Tag: International Climbs

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Ama Dablam presents a significant climbing challenge with sustained technical sections of snow, ice, and rock at relative high altitude with significant exposure. Trekking through the beautiful Khumbu valley and interacting with the local Sherpa culture combine with this challenging climb to create a truly remarkable experience!

Note from Garrett Madison, Lead Guide:
I first attempted Ama Dablam in 2003 with a few of my mountain guide friends after a Cho Oyu expedition, my first season in the Himalayas. We did not reach the summit due to complications on the route. I returned in 2012, as a seasoned Himalayan guide and Expedition Leader with 3 climbers, and had an excellent climb, reaching the summit with all climbers on November 7th. It was one of the most enjoyable climbs of my career. I returned to Ama Dablam in the autumn of 2014 with a few climbers and again had a fantastic climb.

Ama Dablam, or “mother’s necklace” is an iconic peak located in the Khumbu Valley of Nepal, and was first climbed in 1961. At 22,493’, ’Ama’ is a challenging climb because of the steep faces of snow, ice, and rock that one must negotiate during the ascent of the Southwest ridge. Climbers must have experience with fixed ropes, and be comfortable climbing along very exposed ridgelines. The view from the summit is spectacular, as one can see Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, and Sishapangma.

We begin our expedition by trekking from Lukla along the Dudh Kosi river through the Sherpa villages of Monjo, Namche, Debuche, then Pangbochce. From here we leave the valley and climb up to our base camp.

We have the finest base camp on the mountain. Because our camp is built on a large grassy plain, we are able to bring a large dining and communications tent, as well as personal tents that you can stand up in with a very plush mattresses for sleeping. Fresh food is brought up daily from the valley so our base camp meals are truly delicious! We have a state of the art communications system that allows us to receive regular weather forecasts, make phone calls, and check in via the internet, as well as coordinating with our climbers and Sherpas on the mountain. The views from base camp are stunning, and often we take breakfast outside in the sunshine to start the day.

Our high camps are reserved by our Sherpa team in advance of the season, as space in these camps is very limited. By reserving these camps and stocking them with provisions such as food and cooking equipment, we are fortunate in that we only have to carry our personal items with us during our acclimatization rotations and our ascent. Our Sherpa team will arrive in base camp several weeks ahead of us and begin setting the route. This is a huge advantage for us as setting the route on Ama can take weeks. By the time we arrive the route should be ready for climbing.

We regularly organize custom programs for private groups. We are happy to accommodate your program dates, as well as other specific requests related to the itinerary, amenities, and group size. Please contact us if you would like to know more about custom programs.

Day 1: Arrive Kathmandu. Check all gear, review program itinerary

Day 2: Fly to Lukla and trek to Monjo

Day 3: Trek to Namche

Day 4: Rest in Namche, acclimatization hike to Everest View Hotel for tea

Day 5: Trek to Debuche

Day 6: Trek to Pangboche, visit Lama Geshe for blessing

Day 7: Trek to Ama Dablam base camp (15,000’)

Day 8: Climb to Yak Camp (17,000), return to base camp

Day 9: Rest in base camp, review fixed line climbing techniques

Day 10: Move to Camp 1 (18,500)

Day 11: Climb to Camp 2 (19,600’), sleep in Camp 1

Day 12: Descend to base camp

Day 13: Rest in base camp

Day 14: Move to Camp 1

Day 15: Move to Camp 2

Day 16: Move to Camp 2.7 (20,550’)

Day 17: Summit day and return to Camp 1 or base camp.

Day 18: Rest in base camp

Day 19: Trek to Namche

Day 20: Trek Namche to Lukla

Day 21: Fly Lukla to Kathmandu

Day 22: Depart Kathmandu for home

Days 23-27: Contingency days for bad weather, etc.

