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Ojos del Salado

The team reached the summit of Ojos del Salado this morning, the highest volcano in the world (#1 in the Volcanic Seven Summits), the second-highest mountain in South America (#2 in the Second Seven Summits), and Chile’s country high point (6893m/22,614ft)!  Congratulations team!  Great work.

Here’s expedition leader, Garrett Madison with the happy news direct from the summit via satellite phone:

Hello!  This is Garrett Madison calling in for the Ojos del Salado expedition team.  Today’s December 16th and we have summitted Ojos del Salado, about 22,600 ft. and change or, I think, 6,893 meters.

Team members that made it up here today would be Jenn, Ted, Ryan, Jean Marie – our local guide, myself, and Chase!  We had a great climb, nice weather – it was cold starting out and cold during most of the day, but sunny, not many clouds, not much wind.  Could ask for a better day up here.  Great views all around.

We’re up here at the top of the mountain and Chase and I are the last ones up here, about to head down – back towards Acacama Camp [base camp] where we are going to sleep tonight.

It was a beautiful climb.  Glad that we came here to Chile.  A wonderful experience all around.  We’re looking forward to checking-in soon.  Thanks!


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:

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

Atacama Refugio

Readying for Ojos del Salado, today the team drove from their camp at Laguna Verde up about 3,000 ft. higher to the Atacama Refugio at 17,250 ft. (5256m) which serves as the Ojos’ base camp.  Being the only team there, they enjoyed the peaceful serenity of an amazing sunset after a great dinner.

Tomorrow the plan is to move to Refugio Tejos at 5825m/19,110ft. aka high camp.  Wind conditions are favoring a summit attempt on Wednesday.  Climb on!


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:

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

Today the Ojos del Salado team made one last acclimatization hike.  Leaving camp along the shores of the Laguna Verde, they drove by 4×4 up to 16,234 ft. to start their hike climbing along the Chile/Argentina border to the summit of Nevado San Francisco – 19,744 ft.  Whew!

After descending to the trailhead and driving back to camp, they were rewarded with a soak in the natural hot springs next to the lake.  Tomorrow will be a rest day at Laguna Verde and Monday, they will move to Ojos del Salado base camp with the 4×4’s.  The summit bid is planned for Thursday.  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

Instagram:

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

Ojos del Salado Moving Day

Today the Ojos del Salado team made the 105 mile (170km) drive along Maricunga salt flat then continuing across the high plateaus to reach Laguna Verde where they will camp for three days near a hot spring.  Next up is an acclimatization climb of Nevado San Francisco (6016m/19,738 ft)!


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:

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

Today the team acclimatized by hiking Cerro Doña Inés.  Garrett Madison provides the details via satellite phone:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Ojos del Salado team in Chile – in the Atacama region.  We had a great day today!  We arrived yesterday, all together, in the Copiapó airport and drove out to our first camp here at the [Pedernales] Salt Flats.

Today we went for an acclimatization hike.  We climbed the nearby peak, Doña Inés – about 16,700 ft. (5095m) at the summit.  About a 2,000 ft. elevation gain, amazing that we could drive up to over 14,500 ft. to start our hike which is higher than Mt. Rainier, the highest peak in Washington state (USA).

Everyone’s doing great!  It’s sunny here, a little windy in the afternoon, and we’re looking forward to nice dinner tonight.  Then tomorrow we’re going to drive all the way to Laguna Verde, the green lake, and hopefully get to check out the hot springs, as well.  We’ll be there for a few nights.

So, all’s well here in Chile.  We’re having a great time and looking forward to getting closer to Ojos!


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:

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

Team in Copiapó and ready to head out to the mountains!

As the Ojos del Salado team arrives Copiapó and heads off the grid today, expedition leader Garrett Madison makes use of the last bit of Internet connectivity to provide this expedition dispatch:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Ojos del Salado expedition team.  Myself and Jenn, Chase, Ted, Ryan, and Krisli are all here in Copiapó.  Some of us arrived last night, some today and we’re headed off towards our first camp on Ojos del Salado at about 11,000 ft. (3,353m) today.

We will be without Internet likely for the next 10-11 days, as there is no cell signal and no Wi-Fi up on the mountain.  So, we’ll be communicating with our Garmin inReach and looking forward to some great weather, some amazing views, and watching the partial eclipse on December 14th.

We are excited to be heading off shortly here to the salt flat camp and working our way higher on the mountain and returning in about 10 days.


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:

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

Our team members prepare to board their flights to arrive in Santiago, Chile tomorrow to kick-off the Ojos del Salado expedition – the world’s highest active volcano and second only to Aconcagua as South America’s highest peak.  Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, has the details in this kick-off expedition dispatch.  Be sure to follow along for daily updates and see below for details on other fun ways to track the team’s progress.

Hello!  This is Garrett Madison calling in for the Ojos del Salado climbing expedition.  Today we are departing the U.S. and heading to Chile, arriving in Chile tomorrow and flying to Copiapó to meet our team that is providing the ground transportation for us to drive out to the Atacama and begin our expedition on Ojos del Salado.

We’re very excited to be heading off to Chile to start this expediton climb.  This is my first trip to Ojos del Salado, so I’m personally very excited.  It looks like good weather – it’s going to be warm and sunny down in Chile because it’s their summertime.  We look forward to posting some pictures and making updates as the expedition progresses.

Here we go!


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:

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