Tag Archive for: Himalaya

Above Namche Bazaar

Resting and acclimatization in and around Namche Bazaar, the Everest team hiked up to the Hotel Everest View.  Here’s expedition leader Garrett Madison‘s recap of the day:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Mount Everest expedition team.  Today is April 6th and we had a nice rest day in Namche.

We trekked up to the Everest View Hotel and had a good view up the valley of Ama Dablam and Everest, but it was a little bit hazy because of the smoke from forest fires here in Nepal at the moment.  We came back to our lodge, the Panorama Lodge & Restaurant, in Namche, had a nice lunch, and then explored the town of Namche in the afternoon.

We just had a good dinner and now we’re off to bed.  Our plan is to head out tomorrow and trek up the valley to Deboche.

All’s well here in the Khumbu Valley of Nepal.  We’ll check in soon!

Acclimatization hike from Namche to the Everest View Hotel

Acclimatization hike from Namche to the Everest View Hotel

Hanging out at the Everest View Hotel

Hanging out at the Everest View Hotel

Acclimatization hike from Namche to the Everest View Hotel

Acclimatization hike from Namche to the Everest View Hotel

Acclimatization hike from Namche to the Everest View Hotel

Acclimatization hike from Namche to the Everest View Hotel

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:

Happy Madison Mountaineering trekkers

Today the base camp trekking team and the Everest climb team trekked along the Dudh Koshi and up the big hill to the capital village of the Khumbu, Namche Bazaar.  Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, provides the details of the day’s trek:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Everest expedition team and trek.  Today we trekked from Phakding up to Namche.

It was a beautiful day, with some nice views crossing suspension bridges over the river gorge and of some snow-capped peaks.  We had a nice lunch in Jorsalle en route.

We arrived at Namche this afternoon, checked into our rooms, and walked around town a bit.  We just finished a nice dinner here, and we’re looking forward to a good night’s rest.

Tomorrow we are excited for an acclimatization hike and a rest here in Namche!

All’s well in Nepal and we’ll check in soon.

Thamserku rising high above the river Dudh Koshi

Thamserku rising high above the river Dudh Koshi

Garrett and Art M trekking to Namche

Garrett and Art M trekking to Namche

Kristin B crossing the Dudh Koshi before the big hill up to Namche

Kristin B crossing the Dudh Koshi before the big hill up to Namche

Trekking up to Namche Bazaar

Trekking up to Namche Bazaar

Kristin H enjoying the trek

Kristin H enjoying the trek

Arriving Namche Bazaar on a beautiful afternoon in Nepal

Arriving Namche Bazaar on a beautiful afternoon in Nepal

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:

Mani stones along the trek from Lukla to Phakding

The team has left Kathmandu, and the trek to Mount Everest base camp is officially underway!  Here’s expedition leader, Garrett Madison, with today’s dispatch from the mountain village of Lukla, Nepal:

Hello!  This is Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Mount Everest expedition team.  Today is April 4th, and we flew from Kathmandu up to Lukla to begin our trek – the first day up the Khumbu Valley.

Yesterday we went sightseeing around Kathmandu. We visited three sites:  Pashupatinath, Monkey Temple (Swayambhunath), and Boudhanath. We genuinely enjoyed Kathmandu and finished the day with a nice team dinner.  This morning we got up early, went to the airport, and got on our flights to Lukla.

So, we’re all up here in Lukla enjoying a nice day – it’s a little hazy from the forest fire smoke down below, but not too bad.  We are just really happy to be here and looking forward to getting the trek underway, enjoying some fresh air, some good view, and a little exercise.

So, all’s well from the Khumbu Valley in Nepal!  We’ll check in soon.

Kathmandu city tour - Baudhanath

Kathmandu city tour – Baudhanath

Monkey Temple - Kathmandu

Monkey Temple – Kathmandu

Kathmandu city tour

Kathmandu city tour

Enjoying one of the Lukla tea houses

Enjoying one of the Lukla tea houses

Amazing views trekking from Lukla to Phakding!

Amazing views trekking from Lukla to Phakding!

The village of Phakding along the Dudh Koshi

The village of Phakding along the Dudh Koshi

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 Everest summit ridge on May 23rd

Welcome to Everest 2021! Our annual spring Mount Everest expedition begins in just 30 days. Our strong team of international climbers will gather at the Hotel Yak and Yeti, our Kathmandu home-base and the launching point of countless Mount Everest expeditions over the years. Here in Seattle, we are now gathering expedition equipment, food and supplies, making logistical arrangements with our Nepal support staff, and ensuring that all of our climbing team members and trekkers have everything ready to go. Busy times at Madison Mountaineering HQ! We are looking forward to our continued best-in-class rate of success and safety on Everest. Leaders in setting the fixed ropes, we have put the first team on top in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.

We are excited by the upcoming season and hope that you will all follow along with our expedition dispatches as the team makes their way to base camp and then up the mountain!

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

Instagram:

Climbers on the Lhotse face

Normally, at this time, our Everest climbing team would have just finished two nights at Namche Bazaar and trekked on to the village of Deboche where they would be spending the evening with our friends at the Rivendell Lodge and looking forward to six more days on the trail towards Everest Base Camp.

But as you know, this terrible COVID-19 pandemic has changed just about everything for all of us.  Our thoughts are with everyone impacted from the dire to the inconvenienced.  Included in that are all of our Nepal staff, including Sherpa and other mountain workers who depend on the spring climbing season for such a large percentage of their annual income.  Income that is used to support their families, buy food, pay school costs, maintain their homes, and more.  This year’s loss of income will be a considerable hardship for many of them.

While Madison Mountaineering will be doing what we can to lessen the loss, we need your help!  Please consider making a generous donation to the GoFundMe campaign we have established to assist our impacted Nepal staff.  All proceeds will be distributed directly to them.

Also, friend of Madison Mountaineering, Alan Arnette, who for many years has been providing excellent daily coverage of the Everest climbing season (and other climbing expeditions year-round) has this year created a wonderfully entertaining fictional day-by-day ‘coverage’ – Virtual Everest 2020 – that we hope you will follow and enjoy!

We will get through this together and be climbing again soon!

Climber on Mount Everest

Late last week amid all of the rapidly evolving global cancelations and shutdowns to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the government of Nepal officially announced the cancellation of all Spring expeditions along with additional changes to their tourist visa requirements.

While we are saddened that all of the hard work and preparations of our team members, our guides, Sherpa, and staff won’t allow us to enjoy the challenge and beauty of Himalayas this spring, we applaud and respect Nepal’s decision.  The health and wellbeing of all of us global citizens is top priority.

The mountain will always be there — let’s go climb Everest next season together!

The Everest summit ridge on May 23rd

Welcome to Everest 2020! Our annual spring Mount Everest expedition begins in just 30 days. Our strong team of international climbers will gather at the Hotel Yak and Yeti, our Kathmandu home-base and the launching point of countless Mount Everest expeditions over the years. Here in Seattle, we are now gathering expedition equipment, food and supplies, making logistical arrangements with our Nepal support staff, and ensuring that all of our climbing team members and trekkers have everything ready to go. Busy times at Madison Mountaineering HQ! We are looking forward to our continued best-in-class rate of success and safety on Everest. Leaders in setting the fixed ropes, we have put the first team on top in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.

We are excited by the upcoming season and hope that you will all follow along with our expedition dispatches as the team makes their way to base camp and then up the mountain!

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

Instagram:

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.

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Unclimbed Peak

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Unclimbed Peak

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Unclimbed Peak

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Unclimbed Peak

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Unclimbed Peak

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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!

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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.

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Audio dispatch by Garrett Madison