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Today our team is enjoying a restful day at Everest Base Camp and will be departing on their second rotation toward Camp 2 early this morning. Yesterday Lisa, Ankur, and Conan went on a afternoon hike with beautiful views looking over the Everest region. Ankur had a special delivery DHL package delivered to basecamp a couple weeks ago with a Scrabble game. Little did we know Ankur is a extraordinary scrabble player and the rest of the team will continue to win a game. The weather has been great with clear skies in the day and colder nights once the sun goes down. We are all looking forward to our next rotation and believe that the summit day is within two weeks from today!

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Larger than a American Chuckar, very domesticated and looking for handouts!

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Spectacular views with Everest in the background 

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Lisa practicing her yoga moves at 18,500ft

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Lisa and Ankur on a relaxing day hike with Conan

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Spending a second night at Camp 2, our climbers acclimatize and continue to move higher up the mountain. Over the past two days our team has enjoyed the comfort of our advanced base camp with hot meals and beautiful views. From base camp we watched many helicopters make rounds to Camp 1 yesterday, carrying loads dangling beneath filled with fixed ropes for higher on Everest. In years past Sherpa had carried the fixed ropes through the Khumbu Icefall. Tomorrow if the weather allows our team will descend the mountain and arrive back at Base Camp. Strong winds have been ripping across base camp at night which makes for a exciting night in the tent.

Once back at base camp our team will rest for 4-5 days before making their second rotation toward Camp 3 at 7,200, (23,635ft).

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Garrett reports to base camp that the team has successfully reached Camp 2 at 6,400m (21,000ft). Currently it’s snowing and very cold with high winds. Our Camp 2 is our advanced base camp with a large dining tent with food and supplies to support the expedition further up Mt. Everest in the weeks to come. Our team is healthy and doing well, they are now in their down suits staying warm as the temperature continues to drop into the evening. The plan is to stay here for 3 nights to acclimate and go on day hikes if the weather allows. Will upload pictures as soon as I am able!

Team members and tentmates Audrey and Linda call into to report the team is in good health for summit, setting several personal altitude records, and have completed the carry to the high camp, Camp 3 (5989m / 19,650ft). They were also able to sneak in several product placements in their dispatch! 🙂 After a nice dinner and night at Camp 2, the plan is to complete the move to Camp 3 tomorrow and plan to make the summit attempt on Friday, January 22. The team members miss their family members and send their love. To higher places!!

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Bernd on the way to Camp 3:

Bernd on the way to Camp 3

Today Peter, from the Aconcagua climbing team, provides a audio dispatch from Camp 2 as the team rests at an elevation of (5492m/18,020ft) and outlines their summit day plan. We also get a nice introduction to all of the other team members. Weather is continuing to be great, the team is feeling good and looking forward to the summit attempt in a few days.

Check out team member Ginna Kelly’s awesome cause – http://climbforconservation.org/

The audio dispatch is in two parts:

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Walt and Ginna relaxing at camp (Photo by: Bernd):

Walt and Ginna (photo by Bernd)

Walt and Ginna relaxing in base camp

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!

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Today Garrett, Mike, Sam, Iñaki, and Todd took a rest day at high camp after their summit ascent yesterday. The team had a beautiful summit day with gorgeous views and no wind, allowing the whole team to make it to the top. Once Garrett and team arrived back at Camp 2 the winds picked up considerably and the team decided to enjoy a rest day instead of making the descent with high winds. Depending on tomorrow’s conditions the team will climb down to Mt. Vinson base camp, but could end up staying 2-3 additional days in order to make a safe descent. Our team has plenty of food and fuel and will be checking in tomorrow!

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Audio Dispatch from Garrett Madison ~ Monday, December 7

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Beautiful view of Antarctica yesterday!

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Garrett, Mike, Sam, Iñaki, and Todd are currently climbing to the summit of Antarctica! Mount Vinson is the highest peak in Antarctica, at 4,892 meters (16,050 ft). It lies in the north part of Vinson Massif’s summit plateau in the south portion of the main ridge of the Sentinel Range. Yesterday our climbing team set up Camp 2 as their staging point for the summit push. Waking up at 7am Garrett and team prepared to depart for the summit. Weather reports show terrific weather conditions and clear skies for our team. To the top!

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Audio Dispatch from Garrett Madison ~ Sunday, December 6

 

The team enjoyed bright, clear, and sunny conditions on the Branscomb Glacier today! This beautiful  antarctic glacier flows west from the north-west side of Vinson Massif into Nimitz Glacier, in the Sentinel Range of the Ellsworth Mountains. Garrett, Mike, Sam, Iñaki, and Todd made use of the change in weather conditions and continued the ascent up Mount Vinson. Temperatures have increased considerably which allowed our team to enjoy the scenery in the near 24 hours of sunshine! Garrett and team safely traversed the fixed lines and transported gear up to the top of the Branscomb Glacier in preparation for moving to Camp 2 tomorrow. After a successful day, our climbing team enjoyed salmon, pork chops, french fries and vegetables. Eating well and storing up high quality energy for the upcoming summit push! Garrett and team plan to climb to Camp 2 tomorrow and make a summit push in 2-3 days depending on the upcoming weather conditions. Forecasts show for low winds and warmer temperatures. To the top!

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Audio Dispatch from Garrett Madison ~ Friday, December 4

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Garrett, Mike, Sam, Iñaki, and Todd successfully executed a carry up the Branscomb Glacier. Tomorrow the team will climb back up the fixed lines and set up Camp 2!

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