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Evening on Ama Dablam

Today, team member Jenn D. provides the expedition dispatch with an overview of the training at Ama Dablam base camp:

Hello, this is Jenn calling in for Madison Mountaineering’s Ama Dablam expedition team.  We had a great day today!

After breakfast, we gave our crampons, ice axes, and mountaineering boots to the sherpas to carry up to camp as they departed today to set up Camp 1 and start working on the fixed lines.  We spent the morning working on technical skills, getting comfortable with the fixed lines ourselves, the ascenders, and rappelling.  We got back to base camp, we ate lunch, and then everybody rested a bit.  I washed my hair and stoled the generator for an hour because, apparently, hair blowdryers take up a lot of power.  The crew kind of self-entertained until dinner, where we got another meal fit for royalty.  The heater in the tent ran out of fuel, so we were quickly brought back to reality.

We are living in tents, peeing in a dirt hole in the ground, and sleeping with water bottles to stay warm.  The team is doing great, ready for one more rest day, which is Garrett‘s birthday, before we head to Camp 1.

Blessed to be out here living in a mountain wonderland.


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:

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Puja at Ama Dablam base camp

On their first full day in base camp, the Ama Dablam team had a very active rest day.  Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, brings us up to date with today’s dispatch:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in from Ama Dablam Base Camp!

We had our first full day here in Ama Dablam base camp, and we did our puja ceremony this morning.  It went very well.  We had a Lama come up from Pangboche and conduct the ceremony.  After lunch, we went up on an acclimatization hike about 1,000 ft. above base camp.  We had some great views of the surrounding peaks in the afternoon as the clouds rolled in, and then we came back down.  We are just looking forward to dinner here tonight in camp.

Tomorrow we’re going to do a little bit of training and get ready to plan our first foray up the mountain.  All well here at Ama Dablam base camp.  It’s quiet, peaceful, beautiful, and we just feel so blessed, so lucky to have been able to come here to Nepal and go on this wonderful trek and climb.

Ama Dablam team after Puja

Ama Dablam team after Puja

Jenn D and Garrett on last bridge before base camp

Jenn D and Garrett on last bridge before base camp (📷: @tedhesser)

Garrett Madison: The Man and the Mountain

Garrett Madison: The Man and the Mountain (📷: @tedhesser)

Madison Mountaineering Ama Dablam base camp

Madison Mountaineering Ama Dablam base camp

Moe on Ama

Moe on Ama (📷: @tedhesser)

Photographic art on Ama Dablam

Photographic art on Ama Dablam (📷: @tedhesser)

A view of Ama Dablam base camp

A view of Ama Dablam base camp

Ama Dablam and stupa

Ama Dablam and stupa


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

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Morning light on Ama Dablam

Today the Ama Dablam team made the hike of the final hill to base camp.  Garrett reports “all good here!”  Tomorrow they will start dialing in the camp including getting communications set up.  Hopefully, there will be some Wi-Fi so more photos can be shared.

The day’s hike from Pangboche to base camp was just about 3 hours and gained 700m of elevation.  Now it’s time to climb!  After a couple of acclimatization rotations up the mountain, they are targeting November 10 as a possible summit day.  Stay tuned!


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

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Trekking from Deboche to Pangboche

Another beautiful day for trekking in the Khumbu where our Ama Dablam team has moved to just one day away from reaching base camp.  From the village of Pangboche, expedition leader, Garrett Madison, provides today’s audio dispatch recapping the day:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Ama Dablam expedition.  We’re in Pangboche now at the base of Ama Dablam and we’re staying in the Namaste Lodge.

We arrived this afternoon after a wonderful trek from Deboche, up along the river to Pangboche.  We had lunch here and then went for a walk this afternoon and visited the chief Lama in Pangboche up on the hillside above the village here and had a blessing with him.  Tomorrow our plan is another blessing at the Pangboche Monastery and then we’ll head up to base camp!  Great weather here and we’re enjoying our time here in the Khumbu.

It’s great to be reacquanted with some of our local friends and families who live here.

The 2020 Ama Dablam Team

The 2020 Ama Dablam Team


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

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Departing the Panorama Lodge in Namche with blessings

Leaving Namche Bazaar today, the Ama Dablam team was blessed by our friends at the Panorama Lodge and started making their way towards Tengboche.  Before reaching the lunch stop at the village of Phunki Tenga, they said farewell to the Gokyo trekking team as the trail split and the Gokyo trekkers headed north into the Gokyo Valley and the village of Mong.  After lunch on the riverside terrace overlooking the confluence of the Dudh Koshi and Imja Khola rivers, the Ama Dablam team crossed the big footbridge and made their way up to the hill to the Tengboche Monastery and the always awesome Cafe Tengboche for some well earned Khumbu apple pie at 3855m / 12,648 ft.!

From there it was just a bit further on, downhill, to the Rivendell Lodge in Deboche for the evening.

[ UPDATE:  Apparently the cafes in Phunki Tenga and Tengboche were closed due to the coronavirus so no apple pie!  🙁 ]


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:

Ama Dablam: The objective is in sight

During today’s active rest day, the teams did an acclimatization hike up to the Everest View Hotel and caught their first views of Ama Dablam, Everest, and Lhotse.  It was a beautiful, crystal clear blue sky day and the scenery was simply eye-popping.

Tomorrow the Ama Dablam team will head out of Namche and traverse the magnificent valley towards Tengboche.  Along the way, they will say farewell to the Gokyo trek teams as they head north into the Gokyo Valley.

First view of Ama Dablam from the Everest View Hotel

First view of Ama Dablam from the Everest View Hotel

Moe is excited to see Ama Dablam

Moe is excited to see Ama Dablam

Our Sirdar Aang Phruba is psyched to get climbing Ama Dablam

Our Sirdar Aang Phruba is psyched to get climbing Ama Dablam

Ama Dablam

Ama Dablam

Namche Bazaar

Namche Bazaar


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:

Chase M, Jenn D, Aang Phurba, and Garrett trekking to Namche

Today the teams trekked from Phakding up to Namche Bazaar under beautiful, sunny skies.  Here’s expedition leader, Garrett Madison, with the update from Namche:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Ama Dablam team expediton and Gokyo trek teams.  We are in Namche Bazaar.

We had a wonderful trek today from the village of Phakding up the Khumbu Valley to Namche.  Beautiful views crossing the supension bridges over the river gorge and making our way up the big hill to Namche.  We’re all doing good.

It’s very quite, very peaceful, very beautiful here in the Khumbu Valley.  Just a few other trekkers we’ve seen so far.  It’s really nice to be reaquanted with some of our local friends and family that we stay with when we come to visit Nepal.  They’re very happy to see us.

We look forward to another great day here tomorrow in Namche!

 

Crossing the Larcha Dovan bridge to Namche (🎥: @eliasaikaly)

Jenn D studies the bridge before Namche

Jenn D studies the bridge before Namche

On the trek to Namche

On the trek to Namche

Namche Bazaar (3440m)

Namche Bazaar (3440m)

At the Panorama Lodge, Namche

At the Panorama Lodge, Namche


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:

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: