Tag Archive for: Everest Base Camp

Guides Kumar and Ming Dorchi on the summit of Island Peak

The featured photo (above) is guides Kumar and Ming Dorchi on the summit of Island Peak with climber Rich D. earlier in the week.  Congrats Rich!!  For the recap of the snowy day at EBC, here’s Everest guide Terray Sylvester:

Hello, this Terray calling in again for the 2021 Madison Mountaineering Mount Everest expedition.  It’s Wednesday, April 21st.

Today the forecast dictated that we spend a rest day in camp and defer, for at least one day, our ascent to Camp I.  So we spent the morning going over some descending techniques down in the ice pyramids just below base camp.  We practiced arm-wrap descending and repelling with a belay device, just to make sure that everyone’s efficient with those techniques when it comes time to actually descend the Lhotse face or descent through the Khumbu Icefall.

Just as we were arriving back at camp it started to snow.  It’s about 7:30 now and it’s not actively snowing, but we got anywhere from four to six inches on the ground.  And certainly more where it’s drifted up against the tents.  Base camp has transformed from the rocky glacial landscape that it has been to a sort of snowly winter wonderland — it’s actually beautiful.

We just wrapped up dinner.  Tonight it was pasta, green beans, and filet mignon.  Then a desert of canned peaches.  Now we’ll settle in with a movie.

Before dinner we also did a weather forecast presentation.  We recieve detailed daily forecasts, so we put those up on the projector and work through that in detail.  Just so everyone knows what’s in store for the next few days.

Right now it looks like we’ll probably see more snow coming in on the 22nd, which means that may yet again delay our ascent to Camp I.  But after that, it looks like we’ll have some high pressure and clear skys and hopefully great conditions for climbing.

Okay, we’ll be in touch!

If climbing Mount Everest is in your future, please contact our office, we would love to have you climb with us!


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my Madison Mountaineering flash briefing.

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking map:

Climbing into the lower part of the Khumbu Icefall

The Everest team took their first foray into the Khumbu Icefall today and Everest/Lhotse guide, Terray Sylvester, has all the details:

Hello!  This is Terray calling in for the 2021 Madison Mountaineering Mount Everest expedition.  It’s Tuesday, April 20th.

Today we took our first foray up into the Khumbu Icefall.  We left after breakfast and accended to about 18,500 ft.  We had beatiful weather and great conditions in the Icefall.  It was a great chance for our climbers to practise the ascending and repelling skills that they’ll need when we actually do head all the way up through the Icefall to Camp I.

Today we went approximately a third, or maybe a quarter, of the way to Camp I.  And yeah, the weather was beautiful today, but it looks like we have some snow coming in tomorrow so we’ve delayed our actual accent to Camp I until, most likely, the day after tomorrow.

But, all is well here in base camp and we will be in touch!

Climbing into the lower part of the Khumbu Icefall

Climbing into the lower part of the Khumbu Icefall

Climbing into the lower part of the Khumbu Icefall

Climbing into the lower part of the Khumbu Icefall

Climbing into the lower part of the Khumbu Icefall

Climbing into the lower part of the Khumbu Icefall

Climbing into the lower part of the Khumbu Icefall

Climbing into the lower part of the Khumbu Icefall

If climbing Mount Everest is in your future, please contact our office, we would love to have you climb with us!


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my Madison Mountaineering flash briefing.

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking map:

Climbing team at Prayer Flag Point above EBC

Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, reports on the day’s activities for the team at Everest base camp which included an acclimatization hike up to Prayer Flag Point:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Mount Everest and Lhotse expedition team.  We are in Everest base camp.  He had a good day today.  We changed our plans slightly because there was some activity in the Icefall.  We were going to go for a walk in the Icefall today, but instead, we went on another acclimatization hike – just outside of base camp to Prayer Flag Point.  We had some great views, good exercise, came back for lunch, had a restful afternoon, and had dinner.  We just finished watching Top Gun tonight – a great Amercian film.

Our Sherpa team is doing well.  They had a big day today on the mountain and we’re going to take an easy day tomorrow.  We are going to go for a little walk in the Icefall but not too far, just explore the bottom part for two hours and then back to base camp.

All’s well here with our team in base camp and we’re looking forward to another nice day here on Mount Everest.

