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Ama Dablam: The objective is in sight

During today’s active rest day, the teams did an acclimatization hike up to the Everest View Hotel and caught their first views of Ama Dablam, Everest, and Lhotse.  It was a beautiful, crystal clear blue sky day and the scenery was simply eye-popping.

Tomorrow the Ama Dablam team will head out of Namche and traverse the magnificent valley towards Tengboche.  Along the way, they will say farewell to the Gokyo trek teams as they head north into the Gokyo Valley.

First view of Ama Dablam from the Everest View Hotel

First view of Ama Dablam from the Everest View Hotel

Moe is excited to see Ama Dablam

Moe is excited to see Ama Dablam

Our Sirdar Aang Phruba is psyched to get climbing Ama Dablam

Our Sirdar Aang Phruba is psyched to get climbing Ama Dablam

Ama Dablam

Ama Dablam

Namche Bazaar

Namche Bazaar


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

Chase M, Jenn D, Aang Phurba, and Garrett trekking to Namche

Today the teams trekked from Phakding up to Namche Bazaar under beautiful, sunny skies.  Here’s expedition leader, Garrett Madison, with the update from Namche:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Ama Dablam team expediton and Gokyo trek teams.  We are in Namche Bazaar.

We had a wonderful trek today from the village of Phakding up the Khumbu Valley to Namche.  Beautiful views crossing the supension bridges over the river gorge and making our way up the big hill to Namche.  We’re all doing good.

It’s very quite, very peaceful, very beautiful here in the Khumbu Valley.  Just a few other trekkers we’ve seen so far.  It’s really nice to be reaquanted with some of our local friends and family that we stay with when we come to visit Nepal.  They’re very happy to see us.

We look forward to another great day here tomorrow in Namche!

 

Crossing the Larcha Dovan bridge to Namche (🎥: @eliasaikaly)

Jenn D studies the bridge before Namche

Jenn D studies the bridge before Namche

On the trek to Namche

On the trek to Namche

Namche Bazaar (3440m)

Namche Bazaar (3440m)

At the Panorama Lodge, Namche

At the Panorama Lodge, Namche


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

Team excited to fly to Lukla!

Early this morning the Ama Dablam and Gokyo teams flew by helicopter from Kathmandu to the mountain village of Lukla, where they started their treks.  The first stop is the village of Phakding.  Here’s expedition leader, Garrett Madison, with today’s audio dispatch from Phakding, Nepal:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Ama Dablam team expedition.  We all made it to Lukla today and had a wonderful trek to village of Phakding.  It’s great to be back up here in Khumbu Valley — clear views, fresh air, nice wonderful people.  It feels like we are the only group here, which we may be.

We’re very happy to be up here and to be on our way!

Heli Flight to Lukla (🎥: @eliasaikaly)

On the trek from Lukla to Phakding

On the trek from Lukla to Phakding (📸: @aang_phurba_mountaineer)

Rest break trekking from Lukla to Phakding

Rest break trekking from Lukla to Phakding (📸: @aang_phurba_mountaineer)

Beautiful views from Lukla to Phakding

Beautiful views from Lukla to Phakding (📸: @aang_phurba_mountaineer)

Crossing one of many bridges on the trek to base camp

Crossing one of many bridges on the trek to base camp (📸: @aang_phurba_mountaineer)


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

Last Team Dinner in Kathamandu - To the Mountains Tomorrow!

Great news!  All of the team and our sherpa staff had their COVID PCR tests come back negative and the Khumbu is reopened, so Plan A is a go and the teams will be heading to the mountains on time.  Here’s expedition leader, Garrett Madison, with all the details from Kathmandu:

Hello!  This is Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Ama Dablam team dispatch and the Gokyo trek team dispatch.  It’s Sunday evening here in Kathmandu and things are looking good!

We just finished our last dinner here before we’re heading up to the mountains tomorrow.  The Khumbu is re-opened and we got permission to fly up to Lukla tomorrow and start our trek to base camp!  We’re excited, we’re all packed up, and we’re looking forward to, hopefully, being up in the mountains tomorrow.

It’s been a wonderful stay here in Kathmandu.  We’ve actually really had a good time quarantining here at the Yak & Yeti hotel, enjoying some nice meals, and some good quality time here hanging out.

So, fingers crossed, tomorrow we’ll be up in the Khumbu and on our way to base camp!


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, checks in from safety quarantine day four in Nepal and discusses the options for what’s ahead:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Ama Dablam team and Gokyo trek teams.  We are still in Kathmandu.  This is day four of our quarantine.

Tomorrow we are doing our COVID tests and hopefully get negative test results.  Then, hopefully, heading to the Khumbu Valley the next day.  The Khumbu is closed.  They closed it the other day.  But, we are hoping that they are going to reopen.  If not, we’ll probably head off to climb another peak.  We’re looking at Mount Himlung, just over 7000m.

Everyone’s in good spirits here!  We’re enjoying the Yak & Yeti hotel, playing tennis, doing yoga, working out in the gym, venturing out in Kathmandu, and making the most of it.  So, we’re in good spirits and looking forward to what tomorrow brings.

