Tag Archive for: Kathmandu

Breakfast in Pokhara!

After a few days spent in Kathmandu organizing gear and preparing for this special project, our team is back on the move! The team flew to Pokhara, the second most populous city in Nepal, and has an exciting drive to look forward to with new sights to take in in all directions. Expedition leader, Terray Sylvester, checks in with this dispatch from Nepal:

Hello! This is Terray calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Annapurna (8091m/26,545ft) and Lhotse (8516m/27,940ft) cleanup expedition – today is March 22nd. We just woke up here in our pleasant lakeside hotel in Pokhara (822m/2,697ft) and we’re getting ready to drive from here in Pokhara, to Jomsom (2743m/8,999ft) in the Kali Gandaki Valley on the west side of Annapurna.

For the next week, we’ll be acclimatizing by hiking up toward the Thorong La (5416m/17,769ft), the main pass on the north side of Annapurna, and then we’ll head to base camp after that.

So, all is well here and we will be in touch tomorrow!

Filing onto the plane!

Filing onto the plane!

Views of Kathmandu including the famous Boudhanath Stupa, while departing for Pokhara.

Views of Kathmandu including the famous Boudhanath Stupa, while departing for Pokhara.


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 our daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my flash briefing.

Instagram:

Efforts from phase 1 of the Mountain Cleanup Project last fall (photo by Terray Sylvester)

We are very excited to announce the commencement of phase two of our Mountain Cleanup Project! After a successful fall season in 2023 cleaning up trash from Lobuche East, Ama Dablam, and Mera Peak, we’re kicking off the second phase of the project on Annapurna and Lhotse. The team has all arrived in Kathmandu, enjoyed a welcome dinner together, and are preparing for their departure in a few days time! Expedition leader, Terray Sylvester, checks in with this dispatch from Nepal:

Hello! This is Terray calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Annapurna (8091m/26,545ft) plus Lhotse (8516m/27,940ft) expedition – today is March 19th. Yesterday our climber, Nelly Attar, arrived here in Kathmandu (1400m/4,600ft) and we had a nice welcome dinner at a tasty Arabic restaurant near our hotel, The Yak and Yeti. Today, we’re doing a gear check and organizing items for our departure to Annapurna in a couple of days.

We’re excited for this expedition! This will be the second phase of the trash cleanup project that we started last fall in the Everest region. Last fall we picked up trash on three popular 6,000-meter peaks over there: Lobuche East (6119m/20,075ft), Ama Dablam (6812m/22,349ft), and Mera Peak (6476m/21,247ft). This spring, we’re focusing on Annapurna and Lhotse.

So, all is well here in Kathmandu and we’ll stay in touch!


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 our daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my flash briefing.

Instagram:

The team topping out on Kala Patthar with excellent views of Mount Everest (Photo by Terray Sylvester)

The sun is setting on another fantastic expedition in the Himalaya! Our climbers have arrived back in Lukla, and will fly back to Kathmandu after one last nights sleep in the mountains before boarding their flights to go home. We’re thankful for time well spent in the mountains with friends, new and old. We cherish these moments and look forward to many more in the future! Expedition leader, Terray Sylvester checks in with this ‘farewell’ dispatch from Lukla:

Hello! This is Terray calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Everest Base Camp (5364m/17,598ft) trek, and Lobuche East (6119m/20,075ft) and Island Peak (6189m/20,305ft) climbs. Today our team arrived back in Lukla (2860m/9,383ft) after a very pleasant hike down the Khumbu Valley! Tomorrow morning they will fly by helicopter directly back to Kathmandu (1400m/4,600ft) to catch their flights home.

So all in all, we had a successful expedition with a great trek to base camp, a successful climb of Lobuche East, and a great climb on Island Peak! We just had fantastic weather throughout.

So, that concludes this expedition! We’ll be in touch with the next one.


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 our daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my flash briefing.

