Tag Archive for: Camp 1

Puja During Morning For First Rotation

We have begun our First Rotation! Today our climbers and guides departed Everest base camp at 3 AM . They will climbed up through the Khumbu Icefall to Camp 1, arriving in the morning. Our plan is to rest for the remainder of the day at Camp 1 and then spend the night here. Our plan for tomorrow is to go for an acclimatization hike up the Western CWM (valley) tomorrow and then spend another night in Camp 1. All is well here on Camp1.

Puja Day:

 Yesterday was our Puja ceremony in base camp. Our whole team of climbers and Sherpas took part with a Buddhist lama. They ask  permission for the mountain to grant us safe passage. After the blessing was complete and our Puja ceremony finished, we commenced with some dancing and traditional Sherpa / Nepali music. Then, our whole team walked down to the helicopter pad in base camp to reconstruct the helipad. Our team of climbers & Sherpas, 40 men in total, worked for 2 hours to carry rocks and gravel to the helipad .They level the surface in preparation for the helicopter flights to transport the loads of equipment for the rope fixing project . i.e (ropes, carabiners, ice screws, etc.) from base camp to Camp 2 on Mount Everest.

Today at 6 AM we awoke to a cloudy sky in base camp. But, soon after the clouds burned off and the weather was suitable for flying. We transported all of the equipment for the rope fixing project (750 kg) from our base camp to the helipad . Until then waited for the AS 350 B3E helicopter to arrive. By 8:30 AM the helicopter arrived and the first load went up to Camp 2 where our climbing Sherpas had been waiting anxiously for the helicopter to land. And, unload the equipment.

They had arrived earlier in the day and already scouted a suitable landing zone for the helicopter . They were communicating with us in base camp by VHF radio regarding the weather conditions at Camp 2 . Additionally, the expected arrival time of the first helicopter load. In total 7 flights were made from the base camp helipad with equipment for the rope fixing project. This will be deposited in our Camp 2 where our Sherpas will collect the equipment. Afterwards, they will begin rope fixing up the Lhotse face towards Camp 3 on April 19th. As, Tomorrow April 18th is a ‘black day’ in memory of the 2014 Khumbu Icefall tragedy that took the lives of 16 Sherpas.

Icefall Training, and Rope Fixing Update

Our team of climbers is currently training in the lower Khumbu Icefall today practicing ascending vertical fixed ropes, rappelling, and crossing ladders. They are training for the preparation for our climb to Camp 1. The weather is nice and we are excited that everything is on track so far for Everest 2018!

Settled into EBC :

Today is our 4th day in Everest base camp, we are now settled here for this 2018 expedition. We have been training for the Khumbu Icefall by practicing various climbing techniques such as ascending fixed ropes, rappelling, and crossing ladders. We will continue training the next few days before we make our first ‘rotation’ to Camps 1 & 2. Tomorrow is our Puja ceremony. All is well here in base camp.

Settled In Dinning Room

                                                                                                                                                     Resting In Dinning Room

 

 

K2 2016 Climbing Season Recap:

Our K2 2016 team made a great effort to climb the peak but it was not meant to be. We are thankful that nobody was injured in the avalanche that came down from high on the mountain on July 23rd and took our Camp 3 and Camp 4 deposit off the mountain.  This avalanche resulted in the cancellation of the climbing season for all teams on K2 in 2016.  We have enjoyed our time in Pakistan and feel very lucky to have experienced this incredible mountain range, the Karakorum.  Please read the National Geographic article here for more information on the recent K2 climbing season.

To Higher Places!

Garrett Madison

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Amazing Youtube video by Petr Jan Juracka with beautiful drone shots of our 2016 K2 ascent.

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Below please also enjoy 2016 K2 climber Takayasu Semba’s photo’s from the expedition.

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Our team is now back down in base camp after our K2 summit attempt. Tomorrow was supposed to be our summit day, the weather currently looks perfect as predicted, clear skies and no wind. We had everything in position for our summit attempt, after about 5 weeks of preparations, we had established our high camps, had climbed to camp 3, and were looking forward to our summit. But it was not meant to be, as when we were preparing to climb from camp 1 to camp 2 on the morning of July 23, we saw a big avalanche come down the mountain. We later learned that this avalanche was massive, had started somewhere near our camp 4, and had covered nearly a third of the mountain down to the base,  taking out our camps 3 & 4, nothing was left. We were lucky that we were not in these camps when the avalanche occurred. Without our equipment for our summit attempt (tents, oxygen, ropes, food, etc) we cannot continue our climb, we are now heading home, as are all teams. Yesterday we searched the avalanche debris field at the base of the mountain, about 7000′ below where the slide began,  but found nothing,  as the debris was around 10-20 ft. deep in most areas. We will leave base camp in a couple of days and trek out,  then fly or drive to Islamabad and fly home. Even though we did not make the summit we had a great experience and and are thankful for the time we had in this beautiful mountain range. -Garrett Madison

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Massive avalanche on K2, camps 3 and 4 totally gone without a trace: All members currently safe in camp 2. Expedition now finished as all equipment for summit attempt (tents, oxygen, ropes, food, etc) has been lost.

