After 2 years of successful operations in the North of Pakistan on nearby 8000 meter peaks, we are very excited to offer Great Trango Tower via the the Northwest Face in 2017. This route was first climbed in 1984 by Andy Selters and Scott Woolums, and we are absolutely thrilled that Scott will lead this climb with co guide Seth Timpano for Madison Mountaineering in 2016. The Northwest Face is an alpine climb, with rock climbing up to 5.7 and water ice 3-4 on summit day. We plan to fix the route so that climbers can make a fast ascent / descent when weather conditions are most favorable. The Great Trango Tower climbing team will accompany the K2 / Broad Peak team on the journey from Islamabad and will trek into K2 base camp for a few nights of acclimatization before descending back down the Baltoro glacier to Great Trango base camp. The ‘advance team’ of local guides will have already established the base camp, as well as Camps 1 & 2 on the mountain, so that when the climbing team arrives at Great Trango base camp everything is ready and in place to begin climbing immediately assuming favorable weather. These towers have some of the largest cliffs in the world, including the greatest ‘nearly vertical’ drop on the planet. This is sure to be spectacular climbing experience!
Starting out guiding on Alaska’s Mt. McKinley in 1981, Scott has led well over 150 expeditions to the highest mountain on Earth (over 5800 meters). He has climbed Mt. Everest by both the North and South Routes and reached the summit four times now and almost summited the “Seven Summits” four times (one summit away!). Led 43 expeditions to Mt. McKinley, 33 to Aconcagua, 12 to Kilimanjaro, 13 to Mt. Elbrus, 5 summits of Vinson in Antarctica…. all with a perfect safety record. This is simply something no other guide with near the same experience can say in the USA. Scott has created a life around the remote regions and mountains that have been his passion all his life!
Personal Ice Climbs:
• Mummy II-IV (WI5+, M5) Hyalite Canyon, MT
• Winter Dance (WI6, M5, A0) Hyalite Canyon, MT
• The Big Sleep (WI6+, M6) Hyalite Canyon, MT
• California Ice (WI4) Beartooth Mountains, MT
• Hydrophobia (WI5+) Ghost River, Canada
• Broken Hearts P1-6 (WI6) Cody, WY
• Full Weeping Wall (WI6) Icefields Parkway, Canada
• Suffer Machine (WI5, M7) Stanley Headwall, Canada
• Climb Above Dribbles (WI5+, M6) Hyalite Canyon, MT
• Come and Get It (M7-) Hyalite Canyon, MT
• Bitches Brew w/ New 6th Pitch(WI5+, M4) Cody, WY
• Nemesis (WI6) Stanley Headwall, Canada
• Polar Circus (WI5) Icefields Parkway, Canada
• Several Climbs on the Dream Wall YNP (up to WI6, M6)
• Yellowstone National Park, WY
• Avalanche Gulch (WI5, M6) Hyalite Canyon, MT
• The Bogger (WI6) Pilot Creek, WY
• Junkyard Cat (WI5 – FA) Yellowstone National Park, MT
• Earl-Trimble on N. Face of Sphinx (WI4)
• Black Magic (WI5+, M5) Hyalite Canyon, MT
• The Asylum (WI5, M7+) Kicking Horse Canyon, BC Canada
• Craniotomy (M6) Kicking Horse Canyon, BC Canada
• Narcolepsy (M5+, WI5+) Hyalite Canyon, MT
• Dancing with The Hippo (WI6) Yellowstone National Park, WY
Personal Rock Climbs:
• Moonlight Buttress (C1, 5.10, V) Zion NP, Utah
• Touchstone Wall (5.11a, C2, IV) Zion NP, Utah
• Prodigal Sun (C2, 5.6, V) Zion NP, Utah
• The Silmaril (5.10+, A2, V) Zion NP, Utah
• Southern Man (5.10, A2+, V) Yosemite NP, Washington
