We are pleased to offer a new program that combines the majesty of Mount Everest with world-class ice climbing for participants of all levels. By basing out of Madison Mountaineering’s signature Everest base camp, participants get to live at the foot of Mount Everest, while enjoying the luxuries and comforts of the most professionally managed camp on the mountain. We have individual ‘box’ tents where members can stand up & have a cot with a thick mattress, we have hot showers, a first-rate dining tent with fresh meat and vegetables flown in regularly from Kathmandu, and a leisure tent to stretch out in, do yoga, etc. The camp is positioned adjacent to the famous Khumbu glacier ice pinnacles where we do the majority of our climbing.
Day 1: Arrive Kathmandu. We pick you up at the airport and go to the iconic Yak & Yeti hotel where we do an equipment check, then see some of the famous sights in Kathmandu such as Buddhist and Hindu temples, then we have a team dinner before heading off to bed.
Day 2: Helicopter flight to Namche Bazaar. We depart the Yak & Yeti hotel early and fly into the Khumbu valley to the village of Namche Bazaar, where we stay in the lovely Panorama lodge. We tour the ‘capital of the Khumbu’ village and have a restful night at 10,500 ft.
Day 3: Acclimatization hike above Namche. We hike to the Everest View Hotel and have tea overlooking the iconic peaks of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Ama Dablam. We return to our lodge and spend the night.
Day 4: Trek to Debuche. We trek through the beautiful Khumbu valley to the Tengboche monastery, then descend into the rhododendron forest to our lodge for the night.
Day 5: Trek to Pheriche. We continue trekking up the Khumbu valley with magnificent views of Ama Dablam. We stop in Pangboche for a blessing by the ‘high lama’ of the Buddhist monastery, then continue onward to the Edelweiss lodge for the night.
Day 6: Acclimatization hike above Pheriche. We hike up a nearby ridge to gain a spectacular view of many famous Himalayan peaks such as Makalu, Cho Oyu, Cholatse, and Ama Dablam. We return to Pheriche and visit the Himalayan Rescue Association medical post for a talk on altitude issues with the human body. We have a restful night in our lodge.
Day 7: Trek to Lobuche. We trek upwards and visit the Everest memorials, taking in this heavy yet important legacy to climbers that have perished on the mountain. We continue to the village of Lobuche where we stay for the night. We visit the ‘world’s highest bakery’ for coffee and pastries before dinner.
Day 8: Arrive in Everest base camp! We trek past the village of Gorak Shep, then hike up nearby Kala Pattar (18,250) for a magnificent view of Mount Everest, then continue to base camp. We arrive in base camp and have a hot meal, then tour the camp and move into our personal tents for the duration of our stay. We do an ice climbing info session and prepare for our first day out climbing!
Days 9-12: Climb on! After a hearty breakfast we head out onto the Khumbu ice pinnacles! Our staff has already set up a course with several routes we can climb and practice our techniques on. Tim Emmett instructs climbers as we gradually tackle more difficult ice routes and pinnacles during the program. In addition to ice climbing on top rope & lead climbing, we discuss and practice fixed line ascension, tyrolean traverses, zip-lining, and free soloing, all from one of Ice Climbing’s pioneering and top climbers in the world. Each day climbers are provided with 3 hot meals in Madison Mountaineering’s luxury base camp, and climbers have access to the camp’s hot showers, leisure tent, WiFi, and laundry service.
Day 13: Climbers depart Everest base camp by helicopter and fly to Kathmandu. This helicopter flight is truly one of the most spectacular helicopter flights in the world, as we first have a scenic tour of Everest base camp and the surrounding peaks, then descend around and have birds-eye views of the peaks that we came to know from our trek in such as Ama Dablam and Cholatse. We have a celebratory team dinner in Kathmandu then sleep in the Yak & Yeti hotel in preparation for our departure from Nepal.
Day 14: We head to the airport to board our flights for home.
March 27 – April 09
• Accommodations at the Yak & Yeti hotel for one night before and one night after travel into the Khumbu
• Airport pick up upon arrival
• Welcome dinner in Kathmandu
• All in-country flights
• All lodging while in the Khumbu
• All meals while in the Khumbu
• Permits and Park entrance fees
• Guide, Sherpa guides, Nepali staff to carry loads, etc.
