Num to Seduwa map

After flying from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar and then travelling 32 miles overland by jeep to the village of Num, the team finally hit the trail. Today’s first segment of the trek to base camp started with a 2,400 ft. downhill hike to bottom of a river valley, cross the river and then a swift 2 mile climb back up 2,900 ft. to the village of Seduwa (1646m / 5,400 ft.).

Over the course of the next three days, the team will trek to a high pass of 4237m / 13,900 ft. before descending into Barun River valley to spend a few more days trekking up to base camp at 4630m / 15,190 ft.

We just arrived in Tumlingtar, after a short 35 minute flight from Kathmandu! Today we will stay in Khadbari, in the hotel MISS U! Then early tomorrow we will buy some fresh food at the local market for our trek, and drive about 5 hours to Num. From here we will be on foot for 5 days on the way to base camp.

Photo: the runway at Tumlingtar after unloading the plane.

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Last day in Kathmandu, enjoying the Yak & Yeti courtyard. Tomorrow we hope to fly to Tumlingtar!

– Garrett

Elevation = 4,346.59 ft.   Location = (27.711531, 85.320340)

Makalu

The Madison Mountaineering team is assembled in Kathmandu, Nepal, for our third 8000 meter climbing expedition in the last six months.  After a turbulent spring on Everest, then a highly successful climb of K2, we have set our sights on the South East ridge of Makalu 27,770’ (8463m), a technical route climbed by only a handful of elite climbers.

Makalu joins our 8000 guided climbs programs and we are now accepting applications for our 2015 dates: August 31 – October 12.

Rather than attempting the standard 8000 meter peaks in the autumn season such as Cho Oyu or Manaslu, we decided to challenge ourselves with a bigger and more difficult objective.  Our chance of reaching the summit is low compared to the ‘standard’ 8000 meter climbs, however the opportunity for exploration and immersion in untrodden high altitude alpine conditions is vast.  Along the way we are excited to discover the people and landscape of the Makalu region in Nepal, and learn the route as we go.  We will fly from Kathmandu to the small mountain village of Tumlingtar, then drive by jeep for one day to the village of Num where we begin the trek to base camp.

We will be posting regular dispatches to this Makalu 2014 expedition dispatch page with text, audio, real-time RainOn expedition tracking, and photos during our journey.  Stay Tuned!

-Garrett Madison

We are happy to report our success this week on Kilimanjaro and share a few pics from the expedition.

Kilimanjaro post climb celebration

Celebrating the summit success and completion of the expedition

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Summit Success!


Machame Gate

Setting out from Machame Gate.

The Kilimanjaro Team has assembled in Arusha, after a safari to several of Tanzania’s best game viewing parks. We are excited to begin our climb tomorrow! — at Mount Meru Hotel.

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After a two day bus ride from Skardu we are finally back in Islamabad, and very happy to be here! This is the end of our journey back from K2, the 75 mile trek from base camp to Askole, the jeep ride from Askole to Skardu, then the two day bus ride from Skardu to Islamabad (because of flight delays out of Skardu). We are indulging in our celebration dinner and will be flying out over the next few days. It’s been an incredible experience and a very successful one!

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As we are making our way from Skardu to Islamabad we can’t help feel like our climb to the top of K2 was all just a dream. We had perfect weather and route conditions for our climb, and had the summit all to ourselves with little to no wind as we gazed for hundreds of miles in every direction, it was truly a magnificent experience, with a great team. There are less than twenty American climbers including ourselves to reach the top of K2 since the first American ascent in 1978, so we feel lucky to be part of this special group. After three days of trekking from base camp down the Baltoro Glacier we reached Askole and then traveled by jeep yesterday to Skardu. It’s comforting to be here in the hotel, and on our way to an even better hotel in Islamabad! Most of us are heading home, however I will stay in the Eastern Hemisphere and meet my next group in Tanzania, for a climb of Kilimanjaro!

Attached are a few photos of our perfect summit day!

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Transcript:

New tonight a local man has done what fewer than 20 Americans ever have.

He summited the second tallest mountain in the world, K2.  Garrett Madison is a Bainbridge Island native and president of Madison Mountaineering.  Yesterday he and two other Americans became the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth climbers from the U.S. to stand atop the summit of K2 which is on the border of China and Pakistan.  It’s considered more dangerous to climb than Everest and deadlier.  One out of four climbers don’t survive.

Congratulations to those guys.

We just spoke with Garrett Madison from K2 base camp. Communications are still limited and photos will be posted soon. The team spent yesterday at base camp recovering from the climb and packing and organizing their gear for the 60 mile trek out to Askole. Today they start the multi-day journey down the Godwin-Austen and Baltoro glaciers. The team is reveling in their amazing success and good fortune with weather, climbing conditions, and overall health of the team. Many lifelong dreams were fulfilled.

Join us one more time in congratulating Matthew Du Puy, Alan Arnette, and Garrett Madison along with Sherpa climbing team Kami Rita Sherpa, Fur Kancha Sherpa and Kami Tshering Sherpa and all of our wonderful base camp staff, including our Pakistani Liason Officer, Squadron Leader Khalid Mehmood Chishti.

Thank you for following along and we hope you enjoyed our dispatches. This concludes our coverage of K2 2014.

NEXT UP: Kilimanjaro August 2014!