Tag Archive for: Himalayas

Our climbing team, post-puja.

This morning the team was greeted with sunshine upon emerging from their tents, which they followed with a puja ceremony. The team came together to take part in this spiritual ceremony to ask the mountain for safe passage in their journey ahead, which is happening in the coming days! Expedition leader, Terray Sylvester, checks in from Manaslu base camp:

Hello! This is Terray calling in for the 2022 Madison Mountaineering Manaslu (8156m/26,759ft) expedition – it’s September 9th.

Today, when we woke up the sun was shining so we started the day early with our pre-climb puja; that’s a way of asking the mountain permission for safe passage and it’s also a great way for the whole team to come together before a climb.

Now that that’s done, our sherpa team and our climbers will start moving up the mountain. We’ve spent the rest of the day getting our gear together for our sherpa team who will do a carry to Camp 1 (5700m, 18,700ft) tomorrow, then hopefully our climbers will start going to Camp 1 soon after that.

So now we’re just relaxing until dinner! We’re planning to watch National Treasure 2, the Nicholas Cage movie, after dinner.

All is well! We’ll be in touch tomorrow.

Preparing for the puja in our base camp. Photo: Terray Sylvester

Preparing for the puja in our base camp. Photo: Terray Sylvester

Ngodup Lama leading todays puja. Photo: Terray Sylvester

Ngodup Lama leading todays puja. Photo: Terray Sylvester

Our team's climbing gear soaking up the blessings. Photo: Terray Sylvester

Our team’s climbing gear soaking up the blessings. Photo: Terray Sylvester

Sirdar and guide, Aang Phurba Sherpa making an offering. Photo: Terray Sylvester

Sirdar and guide, Aang Phurba Sherpa making an offering. Photo: Terray Sylvester

Lakpa Sherpa receiving a tsampa mustache, a blessing for a long and healthy life. Photo: Terray Sylvester

Lakpa Sherpa receiving a tsampa mustache, a blessing for a long and healthy life. Photo: Terray Sylvester

Today's puja. Photo: Terray Sylvester

Today’s puja. Photo: Terray Sylvester


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 our daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my flash briefing.

Instagram:

The Madison Mountaineering Manaslu Base Camp, high above the clouds. Photo: Terray Sylvester

The team had a great day today complete with technical skills training, beautiful weather, good food and a movie! Tomorrow, their preparation will continue with a puja ceremony. Expedition leader, Terray Sylvester, checks in from Manaslu base camp:

Hello! This is Terray calling in for the 2022 Madison Mountaineering Manaslu (8156m/26,759ft) expedition – today is September 8th.

Today we woke up and had a great breakfast of french toast, bacon and fried eggs. Then, we hiked a little ways up above camp (4859m/15,944ft) to a good spot on the Manaslu Glacier to review technical skills. We worked on fixed line ascending and descending techniques, rappelling, and footwork.

The we returned to base camp, had lunch and have been relaxing since then. We’re just about to start dinner and then looking forward to a movie afterward.

So today was a great day; beautiful weather, sunny skies and we’re looking forward to our puja day tomorrow. All is well here! We’ll be in touch.

Mount Manaslu. Photo: Terray Sylvester

Mount Manaslu. Photo: Terray Sylvester

Our climber, Nancy, hiking below Camp 1 with sirdar and guide Aang Phurba Sherpa. Photo: Terray Sylvester

Our climber, Nancy, hiking below Camp 1 with sirdar and guide Aang Phurba Sherpa. Photo: Terray Sylvester

Good times and sunshine while reviewing technical skills! Photo: Terray Sylvester

Good times and sunshine while reviewing technical skills! Photo: Terray Sylvester


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 our daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my flash briefing.