Costs Do Not Include:
• Personal items (see Equipment list)
• Bank wire transfer fees, if applicable
• Meals in Kathmandu
• Alcoholic beverages
• Bottled or canned beverages
• Specialty coffee or espresso drinks
• Option to upgrade to single room
• Any costs as the result of an early departure from the program
• There are no refunds for the deposit or balance payments for this expedition. This includes but is not limited to, expeditions that conclude without reaching objectives or progress towards objectives for participants due to route conditions, weather, insufficient manpower, or any other factor outside the control of Madison Mountaineering. Expedition leader has the final say on the expedition conclusion and will make all best efforts within our margin of safety.
• Participants that choose to leave an active expedition for any reason are not entitled to any refunds
• Madison Mountaineering, LLC highly recommends trip cancellation insurance for all expeditions
• Due to the nature and heavy costs of government and operator permits, Madison Mountaineering must adhere to a stringent refund policy
• Deposit due with registration materials
• All balances are due 120 days prior to departure date unless otherwise specified
• Participants whose balances are not received by the 120-day deadline as stated above, risk forfeiture of their funds and their place on the expedition
Note: Madison Mountaineering, LLC reserves the right to waive any fees. As we offer personalized service, we will attempt to accommodate changes and cancellations when necessary, waiving certain fees when feasible. Deposits paid by participants acknowledge the above cancellation terms.
• Short Underwear: 2-3 pair of synthetic short underwear
• Long Underwear: 2-3 pair lightweight long underwear pants and shirts. 1 pair of heavy expedition weight long underwear.
• Soft Shell Jacket: A hooded jacket
• Soft Shell pants: For trekking and climbing
• Hard Shell Jacket: To be worn in wet conditions
• Hard Shell Pants: To be worn in wet conditions, these pants should have full side zippers.
• Insulated Jacket: PrimaLoft or Down
• Expedition Down Parka: A hooded down jacket with 800 minimum down fill.
• Insulated Pants: PrimaLoft or Down, these should have full side zippers.
• Warm Hat: A warm fleece or wool hat.
• Balaclava: to cover your face and neck on windy days.
• Sun hat: A baseball style sun camp.
• Buff: 1-3 of these to wear around your neck & face to block the wind, UV rays, dust.
• Glacier Glasses: wrap around style sunglasses with dark lenses
• Waterproof Shell gloves with insulated liner: 2 pair’s for ice climbing
• Soft Shell Gloves: 1 pair
• Shell mittens with insulated liner: 1 pair
• Socks: Minimum 3 pair thick mountaineering socks and 3 pair liner socks
• Light hiking boots or trekking shoes: For the trek to base camp, these can be worn at base camp
• Ice climbing Boots: A boot with a built-in gaiter such as the Scarpa Phantom Tech, or Phantom 6000
• Sleeping Bag: Rated to at least -20 °F. Down is preferable over synthetic.
• Self Inflating pad: A full-length air mattress
• Closed Cell foam pad: Full length is best
• Ice climbing Backpack: A 45-liter internal frame backpack.
• Compression stuff sacks: for reducing volume for your sleeping bag and down jacket.
• Trash Compactor bags (4): To line stuff sacks and separate gear
• Trekking Backpack: Optional. A small pack for the trek in.
• Trekking Poles: Adjustable poles for the trek to base camp
• Ice Axes: 2 technical tools for ice climbing (Less than 60cm)
• Crampons: Ice climbing
• Helmet: Must fit over a thick hat
• Climbing harness/Alpine
• Carabineers: 4 locking and 2 non-locking
• Belay / Rappel device: For rappelling or belaying climbers
• Ascender: One right or left-hand ascender (Petzl is best)
• Prussik Cord: 20’ or 7 meters of 6mm cord.
• Headlamp: Bring a spare set of batteries
• Large Duffel Bag with lock: for transporting all personal gear to base camp.
• Small duffel bag: to store items in the hotel
• Travel Clothes: For days in Kathmandu
Additional Food Items
• Climbing Snacks:
‣ Electrolyte Replacement Drink Mix: Bring a supply for 12 days such as Nuun.
‣ Energy Gel: Single serving gel packs such as GU, Clifshot, Powergel, etc.)
‣ Energy Bars: Power bar, Cliff bar, etc.
• Water bottles: 2 bottles with 1-liter capacity each
• Water Bottle Parkas: To keep your water from freezing
• Thermos: 1-liter capacity
• Water Purification System: Tablets or Steripen
• Sunscreen: 2 tubes, SPF 40 or stronger
• Lip screen: 2 sticks, SPF 50 or stronger
• Toiletry Bag: Toothpaste, Toothbrush, baby wipes, etc.
• Pee Bottle: 1-liter capacity minimum
• Hand Sanitizer: 2 small bottles
• Hand warmers / Toe warmers: 3 sets of each
• Knife: Optional
• Small Personal First Aid Kit: Athletic tape, band-aids, Ibuprofen, Moleskin, blister care products, personal medications, cough drops
‣ Acetazolamide (Diamox) for altitude illness
‣ Antibiotics such as Ciprofloxin or Azithromycin for gastrointestinal or respiratory illness
‣ Ibuprofen for muscle soreness
‣ Pepto Bismol for loose stool
‣ Excedrin for headaches
‣ Anti-nausea medications
• Camera: lightweight with extra batteries
Other Optional Items
• Female urination device (FUD)
Madison Mountaineering is recognized for well thought out strategy in high altitude climbing expeditions, as well as high-quality service throughout. Because we have two decades of experience in the planning and coordination of mountaineering expeditions, our reputation is excellent. We strive to make each expedition the best possible experience for our climbers and focus on our 3 primary goals of success in reaching the summit, returning safely, and having fun!
Our guides are some of the best and most experienced in the industry, having a strong grasp of technical climbing, expedition, and high altitude experience, along with strong interpersonal skills. Our teams are small and equipped with the best support available to ensure the highest chance of success. We are renowned for our comfortable base camps, high-quality food, first-rate communications, and medical support services, all of which are overseen by a professional member of our team.
Most of our climbers have either climbed with us before, been referred by a friend who has climbed with us, or met one of our teams while attempting another peak and decided to join us for their next expedition. We work hard to facilitate safe, successful, and enjoyable expeditions for all of our climbers. Our track record and past climber testimonials prove we are not only experts in our field, but we also love what we do!
Yesterday at 9:15 AM the Madison Mountaineering team reached the top of the Unclimbed Peak, Tharke Khang, located in the Nepal Himalayas near Mount Everest at over 22,000′ (6670m). We began our summit day just after midnight on November 3rd, and departed our high camp (19,200′ / 5820m) on the Nup La glacier near the China – Nepal border at 2 AM. This was the culmination of more than a year’s planning, we were anxiously anticipating what the route to the summit would entail, and wondering if we would be able to ascend to the top of a peak that no climbers had yet attempted before us. Although seemingly doable in our eyes from google earth and helicopter reconnaissance, we expected the route would likely have some unexpected challenges in store for us, perhaps preventing us from reaching the summit.
From our high camp we traversed the Nup La glacier 45 minutes to the North Face of the peak, ascending a firm 45 degree snow slope about 500 ft. up to the ridge line, breaking through the corniced ridge, then ascending the ridge through varying degrees of steepness, sometimes vertical for sustained portions. Over the previous 2 days our team had ascended about two thirds of the route and placed fixed ropes over the steep and exposed sections, however the remaining 1/3 of the route to the summit was still unclimbed and our plan was to find and establish this portion of the route as we climbed on our final summit push, in a ‘make or break’ style. As our team ascended the route in the very cold and dark night, we were divided into two groups. The first group was focused on climbing ahead and fixing (problem solving) the remaining portion of the route and the second group was making steady progress towards the goal of reaching the top. I climbed with my friends Aang Phurba and Lakpa Dandi Sherpa, Aang Phurba led the final steep pitches to the ridge just before the highest point on the peak. Aang Phurba and I have climbed together many times in recent years on Mount Everest, K2, Lhotse, etc. His brother was part of my team in 2014 on Mount Everest and perished tragically during the avalanche in the Khumbu Icefall on April 18th that ended the climbing season for us, Aang Phurba and I have a special bond that goes beyond the singular focus of climbing.
