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Today our team had another great day training on the ice with evening snow showers picking up after dinner. Each day we set up progressively more difficult training courses along the Khumbu Icefall that challenge each of the climbers with different techniques and provide safe procedures for navigating across the ice. Everyone is doing very well and enjoying the training circuits that we have put together. With a couple inches of fresh snow on the ground the views are spectacular with stars in the sky and some of the largest mountains in the world surrounding our camp. Tomorrow we will continue our glacier training and design a new course to challenge each of the climbers. We plan to move to Camp 1 in early next week to begin the acclimatization rotations.  Onward!

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Today Garrett Madison checked in via satellite phone to report that under great weather conditions the team made a successful carry of gear and supplies up to Camp 2 (5492m / 18,020ft) on the north flank of Aconcagua as they prepare to move to Camp 2 tomorrow. This “double carry” strategy (that is, carrying a load of gear up to the next camp and dropping it off, then descending back back down to sleep at the lower camp, then moving up the following day) lightens the load when advancing up the mountain and adds to the acclimatization process following the ‘climb high / sleep low’ approach.

Garrett reports that the team is healthy, strong, and in excellent spirits and are all hoping for continued great weather!
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Audio dispatch from expedition leader Garrett Madison:

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Team dinner:

Team Pre-Summit Huddle

Yesterday our team had a successful ascent to Camp 1 at an elevation of 16,100′ on Aconcagua following  Saturday’s carry of food and gear up the mountain. With clear skies and little to no wind our team is enjoying the beautiful weather and spectacular views. All climbers are in great condition and ready to continue the exciting climb all the way to the 22,837′ summit of the Aconcagua, also known as the ‘Stone Sentinel’.  After setting up camp Audrey, Bernd, Ginna, Linda, Walter, Peter, Weny, and Garrett enjoyed an afternoon siesta with gorgeous views to the west looking over Chile as the sun went down. The weather appears to be clear for a great shot at a successful summit in the days to come!

Tomorrow our climbing team will complete a carry to Camp 2 at an elevation of 18,00′ with the estimated summit day in 3-4 days. To the top!

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Audio dispatch from expedition leader Garrett Madison:

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Mountain life on the ascent!

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Wildlife sighting days earlier while enroute to Aconcagua! ‘South American Fox (photo by Bernd)’

South American Fox (photo by Bernd)

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Blue skies and moderate wind as our Aconcagua team makes the ascent of the highest mountain in the western hemisphere!

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Onward and upward!

2016-01-23 Descent to Basecamp

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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Today Garrett, Mike, Sam, Iñaki, and Todd spent the day exploring vast glaciated slopes on Mount Vinson. With crampons and fixed lines our team reviewed the crucial skills that will be used in the upcoming summit push. Camp 1 has been established and fortified to endure the elements, keeping our team warm and safe tonight. Garrett and team continue to enjoy the adventure of exploring Antarctica as they make their way up Mount Vinson. Weather has been stable today and forecasts predict the same tomorrow. The climate on Mount Vinson is generally controlled by the polar ice cap’s high-pressure system, creating predominantly stable conditions but, as in any polar climate, high winds and snowfall do occur quickly. Tomorrow our team plans to do a carry of gear up to Camp 2. To the top!

Interesting fact:  In 1961, the Vinson Massif was named by the Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names, for Carl G. Vinson, a Georgia congressman for his support for Antarctic exploration.

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Audio Dispatch from Garrett Madison ~ Thursday, December 3

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Garrett, Mike, Sam, Iñaki, and Todd ventured out from Camp 1 and enjoyed the spectacular glacier views around them!

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Breathtaking NASA image of Vinson Massif from space! The limited amount of snow that falls on Vinson Massif compacts and is transformed into ice, forming the glaciers our team is climbing on.

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The Burke Khang summit is in sight! Our climbing team has reached an altitude of 20,371 feet. Unfortunately our team mate Kathy flew out with one of our Sherpas. She was dealing with a respiratory cold and is back in Kathmandu now. She is feeling better and we are thankful that all is well. Camp One has a beautiful view and the team is preparing for the final push for the summit. Weather has been great these past few days with blue skies. Check out the photos below and stay tuned for the summit push. Updates from expedition leader Garrett Madison will be uploaded here first. Will post dispatches as quickly as possible for this final push.

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For those interested in Nepal’s new Constitution and the developing political environment, read this NY Times article.

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Check out this Youtube video for a live chat with King5 news here in Seattle, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ST5M4XnBmRI

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Bill Burke Climbing to Camp One from Advanced Base Camp:

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Bill Burke Climbing to Camp One from Advanced Base Camp:

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Burke Khang Camp One at 20,371 feet:

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Beautiful photo taken by Garrett Madison while climbing!

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Climbing toward Camp one from Advanced Base Camp:

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Climbing toward Camp one from Advanced Base Camp:

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Expedition Leader Garrett Madison staying warm!

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