Tag: Khumbu Icefall

Autumn Everest expedition leader, Garrett Madison, provides this update on the new data regarding the Khumbu Icefall route and subsequent decisions made:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering / Mountain Hardwear Autumn Everest Expedition.  Today is September 22nd.  To recap yesterday:  we had a great day, our sherpa team reached Camp 1.  But, on the way down they noticed a large serac about 3,000 ft. or 1,000m up off of the Khumbu Icefall on the west shoulder of Mount Everest.

 

We were studying that late last night and again today with some drone footage (shared by the Polish Lhotse team) and, uh, it doesn’t look very safe.  So the Mountain Hardwear team has decided to conclude their expedition on Everest and decouple from the Madison Mountaineering expedition.  That means Joe Vernachio and Tim Emmett are going to be heading out tomorrow by helicopter, weather pending.  [see the @mhweverest2019 Instagram post for their firsthand conciderations]

 

Myself and the other climbers here with Madison Mountaineering, Zac and Kristin, are going to stay and evaluate conditions on a day-by-day basis.  So, we’ll have to keep an eye on the serac and also the weather, of course, to see how things progress.  But, everyone’s doing well here in base camp.

 

Today our sherpas decided not to move up look for a route from Camp 1 to Camp 2 because the weather was bad.  It was very cloudy with little to no visibility up in the Western Cwm between Camp 1 and Camp 2, which would make route finding very difficult with the deep snow.

 

Everyone’s here doing well, but we’re sad to have things turn out this way, but we’ll keep our hopes up that perhaps the serac will may come down tonight when no one’s on the route and clear out for the rest of the expedition.

Photo of serac above, with 3 climbers below...

Photo of serac above, with 3 climbers below… (📸: Tim Emmett)

Zoomed view of detatched section of hanging serac

Zoomed view (upper red circle in above image) of detached section of hanging serac (📸: Andrzej Bargiel)


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the team as they trek to Everest Base Camp and then make their attempt to summit the world’s highest mountain 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

Instagram:

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

Autumn Everest expedition leader, Garrett Madison, report on the exciting progress today:

Hello!  This is Garrett calling in for the Mountain Hardwear Autumn Everest Expedition with Madison Mountaineering.  Today is September 21st and we had a GREAT day!

 

Exciting news:  our sherpa team was able to find the route through the icefall and reached Camp 1! So, the route is open to Camp 1!  The other climbers had a great day in base camp, relaxing and doing a little training out in the icefall.  Beautiful day here.

 

Tomorrow we are looking forward to another good weather day and further process on the route and planning for our first rotation up to the high camps.

 

All’s well here at base camp and we’ll check-in soon.  Thanks!

The awesome Garmin MARQ Expedtion at Everest base camp

Garrett rocks the new Garmin MARQ Expedition at 17,701 ft. elevation Everest Base Camp.  Keeping everything running on time.

Enjoying the comforts of the new Mountain Hardwear Space Station at EBC

Enjoying the comforts of the awesome, new Mountain Hardwear Space Station at EBC


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the team as they trek to Everest Base Camp and then make their attempt to summit the world’s highest mountain 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

Instagram:

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

Here’s Mountain Hardwear Athlete Tim Emmett with today’s Everest expedition update:

Hello, this is the Mountain Hardwear / Madison Mountaineering Everest Expedition dispatch.  We are at base camp right now and we’ve been up to the icefall today with some of the crew to see how’s that’s going.  Beautiful weather today, it was the first time since we got here to be honest.  So it was amazing oportunity to see the big mountains that we are surrounded by.  Tomorrow we are going to have a rest day.  The sherpas are getting us really close to Camp 1!  So we’re getting quite excited about that.  So, yeah we’ll see what happens!!

Sunny at EBC

Sunny at EBC (📸: Joe Vernachio)

Tim Emmett getting his dinner. It’s burgers!!

Tim Emmett getting his dinner. It’s burgers!!

