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Today we had breakfast at 7 AM in the sunrise lodge in the village of Phakding. Afterwards we made our way through the lush valley and across suspension bridges to the village of Namche, the capital of t he khumbu. We just finished a marvelous dinner at the Panorama lodge and are ready to fall fast asleep! Another great day in the khumbu as we trek closer to Mount Everest!

 

 

 

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

Today our team had a very relaxing day in Namche Bazaar. In the morning we enjoyed a nice hike up to Everest View Hotel where we had our first glimpse of Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam. Everyone is doing well and enjoying the adventure 🙂

Tomorrow we will depart Namche and continue trekking. Stay tuned!

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Namche Bazaar

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Namche Bazaar

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Namche Bazaar

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!

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Onward and upward!

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Prayer wheel in Kathmandu 

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Early morning flight from Kathmandu to Lukla

Tenzing Hillary Airport

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Tenzing Hillary Airport

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Last chance for Starbucks 🙂 

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Prayer wheel near Lukla

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2017 Mount Everest climbing and trekking team leaving Lukla 

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Relaxing at a local tea house

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Geoff and John

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Amazing views on the trek to Namche

Today our climbing team departed Namche and enjoyed their scenic helicopter ride coming back through the Khumbu Valley to Everest Base Camp. We all enjoyed the powerful Airbus B3e helicopter’s that are among the most powerful in the business. I was able to post a few videos on our Madison Mountaineering FB page today of our team boarding the heli’s in Namche, check them out here! Our pilot was from Switzerland and made three trips shuttling our team back to base camp. Having enjoyed a couple days of shopping and great food in Namche the team is well rested and ready to begin the journey to the top of Mt. Everest. Tonight for dinner we enjoyed fried chicken, pot stickers, mixed vegetables, pasta, and a wonderful apple pie for dessert.

Based on current weather predictions that we have received the conditions on Everest are optimal for the next week or so before the winds begin to pick up higher on the mountain. Our team will gear up and prepare to begin the summit ascent tomorrow evening. We are all very excited here at base camp with positive energy being felt among the group. Through the summit ascent I will begin to post daily dispatches routinely at about 10pm our time. We do occasionally have breaks in wifi and if so I will post as soon as I am able.

For immediate family I can be reached throughout this ascent at: andrew@madisonmountaineering.com

To the top!

-Andrew

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After a successful second rotation on Mount Everest, our entire climbing team decided to helicopter to Namche to rest at a lower altitude and prepare themselves for the summit rotation. Billy and team will be staying at the Panorama Lodge in Namche, with small luxuries such as individual showers and heated blankets. I’m sure the team will also enjoy the delicious bakery which is very close to their lodge. Current plan is to helicopter back to Everest base camp in the next 1-2 days depending on the weather forecasts higher on the mountain. Our preferred weather window is quickly approaching. For now the team will relax and rest their bodies before returning for their final rotation to the top of the world.

Our Sherpa team has assisted in the line fixing through Camp 4 and have placed oxygen at the strategic locations for our next rotation. Once climbers reach Camp 2 they will be ascending with oxygen. This next week will be exciting so stay tuned!

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Today we went for a nice hike up to the Everest View Hotel, and enjoyed hot tea while admiring the views of Mount Everest, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam. Then we trekked over to the Hillary school, and the to the monastery in Kunde, and found the famed Yeti skull! Afterwards we went back to our lodge and had a nice lunch, then bought a few handcrafts from Tibet. More pastries & coffees followed. It’s been a relaxing stay here in Namche! We are planning to continue our journey in the morning and trek onward through the Khumbu Valley toward Everest Base Camp. Weather has been amazing and the team is doing very well. Onward!!