Tag Archive for: Ama Dablam

Our Nepal team in their Mountain Hardwear down suits

Finally today there was some sunny weather at Everest Base Camp.  Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, reports on the weather, the route, and the team member status in today’s expedition dispatch:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Mount Everest Expedtion – Autumn Season 2019.  Today was a sunny day!  Finally the sun came out – it was beautiful.

 

Kristin is doing well; she’s in Pheriche on her way to Pangboche tomorrow, heading towards Ama Dablam for an attempt on Ama Dablam with our team.  Zac is back in Kathmandu.  Our friend Kilian Jornet is up at Camp 1. He is spending a couple of nights up there.  We’ll see what his plans are, but he’s doing well.

 

We’re still waiting and watching the serac hoping it’s gonna come down and clear the way for a safe route up through the icefall.  Meanwhile, we are looking forward to more sunny weather, hopefully in the future.  All’s well here at Everest Base Camp!

Our Sherpa team in EBC today - we had some sunshine!

Our Sherpa team in EBC today – we had some sunshine! (and a little bit of thumb 😀).  Everybody decked out in their Mountain Hardware Ghost Whisperer/2 Down Hoody jackets.

Our Nepal team in their Mountain Hardwear down suits

Our Nepal team in their Mountain Hardwear down suits


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the team as they trek to Everest Base Camp and then make their attempt to summit the world’s highest mountain 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

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking map:

Sunrise

From his tent at Ama Dablam base camp, guide Sid Pattison checks in with this recap of the climb of Ama Dablam:

Camp 1

The climb to camp 1 was a big day for everyone.  But the views of our intended route made it all worth it. After about 1220 m (4000 ft) of elevation gain, we were happy to see our tents. But Ama kept pulling us out. Situated at the toe of the SW ridge, camp 1 let us see just about every step we will take to the summit:  the yellow tower on the way to camp 2, the gray tower just out of camp 2 and of course the intimidating Dablam with the steep fluted snow slopes leading to the summit.

Camp 1

Camp 1

Camp 2

Yesterday we woke up to beautiful skies, very little wind and the move to camp 2 ahead of us. While only a 2-3 hour day, the terrain we were to move over has little in common with the pastoral hiking we had done the day before. Right out of camp we put our harnesses on and clipped in for the move. Most of the terrain was steep, very exposed and held our attention.

The highlight of the day was the yellow tower, while only clocking in at around 5.8, with a full pack, approach shoes and at roughly 20,000ft, to say it was strenuous would be an understatement. Needless to say, we all made it up and moved into camp 2. I gotta say, camp 2 is one of the coolest places on earth! All of our tents are set on unlikely stone platforms just below the beginning of the vertical climbing. With a vivid view of what’s to come, hours are spent admiring the climbing route. We spent our day here napping, eating, prepping gear and generally wrapping our minds around the climb that would begin that night…

Climbing the Yellow Tower

Climbing the Yellow Tower

Camp 2

Camp 2

The Summit

1 am never seems like a sensible time to wake up. But when the day holds climbing one of the worlds most iconic mountains, you deal appropriately. In our case, it was wondering if the winds whipping at our tents were too much to climb in. After a few brief comments thrown from tent to tent, we decided the growl was worse than the bite.

We suited up and were off by 2:15. The night was perfect, with only two parties climbing from camp 2 there was no pressure, we could enjoy the climbing without worrying about other people. We climbed up through the vertical mixed ice and rock terrain of the gray tower, over the ridge that connects to camp 3 before the sun rose. As we stood, staring up at the Dablam and the face that rises above it we knew we would make it! Though much bigger than it appears, the mental boost was enough.

We crunched up the frozen snow, lost in our thoughts for several hours. As the valley villages below us started to show I mentally picked them out, Pengboche, Dingboche, Phortse, Phereche, also picking out the paths I had walked looking up at this beautiful mountain. At around 8:30 we stood on top. We hugged, high fived and knew we had a long road back.

Sid and Siddhi on the summit

Sid and Siddhi on the summit

Back to Base Camp

The descent is as much fun as the climb, with lots of rappels one was never bored. We arrived back at camp 2 and packed our things. We planned to be back at base camp for dinner. Reversing the exposed, technical terrain to camp 1, we put out climbing kits away and endured the 3-hour hike back to base camp where a fantastic meal awaited us. And now I’m in my tent writing this. Good night and dream of climbing Ama Dablam.

Rappelling below camp 3

Rappelling below camp 3

Ama Dablam Camp 2

We just received a satellite phone call from the team. They are standing on the summit of Ama Dablam (6812 m / 22,349 ft)!! After they safely descend, we will share the climb recap and some photos.

Fun facts: Ama Dablam is the third most popular Himalayan peak for permitted expeditions, first climbed in March of 1961 via the Southwest Ridge (same as our team uses) by an international team which included Barry Bishop of the USA.

Stay tuned…

Ama Dablam in the alpenglow

Lead guide Sid Pattison provides this update on the Ama Dablam extension climb following our first ascent of Nupla Khang:

The team is here at Ama Dablam base camp. We all rendezvoused after parting ways following the Nupla Khang climb. We met up yesterday in Pangboche and spent the afternoon resorting gear and getting ready for Ama Dablam. The team is in great spirits and really psyched to climb! We arrived at BC around 4:00 PM greeted by huge views of our anticipated route and a super comfy camp.

