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With a change in weather, Garrett, Mike, Sam, Iñaki, and Todd have successfully made the ascent to Camp 1 at 9,154 feet! After two days at Vinson Base Camp, the team was very excited to push onward. Garrett and team made the eight hour push through cold and breezy conditions before arriving at Camp 1. Other than the wind, todays weather report on Mount Vinson was clear and sunny. Quickly after arriving the team set up camp and started warming up with a hot dinner prepared by Garrett.

Tomorrow our team will enjoy a rest day and let their bodies recover and continue to acclimatize to todays elevation gain. Garrett, Mike, Sam, Iñaki, and Todd will work together tomorrow to develop a strategy for reaching Camp 2, with factors including weather and overall route conditions. Everyone is doing well and in high spirit!

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Audio Dispatch from Garrett Madison ~ Wednesday, December 2

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Climbing across glaciated slopes on Mount Vinson.

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Looks pretty similar to “The Wall” from Game of Thrones! This gorgeous shot was take during the ascent to Camp 1. Onward!

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Awesome news received from Indonesia, the team has arrived to Carstensz Pyramid Base Camp! The Madison Mountaineering expedition is underway after a volcano eruption near Bali had delayed the team’s departure. Yesterday the team flew to Timika in the Papua province by jet, then a quick helicopter ride to base camp. Weather is overcast with light rain reported. Our climbing team will be spending these first couple days acclimatizing to the altitude change. A team member on our expedition has backpacked in a DJI Phantom 3 drone, needless to say that we expect to receive some AMAZING content following this epic life adventure. More to come as this expedition progresses up the mountain!!

Attached is a audio dispatch received from our expedition leader, Joe Butler. At times the audio can be difficult to hear. I found the most effective way to listen was to play this audio on a louder sound system.

Hope everyone had a great Halloween weekend! We said good bye to our trekking team that accompanied us all the way from our start in Kathmandu to our base camp here at Gokyo’s fifth lake. It was hard to say goodbye after the last ten days of trekking together in the Khumbu region of Nepal. They are now heading towards Cho La Pass and then onwards to Mount Everest base camp before returning to Lukla and then Kathmandu.
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Our climbing team organized equipment at base camp today and took a walkabout around camp, scouting the glacier we will cross when we make our move towards our advanced base camp on our summit push. Our base camp is a very beautiful setting, with a nearby lake, and high peaks on all sides. A team of our Sherpa guides along with Madison Mountaineering guide Sid Pattison left today to head to advanced base camp. Tomorrow they will work on establishing the route to camp 1, at the top of the rock buttress, the first major technical section of the climb. This climbing involves around two thousand feet of steep snow and an ice arête (description and imagery here), after which we can establish our first high camp. Everyone is doing well and we look forward to our next acclimatization hike tomorrow.
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View of glacier above camp:
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Acclimatization hike:
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View of Mount Everest from our base camp:
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Burke Khang Base Camp:
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Team exploring near base camp:
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The Madison Mountaineering expedition has safely trekked from Gokyo to our base camp near the 5th lake. Bud Allen of our climbing team elected to take a helicopter down to Lukla, as he was a little under the weather. One of our Trekkers (Jenna) went with his helicopter. It is hard that a team member returned home, but for the best as we did not want Bud’s cold to worsen and further risk his well being. Our prayers are with Bud for a quick recovery.
As the team arrived at the 5th lake and set up base camp it continued to snow.  In the festive spirit, the team gathered together for a high altitude Halloween celebration! Check out the pictures below for a glimpse of these entertaining costumes, Captain America continues to bring high spirits to the team. It has been snowing and we are preparing our gear for the first ascent. It is harder to send digital content out and we will most likely begin to post audio dispatches. As the team begins the first ascent of Burke Khang, the most up to date news will be coming out right here on our dispatch page!
Team yoga in the lodge:
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Helicopter arrival into Gokyo:
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Map of the team’s current location. Burke Khang is in the very middle.
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Team photo at Gokyo before our trek to base camp:
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Team members departing:
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Foggy morning in Gokyo before our trek to base camp:
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Burke Khang 2015 Base Camp:
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Burke Khang 2015 Base Camp:
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Halloween at Burke Khang!
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