Dispatches

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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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