Instagram:

Photo from Madison Mountaineering archive. Photo: Terray Sylvester

Today, the Madison Mountaineering Manaslu expedition team continued to settle into their base camp and prepare for the days ahead! Inspiring views of Manaslu continue to keep spirits high, going into skills training on the glacier tomorrow. Expedition leader, Terray Sylvester, checks in via Garmin inReach Mini from Manaslu base camp:

Hello! This is Terray calling in for the 2022 [inaudible] – today is September 7th.

Today we took a rest day in camp (4859m/15,944ft); we did some laundry, finished getting moved into our tents, took some nice walks around camp with some views of Manaslu (8156m/26,759ft) starting to emerge above us [inaudible]. We watched the classic [inaudible] national treasure.

We’re just going to bed now and looking forward to some skills training on the glacier near camp tomorrow.

[Inaudible].


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 our daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my flash briefing.

Instagram:

Climbing towards base camp with Manaslu towering above. Photo: Terray Sylvester

Today, the Madison Mountaineering Manaslu expedition team continued their journey on up to base camp, ascending to 4859m/15,944ft! After setting up camp, they enjoyed lunch, the new views presented from their temporary home, and were just about to sit down for dinner. Expedition leader, Terray Sylvester, checks in via Garmin inReach Mini with this brief update:

Hello! This is Terray calling in for the 2022 [inaudible] – September 6th.

Today we had great weather for our [inaudible] camp. We left Samagaun (3530m/11,581ft) [inaudible] for most the hike and then [inaudible].

The team is doing well! We moved into our tents, had a nice lunch and we’re just about to sit down for dinner.

All is well here and we will be in touch tomorrow!


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 our daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my flash briefing.

Instagram:

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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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!

Today we received news that the summit Sherpa fixing team will be descending down to base camp due to weather delays. With this information, guides Brent and Geoff made the descent to base camp this afternoon with Anders and John. Arriving back into base camp early evening. It is now being discussed among the main expedition teams at base camp that summit fixing will commence on the 16th and 17th based on current weather forecasts. Our guides and expedition leaders are pushing for as early a fixing as possible.

Now that the majority of the team is back at base camp we will enjoy some rest and relaxation together. Tomorrow morning our team in Namche will be helicoptering back to base camp after spending 4 nights at the Paradise Lodge. Arriving back to base camp this afternoon, Conan John and Allan will be boarding the same helicopter from base camp and travel down to Namche for a few days.  All team members are going to take advantage of a few personal days before summit rotation. Right now it sounds like the team will move up on the night of the 13th toward the summit. Variables such as changing weather forecasts and the fixing of both Mount Everest and Lhotse will determine when the team takes off.

Over the next few days the weather forecasts are calling for snow and light winds. We have been watching movies and enjoying the company of the many fascinating people here on Everest this season. Life is good!

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Dinner was on fire!

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summit Sherpa fixing

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summit Sherpa fixing

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summit Sherpa fixing

 

 

Mount Everest 2017 Guide Sidney Pattison: 35 year old

Hometown: Winthrop, WA

First started climbing in the North Cascades, first big peak was the west ridge of Forbidden Peak at the age of 16.  In 1997, became intern at the Northwest Mountain School, led climbs on Glacier Peak, rock instruction at Smith Rock, other mountaineering programs on Mount Baker, etc.

Notable ascents include ski decent of Denali, unclimbed peaks in the Himalayas (7000m), Mount Baker & Mount Shuksan combo in 1 day.

Favorite mountaineering equipment:

-ATC guide, due to the auto blocking abilities for both belaying and rappelling.  Can be used as a rope ascension device, for crevasse rescue, a simple device without any mechanical parts.

-Down Suit: Mountain Hardwear Absolute Zero Suit: A slim fitting one piece suit with deep hood, pockets in all the right places, and good length on the arms and legs, doesn’t bunch up in the middle.

