Tag Archive for: Camp 1

Yesterday we completed our K2 climbing rotation of 5 nights above base camp, up to Camp 2. We climbed the Abruzzi ridge route and notable features such as House’s chimney to reach our Camp 2, where we spent 2 nights. Yesterday we descended in winds and snow (stormy weather) to base camp, where we enjoyed another amazing dinner by our base camp chef Antony Dubber.
Photos taken by 2016 K2 expedition climber Stuart Erskine
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Petr flying one of his drones at K2 Base Camp with K2 in the background. In this photo Petr is landing the drone after a flight, directly into his hand.

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Petr flying one of his drones at K2 Base Camp with K2 in the background.

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Petr climbing to Camp 1 on K2 at 20,000 ft or 6,100 meters ASL with his camera equipment and drone in his backpack.

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Petr flying one of his drones at Camp 1 on K2 which is at 20,000 ft or 6,100 metres ASL. He flew for three minutes which could be the highest altitude drone flight on K2.

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Looking up K2 from Camp 2. The weather is very fickle and highly changeable on K2, which ads to the other dangers on this mountain. The top you see here is far from the summit, which is still about 6,500 ft from this location of Camp 2. Note the tents that are destroyed by previous bad weather and how the current tents are tied down in preparation for bad weather.

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This is the kitchen tent where food is prepared for the four climbers, two guides, photographer and chef. Antony Dubber from the UK is our chef and is preparing a soup for lunch. We have Antony our chef and his five kitchen helpers cooking for eight of us.

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A typical Base Camp lunch for the climbers and guides which is prepared by our chef Antony and his five kitchen helpers. While at Base Camp meal times are typically 8:00 AM, 1:00 PM and 6:30 PM.

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Our first rotation. This is Camp 2 on K2 in the middle of summer at 22,000 ft or 6,700 meters ASL. K2 is a steep, inhospitable and dangerous place when the weather is not on your side. High winds and blowing snow kept us in our tents for 36 hours, before we retreated in bad weather back down the steep mountainside of K2. From Camp 2, to Camp 1, to Advanced Base Camp (ABC) to Base Camp in one day. From Camp 2 at 22,000 ft to ABC at 17,500 ft is 4,500 ft altitude loss, of which about 80% of it has to be repelled on a rope as its too steep to free climb or arm wrap a rope down.

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Living on a glacier has its challenges as the glacier is constantly melting, moving and changing. Our team spends time each day repairing the bases for all of the personal sleeping tent sites.

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K2 Base Camp on July 5, 2016
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Two Pakistani army helicopters have flown from Skardu to K2 Base Camp (50 minutes one way) to evacuate one climber on another team that has altitude sickness. K2 is seen on the left and Broad Peak on the right with the Godwin Austin glacier in that middle. K2 Base Camp is behind the landed helicopter.

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One of our climbers, Mark Shuttleworth, was having knee issues  and has left the expedition and is now on his way home, below is a photo of Mark with 3 Army majors, who flew him out from base camp to Skardu yesterday.

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We climbed from Camp 1 to Camp 2 on the Abruzzi ridge on K2, House’s Chimney was one of the most interesting parts of the climb, steep rock and ice for about 60 feet. We had some inclement weather in the afternoon, big gusts of wind and some snow, now it has calmed down, and the view was spectacular! We are all tucked into our tents and resting, everyone is doing well.

-Garrett Madison

Photos taken by Stuart Erskine

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Climbers, guides, sherpas and Pakistani high altitude porters are climbing from Camp 1 to Camp 2 on K2. Camp 1 and Advanced Base Camp are visible in the background directly below the climbers.

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Climbers getting ready to leave Camp 1 on K2 to climb to Camp 2 on July 1, 2016. Broad Peak and the Godwin Austin Glacier are in the background.

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Climbing from Camp 1 to Camp 2 on K2, July 1 2016

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Climbing from Camp 1 to Camp 2 on K2, July 1 2016

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Climbing from Camp 1 to Camp 2 on K2, July 1 2016. K2 is extremely steep and rugged with highly erratic weather.

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Climbing up the steep section of K2.

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Climbing up from the chimney section towards Camp 2 on K2.

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Two climbers make their way up through fog, wind and light snow to Camp 2. The weather is notoriously changeable on K2. Being prepared for the extremes of K2’s weather is a challenge, especially at higher altitudes.

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Camp 2 on K2. It’s way steeper than it looks. At Camp 1 and 2 you need your boots, crampons, harness and to be clipped into a fixed rope or to a tent if you want to walk around. Broad Peak, the Godwin Austin Glacier, Concordia, and the Baltoro Glacier are all in the background.

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Today we climbed up the Abruzzi ridge about 3000 ft to our Camp 1. The terrain was steep, sometimes up to 70 degrees on snow and rock. We are doing well and will climb to camp 2 tomorrow.

-Garrett Madison

Photos below are taken by Stuart Erskine. Enjoy!

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Having supper at K2 Advanced Base Camp.

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Our guides Garrett and Shinji doing some great domestic duties after supper at K2 Advanced Base Camp. 

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Our climbers and guides climbing from Advanced Base Camp to Camp 1 on K2 on July 30, 2016.

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Garrett Madison, our expedition leader is leading our group of climbers that are moving toward Camp 1 on K2 on July 30, 2016. 

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Climbing from K2 Advanced Base Camp to Camp 1 on fixed ropes.

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Climbers arriving around noon to Camp 1 on K2 on June 30, 2016. 

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Tent sites are limited at Camp 1 on K2 and the locations are precarious and prone to serious rock fall and avalanche risk. We use Mountain Hardware Trango 3 tents. We use the Trango 3 tents as a one person tent at Base Camp, two person tents on our trek in and climbing on the mountain, and at camps where space is limited or at high altitude camps, we may have three persons per tent. The Trango 3 is well tested in the world’s harshest environments and is one of the most common tents used on many extreme expeditions.

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Camp 1 on K2 at 20,000 ft ASL on June 30, 2016. Broad Peak, one of the world’s highest fourteen 8,000 metre peaks and the 12th highest mountain in the world is in the background. The Godwin Austin Glacier is in the valley below and flows down into the large Baltoro Glacier.

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After successfully making it through the Khumbu Icefall yesterday our team has enjoyed a rest at Camp One. Today our lead guides, (Garrett, Conan, and Billy) made a nice breakfast for the team before taking off on a day hike to continue to acclimatize. Everyone is in good health and ready to continue the journey up Mt. Everest tomorrow. With weather conditions stable our team will climb 3-5 hours to reach Camp Two at 6,400m (21,000ft) tomorrow. Spending a couple nights at Camp Two our team will complete their first acclimatization rotation and return to base camp to rest. The views are spectacular and we will have photos up of Camp Two tomorrow!

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Madison Mountaineering Camp One

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Early this morning our climbers departed from base camp and successfully navigated through the Khumbu Icefall to reach Everest Camp One. Crossing the many crevasse’s with ladders fixed together and steep fixed lines our climbers worked as a team to overcome the obstacles and reach the safety of our tents above the icefall. Our weather reports in the weeks to come will be from our good friend Micheal Fagin with Everest Weather. Michael will be providing tailored weather analytics that provide the most up to date and accurate assessments, allowing our team to make data driven decisions closer to summit day. Right now we are not seeing any storms that may move out of the Bay of Bengal with light precipitation on Mount Everest over the next few days.

Tomorrow our team will go on a 2-3 hour day hike and return to Camp One in the evening. All members are doing well and I’m sure will have a good night sleep after their ascent through the Khumbu Icefall. Below is a shot of Madison Mountaineering Camp One!

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It’s an early morning as our team gears up for an alpine start toward Everest Camp 1. It is now 2 am and the team is having a light breakfast and grabbing lunch snack packs before taking off into the Khumbu Icefall toward Camp 1. Backpacks and gear were packed before dinner and the stars and moon are out in full. The weather looks great for the ascent and everyone is excited to begin this next stage of their journey.

Yesterday we went up into the Khumbu Icefall for a 3 hour trip up toward the ladders for continued ice practice. All members of the team did very well and moved up and down the fixed ropes with ease. Garrett will be able to send brief messages and pictures via satellite connection and I will upload from base camp. To the top!

 

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Today we enjoyed a beautiful sunrise and a few of us wondered around exploring Everest Base Camp throughout the afternoon. Surprisingly it takes about an hour to get from one side of the camp to the other! There are three helicopter landing zones that we found and dozens of camps with climbers gearing up for their first rotations. We met many interesting characters along the way including a man that is here for 6 weeks collecting personal postcards to put into a traveling art gallery. I will try and get pictures and details as his collection grows!

Our team is healthy and ready to make their first rotation up through the Khumbu Icefall tomorrow night. The plan is to trek into the icefall in the morning then relax and double check our gear before taking off at 1am the following night. Our team will spend two nights at Camp 1 and then move up to Camp 2 for an additional two nights. Camp 2 for us is a bigger establishment with a dining tent similar to base camp. Today we met all of the climbing Sherpa that will be with us as we journey to the top.

Photos from our trek around base camp! Enjoy 🙂

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Today was our third day training on the edge of the Khumbu Icefall, with our climbing team gearing up for their first rotation to Camp 1 early this coming week. On the course today we had multiple ladder crossings and fixed rope circuits that continued to challenge the team and allowed each climber to grow stronger. Tomorrow we will rest up and go for a short hike around base camp. All of the climbing team’s in base camp are taking the day off from climbing in the icefall tomorrow in remembrance of the 2014 icefall avalanche.

The weather has been beautiful in the mornings with snow clouds rolling in early afternoon and  throughout the evening. All members of the team are in good health and are excited to begin the next stage of their journey. Our meals are plentiful and delicious, we are all convinced that we will be gaining weight on this expedition.

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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