Tag: Base Camp

Garrett called in with an audio dispatch this evening from K2 Base Camp:

Hi! This is Garrett Madison calling from the K2 expedition. Today is July 16th and we just finished up dinner here in Base Camp and we are ready to move up to Camp 1 tomorrow morning! We are going to head off at 05:00 AM. The weather is looking good, the route conditions are looking solid, and the Sherpas are excited to be climbing with us as well! So all’s good here on K2 and we will check in again soon.

The last two days we have been resting in K2 Base Camp and recovering from our time up high. The weather has been great, and currently our Sherpas are working to fix ropes to Camp 4 on the shoulder of K2. We hope that if the weather remains good that they can finish the load carries of fixed ropes, oxygen, tents, etc. to our high camp and then we will be in position for a summit attempt. Everyone is doing well here at K2 Base Camp!

Today we woke up at 5:30 AM at Camp 2 on the Abruzzi Ridge and descended all the way to our K2 Base Camp. We rappelled most of the route as we made our way down over steep rock, ice, and snow sections of the route, including the notable House’s Chimney. The weather has been fantastic the last few days, with little to no wind, a clear sky, and warmth during the daytime.

Our team is all back in K2 Base Camp now, after having a great dinner and looking forward to some rest over the next few days.

Our Sherpa team is hard at work, they are back up at Camp 2 and are working to fix the route from Camp 3 to Camp 4, then carrying equipment such as oxygen, tents, and ropes to Camp 4. They are an amazing cadre of the finest & hardest working Sherpas I have ever known.

This morning the sun finally came out and we saw K2, Broad Peak, and the surrounding mountains for the first time since arriving here on June 29th.  We are drying out our gear and enjoying the warm weather!  Yesterday was our first full day here in K2 base camp, so we spent the entire day setting up our camp the way we like to have it, as when we arrived we had to set up tents quickly as the snow was coming down very hard.  Our dining tent is very comfortable with carpets, cushioned chairs, 3 couches, and a heater to keep it warm for us at dinner time.  The food has been excellent so far, lots of fresh vegetables and meat to keep our energy levels high.  After dinner last night we watched a movie in the dining tent before bedtime.

Our plan is to continue setting up our camp and drying out our gear while we rest and acclimatize, then tomorrow will be our Puja day!  It looks like a bit more snow this week on Wednesday, but then favorable weather conditions thereafter!  So we are hoping the weather forecast holds true and a long period of warm and sunny weather comes our way.

Everyone is doing well and enjoying the base camp life!

Our Antarctica expedition team has safely made the ascent to Camp 1 on Mt. Vinson in the Ellsworth mountain range. Mt. Vinson is the highest peak in Antarctica, approx. 600 miles from the South Pole and over 1,200 miles from the beginning of the Antarctic Peninsula. Garrett Madison reports beautiful conditions and a strong team as they move up the mountain. Today our climbers will either have a rest day or complete a carry of supplies and food up higher on the mountain. All is well in Antarctica and our climbers will check in soon!

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Ellsworth mountain range

Our Mount Vinson climbers left Punta Arenas, Chile and have now arrived to Union Glacier Camp in Antarctica. The Union Glacier Camp is a seasonally occupied research and expedition staging site located in Ellsworth Land in Antarctica. The camp is located in the Heritage Range, south of the Ellsworth Mountains.

Garrett Madison checks in below after a night flight into Union Glacier Camp. The team will now organize their equipment before flying over to Mount Vinson in a couple hours. Our climbers plan to move up to low camp after a couple days of training with favorable weather conditions in the forecasts.