Before reaching the summit, Lakpa Dandi and I climbed up to join Aang Phurba just below the highest point on the peak, unfurled some prayer flags and silk Khata scarves, anchoring them near the top where they would float in the breeze, then together walked the final steps to the highest point and true summit of Tharke Khang. We could not have had a better day for climbing in the Himalayas, there was not a cloud in the sky and only a small breath of wind. We gazed upon Mount Everest, Mount Lhotse, Mount Cho Oyu, and many other of the surrounding Himalayan peaks. Shortly thereafter, a few of our other climbers ascended to the summit and reveled in the majesty of this spectacular mountain range on such a glorious day. After savoring our time at the summit, we began our descent down the ridge, a series of rappels over exposed terrain, where often both sides of the ridge dropped away into nothingness. After descending around 2800′ (910m) we traversed the Nup La glacier back to our high camp and settled in for the night. Today, we awoke at 6 AM and helicoptered down to our base camp located at the Gokyo 5th lake, then continued by helicopter to Kathmandu for a celebratory dinner this evening. It’s been somewhat of a culture shock for us today, going from isolation in a high altitude alpine zone in a remote corner of the highest mountain range on Earth, to a bustling city. We all feel very blessed to have concluded a safe climbing expedition in a beautiful mountain environment, and to now be heading home to our friends and loved ones. For me personally, yesterday was an extra special summit day, as it was my 39th birthday and I was able to share it with friends in a spectacular place never before visited by anyone.
On November 3rd our unclimbed peak expedition team reached the Tharke Khang summit! Garrett Madison checks in via satellite phone and reports beautiful conditions with views of surrounding peaks in the Himalayas. Our climbers will now descend to high camp to eat and rest up. Nice work team!
Audio dispatch by Garrett Madison
Our unclimbed peak expedition team checks in from high camp as they prepare for a summit push tonight. Everyone is doing well and the snow conditions are looking great on Tharke Khang.
Audio dispatch by Garrett Madison
Our unclimbed peak expedition team is now in base camp, preparing to make a recon up to the peak to scout the potential climbing route. Our peak, Tharke Khang, looks to have a ridge line beginning from the west that appears climbable, with steep snow and ice slopes. Our base camp is comfortable with a heated dining tent and great food!
We made our from Machermo up the valley to the village of Gokyo, situated next to a beautiful aqua marine lake. After lunch a few of us hiked up nearby Gokyo Ri, at just over 17,500’. We glimpsed our unclimbed peak in the distance, still a long way off…with major challenges between us and the start of the route, about 10 miles of glacier moraine and glacier/ icefall. This will not be an easy walk to say the least…accessing the base of the route is one thing, climbing the technical ridge is another.
Exploration in essence is venturing into the unknown… and that is exactly where we are headed.
Our team is good, everyone is acclimatizing well. The weather has been favorable and we hope this trend continues. We look forward to reaching our base camp the next day or two.
Tham Serku peak
Trekking through the high country towards base camp
First view of the unclimbed peak, Tharke Khang
At the top of Gokyo Ri today, 17,500′
The village of Gokyo, at 15,600′ high in the Himalayas where we are staying
At one of the Gokyo lakes today
Our head Sherpa, Aang Phurba
Stairway to heaven
Old chorton (in Sherpa language) means stupa
The Unclimbed Peak expedition team is approaching the mountain. We are trekking up the beautiful Khumbu Valley in Nepal past the iconic villages of Namche (Capital of the Khumbu), Khumjung, and soon Gokyo. Our climbers are all anticipating the moment when we pass Gokyo and can first glimpse this virgin peak. The idea of embarking on a journey where we don’t know what will lay in store for us is part of the excitement we share as every day we make our way closer to the mountain. Lead guide Sid Pattison assisted by my myself is overseeing the schedule as we push our way up the valley. The team is feeling psyched and happy to be on the move after a rest and acclimatization day in Namche drinking coffee and eating pastries.
Madison Mountaineering Everest 2017 Recap, “The Leader” on Everest
Success / Safety:
All of our climbers and Sherpas are off the mountain and now and preparing to head home! We have had a fantastically successful expedition, with all 8 of our clients reaching the summit of Everest, along with 4 American guides, and 15 Sherpas. We also had several of our climbers complete the Everest & Lhotse “peak to peak” combination, where they climbed Mount Lhotse (4th highest mountain) the day after reaching the summit of Mount Everest. This amazing and unmatched level of success among all the teams on Mount Everest is secondary to our number one priority, that all members (clients, guides, & Sherpas) made it safely off the peak.