2020 Departures:
October 20-November 15

Ama Dablam Climb: $16,500
Deposit: $5,000

Balance due 120 days prior to departure

Costs Include:
‌• Airport pick up
• Welcome dinner in Kathmandu
• American mountain mountain guide, support staff, porters, cooks, climbing Sherpas
• Accommodations in Kathmandu (1 night) before the expedition, and (1 night) after the expedition.
• High quality lodges will be provided during the trek, and tents will be provided during the climb.
• We provide all meals during the trek and climb. We bring high quality food from the US and source local organic food from Nepal for this expedition (think real maple syrup and bacon!). We are happy to accommodate your dietary needs!
• All ground transportation in Kathmandu.
• All regular scheduled air transportation in Nepal. This includes round-trip air flights from Kathmandu to Lukla.
• All group gear such as tents, stoves and pots/pans, fuel, ropes, snow, ice & rock protection, VHF radios (we have a base station in our base camp and climbers carry hand held VHF radios), oxygen and other medical items if necessary.
• Climbing permits, garbage deposit and removal fee, liaison officer.
• Use of our satellite phone, and satellite modem for internet access.

Costs Do Not Include:
• Wire Transfer Fee
• Airfare to Nepal
• Food or Dining in Kathmandu and hotel expenses before the program begins, and after the climber has departed from the Khumbu Valley.
• Alcoholic beverages
• Bottled or canned beverages
• Specialty coffee or espresso drinks
• Personal items (see equipment list)
• A Medical & Evacuation insurance policy is required for this expedition
• Medical Release signed by your doctor
• Any costs that are beyond the control of Madison Mountaineering

Cancellation/Refund Policy
• There are no refunds for the deposit or balance payments for this expedition. This includes but is not limited to, expeditions that conclude without a summit or progress towards a summit 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.

• Ice Axe: A short ice axe no longer than 60 cm.
• Crampons: General mountaineering crampons
• Trekking Poles: Adjustable poles for the trek to base camp
• Climbing harness: An alpine climbing harness
• Carabineers: 4 locking and 2 non locking
• Belay / Rappel device: For rappelling or belaying climbers
• Helmet: Must fit over a thick hat
• Ascender: One right or left hand ascender (Petzl is best)
• Prussik Cord: 20’ or 7 meters of 6mm cord.
• Light hiking boots or trekking shoes: For the trek to base camp, these can be worn at base camp and as high as camp 2 depending on route conditions.
• Mountaineering Boots: A boot with a built in gaiter such as the La Sportiva Olympus Mons, Millet Everest, Scarpa 8000, etc.
• Socks: Minimum 3 pair thick mountaineering socks and 3 pair liner socks
• 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
• 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.
• 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.
• Headlamp: Bring extra batteries
• 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
• Goggles: With dark lenses.
• Soft Shell Gloves: 1 pair
• Shell gloves with insulated liner: 1 pair
• Shell mittens with insulated liner: 1 pair
• Expedition Backpack: A 65 liter internal frame back pack.
• Trekking Backpack: Optional. A small pack for the trek in.
• Sleeping Bag: Rated to at least -20 °F. Down is preferable over synthetic.
• Compression stuff sacks: for reducing volume for your sleeping bag and down jacket.
• Self Inflating pad: A full length air mattress
• Closed Cell foam pad: Full length is best
• Headlamp: Bring a spare set of batteries
• Cup: 16oz. minimum
• Bowl: ½ liter minimum capacity
• Spoon: Plastic (lexan)
• Sunscreen: 2 tubes, SPF 40 or stronger
• Lipscreen: 2 sticks, SPF 30 or stronger
• Thermos: 1 liter capacity
• Water bottles: 2 bottles with 1 liter capacity each
• Water Purification System: Tablets or Steripen
• Water Bottle Parkas: To keep your water from freezing
• Pee Bottle: 1 liter capacity minimum
• Pee Funnel: For Women
• Knife: Optional
• Toiletry Bag: Toothpaste, Toothbrush, baby wipes, etc.
• Hand Sanitizer: 2 small bottles
• Hand warmers / Toe warmers: 3 sets of each
• Trash Compactor bags (4): To line stuff sacks and separate gear
• Camera: lightweight with extra batteries
• Travel Clothes: For days in Kathmandu.
• Large Duffel Bag with lock: for transporting all personal gear to base camp.
• Small duffel bag: to store items in the hotel
• Small Personal First Aid Kit: Athletic tape, band aids, Ibuprofen, Moleskin, blister care products, personal medications, cough drops.
Medications:
  ‣ Acetazolamide (Diamox) for altitude illness
  ‣ Antibiotics such as Ciprofloxin or Azithromycin for gastro intestinal or respiratory illness
  ‣ Ibuprofen for muscle soreness
  ‣ Pepto Bismol for loose stool
  ‣ Excedrin for headaches
  ‣ Anti-nausea medications.
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.

