Ama Dablam Expedition Summary: At 7:40 am on November 4th, the Madison Mountaineering team stood alone on the summit of Ama Dablam. The sky was cloudless, offering amazing 360-degree views including Everest, Lhotse, and Makalu. This was the culmination of weeks of effort, patience, and perseverance and we were fortunate with an excellent weather window. The team is back at base camp today resting and will trek out tomorrow and the following day. We would like to say special thanks to our amazing Nepali crew, both climbing Sherpas as well as our outstanding base camp crew. Thanks for following us on this epic adventure; we hope to see you in the mountains soon!
(photo: Madison Mountaineering archives)
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!
Our climbers and trekkers have all made it safely from Kathmandu to Tenzing Hillary Airport in Lukla. From here we passed through several Sherpa villages, and entered the beautiful Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park. After crossing the river by suspension bridge, we arrived in the village of Phakding. After a good nights sleep we continued trekking along the scenic Dudh Kosi River through the village of Monjo, then up the steep hill to Namche Bazaar. Currently we are spending our second night in our comfortable lodge acclimatizing and enjoying the sights, cafes and tasty pastries in Namche. This afternoon we saw our first view of Mount Everest!
Onward and upward!
Prayer wheel in Kathmandu
Early morning flight from Kathmandu to Lukla
Tenzing Hillary Airport
Last chance for Starbucks 🙂
Prayer wheel near Lukla
2017 Mount Everest climbing and trekking team leaving Lukla
Relaxing at a local tea house
Geoff and John
Amazing views on the trek to Namche
Madison Mountaineering’s 2017 Himalayan expedition team of Everest & Lhotse climbers have arrived from around the world. We are now in the final stages of logistical preparation before our exciting flight to Lukla. After our short flight tomorrow from Kathmandu to Lukla, we will begin the journey toward Mount Everest, known by the locals as Sagarmāthā. Mount Everest is earth’s highest mountain at 8,848m (29,035ft) above sea level. Tonight our team of trekkers and climbers will enjoy the comforts of the city before we take off early tomorrow morning. Here we go!
Below are some photos of our city tour today around Kathmandu.
Local Nepal street art
Received a departing blessing for a safe passage through the Himalaya.
Our 2017 Everest expedition is preparing to launch! This March we will lead a group of climbers and trekkers from around the world as we journey through the Khumbu Valley toward Mount Everest base camp. If you would like to join our team of trekkers and spend a night at base camp please contact us here. To higher places!
Our Trekkers left Kathmandu this morning on the way to Lukla, but due to quickly deteriorating weather conditions the aircraft was diverted to Phaplou, nearby Lukla. The team will spend the night there and attempt to finish the flight tomorrow morning. All is well, and we are keeping our fingers crossed for good weather tomorrow!
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!