent at K2 Base Camp. From left to right: Antony Dubber, UK (our chef); Mark Shuttleworth, UK; Klara Polakova, Chech; Semba Takayasu, Japan; Garret Madison, USA (expedition leader); Peter Juraka, Chech (photographer); Shinji Tamura, Switzerland (climbing guide); Rene Bergsma, Holland; Stuart Erskine, Canada.

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Our Nepalese Sherpas are putting the climbing ropes that are used for fixed lines on K2 into their packs ready for tomorrow. Our six sherpas will leave tomorrow to establish the route to ABC (Advanced Base Camp) on the glacier further around K2 and at the base of the Abruzi Ridge, where we will start to climb K2. Once the route is established the Pakistani high altitude porters will carry all the tents, fuel, supplies and equipment to ABC and the Sherpas will establish the route up the Abruzi Ridge on K2 to camp 1. The climbers will follow in their first rotation.

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The two K2 expeditions have a total of 15 climbers for 2016. In addition to the 300 porters traveling with our climbers into K2 and the 300 plus porters that have delivered loads to Base Camp a week earlier, we also have over 100 mules, donkeys and horses carrying loads as well. This photo is of some of the mules, donkeys, and horses arriving at 8:30 AM June 22, 2016 to K2 Base Camp on a cool snowy morning.

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Four climbers on the Godwin Austin Glacier heading back down to K2 Base Camp on June 26, 2016.

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Our kitchen assistants Mirza Mohammad (left) and Khadim Hussain (right) are waiting to greet our climbers and guides back to K2 Base Camp with a welcomed cold drink.

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K2 Advanced Base Camp for 2016. The Godwin Austin glacier on the left flows down the valley to K2 Base Camp which is out of sight on the right.

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Trekking back down the ice fall of the Godwin Austin Glacier from K2 Advanced Base Camp to K2 Base Camp on June 26, 2016.

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Our climbing team start to navigate their way through the ice fall of the Godwin Austin Glacier on the way to K2 Advanced Base Camp.

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The climbing team arriving at K2 Advanced Base Camp carrying a load of items (extra sleeping bags, sleeping mats, summit suits, extra clothing, etc) to stay at ABC ready for our first seven day rotation, which is in a couple of days to Camp 1, 2 and 3.

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After the ice fall we climb up rocky moraine slopes towards Advanced Base Camp.

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Climbers navigating the ice fall. 

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Our climbing team entering the popcorn section of the ice fall.

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Our climbing team and guides have a rest break about every 60 to 75 minutes, depending on conditions. We hydrate, have a snack and rest our shoulders. K2 is in the background.

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Some of our climbing team and guides trekking up the glacier to ABC, with K2 in the background.

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K2 at 7:00 AM June 26, 2016. Our team is doing an acclimatization climb and moving items from Base Camp to Advanced Base Camp (ABC), which is located where the base of right ridge of K2 meets the glacier.

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Madison Mountaineering K2 2016 USA International Team at K2 Base Camp on June 26, 2016.

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A Nepalese Lama and sherpas perform a puja ceremony for all the climbers, sherpas and high altitude porters that will be climbing K2, to pray for their safe passage and return from K2.

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Siddhi Bahadur Tamang is from Gongar dada, Dolkha, Nepal and has a wife and two girls aged 10 and 3. Siddhi has summited Everest once, Cho oyu once, Manaslu four times, Ama Dablam five times and Baruntse one time. 

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Pemba Oingdi Sherpa is from Khebalung, Sankhuwa, Sabah, Nepal and has a new wife and no kids. Oingdi has summited Everest twice, Lhotse once and Manaslu twice.

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Lakpa Nuru Sherpa is from Solu, Khumbu and has a wife and one boy and one girl ages 12 and 8. Lakpa has summited Everest six times, Manaslu once, Ama Dablam twice, Annapurna once and Dhaulagiri once.

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Pasang Tenjing is from Makalu, Sankhuwa Sabah, Nepal and has a wife and one boy and two girls aged 15, 8 and 7 Pasung has summited Everest three times, Manaslu once, and Dhaulagiri once.

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Aang Phurba Sherpa, (Sirder or Sherpa boss) is from Khebalung, sankhuwa Sabah, Nepal and has a wife and two boys aged 10 and 7. Phurba has summited Everest five times, Manaslu four times, Lhotse once, Makalu once, Cho Oyu once and Ama Dablam twice.

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Our 2016 K2 expedition in the Karakoram is off to a great start with climbers on their 5th day of trekking with one day remaining till arrival at K2 base camp. Below we have a beautiful photo journey that will take you on the adventure. Thank you Stuart for the amazing photos!

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Garrett Madison our expedition leader trekking into K2 Base Camp. We start trekking at 5:00 AM to beat the heat as we anticipated a hot, dusty, and bouldery trail making for a long trekking day. We trekked 20 km’s which took about nine hours due to the rough terrain and heat.

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We have over 100 mules, donkeys, and horses in addition to more than 300 porters traveling with our Madison Mountaineering K2 Expedition to K2 Base Camp.