Team acclimatization hike above EBC

Team acclimatization hike above EBC

If climbing Mount Everest is in your future, please contact our office, we would love to have you climb with us!


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my Madison Mountaineering flash briefing.

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking map:

Team after puja ceremony

Garrett Madison phones in from Everest base camp to provide the details of today’s puja ceremony which blessed the team and provided prayers for safe passage on the mountain:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Everest and Lhotse expedition.  Today’s April 18th and we had a wonderful day today.

We had our puja ceremony where we gathered together in base camp and had a Buddhist Lama come up and ask the mountain for safe passage.  It was a very nice ceremony and a beautiful day here – warm and sunny with some singing and dancing after the ceremony.  We had a restful afternoon and a nice dinner and a good movie tonight – a comedy – and now we’re heading to bed.

Everyone’s doing well here at base camp and tomorrow we’re looking forward to a foray up into the Icefall to climb up a couple of hours and check out the route and then back to base camp.  The weather is looking good, the team’s doing well, and we’re looking forward to another great day here is base camp.

Puja day in Everest base camp

Puja day in Everest base camp

If climbing Mount Everest is in your future, please contact our office, we would love to have you climb with us!


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my Madison Mountaineering flash briefing.

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking map:

More skills training on the Khumbu Glacier just below EBC

Everest guide, Terray Sylvester reports on the day’s skills training from Mount Everest base camp.

Hi, this is Terray calling in for the 2021 Madison Mountaineering Mount Everest expedition.  It’s Friday, April 16th.

Today we woke up to beautiful sight of fresh snow on base camp and the Khumbu Glacier and the mountains above us.  We had a great breakfast of eggs and bacon and french toast with Vermont maple syrup and then we headed down for our second day of skills training on the glacier just below base camp.  We practiced ladder-crossing techniques, fixed-line ascent, and repelling again.  We’ll have one more of skills training before our Puja on the 18th.

Let’s see what else happened today…  Earlier this morning our former NFL wide-reciever Mark Pattison, who’s climbing Everest and Lhotse with us, was having some fun tossing around a football with some of our Sherpa staff and other members of our climbing team.  In the evening the clouds parted so we had great views of alpenglow on Nupste and farther up the valley.  Now the stars are coming out and the team is settled in watching another movie.

We’ll head to bed soon and we’ll be in touch!

More skills training on the Khumbu Glacier just below EBC

More skills training on the Khumbu Glacier just below EBC

More skills training on the Khumbu Glacier just below EBC

Ronan M. honing his skills

More skills training on the Khumbu Glacier just below EBC

More skills training on the Khumbu Glacier just below EBC

Practicing ladder-crossing on the Khumbu Glacier just below EBC

Practicing ladder-crossing on the Khumbu Glacier just below EBC

More skills training on the Khumbu Glacier just below EBC

Kristin B. getting in some more training and skill building

If climbing Mount Everest is in your future, please contact our office, we would love to have you climb with us!


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my Madison Mountaineering flash briefing.

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking map:

Skills practice in the Khumbu Icefall

Time for some climbing skills practice at EBC.  Terray recaps the day:

Hi, this is Terray calling in for the 2021 Madison Mountaineering Mount Everest expedition.  It’s April 15th.

Today we had our first day of skills practice down on the ice pyramids of the Khumbu Glacier just below our base camp.  We practiced descending fixed-lines and repelling.  We’ll have two more days of skills practice before we head on up to Camps I and II.

The weather was great today – we seem to be in a pattern of beautiful sunny skies in the morning which last until mid-afternoon and then we had a light snow fall.  And now it’s just slightly overcast and the team is relaxing after dinner watching The Blues Brothers.

So, in other news, our Island Peak climber successfully summited the mountian today.  He had trekked with us to base camp and then decended back down the Khumbu Valley, turned left at Dingboche and headed up to Island Peak.  It seems like he had a good climb with one of our guides.

So all is well and we’ll be in touch.  Bye!

Sirdar Aang Purba enjoying the icefall skills building

Sirdar Aang Purba enjoying the icefall skills building

Skills building exercise in the Khumbu Icefall

Skills building exercise in the Khumbu Icefall

A grinning Mark P building his fixed line skills

A grinning Mark P building his fixed-line skills

Skills building exercise in the Khumbu Icefall

Skills building exercise in the Khumbu Icefall

Skills building exercise in the Khumbu Icefall

Skills building exercise in the Khumbu Icefall

If climbing Mount Everest is in your future, please contact our office, we would love to have you climb with us!