Rope Fixing to the Summit:
Our team took the lead in partnership with the British – Nepal Gurkha team in fixing the ropes to the summit of Mount Everest on May 15th. This was not part of our original plan, as the rope-fixing project was taken upon by several other teams at the start of the season. Unfortunately, after several mishaps, the lead team had to abandon the rope-fixing project along with their partners. Without any clear consensus on how or when the lines would be put in to the summit, our team stepped up to finish the job. This “mission critical” project was necessary so that teams could begin their summit attempts on Mount Everest, with teams reaching the summit the following day on May 16th and continuing to reach the summit today. We are glad that our team had the capability and prowess to organize and execute such an important task, when no other teams on the mountain could summon such an effort, at such a critical stage in the climbing season.
Our team was at the South Col when several climbers who had pushed themselves very hard on summit day returned and needed critical medical attention. Our guides came to assist with medicine (dexamethasone, etc) and supplemental oxygen. However, what stands out the most is that one of our veteran guides, Brent Bishop, along with our Sherpas, rescued the Slovak Climber from the Balcony (27,500’), lowering him all the way down to the South Col high camp. Our Sherpas gave up their oxygen for him to use on the descent. This heroic effort by Brent and our Sherpas involved abandoning their own summit attempt, just hours away from the top, and spending the day giving their all in an effort to save a life.
We feel very fortunate that our expedition was a stunning success. We attribute this to our careful team selection and training, our top notch Everest guides and leadership, and of course our incredible Sherpa team who we invest heavily in year after year.
Photo: At the top of Mount Everest on May 23rd, 2017
Our Sherpa team in base camp
Descending Mount Everest with a little wind on our summit day!
View from the top!!
Summit ridge of Mount Everest all to ourselves May 23rd, 2017
We are now going to relax and enjoy the post summit euphoria before returning to our friends, families, and loved ones, as well as our busy lives back home! Thanks for following along!
Mount Everest 2017 Guide Billy Nugent
Moved from the Chicago area to Washington in 1999 to attend the University of Puget Sound where he found the Cascade Mountains and ultimately climbing. Before starting out as a professional guide in 2005 he spent the previous several years completing his BS in chemistry, working as a fisherman in Alaska, and as a chemist in Seattle. And for the last ten years he’s been guiding a seasonal circuit that takes him from Argentina and Ecuador, to Alaska, and then back to Rainier and the North Cascades, with an occasional bonus trip to Mexico or Antarctica. Billy loves living outside and enjoys surfing, riding, climbing, and music in his spare time.
Mt. Everest (3 expeditions)
Mt. Rainier (125+ summits via 6 routes)
Denali (9 expeditions)
Aconcagua (8 expeditions)
Vinson Massif (1 expedition)
Orizaba (2 expeditions)
Cotopaxi and Cayambe (8 expeditions)
Mt Baker (4 summits via 4 routes)
Mt. Adams (3 summits via 3 routes)
North Cascades (numerous alpine routes)
Wilderness First Responder, CPR
Outdoor Emergency Care
AIARE Avalanche Level II
Leave No Trace Trainer
AMGA member and Rock Guide Course graduate
Our Mount Everest 2017 expedition is coming to an end! This morning our entire team navigated through the Khumbu icefall and arrived safely from Camp 2 back to base camp. With successful ascents of Mount Everest and Lhotse, our entire team is thankful for safe passage and excited to return home to family and loved ones. We are incredibly proud of our guides, climbers and Sherpa for working together as a team to accomplish our goals. For dinner we enjoyed steak and chicken with a few bottles of bubbly to celebrate our season. Tomorrow our team will helicopter out back to Kathmandu to conclude their expedition in the Himalayas.
Make sure to follow us on social as we will continue to post photos and videos from this expedition!
Facebook / Instagram / Twitter @MadisonMtng
Navigating the icefall at night. Photo: AndersC
Welcome back to base camp Ingvild!! (Everest+Lhotse summits)
Conan, Drew and Allan returning back to base camp
Billy, Garrett, Sid and Phurba
Safe travels John!
Allan taking off back to Kathmandu. Safe travels!
Descent from summit of Lhotse
Lhotse summit with Makalu in the background