Tag Archive for: Karakoram

The view from K2 base camp

This morning the sun finally came out and we saw K2, Broad Peak, and the surrounding mountains for the first time since arriving here on June 29th.  We are drying out our gear and enjoying the warm weather!  Yesterday was our first full day here in K2 base camp, so we spent the entire day setting up our camp the way we like to have it, as when we arrived we had to set up tents quickly as the snow was coming down very hard.  Our dining tent is very comfortable with carpets, cushioned chairs, 3 couches, and a heater to keep it warm for us at dinner time.  The food has been excellent so far, lots of fresh vegetables and meat to keep our energy levels high.  After dinner last night we watched a movie in the dining tent before bedtime.

Our plan is to continue setting up our camp and drying out our gear while we rest and acclimatize, then tomorrow will be our Puja day!  It looks like a bit more snow this week on Wednesday, but then favorable weather conditions thereafter!  So we are hoping the weather forecast holds true and a long period of warm and sunny weather comes our way.

Everyone is doing well and enjoying the base camp life!

K2 base camp

Hello! This is Garrett calling in for the K2 expedition. Today is June 29th and we are at K2 base camp. It has been snowing a lot the last few days and we had a tough time getting up to base camp with all of our porters but we made it today. We set up our camp hastily just to create some shelter. We are looking forward to the snow letting up in the next couple days. We probably have two and a half to three feet here at base camp, waiting now for the weather to change and let up. Everyone is doing well and we just had a nice dinner and heading off to bed. Looking forward to a nice rest day tomorrow. All is well here at K2 base camp and we will check in soon.

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Audio dispatch from Garrett Madison

Concordia camp

Hello! This is Garrett calling in for the K2 expedition. Today is Thursday June 28th and we are at Concordia camp on the Baltoro Glacier. Tomorrow our plan is to trek up all the way to K2 base camp. Today we woke up around 5am and trekked from our camp at Goro II up to Concordia in the early afternoon. Hoping the suns going to let up soon, probably another few days of clouds and snow fall before we see clear skies. Everyone is doing well here and we are excited to make our way to base camp tomorrow. We will check in soon. Thanks!

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Audio dispatch from Garrett Madison

Urdukas

Hello!  This is Garrett Madison calling for the K2 expedition team.  Today is June 26th and we continued our trek toward K2 base camp.  We had a nice trek today from Paiju to Urdukas. Mixed weather today; some clouds, a bit of rain, some sun and some wind, but we had nice day overall. Had some great views of the Trango Towers on our way up to camp. Everyone is doing great and looking forward to hiking up to Goro II camp tomorrow on the Baltoro Glacier. So, one day closer to K2 base camp! Everyone is doing well and we are happy to be here. We will check in soon.  Thanks!

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Audio dispatch from Garrett Madison

Jola

Today is Monday, June 25th and yesterday we started the trek from Askole into our first camp at Jola. Today we are heading up to our next camp which is Paiju at over 10,000 feet. The group is doing very well and excited to be underway, moving up toward the Baltoro Glacier and K2 base camp. The weather has been pretty good, cool and not too hot. The team is looking forward to settling in at Paiju this afternoon. Tomorrow we will pass the Great Trango Towers! All good here and we will check in soon.

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Audio dispatch from Garrett Madison

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To learn more about the Central Karakoram National Park, which is the highest national park in the world and the largest protected area in Pakistan please visit: http://www.cknp.org

2018 K2 Skardu

Yesterday our team of climbers and Sherpas flew from Islamabad to Skardu.  Today we are organizing our equipment and tomorrow we plan to drive by jeep to Askole, from there we will begin the trek to base camp.  In total we are 10 climbers, 3 guides, 10 Sherpas, and 5 Pakistan high altitude porters (HAP), along with our 8 base camp kitchen staff.  Last week our advance team of 77 porters and 5 Pakistan HAPs arrived in K2 base camp to begin building the camp and to reserve places at Camps 1 & 2.  We will have around 150 porters trekking in with us to base camp, in addition to some horses.

Skardu is a small frontier town, and we are staying in our hotel nearby the Indus river.  It’s a big contrast from the very comfortable Serena hotel in Islamabad where we slept the past couple of nights.  The Serena was a great place to rest and recover after the long flights many of us took from our home countries.  Everyone is doing well and we are excited to begin trekking soon!   – Garrett

K2 Team Roster:

  • Garrett Madison: Expedition Leader and Guide
  • Geoffrey Schellens: Guide
  • Robert Kelso Smith: Guide

Climbers:

  • Andras Kaasik
  • Daniel Lochner
  • David Liano
  • James Clarke
  • Jason Black
  • Jesse Rosales
  • John Stenderup
  • Klara Polacova
  • Lisa Thompson
  • Takayasu Semba
2018 K2 expedition

The Madison Mountaineering 2018 K2 expedition will be meeting in Islamabad, Pakistan in less than 2 weeks. We are excited to be returning to the Karakoram mountain range with a strong team of 10 international climbers. After checking gear our climbers will fly via fixed wing aircraft from Islamabad to Skardu to begin the trek toward K2 base camp at 16,500 feet. The team is excited and we look forward to making our ascent!

Stay tuned!

K2 2016 Climbing Season Recap:

Our K2 2016 team made a great effort to climb the peak but it was not meant to be. We are thankful that nobody was injured in the avalanche that came down from high on the mountain on July 23rd and took our Camp 3 and Camp 4 deposit off the mountain.  This avalanche resulted in the cancellation of the climbing season for all teams on K2 in 2016.  We have enjoyed our time in Pakistan and feel very lucky to have experienced this incredible mountain range, the Karakorum.  Please read the National Geographic article here for more information on the recent K2 climbing season.

To Higher Places!

Garrett Madison

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Amazing Youtube video by Petr Jan Juracka with beautiful drone shots of our 2016 K2 ascent.

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Below please also enjoy 2016 K2 climber Takayasu Semba’s photo’s from the expedition.

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“After our summit attempt on K2 we trekked out over the Gondogoro pass; rocks, snow & ice, a jeep ride then flight today back to Islamabad. Nobody summited K2 for the second year in a row. Feeling very happy & lucky to be heading home after a great expedition!”

Garrett Madison – 2016 K2 Expedition Leader

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Our 2016 K2 climbers are now trekking out of the Karakoram as they begin the long journey back home. Below is a collection of beautiful photos taken by climber Stuart Erskine as well as a overview of the season ending avalanche that took out our high camps.

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“The avalanche passed by us and a lot of our oxygen bottles made huge bangs as they exploded hitting rocks and debris. We lost all our summit supplies from Camp 3 and Camp 4 including our tents, over 40 full O2 bottles, ropes to fix to the summit, equipment and personal supples. It spelt the end of our chances of summiting K2 for 2016. Very unlucky to loose everything needed to summit, but so so lucky we were not in Camp 3 when the avalanche went through camp as we would have had 40 to 60 people in Camp 3. Nobody was injured or killed in the avalanche. All teams lost everything required to summit K2 for 2016, so nobody will summit for 2016. The same event happened in 2015.”

-Stuart Erskine

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Camp 2 on K2.

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Garrett Madison climbing on the fixed ropes from Camp 1 to Camp 2 on K2 on July 22, 2016. Broad Peak the 12 highest mountain in the world is on the left. The Godwin Austin glacier flowing down the valley to Concordia, which is the junction where the Godwin Austin glacier meets the Baltoro glacier.

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A few climbers camp just before the bottleneck between Camp 1 and Camp 2 on K2 during the 2016 climbing season. Other than the regular camps 1, 2, 3 and 4, this is one of the only level places on K2 to pitch a tent.

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Climbing from Camp 1 to Camp 2 on July 22, 2016 during our third and final summit rotation on K2 for 2016.

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Arriving at Camp 1 on K2 on July 21, 2016 in fog, snow and wind.

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Arriving at Camp 1 on July 21, 2016 on our third and final summit rotation on K2.

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Trekking at 4:30 AM from K2 Base Camp to Camp 1 up the Godwin Austin glacier to the start of the Abruzi Ridge route on July 21, 2016 on our third and final summit rotation on K2.

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Trekking at 5:30 AM from K2 Base Camp to Camp 1 up the Godwin Austin glacier to the start of the Abruzi Ridge route on July 21, 2016 on our third and final summit rotation on K2.

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Returning to K2 Base Camp after the massive avalanche took out Camp 3 and Camp 4.

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The upper Karakoram Valley is very desolate and barren. It’s extremely hard to find any form of plant life. Showing Broad Peak and the Godwin Austin glacier.

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Wait, there is life! With the guidance of our Pakistani military Liaison Officer we found a very small pocket of diversified plant life in the upper Karakoram Valley on the side of Angel Peak and K2.

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Broad Peak, the Godwin Austin glacier and K2 Base Camp seen from the small location where plants and flowers where found and photographed.

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From left, Angel Peak, K2 and Broad Peak at night with trailing stars in the sky. You can see a light from K2 Base Camp.

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The upper Karakoram Valley of Northeastern Pakistan is a barren and desolate place and it is very difficult to find any form of life. On our 2016 Expedition to climb K2 we found a small area on the side of Angel Peak and K2 of very diversified plant life included mosses, lichens, grasses and flowering plants.

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