-Garrett Madison

Expedition leader Garrett Madison called in this morning to report that the team has safely reached Camp 1 and are now pinned down with harsh weather conditions. The team will wait and see if the weather stabilizes before moving higher on K2.

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This is a wind graph that we use to make data driven decisions on K2. Michael Fagin and team at West Coast Weather provide our expeditions around the world with advanced forecasting models. Michael Fagin has a background in weather forecasting for major expedition groups that climb K2 and other climbing venues. He is experienced in climate data retrieval and analysis for clients around the world.

K2 Wind Graph

*Forecast issued on July 22, 2016 and weather needs to be monitored as the weather patterns can and do change over time.

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Our climbers and guides climbing to Camp 1.

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In one day or so our international expedition of four climbers, two guides and six Sherpas will be leaving on their third and final climbing rotation, their K2 summit rotation. We expect the summit rotation to take six days to summit and return to K2 Base Camp.

Beautiful photos taken by Stuart Erskine.

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This is the first time we’ve seen K2 in a week or so as it has been non-stop fog and blowing snow.

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Broad Peak, the Godwin Austin Glacier and K2 Base Camp from partway up K2 Glacier.

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K2 glacier looking up to K2.

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K2 glacier and K2 in the middle, with Angle Peak to the left and Broad Peak to the right.

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At K2 Base Camp we’ve had snow, fog and rain for over a week now since July 13, 2016. This is our first nice day of weather and we are experiencing a lot of avalanches. This avalanche coming high off K2 from the bottleneck at over 27,000 ft has some serious propulsion and just misses the top of K2 Base Camp. The debris goes all the way across the valley towards the base of Broad Peak.

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Life is a balance. Stuart, a rock and K2.

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Stuart and his Sherpa climbed up onto the K2 glacier to the base of K2 to ponder their upcoming summit bid and contemplate safe passage on the mountain.

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The Madison Mountaineering USA International K2 Expedition are having a 7-8 day break between their second rotation that got them up as high as Camp 3 at 24,500 ft on K2 and their final K2 summit rotation. During that rest time it’s important for the guides, climbers and Sherpas to eat well, stay healthy and active.

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Photos taken by K2 2016 climber Stuart Erskine

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Climbers, Guides, Sherpas and Porters at Camp 3 at 24,500 ft or 7,550 meters in the morning during their second rotation. Everyone is getting ready to head back down to K2 Base Camp after the weather conditions changed and high summit winds started for the next 6-10 days. Broad Peak the 12th highest mountain in the world at 8,051 meters or 26,414 ft high is in the background right. The high summit winds are obvious on the summit of Broad Peak in this photo and K2 is 560 meters or 1,837 ft higher than Broad Peak.

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Garrett and Simba climbing down part of the Black Pyramid from Camp 3 to Camp 2 on K2.

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Climbers, Sherpas and Porters resting part way down from K2 Camp 3 at 24,500 ft and on their way to Advance Base Camp (ABC) at 17,500 ft. K2 is so steep, rocky and icy that 80 to 90 percent of the 7,000 ft climb down has to be done by repelling on fixed ropes for most climbers which will take about 8 to 9 hours. This is normally followed by a 2 to 3 hour trek from ABC at 17,500 ft to K2 Base Camp at 16,500 ft, all in the same day.

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An avalanche across the valley from Broad Peak Base Camp. Avalanches, rock and ice fall are regular occurrences each day during the climbing season in the Karakoram Mountain Range. The mountains are very steep and the constant changes in temperature, weather and ground conditions creates a lot of falling debris which can be very dangerous for climbers and their support teams.

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Anyone have the phone number for the K2 Fire Department?

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During this rest day the two guides and four climbers walked down to Broad Peak Base Camp which is about three hours round trip. Broad Peak is the neighboring mountain to K2 and is the 12th highest mountain in the world at 8,051 meters or 26,414 ft high. In this photo the Madison Mountaineering team is enjoying some hospitality from a climbing team attempting to climb Broad Peak, in their dinning tent.

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Our four climbers and two guides with the staff from Broad Peak Base Camp when we trekked down to visit their Base Camp.

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Our chef Antony and his kitchen staff are barbecuing some fresh chicken for supper.

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After reaching Camp 3 yesterday our team was faced with high winds on the upper face of K2 and were forced to return to base camp. All team members are now down safely enjoying a warm meal by our amazing chef Antony Dubber. Our team will now rest and prepare for a third ascent within the next week based on weather forecasts.

Photos taken by Stuart Erskine.

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Madison Mountaineering Base Camp with K2 in the background.

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A banner on one of our tents in K2 Base Camp shows our teams route up K2 and the location of our camps.

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