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the view from Kili

Head guide Sid Pattison reports:

Karanga, meaning “peanut”, seems to undersell this camp. Big views all the way down to the plains below and the towering Kilimanjaro above.

Since leaving Machame Gate we have trekked through rain forest, arid dry lands, hidden moorlands and scrambled up the Baranco Wall. Today at 4000 m / 13,220 ft. the crew is feeling good, eating well and staying hydrated as we prepare for our summit bid tomorrow night after our morning hike to our high camp: Kosovo Camp (4860 m / 15,950 ft.).

Our local staff has been endlessly helpful and entertaining. There really is no comparison when it comes to how committed these guys are to this mountain and helping us along our journey to the roof of Africa.

Wish us luck for a clear and pleasant summit day!

Hiking to Karanga Camp

Hiking to Karanga Camp

The View from Karanga Camp

The View from Karanga Camp

Kili providing the backdrop to Karanga Camp

Kili providing the backdrop to Karanga Camp

Kilimanjaro from the Baranco Wall

The towering Kilimanjaro from the Baranco Wall

Just in, tons of photos from the Mt. Elbrus summit day, enjoy…

Heading to Machame Gate

Head guide, Sid Pattison reports:

Welp, we are on our way! After a full day of gear checking, packing, shopping and putsing around Arusha, we are finally on our way to Machame gate!
The crew is psyched, our local staff have been amazing and we are excited to get some miles under our boots!

Exciting news of the Elbrus Summit in this quick text-only update from Lead guide Mark Tucker. More details and PHOTOS to follow:

  • 16 of us left high camp at 2am
  • 16 of us literary crawled to the tallest point in Europe due to high winds
  • 16 of us are now in the forest of Cheget 7000’

I call it a nice day!!

Congratulations to the entire team for 100% success on reaching the top of Europe – Mt. Elbrus (5,642 m / 18,510 ft) and descending safely to the lush valley below.

Seven Summit: Mt. Elbrus

Lead guide Mark Tucker just provided this expedition update via phone from the comfortable LEAPrus huts on Mt. Elbrus:

The team is in bed for some final rest before the summit push in about four hours! Weather is looking good with just some clouds down below in the valley. Everyone is fired up for the summit climb and ready for the alpine start. We will check in again soon.

LEAPrus huts

Life is good here at 3,900 m / 12,800 ft! We made an easy departure from our hotel with a great breakfast filling our stomachs! After the short transfer to the lift system and following the same drill as yesterday, but this time loaded with lots more gear for our stay at the luxurious LEAPrus huts. At the top of the lifts, a snow-cat was waiting to take us up several more meters to the wonderful accommodations that are shaped like a giant barrel on it’s side.

After a nice lunch, we were off for another training hike. Just a little over 4,267 m / 14,000 ft. we turned back towards the huts while continuing our training and briefings to prepare for the summit day ahead.

Weather was perfect and the team is in top shape!!

It was a nice day in the mountains! After breakfast, the few missing pieces needed to form complete climbing kits for some of our team members were tracked down. In Terskol, nice equipment is available for hire and the next thing you know it is getting put to use!

We took the day to make a dry run for tomorrow’s training program. Three ski lifts up and you are at 3,658 m / 12,000 ft. and it’s acclimatize on! Hey, never walk when you can ride! Top of this chain of lifts puts you right on the lower flank of the upper mountain, a perfect place for a few hours of snow school. The team is in fine shape with a nice introduction to snow travel and well trained for tomorrow’s move up. It’s really nice to run through the drill and tighten up the process and techniques to make for an easier day going up – knowledge is power!

The old adage of climb high, sleep low could not have been done better. The team is in good shape and spirits are high!!

[ small sized pictures of big sized adventure! ]

The 2018.07 Elbrus expedition team today had a timely and smooth flight from Moscow to Mineralnye Vody, grabbed some supplies at a local grocery, and hit the road via bus for Terskol – at the base of Mt. Elbrus.

Along the way they enjoyed fresh made chicken sandwiches (Wolfgang Tuck style!) while avoiding herds of milk cows roaming down the middle of highway!

Cleaning up before dinner was quite the experience! There was no hot water!! Flooding in the valley knocked out the natural gas supply. All was forgotten as the team shared a wonderful farm to table dinner. The stunning alpine glow at sunset highlighted the amazing view of the Caucasus mountain range.

The Kremlin

Head guide Mark Tucker reports:

The Elbrus 2018 team arrived in Moscow yesterday after a tiring day of travel. As most of the team is still adjusting to the nearly 12 hour (!) time change, we kept things simple with a little round of introductions and a brief discussion of the days ahead.

After a very nice breakfast buffet, we meet with our local tour guide and started our Moscow tour by bus. Then onto Red Square, catching as many sites as we could squeeze in — of course St. Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin. Last stop the famous Kremlin Armoury, a must if you can. The amount of wealth and history displayed under one roof is mind boggling!

A nice celebration dinner in honor of Madison Mountaineering’s K2 team summit of the second tallest mountain on earth. Top it off with some Borsch and Beef Stroganoff and you are feeling pretty good.

Packing up for the early flight to the south which will get us closer to Mt Elbrus. Everyone is doing great and looking forward to heading to the mountains tomorrow!

Our Mount Everest expedition team is now back in Kathmandu after a successful and safe climb of Mount Everest.  All climbers are heading home, after what has been a great experience in the Nepal Himalaya.  On May 19th, our team reached the summit with 7 climbers, 5 guides (1 of whom was working as a high altitude camera man) and 15 Sherpas.  We all made it back down safely without any injuries such as frostbite, etc.  There have been recent fatalities on Everest, and we are thankful that our team was very fortunate and did not suffer any losses.  100% of the climbers who embarked on the summit rotation made it to the top, we are very proud of this achievement.
Our decision to abandon our Lhotse climb after the fatality in the Lhotse couloir was in part ethical and also taking into consideration of the hazardous nature of the existing terrain that likely contributed to that accident, likely no climbers will reach the summit of Lhotse this season.
Thanks for following our climb of Mount Everest!

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