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Team celebration dinner in Kathmandu

With all of the team safely back in Kathmandu, our 2020 Ama Dablam expedition is concluding.  Thank you for following along.  The following team members successfully and safely obtained the summit of Ama Dablam (6812m / 22,349ft) on November 11, 2020, at approximately 11:30 AM NPT (local time):

# Name Country
1 Mr. Garrett Madison USA
2 Mr. Mohammed Al-Thani Qatar
3 Ms. Jennifer Drummond USA
4 Mr. Ted Hesser USA
5 Mr. Chase Merriam USA
6 Mr. Elia Saikaly Canada
7 Mr. Aang Phurba Sherpa Nepal
8 Mr. Siddhi Bahadur Tamang Nepal
9 Mr. Mingmar Sherpa Nepal
10 Mr. Ming Dorchi Sherpa Nepal
11 Mr. Pasdawa Sherpa Nepal
12 Mr. Pasang Dawa Sherpa Nepal
13 Mr. Pasang Kaji Sherpa Nepal

Here is expedition leader, Garrett Madison, with the expedition recap:

Hello, this is Garrett Madison calling in for the Ama Dablam team expedition.

We are all back in Kathmandu now at the Hotel Yak & Yeti.  We summited Ama Dablam together on November 11th.  We had a beautiful, clear, perfect day upon the summit.  Some of us went all the way down to base camp, others stayed in Camp 2 that night, and the following day we all descended to base camp, had a celebration lunch, and then helicoptered back to Kathmandu!

We just had our team celebration dinner and some members are heading off tonight back home and others will be here for a few days.  It’s been a wonderful, successful, and safe expedition here in Nepal.  We’re very happy that we got to come and experience the wonderful people with warm hearts.

We are looking forward to returning to Nepal next spring for Mount Everest!

Camp 2 on Ama Dablam

Camp 2 on Ama Dablam (📷: @tedhesser)

Summit push below the Dablam

Summit push below the Dablam

Nearing the Ama Dablam summit

Nearing the Ama Dablam summit

Jenn D. topping out on Ama Dablam

Topping out on Ama Dablam (📷: @aang_phurba_mountaineer)

Chase M. on the summit of Ama Dablam with Everest and Lhotse in the background

Chase M. on the summit of Ama Dablam with Everest and Lhotse in the background

Ama Dablam Summit

Ama Dablam Summit (📷: @aang_phurba_mountaineer)

Celebration on Ama Dablam summit

Celebration on Ama Dablam summit (📷: @aang_phurba_mountaineer)


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 Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking map:

Team excited to fly to Lukla!

Early this morning the Ama Dablam and Gokyo teams flew by helicopter from Kathmandu to the mountain village of Lukla, where they started their treks.  The first stop is the village of Phakding.  Here’s expedition leader, Garrett Madison, with today’s audio dispatch from Phakding, Nepal:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Ama Dablam team expedition.  We all made it to Lukla today and had a wonderful trek to village of Phakding.  It’s great to be back up here in Khumbu Valley — clear views, fresh air, nice wonderful people.  It feels like we are the only group here, which we may be.

We’re very happy to be up here and to be on our way!

Heli Flight to Lukla (🎥: @eliasaikaly)

On the trek from Lukla to Phakding

On the trek from Lukla to Phakding (📸: @aang_phurba_mountaineer)

Rest break trekking from Lukla to Phakding

Rest break trekking from Lukla to Phakding (📸: @aang_phurba_mountaineer)

Beautiful views from Lukla to Phakding

Beautiful views from Lukla to Phakding (📸: @aang_phurba_mountaineer)

Crossing one of many bridges on the trek to base camp

Crossing one of many bridges on the trek to base camp (📸: @aang_phurba_mountaineer)


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 Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

Last Team Dinner in Kathamandu - To the Mountains Tomorrow!

Great news!  All of the team and our sherpa staff had their COVID PCR tests come back negative and the Khumbu is reopened, so Plan A is a go and the teams will be heading to the mountains on time.  Here’s expedition leader, Garrett Madison, with all the details from Kathmandu:

Hello!  This is Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Ama Dablam team dispatch and the Gokyo trek team dispatch.  It’s Sunday evening here in Kathmandu and things are looking good!

We just finished our last dinner here before we’re heading up to the mountains tomorrow.  The Khumbu is re-opened and we got permission to fly up to Lukla tomorrow and start our trek to base camp!  We’re excited, we’re all packed up, and we’re looking forward to, hopefully, being up in the mountains tomorrow.

It’s been a wonderful stay here in Kathmandu.  We’ve actually really had a good time quarantining here at the Yak & Yeti hotel, enjoying some nice meals, and some good quality time here hanging out.

So, fingers crossed, tomorrow we’ll be up in the Khumbu and on our way to base camp!


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 Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, checks in from safety quarantine day four in Nepal and discusses the options for what’s ahead:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Ama Dablam team and Gokyo trek teams.  We are still in Kathmandu.  This is day four of our quarantine.