• NW Face of Half Dome (5.10b, C1, VI, 1 day) Yosemite NP, California
• Zodiac on El Capitan (5.8, C3, VI, 2012 (2 nights on wall)) Yosemite NP, California
• OZ-Gram Traverse-Mordor (5.10d, IV) Tuolumne Meadows, California
• War of the Walls (5.10c, IV) Calaveras Dome, California
• Hyperspace (5.11a, IV) Snow Creek Wall, Leavenworth, Washington
• Silk Road (5.11b, IV) Calaveras Dome, California
• Freeblast (5.10c, C1, IV) Yosemite NP, California
• Shune’s Buttress (5.11, IV) Zion NP, Utah
• North Buttress of Middle Cathedral Rock (5.10, V) Yosemite NP, California
• Primrose Dihedrals on Moses (5.11+, IV) Canyonlands NP, Utah
• North Face of Castleton Tower (5.11-, III) Moab, Utah
• Apron Strings-Cruel Shoes-Grand Wall-Upper Black Dike (5.11a, A0, V) Squamish, BC
• Low Blood Sugar (5.11a, III) Clarks Fork Canyon, WY
• 30+ Desert Towers up to 5.11d
• Various Single Pitch Sport Routes in Thailand up to 5.11d
• Various Single Pitch Trad Routes in Index, WA up to 5.11d
• Various Single Pitch Trad Routes in Indian Creek up to 5.12-
Personal Alpine Rock Climbs:
• Traverse of De l’S (Upper Austrian), St. Exubery (Chiaro di Luna), St. Exubery-Rafael Juarez
• Ridge and Rafael Juarez (Upper Anglo American) (5.11a, VI, 1600m – Leader and Follower, All free, 3 days)
• Comensna-Fonrouge on Guillaumet (5.10+, IV) El Chalten, Argentina
• East Ridge of Inspiration Peak (5.9, IV) Pickets, North Cascades NP, Washington
• Acid Baby on Enchantment Peak (5.10+, IV) Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington
• Montana Centennial (5.11b, IV) AB Wilderness, Montana
• South Face of Aguille du Midi – Rebuffat (5.10a, TD+) Chamonix, France
• East Face of Chianti Spire (5.10, III) Washington Pass, Washington
• East Face of The Duck (5.10, III) Little Slide Canyon, High Sierra, California
• Third Pillar of Dana w/ Sit Start (5.10b, III) Dana Plateau, High Sierra, California
• Crescent Spire (McTech Arete 5.10b, III) Bugaboos, British Columbia
• West Face of North Early Winter Spire (5.11-, Grade III) Washington Pass, Washington
• North Face of Charles Webis (5.10d, Grade III) Los Arenales, Argentina
• Springbok Arete on Les Cornes (5.10c, TD+) Anderson River Range, British Columbia
• Goldfinger on The Stump (5.10, IV) Ruth Glacier, Alaska
• West Face of Colchuck Balanced Rock (5.11a, C1, IV) Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington
• Northeast Buttress of Mount Slesse (5.9, Grade V) Chilliwack Group, BC Canada
Liberty Bell via Liberty Crack (5.10+, C2, Grade V) Washington Pass, Washington
• El Mocho via Piola-Anker Route (5.10+, C1, ED-) El Chalten, Argentina
• NE Buttress of The Deacon (5.10+, IV) Cathedral Lakes BC, Canada (First Ascent)
Personal Mountain/Alpine Climbs:
• Artesonraju (SW Face, D, 6025m) Cordillera Blanca, Peru
• Quitaraju (North Face, D-, 6040m) Cordillera Blanca, Peru
• Chopicalqui (SW Ridge, AD, 6354m) Cordillera Blanca, Peru
• Mooses Tooth via Ham and Eggs Couloir (Alaska Grade 3+, AI4+, M4) Ruth Glacier, Alaska
• SW Ridge of Peak 11,300 (5.8, AI3, IV) Ruth Glacier, AK
• Whilians Route on Cerro Poincenot (5.9, M4, TD) El Chalten, Argentina
• Attempt on a New Route on the East Ridge of Hiun Chuli (6441m, ca. 5500m) Annapurna Himal, Nepal
• Harvard Route to the Summit of Mount Huntington (5.9, A2, AI4) Alaska Range, Alaska
