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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
Island Peak Expedition 2017
Island Peak, a beautiful glaciated climb at 20,350’, is a great introduction to Himalayan climbing, as the terrain and climbing techniques resemble that of the nearby peaks of Everest and Lhotse. Trekking through the Khumbu Valley to Everest base camp is a life changing experience for many, as the spectacular mountain scenery integrated with Sherpa culture and Buddhist religion makes for truly engaging combination. We follow the same route to Base Camp as the Everest climbers and recount the historical ascents with the climbers who share our lodges along the way.
Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu. We will pick you up at the airport and take you to the Yak & Yeti hotel. This is historically the ‘climbers hotel’ where many expeditions have stayed over the years. We enjoy a welcome dinner with the team.
Day 2: City tour of Kathmandu, we visit the Monkey Temple, Boudhanath (one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Kathmandu), Pashupatinath, and the Swayambhunath. After the tour we have dinner, then prepare for an early morning flight to Lukla.
Day 3: We fly by fixed-wing aircraft into Lukla, and begin our trek! We pass through several Sherpa villages and enter the Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park. After crossing the river by suspension bridge, we arrive in the village of Phakding.
Day 4: We continue trekking along the Dudh Kosi River through the village of Monjo, then up the hill to Namche Bazaar. Here we will spend 2 nights in our comfortable lodge acclimatizing and enjoying the sights and cafes in Namche.
Day 5: We go for an acclimatization hike and return to our lodge to rest and prepare for the next day of trekking.
Day 6: After breakfast, we head out of Namche and traverse the magnificent valley leaving towards Tengboche. Here we have spectacular views of Everest, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam for the first time. We arrive in Tengboche and tour the famous Tengboche Monastery, and then continue to Debuche where we spend the night in the Rivendell lodge.
Day 7: Depart Debuche and trek through the rhododendron forest then cross the river and hike up the short hill to Pangboche. Here we visit with Lama Geshe, the high lama of the Khumbu Valley, who many climbers visit for blessings before heading to climb peaks such as Everest, Lhotse, or Island Peak. We stay in Pangboche this evening.
Day 8: From Pangboche we gain elevation and have lunch in Shomari, near the pass where the valley divides. We then cross the river and arrive in Dingboche.
Day 9: After breakfast, we trek onward past Thugla and arrive in Lobuche, the highest yak grazing ground in the Khumbu Valley. We overnight in Lobuche.
Day 10: Trek to Gorak Shep. After checking into our lodge and having lunch, we hike up nearby Kala Patthar for an amazing view of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and the other surrounding peaks. We return to Gorak Shep for dinner.
Day 11: We trek to Everest base camp and visit one of the climbing team camps that are in operation for the season. After a few photos of the Khumbu Icefall, we return to Gorak Shep to spend the night.
Day 12: Today we descend down the valley to Dingboche where we rest and prepare for our trek to Chukung the following day.
Day 13: Arriving Chukung we organize our gear and prepare to leave the lodge setting for our camp at Island Peak base camp.
Day 14: After breakfast at the lodge we trek to our base camp, review some technical climbing skills then have an early dinner in preparation for our ‘alpine start.’
Day 15: We awake around midnight and set out in the pre-dawn hours climbing up the ridgeline, then onto the glacier. Once on the glacier we climb roped up and ascent to the prominent ridgeline where we utilize fixed ropes to negotiate the final slopes to the summit. We decent to our base camp and continue onward to Chukung where we are greeted with a hearty and well-deserved meal.
Day 16: From Chukung we trek to Namche, where we enjoy the many cafes and shops of the “capital of the Khumbu.”
Day 17: Trek to Lukla and spend our final night in the mountains.
Day 18. Fly to Kathmandu check into the Yak & Yeti hotel.
Day 19: Extra day for touring Kathmandu, visit shops and restaurants.
Day 20: Depart Kathmandu for home.
April 2 – April 22
October 22 – November 8
• Accommodations at the Yak & Yeti hotel for two nights before and two nights after the trek
• Airport pick up upon arrival
• Welcome dinner in Kathmandu
• All in-country flights to Lukla
• All lodging while trekking
• All meals while trekking
• Permits and Park entrance fees
• American guide, Sherpa guide, Nepali staff to carry loads, etc.
Costs Do Not Include:
• Personal items (see Equipment list)
• Wire transfer fee
• Meals in Kathmandu
• Any bottled beverages while trekking
• Option to upgrade to a single room
• Cost for helicopter transport
• Any costs as the result of an early departure from the program
• 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: General mountaineering tool (65cm)
Crampons: General mountaineering crampons
Climbing Helmet: Must be able to fit over your ski hat
Ascender: 1 right or left hand ascender (Petzel brand is best)
Alpine Climbing Harness: A mountaineering harness, with adjustable leg loops. Not a rock climbing “sport” harness
Carabineers: 3 locking and 3 regular
Rappel device: ATC or figure 8
Mountaineering boots: A double plastic or insulated climbing boot
Hiking shoes: comfortable boots or shoes for the trek to base camp
Booties: Optional, down is best
Wool or synthetic socks: 3 pair
Liner socks: 3 pair
Synthetic Short underwear: A non cotton style underwear
Lightweight Long Underwear: 1-2 pair long sleeve shirt and long pants
Heavyweight long underwear: 1 pair
Short Sleeve Synthetic Shirt: 1-2 pair
Lightweight Nylon Pants: 1-2 pair
Soft Shell jacket: To be worn over other layers
Soft Shell Pants: Very breathable and water repellant
Hard Shell Jacket with hood: A waterproof and breathable shell jacket
Hard Shell Pants: Waterproof and breathable shell pants
Insulated Jacket with hood: Down or PrimaLoft
Insulated Synthetic Pants: Down or PrimaLoft
Sun hat: A baseball style cap
Synthetic or wool hat (ski hat)
Balaclava: to protect your neck and face in high winds
Baseball Camp or other sun hat: To shade your face / neck from the sun on a hot day
Bandana or Buff: To protect your neck / face from the sun
Glacier glasses: Full protection with side covers or wrap around
Ski goggles: To be worn on summit day in the event of high winds
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
Climbing Backpack: A 40L pack should be large enough
Trekking Backpack: Optional, to use during the trek
Sleeping Bag: rated to at least -20°F
Compression stuff sacks: For reducing volume of the sleeping bag, down parka, etc.
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.
Trekking poles: Adjustable
Headlamp: With extra batteries
Sunscreen: SPF 40 or better
Lip screen: SPF 40 or better (2 sticks).
Water bottles: 2 or 3 wide mouth bottles with 1 liter capacity.
Pee bottle: 1 liter minimum bottle for convenience at night in the tent.
Toiletry bag: Include toilet paper and hand sanitizer and small towel
Knife or multi tool (optional).
Trash compactor bags: to line back pack and stuff sacks in the event of rain or wet snow is falling on us.
Camera: bring extra batteries and memory cards.
Travel Clothes: For days in Kathmandu.
Duffel bags (2) with locks: To transport equipment.
Base Camp Items: Kindle, Ipad, smart phone, etc.
Snack food: Please bring 1-2 days of your favorite climbing snack food such as bars, gels, nuts, beef jerky, etc. A variety of salty and sweet is good.
Small personal first aid kit: Include athletic tape, band aids, Ibuprofen, blister care, personal medications, etc.
Medications and Prescriptions: Bring antibiotics (Azithromycin, etc.), and altitude medicine such as Diamox and dexamethasone.
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!