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my Madison Mountaineering flash briefing.

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking map:

The team enjoying a nice meal at EBC

The Everest team made an acclimatizing hike today and guide Terray Sylvester provides the details from Everest base camp:

Hello, this is Terray calling in for the 2021 Madison Mountaineering Mount Everest expedition.  It’s Wednesday, April 14th.

Today we did an acclimatization hike up to Pumori base camp – a little over 1,000 ft. above our base camp here on the Khumbu Glacier.  We had beautiful weather and from Pumori base camp there we had, of course, great views of Pumori itself but also Mount Everest, the Khumbu Icefall, Lhotse, the South Col, the North Col, and the south face of Nuptse.

Then we came back to camp, had lunch – it was salmon and fresh vegitable and other dishes.  Then we rested until dinner; we just wrapped that up.  That was pork chops with sauteed mushrooms, pasta, and a desert of mangos.

Now the team is cozy in the dinning tent, we’ve got the movie screen on and we’re watching a James Bond movie.  So spirits are high and tomorrow we’ll do some training here on the glacier; fixed-lines, ice climbing, repelling.  We will do a few days of training before we start our first rotation to Camp I and Camp II around the 20th.

All right!  We’ll be in touch!

Hiking up to Pumori Base Camp

Hiking up to Pumori Base Camp

The view of Everest, Lhotse, and Nuptse from Pumori base camp

The view of EBC, Everest, Lhotse, and the west shoulder of Nuptse from Pumori base camp

Hiking back down from Pumori base camp to EBC

Hiking back down from Pumori base camp to EBC

Trekking team back in Kathmandu celebrating Nepali New Year!

Trekking team back in Kathmandu celebrating the Nepali New Year!

If climbing Mount Everest is in your future, please contact our office, we would love to have you climb with us!


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my Madison Mountaineering flash briefing.

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking map:

Team arriving Everest Base Camp

Our Everest team enjoyed their first full day at base camp and the trekkers have started their return trip.  Terray Sylvester, Everest guide, phoned in today’s update from the communications tent at base camp:

Hello!  This is Terray calling in for the 2021 Madison Mountaineering Mount Everest expedition.  It’s April 13th – our first full day in base camp.  We arrived in base camp yesterday to a warm welcome from our base camp staff and then, this morning, our trekking team headed out.  Some of them are walking back down to Lukla.  We have one trekker that’s going to climb Island Peak on the way.  The rest of the team got helicopters flights right here out of base camp and had a scenic flight back down the Khumbu Valley.

It was a beautiful day for most of the day and then we had light snow in the afternoon.  Our climbing team had hot showers and then rested in the afternoon in prepration for an acclimitization hike to Pumori base camp tomorrow.

After that, we will have a few days of training as we prepare for our first rotation up through the Khumbu Icefall.

Okay, we’ll be in touch!

Climbing Kala Patthar

Climbing Kala Patthar

The view trekking from Gorakshep to EBC

The view trekking from Gorakshep to EBC

Trekking from Gorakshep to EBC

Trekking from Gorakshep to EBC

Team arriving Everest Base Camp

Team arriving Everest Base Camp

Team arriving Everest Base Camp

Team arriving Everest Base Camp

Base camp staff welcoming the arriving team

Base camp staff welcoming the arriving team

Base camp staff welcoming the arriving team

Base camp staff welcoming the arriving team

Arrival at Everest Base Camp

Arrival at Everest Base Camp

If climbing Mount Everest is in your future, please contact our office, we would love to have you climb with us!


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my Madison Mountaineering flash briefing.

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking map:

Recent photo of the serac approximately 1 kilometer above the central portion of the Khumbu Icefall (📸: Andrezj Bargiel)

We’ve wrapped up our Everest expedition for the 2019 autumn season, and everyone is heading home. There were no summits of Everest this season by our team or any of the teams attempting the peak. We had the good fortune to connect with some of the world’s best high-altitude climbers & skiers alongside us this season. However, the conditions were such that we’ve all accepted the Mountain was not in a safe enough condition to make a reasonable attempt. Among others, I had the pleasure of spending time this season with Kilian Jornet, who is likely the world’s best high altitude climber, Andrezj Bargiel, who is likely the world’s best high altitude skier, and Tim Emmett who is one of the world’s best all-around climbers.