• Fil a Plomb – North Face of Rongon du Plan – Mid Plan Traverse (AI4+, M4, TD-) Chamonix, France
• Supercouloir – Direct Start on Mount Blanc du Tacul (M6, AI5, ED2) Chamonix, France
• North Couloir on Mini Moonflower (AI5) Alaska Range, Alaska
• Southwest Ridge of Mount Frances (5.8, M4, AI3) Alaska Range, Alaska
• North Face – Swiss Route on Les Courtes (M4, AI3+, TD-, 3852m) Chamonix, France
• Central Couloir on East Dolence Peak (5.7, AI3, IV) Union Glacier, Antarctica (First Ascent)
• Cerro Fitz Roy – California Route (5.10, C1, AI3,TD) El Chalten, Argentina
• Bachichiki – South Summit via “The Pencil” or West Face Couloir (AI4, TD, 4500m)
• Ala Archa National Park, Kyrgyzstan
Peak 4150m – Privyet Spacibo (M6+, AI5, ED2) Ala Archa National Park, Kyrgyzstan (First Ascent)
• The Reality Face (AI5, 5300 ft, VI) East Face of Peak 13,100, Alaska Range, Alaska (First Ascent)
• Barnaj II 6300m – Northwest Buttress (AI5, 3000 of 5000 ft face) Zanskar, India (Bailed due to rock fall remains unclimbed)
• Barnaj I 6400m – SE Face (AI3, M4, 5000 ft face) Zanskar, India (Climbed to summit ridge – last 50 meteres remains unclimbed) (First Ascent)
• North Face of Dragontail (Cotter-Bebie, AI4, M6, 2800 ft, IV) Cascades, WA (First Free Ascent)
North Face of Athabasca (AI3, M4+, IV) Icefields Parkway, Canada
• Jim & Jeff’s Excellent Adventure – East Face of Baronette Peak (WI4, M4, III) Yellowstone NP
• Pk. 11300 – West Face w/Sit Start (AI5, M5, 3500 ft, V) Ruth Gorge, AK (Climbed to summit seracs)
• The Devil’s Advocate (AI5, M4, 4200 ft, VI) West Face of Peak 13,100, Alaska Range, Alaska (First Ascent)
• 50+ Guided Summits of Mount Rainier via 4 different Routes (Ingraham Direct, Disappointment Cleaver, Kautz, Emmons)
• Climbs in Washington Pass up 5.9, IV
• Climbs in the North Cascades up to 5.7, AI3, IV (Triumph, Shuksan, Baker, Olympus…)
• Torment – Forbidden Traverse 5.6, V
• North Ridge of Mount Stuart 5.9, IV
• Mount Cook – Linda Glacier NZ Grade 3
• Rock Climbs near Moab up to 5.10
• Several Peaks in the Alaska Range including Mount Frances and Peaks in the SW Fork of Kahiltna
• Various Peaks and First Ascents throughout the Ellsworth Mountains of Antarctica.
• Planned Logistics and Guided the Soholt Peak Traverse, Antarctica (8 days)
• 20+ Mountaineering & Rock Climbing Skills Seminars varying from 1-13 days in the Cascades, Alaska & Antarctica
• 7 Denali Expeditions via the West Buttress (2009-2015)
• 10 Summits in the Vinson Massif (6 Vinson, 2 Shinn, 2 Sublime) (2010-2013)
• Ski the Last Degree Expedition to the South Pole (8 days)
• Lead Safety Guide on Pisten Bully Crevasse • Extraction in Union Glacier, Antarctica (1 month)
Lead Guide / Manager Roles:
• 2.5 Season as Travel Safety Manager in Union Glacier, Antarctica
• Oversee and manage ALE’s glacier travel strategy, including implementation of best practices, safe practices, safe planning, travel risk assessments and work plans.
• Senior Guide at Alpine Ascents International
• 8 years as AAI guide. Lead Guide on trips and expeditions, act as a consultant for the office on many topics such as: new trips, improvements, client care, guide development, gear, etc.
• One of the Lead Guide Trainers for Alpine Ascents Int’l (2 Seasons). In this role, I help run and train new guides to the company in addition to our returning guides training seminars.