All’s well here in Nepal.  We’ll check in soon.

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering archives)


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

Dinner at the Qatar Ambassador to Nepal's Residence

Finishing out day three of the safety quarantine, Garrett and the team enjoyed a very special dinner and evening in Kathmandu.  Here’s the word from Garrett:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Ama Dablam team.  We are still in Kathmandu enjoying our time in quarantine.

Today we occupied ourselves by doing yoga on the lawn, working out in the fitness center here at the hotel, and walking around town a little bit before going over to the Ambassador of Qatar‘s residence for a friendly evening and dinner.  It was wonderful to meet him and to come back to the Yak & Yeti after a fulfilling dinner.

We are looking forward to some good news tomorrow – hopefully the Khumbu Valley will reopen tomorrow.  Fingers crossed.

All’s well here in Kathmandu.  Thanks!


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

Team dinner at the Mezze in Kathmandu

Day 3 of the pandemic safety quarantine in Kathmandu at the Hotel Yak & Yeti and expedition leader, Garrett Madison, checks-in with today’s dispatch:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Ama Dablam expedition and Gokyo trek teams.  We are at the Yak & Yeti hotel in Kathmandu and finishing up our quarantine here over the next few days.

We’re wondering if the Khumbu is going to remain open, as there have been some cases there.  We’re planning to head up to the Khumbu in a few days, but if not, we might be changing plans and heading off to climb another mountain here in Nepal.

Everybody’s doing great.  We’ve been enjoying some good dinners here and some exercise at the hotel – some yoga and stretching out on the grass lawn.

We’re all in good spirits!  Everone’s doing well and we’ll check in soon.  Thanks!

Gear check at the Hotel Yak & Yeti

Gear check at the Hotel Yak & Yeti

Enjoying an Everest beer in Kathmandu with Kenton Cool

Enjoying an Everest beer in Kathmandu with Kenton Cool


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

picture of hotel and swimming pool

Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, and the Ama Dablam team have arrived in Kathmandu and have started their mandatory 7-day safety quarantine (in style) at the Hotel Yak & Yeti.  Adhering to the current Entry Protocol for Mountaineering Expeditions and Trekking in Nepal, all were required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken less than 72 hours before travel before boarding their planes and upon arrival in Kathmandu.  After 5 days in quarantine, they will all take another COVID-19 test and, with another negative result, will be able to finish the arrival quarantine after 7-days and start the Ama Dablam expedition.  Our Gokyo Ri / Lobuche / Island Peak team is also in arrival quarantine.  Here’s Garrett with the details from Kathmandu:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Ama Dablam climb expedition, as well as our private Gokyo trekking programs.

We made it to Kathmandu, Nepal!  It was smooth flying all the way from the U.S. to Nepal, had a couple of layovers along the way.  But very smooth flying.  Got into Nepal, no issues with our visas.  We had all of our documents in order and just made it to the hotel.

We’re all checked in at the Yak & Yeti hotel.  We are, actually, the only group here at the Yak & Yeti hotel – the Madison Mountaineering teams for Ama Dablam and the Gokyo treks.  We’ve got it all to ourselves!  Looking forward to a great day here tomorrow, breakfast, and some exercise here in the courtyard at the Yak & Yeti.

Everyone’s doing great and we are looking forward to enjoying our quarantine period here in Kathmandu!


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

This week we kick off our safe return to Nepal for some Autumn trekking and climbing adventures.  The teams are now making their way to Nepal.  Ama Dablam expedition leader, Garrett Madison, checks in from LAX while en route to Kathmandu:

Hello, this is Garrett Madison calling in – kicking-off the Ama Dablam expedition along with our Gokyo trek private trips.  We are waiting to board here in Los Angeles to fly to Kathmandu.

We are following all of the safely protocols: masking up, wear the face shield.  (We are) really excited to be the first people, we know of, going back to Nepal! and taking pride in safely bringing much needed tourist revenue to the Nepalese people as well as the funds from our GoFundMe campaign to support our Sherpas.

So, we are very excited to heading over to Nepal, to see all of our friends there, and to head up to the Khumbu Valley and make our way up towards the high peaks that we love so much.

We’ll check in soon.


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

Expedition leader, Conan Bliss, and the team have returned to Ama Dablam base camp and Conan provides the happy news:

Ama Dablam Expedition Summary: At 7:40 am on November 4th, the Madison Mountaineering team stood alone on the summit of Ama Dablam. The sky was cloudless, offering amazing 360-degree views including Everest, Lhotse, and Makalu. This was the culmination of weeks of effort, patience, and perseverance and we were fortunate with an excellent weather window. The team is back at base camp today resting and will trek out tomorrow and the following day. We would like to say special thanks to our amazing Nepali crew, both climbing Sherpas as well as our outstanding base camp crew. Thanks for following us on this epic adventure; we hope to see you in the mountains soon!

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering archives)