Instagram:

Lobuche East and Island Peak climber, Kim approaching the summit of Lobuche East (Photo by Terray Sylvester)

It’s with great pleasure to announce that the Madison Mountaineering Lobuche East and Island Peak team topped out on Lobuche East today under beautiful, clear-blue skies and with perfect views of the surrounding Himalayan range! The team left under dark and starry skies, ascending from their high camp and onto the summit with fantastic views of the mountains around and valleys below. With a day of rest ahead, the team will recover and prepare for their next climb, Island Peak! Expedition leader, Terray Sylvester checks in with this dispatch from the Himalaya:

Hello! This is Terray calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Everest Base Camp (5364m/17,598ft) trek, and Lobuche East (6119m/20,075ft) and Island Peak (6189m/20,305ft) climbs – today is November 1st.

Today we topped out on Lobuche East in excellent weather! We started out at about 1:30 AM under starry skies and topped out with excellent views of Makalu (8463m/27,766ft), and Cho Oyu (8188m/26,864ft), and many other peaks in the Khumbu area. Then we descended back to our high camp and continued descending on to Dingboche (4410m/14,470ft) where we’ll spend the night.

Tomorrow we’ll take a rest day and then head on up to Island Peak base camp! Meanwhile, our Everest Base Camp trekkers arrived back in Namche (3440m/11,290ft). They are planning to do a scenic helicopter flight in the morning, and then travel back to Kathmandu (1400m/4,600ft).

So, all is well here in the Khumbu and we’ll be in touch tomorrow!

Climbers Kim and Kristen celebrating on the summit of Lobuche East with Dawa Tenzi Sherpa (Photo by Terray Sylvester)

Climbers Kim and Kristen celebrating on the summit of Lobuche East with Dawa Tenzi Sherpa (Photo by Terray Sylvester)


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 our daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my flash briefing.

Instagram:

The team touring Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu (photo: Terray Sylvester)

The Madison Mountaineering expedition teams started today with a city tour of Kathmandu, visiting some of the cities most important and sacred sites – a nice way to stretch the legs after all of the travel the last few days. Some of the best parts of a Himalayan expedition are these cultural experiences along the way! Following their city tour, vans were loaded with duffel bags of gear and the team hit the road en route to Ramechhap airport where they will go wheels up and fly to Lukla where the trek up the Khumbu Valley begins. Guide, Terray Sylvester checks in with this dispatch from Nepal:

Hello! This is Terray calling in from Nepal, it is Saturday, October 21st. Today our Ama Dablam (6812m/22,349ft) climbers and our Everest Base Camp (5364m/17,598ft) trekkers did their city tour around Kathmandu (1400m/4,600ft). We visited Pashupatinath, the most important Hindu temple in Kathmandu and also Boudhanath Stupa, the most important Buddhist site in the city. Both of those are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

After lunch, we drove out of the Kathmandu Valley and along the banks of the Sunkoshi River to the little village of Mulkot (493m/1,617ft). Tomorrow morning we’ll wake up early and we’ll drive over to Ramechhap (1218m/3,999ft) airport, and then fly up to Lukla (2860m/9,383ft) to begin our trek in the Khumbu Valley!

So, all is well here in Nepal and we’ll be in touch tomorrow.

A colorful statue of the Hindu god, Ganesh (photo: Terray Sylvester)

A colorful statue of the Hindu god, Ganesh (photo: Terray Sylvester)

Monkeys in Kathmandu (photo: Terray Sylvester)

Monkeys in Kathmandu (photo: Terray Sylvester)

Touring one of Kathmandu’s numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites (photo: Terray Sylvester)

Touring one of Kathmandu’s numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites (photo: Terray Sylvester)


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 our daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my flash briefing.

Instagram:

Welcome dinner in Kathmandu to kickoff the expedition!

The fall, 2023 Madison Mountaineering Himalayan expeditions are underway in Kathmandu! We are filled with gratitude to be back in Nepal with new and old friends, and great adventures ahead. This season we look forward to treks to Everest Base Camp, and climbs of Ama Dablam, Lobuche East and Island Peak! With gear checks, orientation and a welcome dinner complete, city tours and an exciting flight to Lukla are all that separate the team and the start of the trek up the beautiful Khumbu Valley! Expedition guide, Terray Sylvester checks in with this dispatch from Kathmandu:

Hello! This is Terray calling in from Kathmandu (1400m/4,600ft) – it’s Friday, October 20th.

