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The village of Gokyo, next to the lake, with the Nazumba glacier, Mount Everest and Lhotse behind on left side.

Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, checked in via satellite phone to provide this Nup la Khang (aka Unclimbed Peak) update:

Today the team flew by helicopter from base camp (4965 m) across the Ngozumpa glacier and by last year’s First Ascent peak, Tharke Khang to our advanced base camp.  Advanced base camp is located just near the Nepal / China border at approximately 6170 m (just over 20,000 ft).  After scouting out the area and base of the route, they spend some time acclimatizing to the new elevation.

The plan will be to launch a summit bid within the next few days.  The weather is favorable, and the team is strong, in high spirits and ready to do this!  Network communications are currently limited, so no new pictures yet.

We are looking forward to a recorded audio dispatch in the next day or so with a detailed update direct from the team.

Meanwhile, our Island Peak team has trekked from Gokyo over the Cho La pass (5420 m / 17,782 ft) into the Khumbu valley and down to Dingboche.  Yesterday, they continued to Chukhung.  Today they will finish the trek to the Island Peak base camp and conduct some additional training.  They should be going for the summit on November 2nd in Nepal.

We are pretty excited to have our two teams going for Himalayan summit possibly the same day!  Join us in wishing them both great climbing success, and we will have another update for you tomorrow.

Trekking above Gokyo

We’ve made it to Gokyo (4750 m/15,580 ft), the last village before before base camp.  After leaving Khumjung, we trekked up the Gokyo Valley.  This area, including the village of Machermo, is remarkably beautiful with stunning views.

Today our team went on an acclimatization hike up nearby Gokyo Ri, at 5357 m (17,575 ft). We had amazing views all around of Mount Everest, Mount Lhotse, Makalu, and could see our objective the unclimbed Nup la Khang! This afternoon we will head to base camp.  There we will spend a few days acclimatizing and training to prepare for our attempt of Nup la Khang.

Our Island peak team will head off today from Gokyo towards Dzongla and will spend several days making their way to Island Peak (Imja Tse). So we are saying our goodbyes to our fellow trekkers/climbers.  We look forward to reuniting with them after the climbing period.

The weather has been stellar the past week for us as we’ve trekked up from Lukla towards these high Himalayan peaks.  We hope it will continue.  But there looks to be some high wind in the forecast. Fingers crossed for calm winds and clear skies!

The team at the top of Gokyo Ri (17,800 ft) today, beautiful views all around! Everest is behind top left.

The team at the top of Gokyo Ri (17,575 ft) today, beautiful views all around! Everest is behind top left.

The village of Gokyo, next to the lake, with the Nazumba glacier, Mount Everest and Lhotse behind on left side.

The village of Gokyo, next to the lake, with the Nazumba glacier, Mount Everest and Lhotse behind on left side.

Close up of Everest and Lhotse from Gokyo Ri

Close up of Everest and Lhotse from Gokyo Ri

Today guides Brent and Geoff returned to base camp with John and Anders after a successful first rotation. The weather at base camp has been cold with steady snowfall over the past two days. Our climbers up on the mountain are doing well and tucked in at Camp 1 and 2 on Mount Everest. They will follow the same schedule with two nights at Camp 1 and two nights at Camp 2 before returning back down to base camp.

Our Sherpa team reports that the route fixing team has moved up to Camp 4. We predict that the first Sherpa summits will be in the next one to two weeks. Beautiful photos below taken by our first rotation team!

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successful first rotation

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Today at base camp we woke up to sunshine and by early afternoon we had steady snowfall accumulating, Everest weather changes quickly! Our second wave of climbers pushed through the Khumbu icefall and made it to Camp 1 early this morning. We now have climbers acclimatizing at Camp 1 and Camp 2 on Mount Everest. Our third and final group will depart for Camp 1 early this morning. Everyone is doing well and in good spirits.

For daily photo updates follow us on Instagram @MadisonMtng.

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Everest weather

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Everest weather

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Everest weather

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Everest weather

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Everest weather

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Our first Everest rotation is in mid-swing with our second wave of climbers moving up in a few hours. Beautiful day at base camp today with ample time to enjoy the sunshine. Our climbers at base camp continued icefall training with difficult courses set up by our guide staff. Up at Camp 1 our team is doing well with heavy clouds reported throughout the afternoon. Tomorrow our Camp 1 team will move up to Camp 2 where they will spend two days acclimatizing.

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first Everest rotation

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first Everest rotation

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first Everest rotation

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Sid Pattison reports a successful ascent of Island Peak (pictures below):

Bookended by a forecast of wind and snow our team squeaked in a summit of Island Peak at 6:15am on the 17th. Our climb began at 12:15am and after climbing steadily up tallus fields and ridges we made it to Crampon Point as the sun rose. We put on crampons and roped up to cross the very broken and bridged glacier, after an hour we made it to the base of the final 750ft headwall. The steep climbing was strenuous but we moved steadily up to the summit ridge. From the summit the beautiful Himalayan mountain range was on display, Lhotse, Taboche, Cholatse and Ama Dablam fueling dreams of future climbs. The descent went smoothly, we packed up basecamp and made the final trek back to Chhukung and slept soundly. Today we made the long trek to Namche and Lukla tomorrow.

“We couldn’t have asked for better conditions, this summit is the culmination of weeks of hard work” Jared Moravec reflected on the climb.

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Island Peak Expedition 2017 

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