Tomorrow we are doing our COVID tests and hopefully get negative test results.  Then, hopefully, heading to the Khumbu Valley the next day.  The Khumbu is closed.  They closed it the other day.  But, we are hoping that they are going to reopen.  If not, we’ll probably head off to climb another peak.  We’re looking at Mount Himlung, just over 7000m.

Everyone’s in good spirits here!  We’re enjoying the Yak & Yeti hotel, playing tennis, doing yoga, working out in the gym, venturing out in Kathmandu, and making the most of it.  So, we’re in good spirits and looking forward to what tomorrow brings.

All’s well here in Nepal.  We’ll check in soon.

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering archives)


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 Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

Dinner at the Qatar Ambassador to Nepal's Residence

Finishing out day three of the safety quarantine, Garrett and the team enjoyed a very special dinner and evening in Kathmandu.  Here’s the word from Garrett:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Ama Dablam team.  We are still in Kathmandu enjoying our time in quarantine.

Today we occupied ourselves by doing yoga on the lawn, working out in the fitness center here at the hotel, and walking around town a little bit before going over to the Ambassador of Qatar‘s residence for a friendly evening and dinner.  It was wonderful to meet him and to come back to the Yak & Yeti after a fulfilling dinner.

We are looking forward to some good news tomorrow – hopefully the Khumbu Valley will reopen tomorrow.  Fingers crossed.

All’s well here in Kathmandu.  Thanks!


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 Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

Everest & Lhotse climbing

Spring is here! Our Everest & Lhotse climbing team is packed and heading off to Nepal to climb Everest and Lhotse (4th highest). An exciting change for us this year is that our team is involved with the rope fixing from Camp 2 all the way to the summit of Mount Everest, as our local agency, Himalayan Guides Nepal PVT LTD has secured an exclusive contract with the Expedition Operators Association of Nepal for this project.  Our expert team of sherpas will be leading the effort in finding the best route and placing the fixed ropes up the Lhotse Face, across the Yellow Band & Geneva Spur to the South Col high camp, up the Triangular Face to the Balcony (27,500′) and onward to the summit!  We are excited to “lead the way” up the mountain and prepare the ropes so that our team and others can ascend safely on Mount Everest.  We aim to complete this project earlier than in past seasons so that more time is available for teams to make a summit attempt during the good weather window in May. By controlling the rope fixing we can control our climbing schedule better than before.

Check back soon for more photos and video as the expedition prepares to launch!

Tracking Maps

Everest Base Camp Trek map

Everest Climb map

-Garrett Madison 

Our unclimbed peak expedition team is now in base camp, preparing to make a recon up to the peak to scout the potential climbing route. Our peak, Tharke Khang, looks to have a ridge line beginning from the west that appears climbable, with steep snow and ice slopes. Our base camp is comfortable with a heated dining tent and great food!

Garrett

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peak expedition

We made our from Machermo up the valley to the village of Gokyo, situated next to a beautiful aqua marine lake. After lunch a few of us hiked up nearby Gokyo Ri, at just over 17,500’. We glimpsed our unclimbed peak in the distance, still a long way off…with major challenges between us and the start of the route, about 10 miles of glacier moraine and glacier/ icefall. This will not be an easy walk to say the least…accessing the base of the route is one thing, climbing the technical ridge is another.

Exploration in essence is venturing into the unknown… and that is exactly where we are headed.

Our team is good, everyone is acclimatizing well. The weather has been favorable and we hope this trend continues. We look forward to reaching our base camp the next day or two.

Garrett Madison

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Tham Serku peak

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Ama Dablam

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Trekking through the high country towards base camp

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First view of the unclimbed peak, Tharke Khang

Machermo

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At the top of Gokyo Ri today, 17,500′

Machermo

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The village of Gokyo, at 15,600′ high in the Himalayas where we are staying

Machermo

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At one of the Gokyo lakes today

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Our head Sherpa, Aang Phurba

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Stairway to heaven

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Old chorton (in Sherpa language) means stupa

 

Namche Bazaar! Despite the flights, the time in Kathmandu and the preparation, for me it always takes until Namche to start feel like we are moving forward. Yesterday we trekked from Phakding to Namche under a low cloud ceiling keeping it nice and cool. Arriving around 2 in the afternoon we all had time to wander the narrow streets and relax at the beautiful Panorama Lodge. This morning we woke up, ate breakfast and took a nice acclimatization hike up to the Everest View hotel. There we took in stunning views of Mt. Everest, Lhotse and the crown jewel of the Himalaya, Ama Dablam, our objective after our unclimbed peak. Now back at the Panorama, we eat lunch, rest and prepare to head off towards Khumjung in the morning. The team is healthy, strong and psyched to get moving!

Sid Pattison

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Namche is the main trading center and hub for the Khumbu region with many Nepalese officials, a police check, post and a bank

Namche

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Namche

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Team lunch with Ama Damblam in the background

Greetings from Lukla! We made it! After a couple of days of preparation in Kathmandu, today we boarded our Dornier aircraft and landed on Lukla. With most of our bags accounted for we are about to start off towards Phakding for the night. The crew is well rested, healthy and excited about finally being on our way to our unclimbed peak.

The Himalayan giants greeted us on arrival!

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Lukla

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