Climbing in the icefall today

Climbing in the icefall today


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the team as they trek to Everest Base Camp and then make their attempt to summit the world’s highest mountain 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

Instagram:

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

Today, Mountain Hardwear CEO, Joe Vernachio, provide a recap of yesterday’s activities around base camp the plan for today:

Hi, this is Joe Vernachio for the Mountain Hardwear Everest Expedition with Madison Mountaineering.  We had an active rest day yesterday where we walked up into the Khumbu Icefall.  It was a very cloudy, snowy day.  We woke up this morning to bright sunshine, and we are going to do it again today and get some altitude and some acclimatization.  And tomorrow (will be) a rest day, then we will probably start our rotation up the mountain.  Everybody’s good!  We’re here in base camp, just finishing up breakfast, and we are having a GOOD time!  We will talk to you soon!

Joe V on the ice course

Joe V on the ice course

Today's View from Base Camp

Today’s View from Base Camp


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the team as they trek to Everest Base Camp and then make their attempt to summit the world’s highest mountain 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

Instagram:

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

From Everest Base Camp, expedition leader Garrett Madison provides an update on today’s exciting progress!

Hi!  This is Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering / Mountain Hardwear Autumn Everest Expedition.  Today is September 18th and we had a great day.  Myself and Tim Emmett went up into the Khumbu Icefall with our whole team of Nepal sheraps and we climbed up to about the half-way point where this ‘impasse section’ has been that no one’s passed for about 10 days.  Tim got outfront along with Dorje Geljin and another one of our sherpas and was able to push through the route and get across this ice ridge and find a good way to get to the other side safely.  So, we’re really excited about that!  Great effort by Tim.

 

The whole team is going to take a rest day tomorrow.  It was pretty snowy today and tomorrow is supposed to be pretty snowy as well but then it should be clearing up and drying out the following day.  In a couple of days from now we’ll make another effort and hopefully the sherpa team will be able to make more progress fixing lines up through the icefall, hopefully to Camp 1 (6050m/19,850ft.).

 

The team of climbers here in base camp are doing great.  Just taking it easy, sorting gear, and getting ready for another fun day here tomorrow in Everest Base Camp.

With Tim Emmett (Red jacket) who went out onto the sharp end today to fix rope over the ice fin

With Tim Emmett (Red jacket) who went out onto the sharp end today to fix rope over the ice fin

In the icefall near the halfway point

In the icefall near the halfway point


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the team as they trek to Everest Base Camp and then make their attempt to summit the world’s highest mountain 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

Instagram:

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

Ready To Move For Summit Push!

Today our madison everest team climbers with guides Garrett Madison, Conan Bliss, & Sid Pattison along with climbers Josh, Matt, Randy, Tym, & David are resting in base camp up . They are waiting to begin the summit rotation, this is the final rotation on Mount Everest and hopefully will culminate in reaching the summit! The weather has been windy, more so than the specialized weather forecasts have predicted. So, we have been conservative in our decision making and decided to hold here in base camp until the weather trend looks suitable for us to move us.

Then our Everest climbers will climb from Everest base camp through the Khumbu Icefall and negotiate the many ladders which span crevasses, sometimes about 20 ft. (6m) in width, along with the steep ice and vertical sections of the route. We will go up past Camp 1 through the Western CWM (Valley) to Camp 2, our Advanced Base Camp and from there take a rest day to re evaluate the weather, route conditions, etc.

Our 2 advance teams are already enroute on the final summit rotation! Ed & Ant, our first team, are at Camp 2, having moved up from Everest base camp 2 days ago, and are assessing the mountain conditions which includes the weather, the rope fixing progress, etc.

Our second advance team with Kenton, Ben, and Mark left Everest base camp yesterday and are currently also at Camp 2. They reported very good conditions in the Khumbu Icefall and after arriving at Camp 2 are also reassessing the mountain conditions in preparation for moving up higher on Everest.

Rope Fixing Update!