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This is a view on day three of six days of the trek into K2 Base Camp. Trango towers in the background. Note the string of many pack mules, donkeys, horses, and porters heading up the Baltoro Valley to the right.

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Stuart shading himself from the sunny day two of the trek info K2 Base Camp which is at the head of the Baltoro Valley of the Karakoram Mountain Range.

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This is Payou Camp where we stayed between day two and day three of our trek into K2 Base Camp. A horse getting a new shoe in the foreground and some of the Trango Towers are in the background.

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Madison Mountaineering 2016 K2 Porter Team.

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The porters, sherpas, and support staff are packing up our camp early in the morning to again move the camp 20 km up the Baltoro Glacier on our way to K2 Base Camp.

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Climbers and Nepalese Sherpa’s trek up the Baltoro Glacier early in the morning on their way to K2 Base Camp.

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A small glacial lake on the Baltoro Galcier with the Masherburn mountain range in the background. Masherburn mountain  (almost 8,000 meter mountain) is in the distance but is mostly hidden by clouds.

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This is a view back down the valley where we have trekked from over the last two days. The photo is taken from the beginning of the Baltoro Glacier.

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This is Urdukas Camp where we stayed after the third day of the six day trek into K2 Base Camp. The Baltoro Glacier and the Trango Towers are in the background.

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The sun rises over Urdukas Camp and the Trango Towers of the Baltoro Valley. The camp is being packed up and is ready for the porters and mules to pick up the loads for the climbers that are on their way to climb K2 and Broad Peak.

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Climbers destined to climb K2 or Broad Peak trek on the Baltoro Glacier on their way into their Base Camp. There is a lot of up and down as we head up the glacier. Traveling on the icy and slippery glacier is still a very welcome change to what we experienced further down the Baltoro Valley where it was very dusty, hot and bouldery.

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Stuart, the man behind the camera! 

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Now passing the remote Askole settlement at the foothills of the Karakoram wilderness, our K2 team is in good condition and excited for the adventure ahead. Our Madison Mountaineering K2 International Expedition has five climbers for K2 plus 2 guides, 1 camera man and 1 base camp chef, and we are traveling with and sharing some resources with another K2 Expedition led by Kari Kobler from Switzerland. The two expeditions combined have sent in an advance group of about 300 Pakistani porters and about 100 horses to carry equipment and supplies. In addition to the advanced group of porters and horses, both expeditions combined also have an additional 300 Pakistani porters and more than 100 horses traveling into K2 Base Camp with the climbers. There are just under 100 permits issued for western climbers and supporting Nepalese Sherpa’s for 2016 for the four 8,000 metre peaks in the Karakoram region that include K2, Broad Peak and Gashaburm 1 and 2. There is only about 45 climbing permits for K2 for 2016.

We are excited to be connecting climbers scaling the worlds highest peaks to physicians, researchers, emergency teams, friends and family in near real-time using the first and only fully integrated remote physiological monitoring platform capable of doing so this season on K2. As a part of this ascent, this project represents the collaboration of three leaders in wireless technology and communications – WiCis-Sports, Thuraya, and OCENS, – to stream vital sign and location data within seconds to any internet-enabled device anywhere in the world. With the goal of advancing the availability of scalable, continuous monitoring for those participating in extreme outdoor adventure sports, this project goes well beyond to keep explorers everywhere well within reach.

Thank you Stuart for the photos and update!

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K2 Hotel in Skardu

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Getting ready to leave the K2 hotel

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Driving from Skardu to Askole

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Our team had 15 Toyota Landcruisers full of people and supplies. Trucks went ahead with other supplies. One of the rivers had a fairly good mudslide causing our trucks to get stuck

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One of the many bridges on the drive from Skardu to Askole

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A cooked chapatti

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The drive 130 km from Skardu to Askole took about nine hours

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A Toyota Landcruiser overheated and needed water after each steam

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Drive in from Skardu to Askole was very narrow and steep in many parts

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The trek in to K2

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Preparing dough for chapattis

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Cooking chapatti

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All of our members for the 2016 K2 climbing expedition have arrived and our gear is sorted, we are excited to begin the first part of our journey very soon, the trek to base camp!  We enjoyed a nice day in Islamabad at the lovely Serena hotel, had a traditional Pakistani dinner, and then flew to Skardu where we are currently awaiting final clearance from the Army to proceed by jeep on our route to Askole, where the trek to base camp begins!  Our hotel is just above the Indus river, during the day it is quite hot but in the afternoon it begins to cool off and is very pleasant.

Stuart Erskine will be taking many of the beautiful photos you will see on this expedition 🙂

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Pictured in the photo left to right (Stuart, Peter, Shinji, Mark, Klara, Rene, Semba, Garrett, Ken, Antony)

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2016 K2 Team

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Garrett buying medicine at a pharmacy in Skardu for the expedition

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Garrett and team chef Antony buying fruit at a local market  in Skardu

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