Trekking day 1: Lukla to Phakding – Distance: 8.30 km – Elev Gain/Loss: 394m/-639m
Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, provides the recap of today’s exciting flight to the trailhead mountain village of Lukla and the first day of trekking towards Everest Base Camp:
Hello! This is Garrett calling in for the Mountain Hardwear Everest expedition and base camp trek. Today is September 8th. We were very lucky this morning to have an early flight at 6:00 AM out of Kathmandu and landed in Lukla. But not after a fun, unplanned stop in the small village of Phaplu on the way. The clouds rolled in and the Lukla airport was closed en route on our flight so the pilot diverted and landed at a small airstrip on the way. Then when the clouds parted our pilot took off and landed us in Lukla.
From Lukla we made our way up the start of the Khumbu Valley. It’s amazingly green here right now! It’s been raining so much at the end of the monsoon season. Everything is just incredibly green and vibrant. A lot of growth here – the vegetation, the trees, the forest… So, we’ve got it really good here! We are at Phakding in the Sunrise lodge. We just finished a good dinner and are heading off to bed.
Tomorrow we are going to head up to Namche. Everybody’s feeling great. It’s surprisingly quite here in the Khumbu. We have the lodge all to ourselves and we didn’t see many people on the trail today because it’s not quite the trekking season which starts up in October. We are feeling great and looking forward to a great day trekking up to Namche tomorrow.
(photo: Lukla airport from the Madison Mountaineering Everest archives)
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:
– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking map:
All of us at Madison Mountaineering are very excited that after many months of planning, the Mountain Hardwear Everest Expedition kicks-off today! Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, is now in Kathmandu with the entire trekking team and just provided this update to start off this exciting and rare Autumn season attempt on Mount Everest:
Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Mountain Hardwear Autumn 2019 Everest Expedition! The team is in Kathmandu (the trekking team) and we went out for a wonderful team dinner yesterday evening. Folks are getting ready to head out on a city tour of Kathmandu today and we are planning on flying to Lukla tomorrow morning, weather pending. It’s been a very wet monsoon here the last few months in Nepal. We are hoping for some dry weather coming up shortly here to start our trek into base camp. So, we are very excited to be here and to be launching the expedition and heading up into the Khumbu Valley and making our way towards Everest 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 Instagram:
– on our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking map:
Congratulations to our Everest 2019 spring team in successfully climbing the world’s highest peak, but more importantly making it down safely! In contrast to what the media has portrayed, our experience on summit day was a pleasant one, due to a strong and experienced team. Our guides and Sherpas not only installed the fixed lines to the summit, which ‘opened’ the route on May 14th for all climbers on the south side of the mountain but also supported our climbers in a seamless climb of Mount Everest. The challenge of climbing Everest, coupled with the added uncertainty of the weather and other climbers on the route, can create adverse conditions. However, our team of professionals orchestrated a perfect expedition under the circumstances.
In my 12 expeditions to Everest, this was one of the finest teams of hard working, competent, positive, and pleasant Nepal “Sherpas”, many of who I have climbed with for the last 5 years. Big thanks for these incredible guys who helped us make our extraordinary success possible!
Now our attention turns to the world’s second highest peak, K2. Today, our advance team of 100 porters and 2 Pakistan high altitude climbers left the village of Askole to begin the 100 km trek to K2 base camp.
We are excited to meet our climbing team in Islamabad in mid-June and make our way to ‘Chogori’, the savage mountain.
Our autumn Himalayan season following K2 will be action-packed, with our first ever Expedition to Everest in the fall! We also have expeditions attempting Ama Dablam, as well as an unclimbed peak! Previously, we have had very high success on these peaks in the autumn. For climbers looking to climb the highest peak in Oceania, we also have a Carstensz Pyramid climb. We invite you to join us if climbing in the Himalaya or Oceania is on your ‘to do’ list this autumn!
With the Everest season quickly wrapping up, here’s expedition leader, Garrett Madison, with a final dispatch from the 2019 Mount Everest base camp:
Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Everest team. Today most of our crew helicoptered down to Kathmandu and they are at the Yak & Yeti hotel, relaxing and enjoying a nice comfortable stay and a great dinner. Myself, Conan and Stuart along with Joyce are still here in base camp with our Sherpa team – just packing up the camp and we are hoping to head out tomorrow down to Kathmandu.
But, it’s been a great season for us. We have a very high success and safely all around with our team. It was a challenging season, very windy on the mountain and cold this year with a narrow summit window. And unfortunetly, there was a notable loss of life with climbers the last week on the mountain. But we are happy to be down safe and looking forward to heading home soon. All’s well here at base camp. Thanks for following along!
All climbers, guides, and Sherpa from the 2019 Madison Mountaineering Everest expedition have safely returned to base camp. More details and recap of the climb coming soon…
The Everest team has safely descended down the Lhotse face from the South Col to advanced base camp (ABC), Camp 2. Here’s Garrett with the sat phone dispatch from 6500m Camp 2:
Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Everest climbing team. Today is May 24th. We all made it down to Camp 2, our advanced base camp here on Mount Everest. We has a very good day coming down from the South Col high camp. We climbed down past Camp 3 on our way to Camp 2. We all made it safe, all the climbers, guides, and Sherpa.
So, we are here and we just had a nice dinner and we’re tucked into our tents now for a good night’s rest. And tomorrow our plan is to depart Camp 2 at 6:00 AM and head down through the Khumbu Icefall to Everest base camp. So, all’s well here and we’re looking forward to checking in from base camp tomorrow. Thanks!
(photo: Madison Mountaineering archives)
Congratulations to our Everest team for reaching the top of the world! All of the team is now safely back at Camp 4 on the South Col. Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, provides the happy news:
Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Everest team. Today is May 23rd and today we summitted Mount Everest! [garbled] We left about 9:30 PM from our high camp here at the South Col near 26,000 ft. and climbed through the night up the Triangular face to The Balcony and then up the South East ridge over the rock bands to the South Summit and then crossed the summit ridge, up the Hillary Step and then the summit! We reached the summit just after 5:00 AM with the last of our members reaching the summit about 8:00 AM.
So, it was a nice day – a little windy and a little chilly up there – but everybody did really good. The most important thing is that everybody made it back down to high camp this afternoon. So, we are all back in high camp, safe and sound. We are looking forward to descending down to Camp 2 tomorrow night and then base camp the following day on May 25th. All’s well here at high camp! Thanks for checking in.
We are pleased to announce the following members of the 2019 Madison Mountaineering Everest expedition successfully reached the summit of Mount Everest (8,848 m / 29,029 ft) on May 23, 2019, at approximately 6:30 AM NPT (local time).
|1||Ms. Nadhira Alharthy||Oman|
|2||Ms. Nelly Attar||Lebanon|
|3||Ms. Joyce Azzam||Lebanon|
|4||Mr. Sherief Elabd||Egypt|
|5||Mr. Wojciech Falkowski||Poland|
|6||Mr. Chad Gaston||USA|
|7||Mr. Elia Saikaly||Canada|
|8||Ms. Mona Shahab||Saudi Arabia|
|9||Mr. Garrett Madison||USA|
|10||Mr. Conan Bliss||USA|
|11||Mr. Stuart Robertson||United Kingdom|
|12||Mr. Aang Phurba Sherpa||Nepal|
|13||Mr. Phurba Ridar Bhote||Nepal|
|14||Mr. Pasdawa Sherpa||Nepal|
|15||Mr. Lakpa Bhote||Nepal|
|16||Mr. Siddhi Bahadur Tamang||Nepal|
|17||Mr. Ming Dorchi Sherpa||Nepal|
|18||Mr. Kul Bahadur Thapamagar||Nepal|
|19||Mr. Phree Chhombi Sherpa||Nepal|
|20||Mr. Sher Bahadur Thapamagar||Nepal|
|21||Mr. Dorchi Bhote||Nepal|
|22||Mr. Nima Lhaten Lama||Nepal|
|23||Mr. Prem Magar||Nepal|
|24||Mr. Tenzi Sherpa||Nepal|
|25||Mr. Lenduk Lhomi||Nepal|
|26||Mr. Dawa Nurbu Sherpa||Nepal|
|27||Mr. Pasang Dawa Sherpa||Nepal|
|28||Mr. Chhiring Bhote||Nepal|
|29||Mr. Pasang Kaji Sherpa||Nepal|
Sounds like the 2019 Everest team is on the summit!!! Listen for yourself: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01I8UQN5E?ref=cm_sw_em_r_as_dp_Fx7lsWCZC23IX
We will provide more details as we have them! Stay tuned.
This is it. Because, tonight’s the night the past seven weeks in Nepal and preceding months of planning, preparing, and training have been building up to. We go for the summit of Everest tonight!!! It’s now morning in Nepal and the team will be spending the day resting and getting psyched for the final push up to the summit. So, from the home office in Seattle, WA USA and from friends, family, and well-wishers all over the world we say, Go get it team – climb strong, be careful, make your mark and get up and down safely! Here’s Garrett Madison on the South Col of Mount Everest via satellite phone just minutes ago with today’s expedition dispatch:
Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Everest team! We are up at the South Col, high camp, on Mount Everest – nearly 26,000ft. or 8000m. Everybody is doing great! We got up here yesterday evening, had a nice dinner, tucked into our tents, and had a restful night sleeping on oxygen. Today we just had breakfast, we’re up, moving around, sleeping, resting, breathing oxygen.
We are planning to leave this evening at 9:00 PM for our summit attempt. Hopefully reaching the top the next morning, which will be May 23rd. So, everybody’s doing great up here, the team did excellent coming up to high camp yesterday. Everyone’s doing great today, in good sprits and we’re looking forward to leaving tonight and giving it our best shot to climb to the top of the world! Alright, thanks for checking in! We’ll call in tomorrow. All’s well here at high camp on Mount Everest.
(photo: 2018 Everest Camp 4 from the Madison Mountaineering archives)