Sid is very excited to be guiding Mount Lhotse with our team, the 4th highest peak in the world at 27,940’ (8516m).  The Lhotse couloir will be the final ascent route to the summit of Lhotse.  The couloir is the ‘corridor to the impossible’, allowing one to be in a place where without that ‘weakness’ the climb would be near impossible.  As Madison Mountaineering is the only guide company regularly offering the ‘Everest & Lhotse’ combination climb, this means that climbers will reach the summit of Mount Everest and then return to high camp at the south col (Camp 4), rest about 9 hours then depart high camp to climb to the summit of Lhotse, usually reaching the summit of Lhotse the next morning just after sunrise.  Sidney will be waiting for our team to return from the summit of Everest to high camp, and then he will be fresh to climb with us to the summit of Lhotse.  As the support person at high camp while we are on our Mount Everest summit attempt, Sid will also be supporting us by looking after the camp with our Sherpa staff that remain in high camp preparing water, food, and making sure the tents are secure as high winds regularly torment the South Col high camp, resulting in many tents blowing away.

Sidney is scheduled to guide our unclimbed peak expedition in the Gokyo region of Nepal (near Mount Everest) this autumn, a beautiful virgin peak over 6000m!  This will be an amazing experience with aesthetic ridge climbing on steep snow, ice, and rock!

In the late winter and early spring before our Mount Everest season Sidney works as a heli ski guide in the North Cascades of Washington State.  During the summer Sidney works as a mountain guide on Mount Rainer and other notable peaks in Washington State such as Mount Baker, Mount Shuksan, Mount Olumpus, and the North Cascades, etc.

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Everest 2017 Guide Sidney Pattison

Our climbers are in good health and spirit on Mount Everest as a joint-effort Sherpa route fixing team makes their way to the summit. At base camp we received good news today, the line fixing to the summit will continue tomorrow and should be completed over the next 2-3 days on Everest. Tomorrow guides Brent and Geoff will move up to Camp 3 with Anders and John. If the weather conditions and fixing go as planned, they will move to Camp 4 the follow day.

Up at Camp 2, our Everest Express team (Conan, Allan and John) are on their first rotation and will be returning to base camp on the 9th. They then plan to fly to Namche by helicopter upon arriving back to base camp to rest and recover before their summit rotation.

A few members of our main climbing group are down in Namche now. Sangeeta, Drew, Alina and Billy will be resting and up at Paradise Lodge for the next few days before coming back for their summit rotation. We are hearing that they are enjoying the delicious bakeries and mountain luxuries in Namche.

The past couple days it has been quite at base camp, lots of reading and resting up with the remaining climbing team. We have been receiving steady snowfall in the afternoons, typically it clears up in the evening with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. The moon shines so bright you can see everything, it’s spectacular!

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Garrett and team moving up to touch Camp 3

Sherpa route fixing team

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High altitude rest break

Sherpa route fixing team

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On the ascent toward Camp 3

Sherpa route fixing team

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Happy climbers

Sherpa route fixing team

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Moving through the Khumbu Icefall

Sherpa route fixing team

Everest 2017 Guide Conan Bliss :

Growing up in Colorado left an indelible imprint on Conan as a boy.  The mountains beckoned.  At an early age, he enjoyed sojourns in the Rocky Mountains with his father, Robert, being exposed to all sorts of inclement weather, steep pitches and exciting adventure.  Rather than turn to more docile pursuits, he carried forth in the hills as a young man, seeking more diverse and intriguing climbing, regardless of whether a route was a well known classic or an obscure piece of unknown rock.

As a climbing guide, his path has taken him around the globe, from the trade routes of the North Cascades, the cold reaches of Alaska, the airy peaks of the Andes, to the shimmering heights of the Himalayas and Karakoram.  He has no favorite peak, no favorite route, as every climb is different and unique in its own right.  To him, the essence of the climb is the the symbiotic energy of the climbers and the mountain, so the same peak will be a different climb each day, week, and season.

Outside of work, Conan enjoys traveling the world with his girlfriend, Gesine, as well as other more domestic pursuits such as cooking and woodworking.  They are looking forward to their new home base at the foot of the Alps this summer.

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Everest 2017 Guide Conan Bliss