Tag: Seven Summits

Lead guide, Sid Pattison, provides this expedition recap of summit day:

Well another great Kilimanjaro trip is in the books, our entire team summited at 6:45am on August 4th. It was a cold morning but we all kept moving and stayed warm. The sun crested the horizon as we made our final steps to Uhuru Peak, the third and highest of Kilimanjaro’s three summits.

Getting here had been a great trip through the many wonders that Kili has to offer. As we started in the rain forest on the lower flanks of the mountain we ate lunch with monkeys playing above our heads, curious as to what brings us here. The next day, as we climbed up and out of the thick jungle into the stunted trees of the Erica zone, this zone allowed us gorgeous views across the mid flanks of the mountain and up to the summit! This would be our first view of the mountain, from the mountain. There was a palatable shift as we gazed up at how much we had to climb. Undaunted and undeterred the team pushed on, through the hidden moorlands, up to the Lava tower to acclimatize and past Barafu camp to the higher Kosovo Camp. From here we prepared for our midnight rise and early morning summit.

We rose at 11pm on August 3rd and quietly readied ourselves for a big day. Bags packed, boots tied, headlamps ready we were off. Up we went, switch-backing our way up the mountain, rock and scree gave way to snow and ice as we approached Stella Point, where our crew looked across the crater, standing above and across from Africas only glaciers. From Stella Point the crew had to dig deep to finish the final 1.5 hour climb across the crater rim. Together we climbed slowly but surely, “Pole Pole” (pronounced ‘Polay Polay’ it means slowly, slowly in Swahili) as our African guides would say to the summit. Upon arrival hugs were shared, handshakes of appreciation and ultimate feelings of satisfaction. The funny thing about any summit is that always accompanying these feelings is the tempering understanding that we are only half way, we still must get down, and it generally isn’t easy.

As we made our way down from the summit, back to Stella point we watched people digging hard like we had just been doing, their slow steps, the looks in their eyes telling the story of giving everything the have hoping the summit comes soon. After Stella Point, in the sun we shed layers, drank water were finally able to relax a bit before the final descent to camp. As we walked back into camp our staff sang and congratulated us on our climb. We relaxed and drank cold juice. It was then time for the big 18km, 10,000ft descent. Pulling into the Mweka gate at 6:00, we were greeted by many of our staff.

Today my legs are sore but I’m always happy to have another successful climb under my belt. Thanks again to our local staff of guides, porters and cook staff. They really do a great job and make the experience on the mountain amazing!

Straight from head guide, Mark Tucker, here is the full recap of summit day on Mt. Elbrus:

We got pretty lucky with the weather — except for it trying to blow us off the summit ridge! And then after we descended the fixed lines (that are installed annually to protect against a fall on the steep terrain) we hit some white-out conditions, but just for a bit. Aside from that, I guess you could call it a beautiful day on the mountain!!! Which it was.

We started with a bit of help from a snow-cat at 02:00 AM moving up the lower part of the climb.

After a few hours of climbing, we were welcomed by a beautiful warming sunrise. We were fortunate to witness the very unique sight of the mountain’s shadow being cast on the horizon by the rising Sun. The beautiful hues of pinks, blues, and greys were enough to take your breath away. Or was it because were were working so hard at 17,000’? 🙂

The team did a fantastic job taking care of themselves and climbing strong. On the last bit to the top, the wind was blowing so hard that the team gathered even more strength to crawl to the summit! We hunkered down for a quick couple of photos.

Everyone did an awesome job heading down safe, healthy and yes, a bit tired!

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!