Tomorrow we will take a rest day to train a bit and pack for our climb. The following day, the 9th, we will head up to Camp 1. We plan to spend one night at Camp 1 and one night at Camp 2 before pushing for the summit on the 11th. Hopefully, the weather cooperates with our plans.

Heading towards Ama Dablam base camp

Heading towards base camp

Our objective: Ama Dablam

Our objective: Ama Dablam

Ama Dablam base camp

Team arrives at base camp

Trekking above Gokyo

We’ve made it to Gokyo (4750 m/15,580 ft), the last village before before base camp.  After leaving Khumjung, we trekked up the Gokyo Valley.  This area, including the village of Machermo, is remarkably beautiful with stunning views.

Today our team went on an acclimatization hike up nearby Gokyo Ri, at 5357 m (17,575 ft). We had amazing views all around of Mount Everest, Mount Lhotse, Makalu, and could see our objective the unclimbed Nup la Khang! This afternoon we will head to base camp.  There we will spend a few days acclimatizing and training to prepare for our attempt of Nup la Khang.

Our Island peak team will head off today from Gokyo towards Dzongla and will spend several days making their way to Island Peak (Imja Tse). So we are saying our goodbyes to our fellow trekkers/climbers.  We look forward to reuniting with them after the climbing period.

The weather has been stellar the past week for us as we’ve trekked up from Lukla towards these high Himalayan peaks.  We hope it will continue.  But there looks to be some high wind in the forecast. Fingers crossed for calm winds and clear skies!

The team at the top of Gokyo Ri (17,800 ft) today, beautiful views all around! Everest is behind top left.

The team at the top of Gokyo Ri (17,575 ft) today, beautiful views all around! Everest is behind top left.

The village of Gokyo, next to the lake, with the Nazumba glacier, Mount Everest and Lhotse behind on left side.

The village of Gokyo, next to the lake, with the Nazumba glacier, Mount Everest and Lhotse behind on left side.

Close up of Everest and Lhotse from Gokyo Ri

Close up of Everest and Lhotse from Gokyo Ri

Arrived At Dingboche!

Today we awoke to a clear sky in the village of Dingboche, enjoyed our breakfast, then went on an acclimatization hike . Our Team reached an elevation of 16,300 ft. The views of Ama Dablam, Makalu, and Cho Oyu were spectacular as well as the view over the villages of Dingboche & Pheriche. This afternoon we enjoyed coffee and pastries in the french bakery and now are sitting down for dinner, everyone is doing well. We are excited to continue our trek tomorrow and make our way closer to Mount Everest!

Our unclimbed peak expedition team is now in base camp, preparing to make a recon up to the peak to scout the potential climbing route. Our peak, Tharke Khang, looks to have a ridge line beginning from the west that appears climbable, with steep snow and ice slopes. Our base camp is comfortable with a heated dining tent and great food!

Garrett

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peak expedition

We made our from Machermo up the valley to the village of Gokyo, situated next to a beautiful aqua marine lake. After lunch a few of us hiked up nearby Gokyo Ri, at just over 17,500’. We glimpsed our unclimbed peak in the distance, still a long way off…with major challenges between us and the start of the route, about 10 miles of glacier moraine and glacier/ icefall. This will not be an easy walk to say the least…accessing the base of the route is one thing, climbing the technical ridge is another.

Exploration in essence is venturing into the unknown… and that is exactly where we are headed.

Our team is good, everyone is acclimatizing well. The weather has been favorable and we hope this trend continues. We look forward to reaching our base camp the next day or two.

Garrett Madison

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Tham Serku peak

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Ama Dablam

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Trekking through the high country towards base camp

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First view of the unclimbed peak, Tharke Khang

Machermo

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At the top of Gokyo Ri today, 17,500′

Machermo

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The village of Gokyo, at 15,600′ high in the Himalayas where we are staying

Machermo

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At one of the Gokyo lakes today

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Our head Sherpa, Aang Phurba

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Stairway to heaven

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Old chorton (in Sherpa language) means stupa

 

The Madison Mountaineering team has trekked to the village of Namche Bazaar! Yesterday we arrived into the village after a challenging 4,000 vertical foot hike from Phadking. This remote village is located within the Khumbu area at 3,440 metres (11,286 ft) and is nestled quietly in the hills. The crew rested, drank tea and chatted it up with other trekkers and climbers in the Panorama Hotel. The trek was as beautiful as a hike could possibly be, through mountain villages, past small tea houses along the river and across high suspension bridges. This morning we took an acclimatization hike up to the Everest View Hotel and were rewarded with spectacular panoramic views of Mt. Everest, Ama Dablam and many other giants, reminding us of the wild country ahead of us. We will now rest up and continue to acclimatize our bodies as we push further into the mountains tomorrow. Enjoying the scrumptious food here in Namche Bazaar before we are back on the trails. Garrett and Sid are some of the best chefs on the mountain, so the team will be well taken care of!

Check out this article written by Outside if you have not already!

Team Photo:

TeamPhoto

Namche Bazaar:

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Namche Bazaar:image-4

Mt. Everest, Lhoste, and Ama Dablam:image-5

Trekking into Namche Bazaar: image-7

Team Photo:image