Our rope fixing Sherpas moved up to the South Col (Camp 4) yesterday in preparation to fix ropes from there to the Balcony (27,500 ft. / 8,333m), despite strong winds on the Lhotse Face. Yesterday we had a huge wind storm on Everest that lasted through the night and many teams lost tents at Camp 2, fortunately we had our entire Sherpa team (22 Sherpas plus camp staff) in our Camp 2 (Advanced Base Camp) so they were able to secure and protect our camp during this massive wind event. Thankfully, our Sherpas reached the South Col (Camp 4) and established a camp there, and then commenced the first part of the rope fixing project today, reaching the Balcony (27,500 ft. / 8333m).

Weather & Other Update!

If the weather is good, and mountain conditions are favorable (they reported deep snow on the route), and our team has the physical energy and mental fortitude, then hopefully our Sherpas will be able to finish the summit rope fixing and open the route by the end of May 12th, so that the route will be open for all climbers on Mount Everest by May 13th.

This is our plan, and with determination and good luck we expect our 4 teams of climbers (Sherpa rope fixing team, advance team of Ed & Ant, second team of Kenton / Ben/ Mark, and third team of Garrett / Conan / Sid with Josh / Matt / Tym / Randy / David to be reaching the summit of Mount Everest between May 12th and May 18th, weather pending! Fortunately the weather forecast looks good through May 21st, so we have a very good weather window in which to make our summit attempts. Thanks for your kind thoughts and prayers! We hope Mount Everest (‘Sagarmatha’ in Nepal) will grant us safe passage to the top of her peak and back!

Madison Mountaineering Everest 2017 Recap, “The Leader” on Everest

Success / Safety:

All of our climbers and Sherpas are off the mountain and now and preparing to head home! We have had a fantastically successful expedition, with all 8 of our clients reaching the summit of Everest, along with 4 American guides, and 15 Sherpas. We also had several of our climbers complete the Everest & Lhotse “peak to peak” combination, where they climbed Mount Lhotse (4th highest mountain) the day after reaching the summit of Mount Everest. This amazing and unmatched level of success among all the teams on Mount Everest is secondary to our number one priority, that all members (clients, guides, & Sherpas) made it safely off the peak.

Rope Fixing to the Summit:

Our team took the lead in partnership with the British – Nepal Gurkha team in fixing the ropes to the summit of Mount Everest on May 15th. This was not part of our original plan, as the rope-fixing project was taken upon by several other teams at the start of the season. Unfortunately, after several mishaps, the lead team had to abandon the rope-fixing project along with their partners. Without any clear consensus on how or when the lines would be put in to the summit, our team stepped up to finish the job. This “mission critical” project was necessary so that teams could begin their summit attempts on Mount Everest, with teams reaching the summit the following day on May 16th and continuing to reach the summit today. We are glad that our team had the capability and prowess to organize and execute such an important task, when no other teams on the mountain could summon such an effort, at such a critical stage in the climbing season.

Rescues:

Our team was at the South Col when several climbers who had pushed themselves very hard on summit day returned and needed critical medical attention. Our guides came to assist with medicine (dexamethasone, etc) and supplemental oxygen. However, what stands out the most is that one of our veteran guides, Brent Bishop, along with our Sherpas, rescued the Slovak Climber from the Balcony (27,500’), lowering him all the way down to the South Col high camp. Our Sherpas gave up their oxygen for him to use on the descent. This heroic effort by Brent and our Sherpas involved abandoning their own summit attempt, just hours away from the top, and spending the day giving their all in an effort to save a life.

We feel very fortunate that our expedition was a stunning success. We attribute this to our careful team selection and training, our top notch Everest guides and leadership, and of course our incredible Sherpa team who we invest heavily in year after year.

Photo: At the top of Mount Everest on May 23rd, 2017

Everest 2017 Recap

Our Sherpa team in base camp

Everest 2017 Recap

Descending Mount Everest with a little wind on our summit day!

