Climbers on the Lhotse face

Normally, at this time, our Everest climbing team would have just finished two nights at Namche Bazaar and trekked on to the village of Deboche where they would be spending the evening with our friends at the Rivendell Lodge and looking forward to six more days on the trail towards Everest Base Camp.

But as you know, this terrible COVID-19 pandemic has changed just about everything for all of us.  Our thoughts are with everyone impacted from the dire to the inconvenienced.  Included in that are all of our Nepal staff, including Sherpa and other mountain workers who depend on the spring climbing season for such a large percentage of their annual income.  Income that is used to support their families, buy food, pay school costs, maintain their homes, and more.  This year’s loss of income will be a considerable hardship for many of them.

While Madison Mountaineering will be doing what we can to lessen the loss, we need your help!  Please consider making a generous donation to the GoFundMe campaign we have established to assist our impacted Nepal staff.  All proceeds will be distributed directly to them.

Also, friend of Madison Mountaineering, Alan Arnette, who for many years has been providing excellent daily coverage of the Everest climbing season (and other climbing expeditions year-round) has this year created a wonderfully entertaining fictional day-by-day ‘coverage’ – Virtual Everest 2020 – that we hope you will follow and enjoy!

We will get through this together and be climbing again soon!

Climber on Mount Everest

Late last week amid all of the rapidly evolving global cancelations and shutdowns to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the government of Nepal officially announced the cancellation of all Spring expeditions along with additional changes to their tourist visa requirements.

While we are saddened that all of the hard work and preparations of our team members, our guides, Sherpa, and staff won’t allow us to enjoy the challenge and beauty of Himalayas this spring, we applaud and respect Nepal’s decision.  The health and wellbeing of all of us global citizens is top priority.

The mountain will always be there — let’s go climb Everest next season together!

The Everest summit ridge on May 23rd

Welcome to Everest 2020! Our annual spring Mount Everest expedition begins in just 30 days. Our strong team of international climbers will gather at the Hotel Yak and Yeti, our Kathmandu home-base and the launching point of countless Mount Everest expeditions over the years. Here in Seattle, we are now gathering expedition equipment, food and supplies, making logistical arrangements with our Nepal support staff, and ensuring that all of our climbing team members and trekkers have everything ready to go. Busy times at Madison Mountaineering HQ! We are looking forward to our continued best-in-class rate of success and safety on Everest. Leaders in setting the fixed ropes, we have put the first team on top in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.

We are excited by the upcoming season and hope that you will all follow along with our expedition dispatches as the team makes their way to base camp and then up the mountain!

If climbing Mount Everest is in your future, please contact our office, we would love to have you climb with us!

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


Our climbing team had a wonderful ascent of Haba ‘Snow Mountain’ above the village of Haba in the Yunnan province of China. The climb was only 3 days followed by some sight seeing in the historical city of Lijiang. The summit of Haba is 5,396m or nearly 18,000′ so this was not a small climb by any means!

We hiked from the village of Haba on our first day of the trip through the dense forest and along mountain streams then came to grassy meadows as we approached our base camp. By the afternoon we reached our camp and had a glimpse of the peak.

On summit day we awoke at 3 AM and departed camp around 4 AM for the summit. We climbed up the rocky slopes and gained the glacier just as the sun began to rise, where we roped up and donned crampons. We then climbed the snow and ice slopes  and reached the top at 10:30 AM. We saw only a few other climbers on our ascent, even though it was a holiday weekend in China. At the summit we found the peak marker and savored the moment before heading down to our camp. The next day we hiked down through the lush forest back to the village of Haba, then drove along the scenic ‘Tiger leaping gorge’ back to Lijiang, where we visited the beautiful ‘old town’ that dates back to the 1300’s and enjoyed a traditional Chinese dinner typical of the Yunnan province. It’s been a great adventure with climbers Scott, Florian, Lloyd and Rafael!

To higher places!

Garrett Madison


To view our climbing team’s exact route to the summit you can view our RainOn mapping platform here!




Yesterday after meeting up in Shanghai, Garrett climbers flew to Lijiang, a beautiful city in the Yunnan province on the way to Haba Xueshan. Today our team is departing Lijiang and driving to Haba, to organize equipment and prepare for the trek to Haba Xueshan base camp! At an elevation of 17,703ft (5,396m), Haba Xueshan is a beautiful glaciated peak in southern China. Go team!
Throughout this expedition you can view our team’s location and progress by viewing our RainOn mapping platform here!
Garrett & team of climbers from Shanghai setting off for Haba.
Yangtze River
Team passing by the famous Hu  Tiao Cha ‘Tiger Leaping Gorge’ and Yangtze River located between the Haba Snow Mountain and the Yulong Snow Mountain. With a vertical drop of 3,800 meters the view to the bottom of the Tiger Leaping Gorge is nearly twice as high as the Grand Canyon!
Fried snakes or sea horses anyone?
Local woman in traditional dress in Haba.