Tag: Glacier

“Hi, this is Garrett calling in for the Aconcagua team today is December 18th, Sunday. We are up at high camp on Aconcagua and tonight is our big night. We are going to leave for the summit early tomorrow morning probably around 5AM. And hope to be on top of Aconcagua the highest peak in the Andes midday or early afternoon. Looks like the forecasts are nice weather tomorrow not to much wind not to much snow so with a little bit of luck we will on top of the mountain and back down to high camp tomorrow evening. We will check in soon, thanks so much.”

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Audio dispatch by Garrett Madison

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To review our climbing team’s summit route you can view our LIVE RainOn mapping platform here.

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The Stone Sentinel

“Hi this is Garrett calling in for the Aconcagua expedition, today is Saturday December 17th. Today we did a carry from our Camp 2 up to Camp 3 on Aconcagua. We then returned down to Camp 2 to spend the night. Our plan tomorrow is to move up to Camp 3 and hopefully go for the summit on the next day, the 19th. Everyone is doing well here, had some good weather and a little wind, sunny and warm. We are enjoying the views of the Andes and eating a few good meals. All is well and we will check in tomorrow when we get up to high camp. Fingers crossed for good weather.”

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Audio dispatch by Garrett Madison

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Aconcagua Expedition

Aconcagua Expedition December 17th 2016

Yesterday our Aconcagua climbing team successfully completed a carry to Camp 2. After moving equipment and provisions higher up the mountain they returned to Camp 1 for the night. Target summit date of the Stone Sentinel is December 19. The team is in good condition and excited to climb higher!

After a few relaxing days in Aconcagua base camp and a carry to camp 1 yesterday we are now heading up today to begin our summit ascent. We plan to climb to camp 1 and sleep there tonight and then carry a load tomorrow to camp 2. The following day we plan to move to camp 2 and then evaluate the weather forecast. If all looks good we will carry a load to camp 3, then climb to camp 3 and sleep, going for the summit the following day on December 19th.

Garrett Madison

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Yesterday we arrived at Plaza Argentina base camp after a nice 3-day trek up the Vacas and Horcones valleys. We received perfect weather on our trek and enjoyed barbecues over the open campfire under starry skies. On our last day of the trek we had a couple of river crossings and noticed that the rivers were a little higher than previous seasons because of the large amount of snow on the mountain, this should make for good route conditions higher up on the mountain. Our plan now is to rest and relax for one day to organize our equipment for the higher camps and the day after begin our first load carry to Camp 1. Everyone is doing great and we are hoping this nice weather will hold for us!

Garrett Madison

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“We have enjoyed a couple of nice evenings in Mendoza and Penitentes, savoring the fine Argentine cuisine and gearing up for our climb. We are very excited to begin our trek to Aconcagua base camp today. The trek to base camp is about 36 miles, and we plan to cover this distance over 3 days.  Recently there has been significant snowfall in base camp, so we are preparing for ‘adverse’ conditions when we arrive, but we hope that the typical hot & sunny weather this time of year will return soon.  Our team members Randy, Peter, Erik, Tom, and guides Javier and myself are all looking forward to getting started on the trail and making our way to the mountain.  It’s great to be back here in Argentina and climbing the highest peak outside of Asia, also the highest in the western and southern hemisphere.”

Garrett Madison

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Peter Rosenfeld, Garrett Madison, Tom Dimler, Erik Richardson, Randy Perkins

The Madison Mountaineering climbing team will soon be arriving in Mendoza, Argentina to begin our December expedition of the highest mountain in the western and southern hemispheres.  Aconcagua stands at an impressive 6,962m (22,834 ft.) above sea level and is great training for high altitude peaks in the Himalaya. Please follow our dispatches as we journey from the lush wine region of Mendoza (known for grass fed beef and Malbec) to the arid slopes of the Vacas Valley and up to the base of the Polish Glacier, before making our way to the highest point in the Andes.  Aconcagua is known at times for high winds (100mph) and sub zero temps, as well as the high altitude extreme environment. This mountain is never an easy feat and over half the climbers who attempt are turned back.

The mountain and its surroundings are part of the Aconcagua Provincial Park. The mountain has a number of glaciers. The largest glacier is the Ventisquero Horcones Inferior at about 10 km long, which descends from the south face to about 3,600 m altitude near the Confluencia camp. Our climbers will begin on the eastern side of the mountain, by trekking along the Vacas River to Plaza Argentina base camp. From here we ascend the non technical false polish and then upper Guanacos route to our high camp.

Stay tuned!

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Sid Pattison and Garrett Madison preparing to climb around the world this month!

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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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Garrett, Mike, Sam, Iñaki, and Todd have taken-off from the blue ice runway and successfully bring to an end their Vinson Massif expedition. In three weeks our climbers have traversed the earth’s southernmost continent, scaled polar glaciers across the Sentinel Range, and summited one of the world’s 7 Summits. Our team was a part of aviation history the moment they touched down on the first Boeing 757 in Union Glacier Camp, Antarctica. In total, our tour team traveled the skies on a Boeing 757, Russian Ilyushin Il-76, DHC-6 Twin Otter, and a Douglas DC3. Pretty impressive!

Congratulations to Mike, Sam, Iñaki, and Todd for reaching new high’s, I hope the journey is onward and upward for all. Enjoy the photos taken by Garrett Madison below 🙂

“Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.”
― David McCullough Jr.

Thanks for following!

-Andrew

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About to leave Antarctica on the Ilushin 76.

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Building snow walls to fortify our tents, Todd carrying a big snow block.

Building snow walls to fortify our tents, Todd carrying a big snow block

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Climbing the fixed ropes, Michael in front, Sam behind.

Climbing the fixed ropes, Michael in front, Sam behind

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Climbing the fixed ropes.

Climbing the fixed ropes

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Good times in the cook tent, Inaki & Mike.

Good times in the cook tent, Inaki & Mike

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Onboard the twin otter leaving Vinson Base Camp, MIchael, Sam, Todd, Inaki, Garrett.

Onboard the twin otter leaving Vinson Base Camp, MIchael, Sam, Todd, Inaki, Garrett

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Our MH Trango Tents holding up well in Antarctica!

Our MH Trango Tents holding up well in Antarctica

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Our MH Trango tents holding up well on the mountain.

Our MH Trango tents holding up well on the mountain

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Sam cooking french fries!

Sam cooking french fries

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Team at base camp, Garrett, Mike, Todd, Sam, Inaki

Team at base camp, Garrett, Mike, Todd, Sam, Inaki

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Team at Vinson Base Camp.

Team at Vinson Base Camp

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Team on the summit, Garrett, Todd, Michael, Sam!

Team on the summit, Garrett, Todd, Michael, Sam

 

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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