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!

More Climbs

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Aconcagua, the “Stone Sentinel”, is located in Argentina near the border of Chile, and is the highest mountain outside of Asia. We climb a less traveled route that allows for more acclimatization, and while we may use our ice axe and crampons occasionally, this climb does not require ‘roping up.’ Climbers have the option to hire porters to assist with load carrying, as Aconcagua can be a very demanding high altitude climb.

Madison Mountaineering offers the highest standard in climbing Aconcagua by combining expert guides, a well thought out strategy, and excellent support throughout the expedition. Our guides are very experienced leading expeditions on Aconcagua, and spend days before hand organizing the food and equipment for the climb. Although we do not rope up, Aconcagua is a very serious undertaking. Our approach is to properly acclimatize and then attempt the summit with enough extra days built in for bad weather, whereas many climbers try to rush the ascent and are turned around by altitude illness or high winds that prevent reaching the summit when time is limited. We have a very close relationship and daily communication with our Argentine outfitter who provides services such as the mules that transport our gear to base camp, our own private dining tent in base camp, and the porters who are available to assist us transporting gear to our high camps. We keep our teams small, and ensure that climbers have the best chance to reach the summit while remaining safe. Garrett Madison has reached the summit of Aconcagua on nearly each of his 11 expeditions, and has perfected what he believes is the optimum strategy for leading a team to reach the summit.

We 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. On summit day we climb to Independencia refuge, then traverse the western slope, ascend the Canaleta, and reach the summit ridge leading to the highest point in the Americas. We descend into the Horcones valley and exit out of the western side of Aconcagua, nearly circumnavigating the entire peak.

Prerequisites: Climbers should have trekking or back packing experience. Technical training in how to use ice axe and crampons is a plus, but not necessary as we will review these skills once on the mountain. Top physical conditioning is important as this is a strenuous climb at high altitude.

Photo Credit: Wenny Sánchez

We regularly organize custom programs for private groups. We are happy to accommodate your program dates, as well as other specific requests related to the itinerary, amenities, and group size. Please contact us if you would like to know more about custom programs.

Day 1: Arrive in Mendoza, transfer to Park Hyatt Hotel. Your guide will meet with you and conduct an orientation, equipment check, then gather the group for a welcome dinner in a nearby restaurant.

Day 2: After breakfast we visit the Aconcagua Park office and obtain our climbing permits, then drive to Penitentes, usually having lunch along the way. Upon arriving the Ayelen hotel we discuss the strategy for the climb before relaxing and enjoying another Argentine style dinner.

Day 3: We begin our trek not far from the hotel at Punta de Vaca, the entrance to the Vacas Valley (8,000’) and trek along the river stopping to enjoy a picnic style lunch. We arrive at Pampa de Lena camp (9,200’). Here we have a traditional open fire barbeque under the stars near the riverside.

Day 4: We awake early and continue the trek, marveling at the scenic landscape of the far away valley walls. After another picnic style lunch we finally have our first view of the summit, then arrive Casa de Piedra Camp (10,560’), another scenic riverside camp.

Day 5: After an early morning river crossing (with river shoes or by mule) we leave the Vacas Valley and begin the steep trek up the Relinchos Valley to Plaza Argentina base camp (13,900’). Upon arriving in base camp we are greeted by our friendly outfitter and a warm meal! The mules will deposit our gear and head out. We spend the first of our 3 nights at base camp.

Day 6: We rest in base camp and organize our loads for the higher camps. A short acclimatization hike up a nearby peak is optional.

Day 7: After breakfast we carry a load of equipment up to Camp 1 (16,100’) to deposit and then we return to base camp to spend the night.

Day 8: After breakfast we say good bye to our Argentine friends at base camp and climb up to Camp 1 (16,100’) to spend the night.

Day 9: We carry a load of gear, food, and clothing to our Camp 2 (18,000’), then return to Camp 1 to spend the night.

Day 10: Today we normally rest in Camp 1 to recover from the previous day’s climb and allow our bodies to generate more red blood cells.

Day 11: Move to Camp 2 (18,000’). From here we can see many snow capped peaks of the Andes.

Day 12: Rest in Camp 2, organize loads for carry to Camp 3.

Day 13: Carry to Camp 3 (19,600’) and return to Camp 2 to spend the night.

Day 14: Move to Camp 3 (19,600’). Upon reaching high camp we enjoy spectacular sunsets to the west over Chile.

Day 15: Rest in Camp 3.

Day 16: Summit day! We awake early and set off for the summit, usually arriving at the top around 2 PM. We savor the view from the highest peak in the Americas, then descend back to our high camp and spend the night.

Day 17: Extra day in case of bad weather, acclimatization, etc.

Day 18: Descend from our Camp 3 to Plaza de Mulas base camp (13,800’).

Day 19: Trek to Horcones trail head, transfer to the Ayelen hotel in Penitentes. Here we have a much deserved shower and celebration dinner!

Day 20: Transfer to Mendoza, check into park Hyatt hotel, and enjoy a fancy Argentine style meal. If we do not use our extra days we can relax in Mendoza or choose a day activity such as a wine tour, rafting trip, horseback ride, fly fishing, etc.

Day 21: Transfer to Mendoza airport, depart for country of residence.

Aconcagua Expedition
Cost: $5,100
Deposit: $2,000

2020 Departures:
February 7-March 1
December 5-27
December 12-January 3
December 19-January 10
December 28-January 19

Costs Include:
‌• Mountain guides
‌• All shared expedition gear (VHF radios, satellite phone, personal tents, large private dining tent in base camp, cooking equipment, etc.)‌
• Airport pick up upon arrival and transport to hotel
‌• Two nights accommodations with breakfast in Mendoza (double occupancy)
‌• Two nights accommodation with breakfast at the Ayelen hotel in Penitentes
‌• Welcome dinner‌
• Celebration dinner
‌• All food during the expedition
‌• All ground transport during the program
‌• Mules to transport gear and food

Costs Do Not Include:
‌• Airfare to Mendoza
‌• Aconcagua climbing permit fee
‌• Option to upgrade to single room‌
• Argentina reciprocity fee
‌• Porter fees
‌• Fees for early departure from program
‌• Personal items
‌• Medical and Evacuation insurance
‌• Trip cancellation insurance‌
• Wire transfer fees

Cancellation/Refund Policy
• There are no refunds for the deposit or balance payments for this expedition. This includes but is not limited to, expeditions that conclude without a summit or progress towards a summit 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.

Print Gear List

Base Layers

  • Synthetic Short underwear: 2-3 pair of non-cotton style underwear
  • Lightweight Long Underwear: 1-2 pair lightweight long underwear pants and shirts
  • Heavyweight Long Underwear: 1 pair of heavy expedition weight long underwear
  • Short Sleeve Synthetic Shirt: 1-2 pair

Mid Layers

  • Soft Shell jacket: To be worn over other layers
  • Soft Shell pants: For trekking and climbing
  • Lightweight Nylon Pants: 1-2 pair

Windproof/Rain Layers

  • Hard Shell Jacket with hood: A waterproof and breathable shell jacket
  • Hard Shell Pants: Waterproof and breathable shell pants

Insulation Layers

  • Insulated Down Jacket with hood
  • Insulated synthetic Pants

Headwear

  • Warm Hat: Synthetic or wool hat (ski hat).
  • Balaclava: to cover your face and neck on windy days
  • Sun hat: A baseball style sun cap
  • Buff: to wear around your neck & face to block the wind, UV rays, dust

Eyewear

  • Glacier glasses: Full protection with side covers or wrap around
  • Ski goggles: To be worn in the event of high winds

Gloves

  • Lightweight synthetic liner gloves: For wearing on a hot day
  • Soft shell gloves: To wear for moderate cold / wind
  • Shell glove with insulated liner: To wear for severe cold / strong wind
  • Expedition Mitts: Large enough to fit a liner glove inside.

Footwear

  • Liner socks: 3 pair
  • Wool or synthetic socks: 3 pair
  • Mountaineering boots: Olympus Mons, Millet, ect.
  • Hiking shoes/boots: For the trek to base camp, these can be worn at base camp and higher on the mountain depending on route conditions
  • Water shoes or sandals: For the stream and river crossings
  • Gaiters:To keep snow, rocks, and dust out of your boots. Gaiters also help keep your lower leg warm. Please make sure your gaiters fit over your boots.
  • Booties (optional): for wearing around camp
  • Water shoes or sandals: for stream and river crossings

Sleeping Equipment

  • Sleeping Bag: rated to at least -20°F.
  • Self inflating sleeping pad: Full length is preferred
  • Closed cell foam pad: To be used in conjunction with the inflating pad for warmth and comfort when sleeping
  • Earplugs

Mountaineering Gear

  • Expedition Backpack: approx. 65-liter internal frame backpack
  • Compression stuff sacks: for reducing volume for your sleeping bag and down jacket
  • Trash Compactor bags (3): To line stuff sacks and separate gear
  • Trekking Backpack: To carry on the trek to base camp. Simple and light
  • Trekking poles with optional snow baskets: Adjustable poles
  • Ice Axe: A general mountaineering ice axe 60-75 cm
  • Crampons: General mountaineering crampons
  • Headlamp: Bring a Spare set of batteries

Luggage

  • Large Duffel Bag with lock: for transporting all personal gear to base camp on the mules
  • Small duffel bag with lock: to store items in the hotels
  • Travel Clothes: For days in town

Additional Food Items

  • Snack food: Please bring a few days of your favorite climbing snack food such as bars, gels, nuts, beef jerky, etc. A variety of salty and sweet is good:
    • 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.
    • Candy Bars: Snickers, Mars, Twix, Milky Way, etc.
    • Hard Candy: 1 cup
    • Crackers: 1 box

Other Equipment

  • Cup: 16oz. minimum
  • Bowl: ½ liter minimum capacity
  • Spoon: Plastic (Lexan)
  • Water bottles: 2 or 3 wide mouth bottles with 1-liter capacity
  • Water bottle parkas (2): fully insulated with zip opening
  • Water Purification System: Tablets or Steripen
  • Hand warmers & toe warmers: 3 sets of each
  • Sunscreen: 2 tubes, SPF 50 or stronger
  • Lip screen: 2 sticks, SPF 30 or stronger
  • Toiletry bag: include toilet paper, baby wipes, hand sanitizer and small towel
  • Pee bottle: 1 liter minimum bottle for convenience at night in the tent
  • Pee Funnel: For women
  • Knife: Optional
  • Small Personal First Aid Kit: Athletic tape, band-aids, Ibuprofen, Moleskin, blister care products, personal medications, cough drops
  • Medications and prescriptions:
    • 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

Optional Electronics

  • For Argentina: Plug adapters and transformers
  • Adventure Sports Watch: such as Garmin fēnix 6
  • GPS/Personal Satellite Communicator: such as Garmin inReach Mini
  • Personal power system: such as Goal Zero Nomad 28 Plus Solar Panel and Sherpa 100AC Power Bank
  • Digital Entertainment: movies, tv shows, music, books loaded on to smartphone, iPad, Kindle
  • Camera: bring extra batteries, charger, and memory cards

Other Optional Items

  • Lightweight journal, sketchbook, pencils, pen, e-reader
  • US cash: for currency exchange to purchase SIM cards or merchandise, etc.
  • Extra handkerchiefs/bandanas

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!

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Kilimanjaro, the “roof” of Africa, is located in Tanzania, and is surrounded by many famous game-viewing parks. Our route up Kilimanjaro, the Machame, is a non technical journey through five very distinctive climate zones, allowing ample time for acclimatization. We ascend Kilimanjaro in style, enjoying the incredible views, camaraderie, and sense of accomplishment in climbing one of the famed “7 Summits.”

Madison Mountaineering offers the premier climbing experience on Kilimanjaro. Quality is unsurpassed throughout the expedition, and our service reflects a well thought out menu plan, enthusiastic and supportive local staff, and well appointed accommodations on the mountain. Our professional guides (see guide roster) are seasoned Americans who have led expeditions on many continents, and for whom Kilimanjaro is one of their favorite programs. These guides know how to run a mountaineering expedition, and are well equipped to handle the challenges that arise in any high altitude endeavor. This is the primary difference between us and other Kilimanjaro ‘outfitters’ who employ local Tanzanian staff to lead the expedition, and whose primary business involves game viewing excursions. As a mountain climbing company, Madison Mountaineering offers climbers the highest chance of success in conjunction with the highest standards for safety.

Although Kilimanjaro is partially covered in glacier, our route meanders around the icy slopes to Stella Point and then onward to Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa. We do not use crampons, or rock climb at any time (unless teams elect to scale the Lava Tower), making this expedition a high altitude trek.

This adventure appeals to the seasoned climber in pursuit of the “7 summits” as well as first time trekkers who are eager to experience a high altitude expedition in the natural wonder of Africa. We arrive in camp every afternoon, and alongside our very enthusiastic and robust Tanzanian staff, participate in song and dance to celebrate another successful day.

We conclude our climb of Kilimanjaro then head out on safari! This is a truly rewarding transition in that we have just returned from mountain climbing and now enjoy spectacular game viewing during the day, then retire in luxury lodges to recount the day’s wildlife sightings over a gourmet meal. Our safari is expertly organized to maximize game viewing opportunity and minimize drive time. During the safari we visit these parks:

Tarangire Park: Though relatively unknown, this park is potentially Africa’s best kept secret in terms of abundant wildlife and minimal crowds. The Tarangire takes us back in time thousands of years to a land untouched by man and in it’s natural state.

The Serengeti: Perhaps one of Africa’s best known game parks, the Serengeti is one of the largest game parks in the world. Oftentimes our Land Cruisers are caught among large herds of animals in migration. Here we have the opportunity to visit a traditional Masai village and interact with a people who live much the same as they did thousands of years ago.

The Ngorongoro Crater: Nearly eight miles across, this was once an active volcano that sunk in on itself, and is now a rich ecosystem with immense biodiversity and wildlife. Our lodge is located on the crater rim and provides a sweeping panorama of the world below. We save this park for the last day as we will surely see the most wildlife, and return to our hotel in Arusha very satisfied.

Additional notes:
Given that the Serengeti is huge, our itinerary above allows guests more quality time to explore this exceptional park, also removing the need to overnight at Ngorongoro Crater as it is not necessary with only 3 nights as we try to make most of the time we have. Another reason we suggest the smaller boutique style lodge properties is because most of our guests are familiar with large luxury chain hotels, and when journeying to Africa these smaller properties provide a unique experience while offering personalized service. In Tarangire, the Osupuko lodge has only 12 rooms while in Serengeti the Hemingway style ‘tent camp’ has only 10 luxury tents. This suggested itinerary offers a combination of a ”normal lodge” and luxury camping with huge “Hemingway” style tents with en-suite bath facilities. In the evenings in Serengeti guests enjoy beverages around the camp fire, with Africa’s finest natural setting a stones’ throw from the camp.

We regularly organize custom programs for private groups. We are happy to accommodate your program dates, as well as other specific requests related to the itinerary, amenities, and group size. Please contact us if you would like to know more about custom programs.

Day 1: Depart country of residence

Day 2: Arrive in Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), you will be met by one of our representatives and taken to our hotel.

Day 3: Climb orientation and equipment check.

Day 4: Drive from hotel to the Machame entrance (5,900’), and begin our ascent in the lush forest. We arrive in the afternoon at our Machame Camp (9,950’) and enjoy a wonderful dinner before retiring to bed.

Day 5: After breakfast we head out and wind our way through the moor lands to Shira camp (12,450).

Day 6: We leave Shira Camp and trek to the Lava Tower, where we enjoy lunch and views of the Western Breach route. We descend to Barranco Camp (12,750’). Upon reaching camp we size up the next day’s crux, the Great Barranco wall.

Day 7: After ascending the Great Barranco wall, we pause for photographs above the clouds and then descend down into Karanga Camp (12,950’).

Day 8: Today we ascend to Kosovo Camp (15,550’), this will be our high camp. We have an early dinner and drift off to sleep in anticipation of the early morning start for our summit climb.

Day 9: We have an ‘alpine start’ shortly after midnight, and climb through the night using head lights until the first rays of sunlight illuminate the mountain and surrounding landscape. We arrive at Stella Point, take a short break, and then continue on to Uhuru Peak and savor our moments here at the “roof” of Africa. After summit photos, and ample time for rest and snacks, we descend to Mweka Camp (10,150’) and return into the lush green forest for our last night on the mountain.

Day 10: Still savoring our summit success, we awake and enjoy our last breakfast together on Kilimanjaro, then descend to the Mweka Gate and have a celebratory buffet style meal to quench our burgeoning appetites! We thank our Tanzanian staff, and drive back to Arusha to shower and enjoy a meal together in town.

Day 11: Safari begins! After breakfast, you will be collected from the Mt Meru hotel in Arusha at 8:00 AM, and drive to Tarangire National Park. On arrival into the park, we experience our first ‘game drive’, then in the evening we drive to Tarangire Osupuko lodge for overnight, which is located strategically at the border of the park, where guests can see wildlife ‘close up’ that visit the lodge. This property is near the exit gate which means no time is wasted on the second day when leaving for the Ngorongoro crater. The location of the lodge is useful particularly for logistics on the second day, unlike Tarangire Sopa Lodge that is located deep inside the park, safari participants can leave the Osupuko lodge at Tarangire park and enjoy ample quality time at Ngorongoro crater.

Day 12: After an early breakfast we depart Tarangire park for Ngorongoro Crater with picnic lunch. On arrival into the park we descend to the crater floor for game viewing. With wildlife concentrated in a small area in the Ngorongoro crater, safari participants can do the game drive then visit a cultural ‘maasai boma’ visit and game viewing in the Serengeti en route to the luxury tented lodge. In the afternoon we drive to Serengeti National Park, with many game viewing opportunities en route to Osupuko Lodge in the Serengeti.

Day 13: Full day in the Serengeti with morning and afternoon game drives. Alternatively, you can take a packed lunch and spend the whole day in the bush (keep in mind the best times to view game are early and late in the day). Dinner & Overnight Serengeti Osupuko Lodge. The following day offers guests a full day of game viewing in the Serengeti while enjoying a game drive en route to the exit gate and then continuing the drive to Arusha.

Day 14: After breakfast start your return journey to Arusha, game drive en-route to the exit gate. Upon arrival in Arusha, you will drive direct to Kilimanjaro Airport where you will board your KLM flight departing that evening. *On this day, guests do have the option of flying from the Serengeti to Arusha at US $220 per person. If guests select this option you will fly to Arusha, be collected by one of our vehicles, then driven to the Kilimanjaro airport about an hour away.

Day 15: Arrive home.

Additional notes:
Given that the Serengeti is huge, our itinerary above allows guests more quality time to explore this exceptional park, also removing the need to overnight at Ngorongoro Crater as it is not necessary with only 3 nights as we try to make most of the time we have. Another reason we suggest the smaller boutique style lodge properties is because most of our guests are familiar with large luxury chain hotels, and when journeying to Africa these smaller properties provide a unique experience while offering personalized service. In Tarangire, the Osupuko lodge has only 12 rooms while in Serengeti the Hemingway style ‘tent camp’ has only 10 luxury tents. This suggested itinerary offers a combination of a ”normal lodge” and luxury camping with huge “Hemingway” style tents with en-suite bath facilities. In the evenings in Serengeti guests enjoy beverages around the camp fire, with Africa’s finest natural setting a stones’ throw from the camp.

Kilimanjaro Climb and Safari: $6,900
Climb-only option: $4,900

Deposit: $1000

2020 Departures:
January 1-15
January 10-24
January 21-February 4
January 27-February 10
January 31-February 14

July 13-27
August 1-15
August 11-25
August 18 -September 1
September 30-October 13
December 5-19
December 14-28

Costs Include:
• Airport transfers
• Pre and Post climb accommodations at the Mount Meru Hotel in Arusha (breakfast provided)
• Team welcome dinner
• All meals while on the climb and safari
• All group gear on the climb (sleeping tents, dining supplies and tents, toilette tents, first aid, etc.)
• Porter service on the climb
• All climbing staff including mountain guides and local support staff
• All park fees, permits and tour fees
• All transportation in country
• All accommodations on safari, including two nights in a Hemingway style tent camp on the beautiful Serengeti
• Travel in all-terrain Land Cruiser or similar safari vehicles with pop-tops for game viewing – driven by experienced professional safari tour guides

Costs Do Not Include:
• Round-trip airfare to/from Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)
• Tanzania tourist visa
• Alcoholic or bottled beverages
• Medical and evacuation insurance
• Any expenses incurred by early departure from the program
• Personal items and equipment
• Charges incurred as a result of delays beyond the control of Madison Mountaineering

Cancellation/Refund Policy
• There are no refunds for the deposit or balance payments for this expedition. This includes but is not limited to, expeditions that conclude without a summit or progress towards a summit 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.

Print Gear List

• Trekking Poles: adjustable poles
• Trekking Boots: comfortable trekking boots or mid top hiking shoes
• Socks: minimum 3 pair thick mountaineering socks and 3 pair liner socks
• Short Underwear: 1-2 pair of synthetic short underwear
• Long Underwear: 1-2 pair lightweight long underwear pants and shirts
• Long Underwear: 1 pair of heavy expedition weight long underwear
• Trekking Pants: nylon pants worn during warm days
• Soft Shell Jacket: a hooded jacket
• Soft Shell Pants: for trekking and climbing
• 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
• 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
• Headlamp: bring extra batteries
• 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: 1-2 of these to wear around your neck & face to block the wind, UV rays, dust
• Glacier Glasses: wrap around style sunglasses with dark lenses
• Goggles: with dark lenses
• Soft Shell Gloves: 1 pair
• Shell Gloves with Insulated Liner: 1 pair
• Shell Mittens with Insulated Liner: 1 pair
• Trekking Backpack: a 20-40 liter back pack
• Sleeping Bag: rated to at least -20 °F (down is preferable over synthetic)
• Compression Stuff Sacks: for reducing volume for your sleeping bag and down jacket
• Self-Inflating Pad: a full length air mattress
• Closed Cell Foam Pad: full length is best
• Sunscreen: SPF 50 or stronger
• Lip protection: SPF 30 or stronger
• Water Bottles: 2 bottles with 1 liter capacity each
• Water Bottle Parkas: to keep your water from freezing
• Pee Bottle: 1+ liter capacity recommended
• Pee Funnel: for women
• Knife: optional
• Toiletry Bag: toothpaste, toothbrush, baby wipes, etc.
• Hand Sanitizer: 2 small bottles
• Hand Warmers / Toe Warmers: 1-2 sets of each for summit day
• Trash Compactor bags (3): to line stuff sacks and separate gear
• Camera: lightweight with extra batteries
• Travel Clothes: for days in Arusha or on safari
• Large Duffel Bag with Lock: for transporting all personal gear during the climb, waterproof is best
• Small Duffel Bag: to store items in the hotel
• Small Personal First Aid Kit: athletic tape, band aids, Ibuprofen, Moleskin, blister care products, personal medications, cough drops, etc.

Medications:
• Acetazolamide (Diamox) for altitude illness, antibiotics such as Ciprofloxin or Azithromycin for gastro intestinal or respiratory illness, Ibuprofen for muscle soreness, Pepto Bismol for loose stool, Excedrin for headaches, anti-nausea medications, etc.

Climbing Snacks:
• Electrolyte Replacement Drink Mix: bring a supply for 6 days
• Energy Gel: single serving gel packs such as GU, Clif Shot, Powergel, etc.
• Energy Bars: Power Bar, Cliff bar, etc.
• Candy Bars: Snickers, Mars, Twix, Milky Way, etc.

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!

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