This ‘post-monsoon’ autumn season on 8000m peaks was a tough one. The monsoon came late and was very heavy, significant amounts of snowfall continued to accumulate daily throughout the time we were on Everest, rather than the typically drier weather of September.

Despite the unusually inclement weather making the overall conditions more challenging, after establishing the route to Camp 1 we discovered a large Serac (ice cliff) that was precariously hanging above the icefall route, on the way from base camp to camp 1. After studying the Serac by drone footage, we determined that when this Serac fell it would obliterate a large portion of the route, a wide area of the route was in danger with no way to avoid this section. None of the teams present, except for Kilian, were willing to take the risk of climbing through this section. Kilian can move very quickly and independently, so he could justify going through this area.

We continued to wait patiently in base camp for the Serac to fall, thereby making the route safe & reasonable for us. However, that day never came. Although the Serac looked more precarious each day, it never broke off while we waited. Eventually, all of the teams decided that they were running out of time and had to call off their expedition plans. Kilian did make one great attempt and reached 8300m on Everest before deciding the deep and unstable snow was too risky for an avalanche. His recap is here: https://www.instagram.com/p/B3RjuN6nHZV/

I stayed with our Nepal team and held out hope that the Serac would fall and allow us to climb until October 6th, when it became apparent that we were out of time. Even if the Serac came down the next day, it would take us more than two weeks to mobilize our team and make an attempt under best-case circumstances, assuming perfect weather, route conditions, climber health and acclimatization, etc., an additional two weeks past our scheduled end date for the expedition.

Everest felt like a totally different mountain this autumn as compared to my prior 12 spring Everest expeditions, due to the continued inclement weather and substantial buildup of new snow. In spring typically the weather is much nicer, and the route conditions are relatively dry, allowing for straightforward climbing.

I’m happy to say that nobody had mixed emotions about climbing under the Serac. It was plain to all of us (except Kilian) that the risk to human life was too high for us, given the precarious position of this ice cliff. Independent, professional climbers can afford, if they choose, to take high risks. However, as a professional mountain guide & expedition leader, I cannot subject my clients and staff to such risks. I appreciate how amenable our clients were in their understanding and agreement in this decision.

We came to the mountain, having prepared ourselves to make an attempt at the summit, should the opportunity present itself. However, many factors are out of our control and must all must align for us to even have a shot at the summit. This season the mountain did not present a reasonable set of conditions for us to make a viable attempt. That’s an inherent part of mountaineering, knowing that the summit is not guaranteed. I’m glad we all enjoyed our time together on this journey in the Himalayas experiencing the mountain, the Sherpa culture, and the richness of Nepal!  A special thank you to Joe Vernachio and everyone at Mountain Hardwear!

I look forward to my next opportunity on Everest in spring 2020!

Team in Pheriche (📸: Francois Lebeau / Louder than 11)

Autumn Everest Base Camp

Due to the unsafe route conditions in the Khumbu Icefall, expedition leader, Garrett Madison, has today called off the expedition and has started making the preparations to pack up and head home.  Many thanks to our entire Nepal-based staff and to our climbers and trekkers – and good luck to Kristin who is making her attempt on Ama Dablam:

Hello this is Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Autumn Everest Expedition 2019.

 

Well, The Serac is still up there and despite the decent weather, we are going to call off the Everest Expedition.  Even if The Serac came down, our climbers were able to return to base camp in a few days, and we had perfect weather and route conditions to climb, it would take us over two weeks beyond our orginial end date to climb the mountain.  So, we are going to conclude the dispatches for the expedition.

 

Everyone is safely off the mountain at this time and we’re looking forward to Everest Spring 2020!  All the other teams have gone home, climbers are off the mountain and I’m the last one here.  Looking forward to great season next spring.  Thanks!

Kristin and Aang Phurba approaching Ama Dablam

Autumn Everest Base Camp


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the team as they trek to Everest Base Camp and then make their attempt to summit the world’s highest mountain on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking map: