Tag: Climbing

Second Rotation Succeed!

We concluded a great second rotation today by descending from our Camp 2, known as our Advanced Base Camp, all the way down to our Everest base camp. While on our rotation we spent three nights at our Camp 2, and were very lucky to have great weather. To begin our rotation, we departed our base camp at 4 AM and climbed all the way to Camp 2.

Then, we took a rest day to recuperate and recover from the big climb, nearly 4,000 ft (1,212m) of vertical gain. After our rest day we planned to climb to our Camp 3 on the Lhotse Face, so we departed our Camp 2 (Advanced Base Camp) at 8 AM .We climbed with our down suits to the base of the Lhotse Face, then began our ascent up the steep ice wall on the fixed ropes towards Camp 3. It is situated about halfway up the Lhotse Face at approximately 23,500 ft. (7,121m).

The Lhotse Face is notably icier this year and requires good crampon technique! After 5 hours of climbing we reached our Camp 3 and took a long break to rest, hydrate, and eat a few snacks. We also had the privilege of enjoying an amazing view from Camp 3, looking down over Camp 2, the Western CWM, and Camp 1. We then descended the fixed rope designated for rappelling and made good time in our descent, reaching our Camp 2 just an hour later for a late afternoon lunch. It was a very productive rotation in that we accomplished our goal of climbing to Camp 3 to acclimatize . Additionally, we also familiarize ourselves with the steep and technical terrain of the Lhotse Face.

Rope Fixing Update!

Our Sherpas have been busy carrying loads of equipment to the South Col high camp (Camp 4) for the final stage of the rope fixing project . This involves setting the ropes from the South Col to the Summit of Mount Everest. They have done an exemplary job so far by setting two lines up to Camp 3. One for ascending and one for descending, as well as an additional line above Camp 3 to ease congestion on the route. We have received many compliments regarding how the lines are set in a safe and desirable fashion on the Lhotse Face which makes for efficient climbing.

Lines have also been set on the Geneva Spur, the final rock ridge before the South Col, so that climbers can go up and down on separate lines for safety and efficiency. At this time Sherpas have been utilizing these ropes to carry loads of oxygen cylinders, tents, food, and fuel to position at the South Col for the eventual summit attempt on Mount Everest!

Weather Forecast!

According to our weather forecasts, it appears that a major wind event is approaching Mount Everest, probably in the next day or two. Our Sherpas will make good use of tomorrows marginal weather forecast to position additional loads at the South Col high camp, and then see if the following day is appropriate for climbing above 8000 meters. The jet stream will likely cover the Mount Everest region for up to a week and no climbing will take place above 8000 meters during this time, so we are preparing to hold tight and wait for the opportunity when the Jet Stream passes and the winds are calm enough for a summit attempt! Until then we plan to rest and enjoy the amenities of our Everest base camp!

Mission Everest Continues!

Yesterday the weather was good up here , we took some rest in Camp 2. Today we departed Camp 2, our Advanced Base Camp, at 7 AM to climb up the Lhotse Face to Camp 3 at nearly 23,500 ft. (7120m) We donned our Down Suits to stay warm in the early morning before the sun arrived on the Lhotse Face at around 9 AM. Climbing up the steep ice was challenging, but our steel crampons held firm as we made our way up the face to Camp 3.

Upon reaching Camp 3 we took a long break and had a snack before making our way down the Lhotse Face, rappelling the steeper line over the blue ice to the base of the Lhotse Face near the Bergschrund. We then made our way back to Camp 2 for dinner and a restful sleep. Our plan is to either descend tomorrow or take a rest day and descend the following day down to Everest base camp, and then take a long rest before embarking on our summit rotation!

Today our climbing sherpas carried loads to the South Col high camp (Camp 4) in preparation for the final rope fixing to the summit of Mount Everest – Our Rope fixing team fixed the rope upto South Col! . Now that all of the essential equipment is in place for the rope fixing (ropes, ice screws, carabiners, oxygen, etc) we are keeping an eye on the weather for an opportunity to fix the final portion of the route up the Triangular Face to the Balcony (27,500 ft / 8335m), then up the south east ridge and over the rock bands to the south summit, along the summit ridge to the top of the world! Stay tuned for updates from our rope fixing team!

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!

Video Recap:

Video recap (Day 1-12) of Madison Mountaineering journey to Everest base camp!  Please enjoy the short video given below of our team trekking to Everest base camp.

Video Recap Till EBC

                                                                                                            Video Recap Till EBC

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

 

 

Our Mount Vinson Expeditions concluded yesterday when our second team made it back to Punta Arenas, Chile, after a successful climb of the highest peak on the continent of Antarctica.  We are thrilled to announce that Madison Mountaineering was the only company leading multiple Mount Vinson Expeditions with 100% climber success overall, this is unmatched by the other guide companies on the mountain this year.  We credit this high level of achievement and safety to our commitment of thorough climber screening and preparation beforehand, our leadership on the mountain, and building cohesive teams of climbers that are very powerful.  Our first team of Mount Vinson climbers comprised of Garrett, Peter, Richard, and Sharon reached the summit of Mount Vinson on January 7th, and our second team of Mount Vinson climbers comprised of Garrett, Keith, Annie, Mei, Jeff, Tamas, and Maria reached the summit of Mount Vinson on January 17th after first having skied to the South Pole!

Each of our Mount Vinson expeditions were very fortunate to reach the top of the mountain with fantastic weather, clear skies and only a little wind, very pleasant summit days indeed!  We now will head home to our families and friends, and for some of us begin preparing for our next big expedition, Mount Everest beginning in early April!  Please enjoy the photos below of our recent climbs in Antarctica!  For climbers looking to climb Mount Vinson or other peaks in Antarctica for the upcoming season (December 2018), its important to start planning soon!

Garrett Madison

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Mount Vinson Expeditions

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Mount Vinson Expeditions

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Mount Vinson Expeditions

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Mount Vinson Expeditions

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Mount Vinson Expeditions

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Today private guides Brent and Geoff moved up to Camp 3 with climbers John and Anders in three hours. The route conditions and weather made for a quick ascent. Tomorrow they will depart at 8am and continue the ascent to Camp 4 and prepare for their summit push on Everest and Lhotse. We are excited to have our team in summit position and will be up all night here at base camp to monitor their progress.

Our main team spent today resting at Camp 2 and will move up to Camp 3 early tomorrow morning. Mountain winds are expected to decrease and allow our climbers to be well positioned for clear summit days on Everest and Lhotse. The weather has been clear and sunny the past few days with little to no precipitation. All of our high camps have been stocked with oxygen and supplies by our strong Sherpa team.

To the top!

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Beautiful weather at Camp 2 today

Camp 3

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Moving between Camp 1 and 2

Our Mount Everest and Lhotse summit rotation has launched! At 2am this morning our climbing team departed Everest base camp and began the ascent though the Khumbu Icefall. Now resting at Camp 2, our entire team will rest and prepare for the next move to Camp 3. Weather forecasts are predicting for increased wind over the next couple says so we will hold till the conditions settle down. We are all in good spirits and health and excited to continue our journey to the top of the world.

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Celebratory photo with our Ghurka neighbors! 

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Relaxing in our dining tent the evening before taking off on our summit rotation

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Happy Birthday Ellen!!

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Anders, Brent, Geoff and John taking off for Camp 2

Lhotse summit rotation

Yesterday, 2 of our top fixing Sherpas in partnership with the British-Gurkha team (Sherpas and Nepali climbers) were able to reach the summit around 2:15 PM.  We are very happy that our plan succeeded, and now climbers will begin making attempts on the peak.  Our 2 Sherpas who aided in the rope fixing effort today are Lakpa Dandi and Tashi Sherpa, 2 of the 7 rope fixing Sherpas to reach the summit.

As we are now in the final phase of our Mount Everest expedition, our sights are set on climbing to the summit of the world’s highest peak, and for some of us after that also climbing to the top of the world’s 4th highest peak, Lhotse.  We have completed our acclimatization rotations on Everest, reaching Camp 3 and spending several nights at Camp 2 (21,300’) on each of our rotations. Our Sherpa team has stocked all of our high camps with essential equipment for our climb including tents, oxygen cylinders, food, etc.  We are now well rested after spending the last week in base camp or down in Namche at the comfortable Panorama lodge.  We are now waiting in base camp for a favorable weather forecast.

The current weather models show that high winds will arrive over Everest in the next day or two, so we will wait until these winds pass before making our summit attempt. Some teams may try to summit in the next day or shortly after, we prefer to wait for a better forecast before making out attempt. Our main team hopes to be ready to climb on the tail end of this wind event, perhaps as early as May 22nd if the winds do indeed drop down by then.

Currently we are all resting in base camp and passing the time watching films, reading books, going for short hikes, occasional camp maintenance projects, reviewing our climbing kit and oxygen systems, and of course coming together as a team for meal times in our dining tent.  We will continue to monitor the weather forecasts, and hopefully begin our summit attempt in a few days time, stay tuned!

Garrett Madison

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Rope fixing Sherpas

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Rope fixing Sherpas

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Rope fixing Sherpas

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Rope fixing Sherpas

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Rope fixing Sherpas

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Rope fixing Sherpas

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Rope fixing Sherpas

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