Climbing/Rescue Trainings Taken:
• Linked Snowmobile Training (2 days, Antarctica)
• Rigging for Rescue Seminar (7 days, Red Rocks)
• Rigging for Rescue Refresher & Protocols (3 days, Mount Rainier NP)
• Rigging for Rescue Lower on DC (2 days, Mount Rainier NP)
• Rigging for Rescue Self Rescue and Small Team Response (5 days, Colorado)
• Various In House Trainings with Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions (2010-2015)
• Various In House Trainings with Alpine Ascents International (2008-2015)
• Rigging for Rescue Self Rescue & Small Team Workshop (Signed up for Oct. 2015 Ouray, CO)
• Wilderness First Responder
• Avalanche Level 1 & 2
• 2010 McNeil – Nott Award (Nepal)
• 2013 AAI Guide Grant (India)
• 2014 Mugs Stump Award (India)
• 2014 AAC Lyman – Spitzer Award (India)
Day 1: Depart home country
Day 2: In transit
Day 3: Arrive Islamabad. Check all gear, review program itinerary
Day 4: Fly to Skardu
Day 5: Travel by jeep to Askole
Day 6: Trek to Jhola
Day 7: Trek to Paiju
Day 8: Trek to Urdukas
Day 9: Trek to Goro
Day 10: Trek to Concordia
Day 11: Trek to K2 base camp
Day 12: Trek to K2 Advanced base camp
Day 13: Descend to K2 base camp and sleep
Day 13: Descend to Concordia
Day 14: Descend to Urdukas
Day 15: Descend to Great Trango base camp
Day 16: Rest and organize gear in base camp
Day 17: Climb to Camp 1
Day 18: Climb to Camp 2
Day 19: Summit day and return to Camp 1 or base camp.
Day 20: Rest in base camp
Day 21: Trek to Paiju
Day 22: Trek to Askole
Day 23: Drive by jeep to Skardu
Day 24: Fly to Islamabad
Day 25: Depart Islamabad for home country
Days 26-35: Extra days in case of bad weather, flight delays, etc.
Great Trango Tower Climb
4 Climbers maximum, with 2 US Climbing guides & 4 local climbing guides
Balance due 120 days prior to departure
• Airport pick up
• Welcome dinner in Islamabad
• American mountain mountain guide, support staff, porters, cooks,
• Accommodations in Islamabad (1 night) before the expedition, and (1 night) after the expedition.
• High quality camps will be provided during the trek, and tents will be provided during the climb.
• We provide all meals during the trek and climb. We bring high quality food from the US and source local organic food from Pakistan for this expedition (think real maple syrup and bacon!). We are happy to accommodate your dietary needs!
• All ground transportation in Islamabad.
• All regular scheduled air transportation in Pakistan. This includes round-trip air flights from Islamabad to Skardu.
• All group gear such as tents, stoves and pots/pans, fuel, ropes, snow, ice & rock protection, VHF radios (we have a base station in our base camp and climbers carry hand held VHF radios), oxygen and other medical items if necessary.
• Climbing permits, garbage deposit and removal fee, liaison officer.
• Use of our satellite phone, and satellite modem for internet access.
Costs Do Not Include:
• Wire Transfer Fee
• Airfare to Islamabad
• Food or Dining in Islamabad and hotel expenses before the program begins, extra days / nights if there is a delay, and after the climber has returned from the climb.
• Personal items (see equipment list)
• A Medical & Evacuation insurance policy is required to for this expedition. Taking a helicopter from the mountain this is very expensive. Travelex is recommended for this and for trip cancellation insurance.
• Medical Release signed by your doctor.
• Any costs that are beyond the control of Madison Mountaineering.
Cancellation and Refund Guidelines:
• The upfront costs to operate this program involving the local outfitters, government, permits, etc., necessitate a strict refund policy.
• Each deposit includes a $500.00 non refundable registration fee.
• A full refund, minus the registration fee, will be provided 90 days prior to the program start date.
50% refunds will be provided 60-90 days prior to program start date.
• No refunds will be provided 59 days prior to program start date.
• All refund requests must be submitted in writing and received by our office within the 60-90 day period.
• All balances are due 90 days prior to departure date.
