Tag Archive for: Himalaya

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!

Garrett

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peak expedition

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.

Garrett Madison

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Tham Serku peak

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Ama Dablam

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Trekking through the high country towards base camp

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First view of the unclimbed peak, Tharke Khang

Machermo

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At the top of Gokyo Ri today, 17,500′

Machermo

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The village of Gokyo, at 15,600′ high in the Himalayas where we are staying

Machermo

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At one of the Gokyo lakes today

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Our head Sherpa, Aang Phurba

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Stairway to heaven

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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.

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Unclimbed

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.

Rescues:

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

Everest 2017 Recap

Our Sherpa team in base camp

Everest 2017 Recap

Descending Mount Everest with a little wind on our summit day!

Everest 2017 Recap

Lhotse climbers Sid Pattison and Ingvild Settemsdal near the summit of Lhotse with Everest behind

Everest 2017 Recap

The South Col high camp on Everest with Lhotse behind

Everest 2017 Recap

Guide Billy Nugent taking a pause on the descent from Everest

Everest 2017 Recap

View from the top!!

Everest 2017 Recap

Summit ridge of Mount Everest all to ourselves May 23rd, 2017

Everest 2017 Recap

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!

Garrett Madison

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.

Resume:

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)

Certifications/Training:

Wilderness First Responder, CPR
Outdoor Emergency Care
AIARE Avalanche Level II
Leave No Trace Trainer
AMGA member and Rock Guide Course graduate

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Everest 2017 Guide Billy Nugent

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Everest 2017 Guide Billy Nugent

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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

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Navigating the icefall at night. Photo: AndersC

Everest 2017 expedition

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Welcome back to base camp Ingvild!! (Everest+Lhotse summits)

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Congrats Ellen!!

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Conan, Drew and Allan returning back to base camp

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Congrats Drew!!

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Billy, Garrett, Sid and Phurba

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Safe travels John! 

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Allan taking off back to Kathmandu. Safe travels!

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Descent from summit of Lhotse

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Lhotse summit with Makalu in the background

Congrats to climbers Sid Pattison and IngvildS for a successful Lhotse summit today! They made the ascent with Lakpa Dandi in great time and are now safe and sound at Camp 2. Our main team moved down from Camp 4 today and are now resting at Camp 2 before making the final descent to base camp. We’ve had an incredible expedition and look forward to having our team back down safely. We posted a beautiful 360-photo from the summit of Lhotse today on Facebook, check it out here!  Epic photos below from guide Geoff Schellens 🙂

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Moving up from Camp 3 on the Lhotse face. 

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Toward the summit of Lhotse

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Moving toward Everest summit

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Ascent of Everest 

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Lhotse summit

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Sid Pattison and IngvildS after an amazing summit today!! L for… Lhotse!!

After a successful summit on both Mount Everest (main team) and Lhotse (private team) today, our climbers made a safe descent and are now resting at Camp 4 on the South Col. With high winds today our team bunkered down in their tents after returning from their summit push. Guide Sid Pattison and climber IngvildS will climb Lhotse tonight if the weather allows. The rest of our team will return to Camp 2 tomorrow and base camp the following day. Summit photos and video will be posted soon! 🙂

Private guide Geoff Schellens and climber JohnS successfully summited Lhotse this morning! After their summit they made a safe descent to Camp 2. Tomorrow morning they will depart Camp 2 and will arrive back in to base camp before lunch time.  We are incredibly proud of all our climbers and can’t wait to have the entire team back down to base camp safe and sound.

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Looking up from Camp 4 toward the summit of Everest

safe descent

Amazing news from Nepal, Mount Everest 2017 summit success!! This morning our entire climbing team reached the summit with clear conditions and light wind at 8848 meters. After snapping a few pictures our team is now making their descent back down to Camp 4. Congratulations to the following:

Guides: Garrett Madison, Conan Bliss, Billy Nugent

Climbers: JohnK, AlinaZ, AllanM, IngvildS, DrewM, EllenG

Sherpa: Ang Phurba, Lakpa Dendi, Nurbu Sherpa, Pasang Dawa, Pemba Sherpa, K.B. Thapa, Tsherine Bhote, Ming Dorjee, Shere Thapa, Chhombi Sherpa, Shamgbu Bhote, Kam Dorjee, Phurba Bhote

Once the team arrives back to Camp 4, a few will evaluate their conditions and make a decision on climbing Lhotse tonight with guides Garrett and Sid Pattison. Guide Geoff Schellens and JohnS successfully summited Lhotse this morning!! The conditions were beautiful today with clear skies and 360 views!

This evening here on Everest our climbing teams had a short weather delay, then around 10pm left Camp 4 for the summit. Looking outside, the mountain is still and thousands of stars light up the sky. Little to no wind now here at base camp. Our main climbing team is currently making their ascent of Mount Everest, as they are moving well we expect them to approach the summit by sunrise.

Geoff (private guide) and JohnS. are currently climbing Lhotse together with Shidi Tamang. As our climbers approach the summits we will send another update here from base camp. Pictures and video to come 🙂

To the top!