Tracking Maps

Everest Base Camp Trek map

Everest Climb map

-Garrett Madison 

Our Mount Vinson Expeditions concluded yesterday when our second team made it back to Punta Arenas, Chile, after a successful climb of the highest peak on the continent of Antarctica.  We are thrilled to announce that Madison Mountaineering was the only company leading multiple Mount Vinson Expeditions with 100% climber success overall, this is unmatched by the other guide companies on the mountain this year.  We credit this high level of achievement and safety to our commitment of thorough climber screening and preparation beforehand, our leadership on the mountain, and building cohesive teams of climbers that are very powerful.  Our first team of Mount Vinson climbers comprised of Garrett, Peter, Richard, and Sharon reached the summit of Mount Vinson on January 7th, and our second team of Mount Vinson climbers comprised of Garrett, Keith, Annie, Mei, Jeff, Tamas, and Maria reached the summit of Mount Vinson on January 17th after first having skied to the South Pole!

Each of our Mount Vinson expeditions were very fortunate to reach the top of the mountain with fantastic weather, clear skies and only a little wind, very pleasant summit days indeed!  We now will head home to our families and friends, and for some of us begin preparing for our next big expedition, Mount Everest beginning in early April!  Please enjoy the photos below of our recent climbs in Antarctica!  For climbers looking to climb Mount Vinson or other peaks in Antarctica for the upcoming season (December 2018), its important to start planning soon!

Garrett Madison

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Mount Vinson Expeditions

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Mount Vinson Expeditions

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Mount Vinson Expeditions

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Mount Vinson Expeditions

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Mount Vinson Expeditions

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The Madison Mountaineering Polar Explorer’s Mount Vinson expedition team have now arrived back to Union Glacier Camp in Antarctica. With foggy conditions at Vinson base camp it took a couple days to safely land the inbound plane and pick up our climbers. Plan is to enjoy the next couple days at Union Glacier Camp with very comfortable accommodations, hot showers, three hot meals a day and many fun outdoor activities. The Union Glacier Camp is the only private seasonally occupied camp site located in Ellsworth Land in Antarctica. The camp is located in the Heritage Range, below the Ellsworth Mountains, on Union Glacier. All is well and our team will check in once back in Punta Arenas, Chile!

Stay tuned as we gear up for the 2018 Everest and Lhotse expedition! We are excited to return to the Nepalese Himalayas in early June with a strong team of international climbers this season.

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Audio dispatch from Garrett Madison

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Mountaineering Polar

The Madison Mountaineering – Polar Explorers team arrived safely to Mount Vinson base camp after a successful summit yesterday. Everyone is happy that they made the summit with the upper mountain to themselves on a beautiful sunny day. Today the clouds have moved in and it has started to snow. Now back at base camp the team will wait for a flight back to Union Glacier. All is well and we will check in soon!

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Audio dispatch from Garrett Madison

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Polar Explorers team

 

The Madison Mountaineering Polar Explorer’s team reached the summit of Mount Vinson today! Climbers are now safely back at high camp after a wonderful summit day with hardly any wind and clouds beneath. Headed down to Vinson base camp tomorrow and will check in soon!

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Audio dispatch from Garrett Madison

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Mountaineering Polar Explorer

Our climbers enjoyed a rest day at high camp while preparing for their Mount Vinson summit push. Plan is to head off around 9am after breakfast, summit mid afternoon and be back by dinner time. Team is looking forward to begin their ascent and hope to all stand on the tallest point in Antarctica together. Fingers crossed for good weather! Everyone is doing well and we will check in soon.

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Vinson summit push

Garrett Madison checks in with the Polar Explorers Mount Vinson expedition team. Our team climbed up to high camp in a single push and had a nice dinner before bunkering down for the night. The weather is holding good and the team will probably take rest day tomorrow before their summit attempt the following day. The team is doing well and everyone is enjoying their time in magical Antarctica.

Madison Mountaineering is a partner with Polar Explorer’s for this expedition.

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Explorers Mount Vinson

 

After completing a ski trip to the South Pole, our second Vinson team departed Union Glacier Camp for the Ellsworth Mountains. After arriving at Vinson the team quickly moved up to low camp. Tomorrow our team will enjoy a rest day while reviewing technical climbing skills for the upper mountain ascent. All is well on Vinson and fingers crossed for the beautiful weather to continue!

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Audio dispatch by Garrett Madison

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Second Vinson team

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