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Arrived At Camp 2

First Rotation : Arrived At Camp 2

Our team has arrived at Camp 2 on Mount Everest! Today we climbed from our Camp 1 up through the Western CWM and arrived at Camp 2 in the early afternoon. We are settling in now and excited to be in our “ABC” or Advanced Base Camp! Everyone is doing well!

Camp 3 Established!

Our expert team of Nepal, Climbing Sherpas are very skilled technical climbers . Their job is to ‘fix’ the lines from Camp 2 all the way up the mountain to the summit of Everest. They have been working very hard since beginning. Our team were fixing ropes above Camp 2 on April 19th, and have now succeeded in fixing lines from the base of the Lhotse face all the way up to Camp 3.  They have installed 2 lines, an ‘up’ line and a ‘down’ line for climbers.

Camp 3 is now ‘open’ for climbers wishing to climb the fixed ropes up to Camp 3 to acclimatize. Furthermore, they can secure a camp place, or  carry loads of supplies to Camp 3.  Our expert Sherpa team will rest and then continue working on the next stage to fix the ropes up towards the Yellow Band, Geneva Spur, and to the South Col known as Camp 4 on Mount Everest.  We hope for good weather!

Arrived At Camp 1

Today we woke up at 19,400 ft. in the Western CWM at our Camp 1, enjoyed a nice breakfast, and then went on a short hike partway up to Camp 2. We are now back in Camp 1 resting and preparing to spend the night here.

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

 

 

Today our climbing team patiently continued to hold at Camp 2 on Everest as our weather window approaches. After analyzing the weather forecasts from our friend Michael Fagin, it is looking very positive for a summit date between May 18-19 on Everest. We will soon make the ascent to Camp 3 and put ourselves in position for this summit window. The team is doing very well and we have been sending food and supplies up the mountain from base camp. Ankur continues to win at Scrabble from what I’ve heard. In the afternoon the team has been going on short hikes to stay active.

Here at base camp the weather has been beautiful and sunny throughout the day. The Sherpa team and I have been enjoying the TV series Game of Thrones in the evenings and are caught up on Season 6. We are all very excited as our climbers will soon continue up the mountain.

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Shout-out to the icefall doctor’s shown here passing our climbers. This skilled Sherpa team have been fixing the ropes and ladders all season long, keeping our climbers safe.

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Today our team spent another day at Camp 2 on Everest waiting for the high winds to settle closer to the summit. Garrett Madison and team are patiently waiting for the weather window to allow a safe ascent for all members. Currently we are focused in on the 18 or 19th as a possible summit window. Which would mean that our team would be moving up the mountain in the next couple days. If the winds do not settle our team will come back down to base camp and we will wait for the next weather window to arrive. We are working very hard to put our team in the best position possible for a successful summit and have our fingers crossed that that day will soon arrive.

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Photo of our VR capture team out exploring and shooting some 360 footage

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Today our climbing team rested at camp 2 and will prepare for the upcoming ascent to Camp 3 in the days to come. The weather forecast is calling for increased winds higher on the mountain and our team is planning to hold at Camp 2 and wait for the conditions to settle. Currently we are expecting a summit date between May 17-20 based on current forecasts. The team is in good health and spirits and will enjoy the spectacular views around them. We sent up today a Scrabble game and a few card games to keep the team occupied as they wait for the weather to settle on the summit.

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Beautiful photo taken on the team’s climb to Camp 2!

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Today our climbing team enjoyed a rest day at Camp 2 on Everest and celebrated the great news that our collaborative Sherpa team successfully reached the summit of Everest today at 5:10pm our time. Lakpa Chiring Sherpa from Pangboche represented Madison Mountaineering and stood on top of the world earlier today. This was a group effort among a few other lead teams here this season and marks the first summit of the year from the south side. We are very happy that the ropes and fixed lines have been set and now our climbing team is awaiting the weather window to push for the summit. Right now the weather forecasts are calling for increased winds which could possibly push our anticipated summit date back a few days. Early tomorrow morning our Sherpa team will bring food and supplies up to Camp 2 as we wait for the weather to clear.

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Climbing Sherpa Team

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After a alpine start this morning our climbing team safely arrived in Camp 2 this afternoon. Waking up at 11:30pm our team had a quick breakfast before taking off into the icefall. The weather conditions were clear through the night with snow rolling in throughout the morning. Garrett reports from Camp 2 that the team is tired but all in good condition after the big push. The plan is to rest tomorrow at Camp 2 then touch Camp 3 the following day. In total spending 4 nights on the mountain for this second rotation before coming back down to base camp.

Brent and Kent are acclimatizing here at base camp and will go on a hike toward Pumori tomorrow morning. They plan to climb to Camp 1 the following day. The summit window for Everest will be arriving shortly, stay tuned as we journey to the top of the world!

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