Trip Cancelation Insurance:
We strongly recommend trip cancellation insurance. Oftentimes, this is the only way to receive a refund if you have to cancel or depart early from the program, and may allow you reimbursement if you are not within the parameters for a refund from Madison Mountaineering.
Ice Axe: A short ice axe no longer than 60 cm.
Crampons: General mountaineering crampons
Trekking Poles: Adjustable poles for the trek to base camp
Climbing harness: An alpine climbing harness
Carabineers: 4 locking and 2 non locking
Belay / Rappel device: For rappelling or belaying climbers
Helmet: Must fit over a thick hat
Ascender: One right or left hand ascender (Petzl is best)
Prussik Cord: 20’ or 7 meters of 6mm cord.
Light hiking boots or trekking shoes: For the trek to base camp, these can be worn at base camp and as high as camp 2 depending on route conditions.
Mountaineering Boots: A boot for climbing at 20,000′ with ample support for rock & ice climbing such as the La Sportiva Nepal EVO
Socks: Minimum 3 pair thick mountaineering socks and 3 pair liner socks
Short Underwear: 2-3 pair of synthetic short underwear
Long Underwear: 2-3 pair lightweight long underwear pants and shirts. 1 pair of heavy expedition weight long underwear.
Soft Shell Jacket: A hooded jacket
Soft Shell pants: For trekking and climbing
Insulated Jacket: Primaloft or Down
Expedition Down Parka: A hooded down jacket with 800 minimum down fill.
Insulated Pants: Primaloft or Down, these should have full side zippers.
Hard Shell Jacket: To be worn in wet conditions
Hard Shell Pants: To be worn in wet conditions, these pants should have full side zippers.
Headlamp: Bring extra batteries
Warm Hat: A warm fleece or wool hat.
Balaclava: to cover your face and neck on windy days.
Sun hat: A baseball style sun camp.
Buff: To wear around your neck & face to block the wind, UV rays, dust.
Glacier Glasses: wrap around style sunglasses with dark lenses
Goggles: With dark lenses.
Soft Shell Gloves: 1 pair
Shell gloves with insulated liner: 1 pair
Shell mittens with insulated liner: 1 pair
Expedition Backpack: A 40 liter internal frame back pack.
Trekking Backpack: Optional. A small pack for the trek in.
Sleeping Bag: Rated to at least -20 °F. Down is preferable over synthetic.
Compression stuff sacks: for reducing volume for your sleeping bag and down jacket.
Self Inflating pad: A full length air mattress
Closed Cell foam pad: Full length is best
Headlamp: Bring a spare set of batteries
Cup: 16oz. minimum
Bowl: ½ liter minimum capacity
Spoon: Plastic (lexan)
Sunscreen: 2 tubes, SPF 40 or stronger
Lip screen: 2 sticks, SPF 30 or stronger
Thermos: 1 liter capacity
Water bottles: 2 bottles with 1 liter capacity each
Water Purification System: Tablets or Steripen
Water Bottle Parkas: To keep your water from freezing
Pee Bottle: 1 liter capacity minimum
Pee Funnel: For Women
Toiletry Bag: Toothpaste, Toothbrush, baby wipes, etc.
Hand Sanitizer: 2 small bottles
Hand warmers / Toe warmers: 3 sets of each
Trash Compactor bags (4): To line stuff sacks and separate gear
Camera: lightweight with extra batteries
Travel Clothes: For days in Kathmandu.
Large Duffel Bag with lock: for transporting all personal gear to base camp.
Small duffel bag: to store items in the hotel
Small Personal First Aid Kit: Athletic tape, band aids, Ibuprofen, Moleskin, blister care products, personal medications, cough drops.
• Acetazolamide (Diamox) for altitude illness
• Antibiotics such as Ciprofloxin or Azithromycin for gastro intestinal or respiratory illness
• Ibuprofen for muscle soreness
• Pepto Bismol for loose stool
• Excedrin for headaches, anti nausea medications.
• Electrolyte Replacement Drink Mix: Bring a supply for 12 days such as Nuun.
• Energy Gel: Single serving gel packs such as GU, Clifshot, Powergel, etc.)
• Energy Bars: Power bar, Cliff bar, etc.