Today we kicked off three of our itineraries here in Nepal! We launched our Everest Base Camp (5364m/17,598ft) trek for the year – we have two teams of trekkers heading up to base camp at the foot of the highest peak on the planet. One of those teams will also climb Island Peak (6189m/20,350ft) and Lobuche East (6119m/20,075ft) before returning to Kathmandu. We also launched our fall Ama Dablam (6812m/22,349ft) climb.

It was a beautiful day here in Kathmandu, really nice weather! We met for orientations and gear checks here at the Yak and Yeti hotel, and then we went out for a big team dinner out at Mezze near the former royal palace. Now we’re just getting ready to go to bed. Tomorrow we’re looking forward to our city tour here in Kathmandu, and then we will start the journey up to the Khumbu Valley!

So, all is well and we’ll be in touch tomorrow.


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 our daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my flash briefing.

Instagram:

Photo pulled from the Madison Mountaineering archive (Photo: Terray Sylvester)

The 2023 Madison Mountaineering team is back in base camp after summits on Mount Everest, Lhotse, and Nuptse! Expedition leader, Garrett Madison checks in with a quick update from Everest Base Camp:

Hello! This is Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Everest (8848m/29,032ft), Lhotse (8516m/27,940ft) and Nuptse (7861m/25,791ft) expedition. Today is May 26th, we’re down in base camp (5364m/17,598ft).

We had great climbs of Everest, Lhotse, also Nuptse earlier in the season. The last of our Sherpas are coming down the mountain tomorrow. Some of our climbers have already flown to Kathmandu (1400m/4,600ft), enjoying hot showers in a hotel room tonight. The rest of us are here in base camp and planning to head out tomorrow.


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 our daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my flash briefing.

Instagram:

The team ready to set off on the trek to Everest Base Camp! Photo: Terray Sylvester)

Climbers and trekkers alike have left the comforts of the Yak and Yeti hotel in pursuit of their journey towards Everest Base Camp, Lobuche, Lhotse and Mount Everest! The team awoke early this morning in excitement for what lies ahead, boarded helicopters, and lifted off from Kathmandu en route to the famous Lukla airport. Their trek got underway following a stop for breakfast to fuel up, taking in first sights of the beautiful Khumbu Valley. Now in Phakding, the team is resting up and prepared to continue on towards Namche Bazaar tomorrow. Expedition guide, Terray Sylvester, checks in with today’s update from the Himalayas:

Hello, this is Terray calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Mount Everest (8848m/29,032ft) expedition! Today is April fourth.

Today we woke up early and took helicopters from Kathmandu (1400m/4,600ft) to Lukla (2860m/9,383ft). We had great weather, beautiful sunny skies, and excellent views of Everest and the surrounding peaks. We had breakfast in Lukla, and then walked to Phakding (2610m/8,562ft). We arrived in time for lunch and just in time to (inaudible) rain shower…

Tomorrow, we plan to walk to the famous town of Namche Bazaar (3440m/11,290ft)! We’re looking forward to that. All is well here in the Khumbu! We’ll be in touch tomorrow.

Among the clouds on the helicopter flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. Photo: Terray Sylvester

Among the clouds on the helicopter flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. Photo: Terray Sylvester

Climbers trekking across one of the many suspension bridges in the Khumbu Valley. Photo: Terray Sylvester

Climbers trekking across one of the many suspension bridges in the Khumbu Valley. Photo: Terray Sylvester

Climber spinning one of the many prayer wheels that you encounter when in Nepal. Photo: Terray Sylvester

Climber spinning one of the many prayer wheels that you encounter when in Nepal. Photo: Terray Sylvester

Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, talking with the team during a break on their first day of trekking! Photo: Terray Sylvester

Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, talking with the team during a break on their first day of trekking! Photo: Terray Sylvester

Walls of mani stones line the trail with prayer and meditation along the trek. Photo: Terray Sylvester

Walls of mani stones line the trail with prayer and meditation along the trek. Photo: Terray Sylvester


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 our daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my flash briefing.