Everest 2017 Recap

Lhotse climbers Sid Pattison and Ingvild Settemsdal near the summit of Lhotse with Everest behind

Everest 2017 Recap

The South Col high camp on Everest with Lhotse behind

Everest 2017 Recap

Guide Billy Nugent taking a pause on the descent from Everest

Everest 2017 Recap

View from the top!!

Everest 2017 Recap

Summit ridge of Mount Everest all to ourselves May 23rd, 2017

Everest 2017 Recap

We are now going to relax and enjoy the post summit euphoria before returning to our friends, families, and loved ones, as well as our busy lives back home! Thanks for following along!

Garrett Madison

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Mount Everest 2017 Guide Billy Nugent

Moved from the Chicago area to Washington in 1999 to attend the University of Puget Sound where he found the Cascade Mountains and ultimately climbing. Before starting out as a professional guide in 2005 he spent the previous several years completing his BS in chemistry, working as a fisherman in Alaska, and as a chemist in Seattle. And for the last ten years he’s been guiding a seasonal circuit that takes him from Argentina and Ecuador, to Alaska, and then back to Rainier and the North Cascades, with an occasional bonus trip to Mexico or Antarctica. Billy loves living outside and enjoys surfing, riding, climbing, and music in his spare time.

Resume:

Mt. Everest (3 expeditions)
Mt. Rainier (125+ summits via 6 routes)
Denali (9 expeditions)
Aconcagua (8 expeditions)
Vinson Massif (1 expedition)
Orizaba (2 expeditions)
Cotopaxi and Cayambe (8 expeditions)
Mt Baker (4 summits via 4 routes)
Mt. Adams (3 summits via 3 routes)
North Cascades (numerous alpine routes)

Certifications/Training:

Wilderness First Responder, CPR
Outdoor Emergency Care
AIARE Avalanche Level II
Leave No Trace Trainer
AMGA member and Rock Guide Course graduate

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Everest 2017 Guide Billy Nugent

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Everest 2017 Guide Billy Nugent

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Our Mount Everest 2017 expedition is coming to an end! This morning our entire team navigated through the Khumbu icefall and arrived safely from Camp 2 back to base camp. With successful ascents of Mount Everest and Lhotse, our entire team is thankful for safe passage and excited to return home to family and loved ones. We are incredibly proud of our guides, climbers and Sherpa for working together as a team to accomplish our goals. For dinner we enjoyed steak and chicken with a few bottles of bubbly to celebrate our season. Tomorrow our team will helicopter out back to Kathmandu to conclude their expedition in the Himalayas.

Make sure to follow us on social as we will continue to post photos and videos from this expedition!

Facebook / Instagram / Twitter  @MadisonMtng

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Navigating the icefall at night. Photo: AndersC

Everest 2017 expedition

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Welcome back to base camp Ingvild!! (Everest+Lhotse summits)

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Congrats Ellen!!

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Conan, Drew and Allan returning back to base camp

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Congrats Drew!!

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Billy, Garrett, Sid and Phurba

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Safe travels John! 

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Allan taking off back to Kathmandu. Safe travels!

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Descent from summit of Lhotse

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Lhotse summit with Makalu in the background

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Congrats to climbers Sid Pattison and IngvildS for a successful Lhotse summit today! They made the ascent with Lakpa Dandi in great time and are now safe and sound at Camp 2. Our main team moved down from Camp 4 today and are now resting at Camp 2 before making the final descent to base camp. We’ve had an incredible expedition and look forward to having our team back down safely. We posted a beautiful 360-photo from the summit of Lhotse today on Facebook, check it out here!  Epic photos below from guide Geoff Schellens 🙂

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Moving up from Camp 3 on the Lhotse face. 

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Toward the summit of Lhotse

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Moving toward Everest summit

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Ascent of Everest 

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Lhotse summit

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Sid Pattison and IngvildS after an amazing summit today!! L for… Lhotse!!

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