Happy New Years!  : )

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Mount Vinson climbers

I am very proud to say that the Madison Mountaineering climbing team on Aconcagua had complete success!  All team members stood on the highest point of the Western & Southern Hemispheres together on January 22nd. Congratulations to the following climbers:

-Audrey Cadwallader

-Linda Wohlegemuth

-Walt Harris

-Ginna Kelly

-Peter Horsman

-Bernd Horsman

-Wenny Sanchez

As many climbers are aware, this season on Aconcagua has been a very tough one with severe storms preventing teams from reaching the summit.  As we approached the mountain on our trek into base camp, we encountered many teams that had not ascended past Camp 1 on the mountain, and were very discouraging.  The look of defeat in their faces and of time spent suffering at high altitude without any summit attempt made us wonder….We pressed onward.  After we reached base camp we received a weather forecast that suggested favorable weather, but only for a short time.  In order to take advantage of this, we accelerated our climbing schedule and put our team in a position to summit on the last day of good weather (January 22nd).  All team members pulled together to push the itinerary forward, with hard work and determination we succeeded in reaching our goal.

The day after we reached the summit the next storm cycle began with high winds and snow preventing any other summit attempts, we reached base camp on this day, and were informed by the park rangers that they were closing the mountain to climbers indefinitely because of landslides. We really lucked out with our weather window, and with a group individual climbers who pulled together as a team to make the summit become a reality for everyone.  Great job team!

The team is doing well and we are currently waiting in Penitentes for the road to open so we can drive to Mendoza. Because of the landslides the road is currently closed in both directions. We expect the roads to be opened shorty. Onward!

-Garrett Madison

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A picnic on the approach hike

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Aconcagua from Plaza Mulas base camp

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Aconcagua team on the summit!

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Climbers head up the Canaleta

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Last rest break before the summit

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Peter climbing up the Canaleta

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Summit day!

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The team at Camp 1 on the way up

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View of the Andes from 22,500′!

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In the final expedition audio dispatch, today Garrett reports that the team had a great day descending the 1,600 vertical meters from high camp. They are now safely down to Plaza de Mulas Base Camp (4367m / 14,327ft) and revelling in their 100% summit success! Doubly great day as the team is also celebrating team member Ginna Kelly’s birthday. Happy birthday Ginna from all of us at Madison Mountaineering! Tomorrow they will trek out to the Los Horcones trail head and continue the celebration with a nice team dinner and night in Los Penitentes before heading back to Mendoza on Monday.

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Audio dispatch by Garrett Madison:

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Beautiful photos taken Wenny Sanchez:

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Yesterday our Aconcagua team had beautiful blue skies and no wind on the mountain and successful completed a carry to Camp 1 at an elevation of 16,100′. After moving gear and food up the mountain our team returned to base camp to rest. All is well and our team is gearing up for  a safe ascent up the mountain. To the top!

To see our teams itinerary for getting to the top visit our page here!

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Audio dispatch from expedition leader Garrett Madison:

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Beautiful weather for our climbers!

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Andes Mountain Range is a beauty!

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Climbers making their way up Aconcagua!

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Magnificent sunset on Aconcagua!

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Our climbing team in Argentina has successfully made it to Aconcagua Base Camp! After yesterday’s trek through the Relinchos Valley our climbers have a chance to enjoy the beautiful views and continue to adjust to the altitude. After a warm dinner at base camp the team enjoyed amazing company and another beautiful night on the mountain. Now resting at an elevation of 13,900′, the team will prepare for the climb to Camp 1 (16’000) tomorrow and their departure from our friendly Argentinian outfitter and staff. Winds have faded with favorable climbing conditions for the summit ascent ahead. With magnificent views of the Aconcagua Provincial Park and the surrounding Andes mountain range, Audrey, Bernd, Ginna, Linda, Walter, Peter, Weny, and Garrett have an exciting expedition ahead of them. Stay tuned on our dispatch page as we watch our Madison Mountaineering team make their way to the summit. To the top!

Fun face: Aconcagua is not just the highest mountain in South America but also the highest in the Western Hemisphere. The mountain dominates the skyline and it is visible 50+ off the coast in the Pacific Ocean on a clear day.

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Audio dispatch from expedition leader Garrett Madison:

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Rocky terrain on Aconcagua! This mountain is arguably the highest non-technical mountain in the world.

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