Instagram:

The first wave of Madison Mountaineering climbers! (Photo: Terray Sylvester)

The 2023 Madison Mountaineering spring Himalayan season is officially underway! After settling into the Yak and Yeti hotel and resting up after their long flights, members of the team greeted each other over a welcome dinner and retreated back to their rooms for more rest and relaxation for the days ahead. With gear checks complete and bags repacked for the expedition, the anticipation is really starting to set in for the team, who with good weather tomorrow, will fly to Lukla and start making their trek towards Everest Base Camp! Expedition guide, Terray Sylvester checks in with this dispatch from Kathmandu:

Hello! This is Terray calling in for the 2023 Madison Mountaineering Everest (8848m/29,032ft), Lhotse (8516m/27,940ft), and Nuptse (7861m/25,791ft) expedition.

All of our climbers who will be part of our first wave going into the Khumbu have arrived here in Kathmandu (1400m/4,600ft)! We had a great welcome dinner last night, and then today our climbers headed out for a city tour! We visited Pashupatinath Temple and Boudhanath Stupa. Pashupati is a Unesco World Heritage site and the most important Hindu temple in the city. And, the Boudhanath Stupa is one of the largest Buddhist stupa’s in the world – it dates back to the fourth century.

So, today our team is relaxing in Kathmandu and we’re looking forward to our flights to Lukla via helicopter early tomorrow morning. The weathers great, really sunny and beautiful here in Kathmandu and we’re looking forward to those mountain views tomorrow. We’ll be in touch!

Boudhanath Stupa (Photo: Terray Sylvester)

Boudhanath Stupa (Photo: Terray Sylvester)

Climbers taking the sights, sounds, and smells during the city tour on April 3, 2023 (Photo: Terray Sylvester)

Climbers taking in the sights, sounds, and smells during the city tour on April 3, 2023 (Photo: Terray Sylvester)

Sightseeing around Kathmandu (Photo: Terray Sylvester)

Sightseeing around Kathmandu (Photo: Terray Sylvester)

One of the many forms of transportation in Kathmandu! (Photo: Terray Sylvester)

One of the many forms of transportation in Kathmandu! (Photo: Terray Sylvester)


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 our daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my flash briefing.

Instagram:

Summit photo after a historic first ascent!

The Madison Mountaineering unclimbed peak expedition has come to its conclusion with our team departing back to their homes, excitedly knowing that their attempt at this historic first ascent proved to be successful! Congratulations to the entire team, and a big thanks to our amazing sherpa team – this effort would not be possible without them. Expedition leader, Garrett Madison checks in with this recap of making the first ascent of this previously unclimbed peak:

Our Unclimbed peak expedition was a huge success! Going into one of these unknown areas to climb a peak never before attempted by anyone always raises the level of uncertainty we face. It takes a ‘can do’ attitude and the necessary experience to arrive, work through the process in figuring out the route, etc.

There is always some luck involved, we were very fortunate to have decent weather, and a crack Sherpa team that was integral to our success.

Having climbed Ama Dablam just before allowed us to acclimatize and ready ourselves for this project. We had a certain amount of ‘mountain fitness’ which was key.

Utilizing a helicopter allowed us to go directly from Ama Dablam base camp to the base of the peak. From there we established one high camp, although we had to wait a couple of days while it snowed heavily.

Once the skies cleared, we got underway and made good progress, then started our summit day early on the 14th of November leaving base camp at 2:30 AM. About 12 hours later we stood on the summit. It was a glorious day and the achievement was a sweet one, especially given the camaraderie and spirit of teamwork that made it all possible thanks to our amazing Sherpa team.

We look forward to another ‘Unclimbed Peak’ expedition next year!

In exploration,

Garrett Madison

Our 'first ascent' line up the peak. Photo: Ted Hesser

Our ‘first ascent’ line up the peak. Photo: Ted Hesser

Climbers high in the alpine on the unclimbed peak. Photo: Ted Hesser

Climbers high in the alpine on the unclimbed peak. Photo: Ted Hesser

Climbers high in the alpine on the unclimbed peak. Photo: Ted Hesser

Climbers high in the alpine on the unclimbed peak. Photo: Ted Hesser

The peak rising out of the clouds. Photo: Ted Hesser

The peak rising out of the clouds. Photo: Ted Hesser

The team at the summit of the previously unclimbed peak! Photo: Ted Hesser

The team at the summit of the previously unclimbed peak! Photo: Ted Hesser

Celebrating back in Kathmandu!

Celebrating back in Kathmandu!


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 our daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my flash briefing.

Instagram: