Tag Archive for: Seven Summits

Our season has progressed very well so far, our fingers are crossed for good weather and climbing conditions in the days ahead!  At this point our climbers have completed 2 ‘rotations’ on Mount Everest, reaching Camp 3.  Of our 10 climbers & 4 American mountain guides, 3 climbers have left the expedition in recent weeks due to medical / altitude complications, although everyone on the team is very strong and qualified, sometimes the mountain decides that it is not your season to climb to the summit.

Our plan is to climb up to Camp 2 on May 10th and evaluate the weather forecast and the summit route fixing progress, and if all looks good then we will likely make a summit bid between May 14-16.  Currently, our 7 climbers and 4 guides, along with most of our 18 climbing Sherpas will be in position to go for the summit should conditions allow, as well as our high altitude cameraman.  Our plan is to climb together, as a team, so that we can choose the best day in the weather forecast for our summit bid as well as have all of our resources and manpower available to ensure a safe and successful summit attempt .  This definitely sets our team apart from others in that we are the largest / strongest ‘stand alone’ guided team on the mountain that climbs together.  While there are a few larger teams at base camp, they don’t climb together but rather have to stagger their climbers in separate summit attempts on different days to accommodate their large group size, thinning out resources / manpower and often not able to take advantage of the best weather for a summit day.

We are very proud of our climbing Sherpas who have contributed to the rope fixing effort high on Mount Everest, alongside a few other well equipped teams on the mountain.  While there are about 20 teams on the mountain this year, it’s only a small few that are able to set the route.  Our team of climbing Sherpas has been working hard carrying loads and fixing ropes up high on the mountain, they will be climbing with us over the next few days.

We hope Mount Everest (Chomolungma / Sagarmatha) will allow us to visit her summit and return safely.  If, after arriving at Camp 2 and evaluating the weather forecast / summit fixing progress we do not feel we have an optimum chance for our summit attempt between May 14-16, then we will focus our efforts on the next weather window, most likely sometime around May 19-20.

-Garrett Madison

Early this morning our team departed base camp for Camp 2. They should be arriving shortly and will rest most of the afternoon. Yesterday we had a large snow storm that knocked our communication system offline. Things seem to be back to normal now and I will plan to post this evening at 10pm our time.



Garrett ~ Expedition Leader

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Andrew ~ Base Camp Manager

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Conan ~ Guide

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Billy ~ Guide

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Fred ~ High Altitude Camera Man / Guide

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Brent ~ High Altitude Camera Man / Guide

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Bhola ~ Base Camp Sirdar

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Jim ~ Climber

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Jeff ~ Climber

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Ankur ~ Climber


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Nick ~ Climber

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Stuart ~ Climber

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Joel ~ Climber

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Lisa ~ Climber


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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!



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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 had a wonderful lunch of cheese burgers and fresh baked pie as all of our climbers arrived into base camp. Now that we have concluded our second rotation the team will enjoy a few days of rest and recovery at lower altitude. Tomorrow morning we have scheduled a Airbus B3e helicopter coming into base camp (weather permitting) to take members of our climbing team down to Namche. Right now we have the B3e making three trips to base camp to shuttle our team down valley. Over the next 5-6 days our team will travel back down the Khumbu to rest at a lower altitude before returning for the final summit rotation. Garrett discussed with the team that by doing this it allows you to come back stronger and perform better on the summit rotation. We discussed as a team today that we WILL NOT be summiting on the 13th of this month, which happens to be a Friday! 😉

Tonight we had a few laughs after dinner while watching Happy Gilmore. Now the team is getting some well deserved sleep!


Burgers, fries and a Coke for lunch!

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Pretty impressive baking skills for 17,500ft! 

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Jeff G. coming up toward Camp 3. You can see Camp 2 toward the bottom left.


Madison Mountaineering climbers around the world are gearing up for Everest 2016! In a few short weeks we will converge in Kathmandu, Nepal and begin the journey to Mount Everest, known by the locals as Sagarmāthā. Mount Everest is Earth’s highest mountain at 8,848m (29,035ft) above sea level. Here in Seattle,WA our team is actively preparing mountaineering gear, food supplies, and taking care of other important expedition logistics before our departure. We look forward to returning to Nepal to witness and share with you the growth and progress that has been made since last year’s season ending earthquake.

Expedition dispatches will be posted here as frequently as possible. Also follow us @MadisonMtng on Twitter , Instagram , and  Facebook.

Stay tuned!  🙂

Interesting Everest Fact: The international border between Tibet and Nepal runs across Everest’s precise summit point. 

Base Camp Prayer Flags

I am very proud to say that the Madison Mountaineering climbing team on Aconcagua had complete success!  All team members stood on the highest point of the Western & Southern Hemispheres together on January 22nd. Congratulations to the following climbers:

-Audrey Cadwallader

-Linda Wohlegemuth

-Walt Harris

-Ginna Kelly

-Peter Horsman

-Bernd Horsman

-Wenny Sanchez

As many climbers are aware, this season on Aconcagua has been a very tough one with severe storms preventing teams from reaching the summit.  As we approached the mountain on our trek into base camp, we encountered many teams that had not ascended past Camp 1 on the mountain, and were very discouraging.  The look of defeat in their faces and of time spent suffering at high altitude without any summit attempt made us wonder….We pressed onward.  After we reached base camp we received a weather forecast that suggested favorable weather, but only for a short time.  In order to take advantage of this, we accelerated our climbing schedule and put our team in a position to summit on the last day of good weather (January 22nd).  All team members pulled together to push the itinerary forward, with hard work and determination we succeeded in reaching our goal.

The day after we reached the summit the next storm cycle began with high winds and snow preventing any other summit attempts, we reached base camp on this day, and were informed by the park rangers that they were closing the mountain to climbers indefinitely because of landslides. We really lucked out with our weather window, and with a group individual climbers who pulled together as a team to make the summit become a reality for everyone.  Great job team!

The team is doing well and we are currently waiting in Penitentes for the road to open so we can drive to Mendoza. Because of the landslides the road is currently closed in both directions. We expect the roads to be opened shorty. Onward!

-Garrett Madison


A picnic on the approach hike

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Aconcagua from Plaza Mulas base camp

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Aconcagua team on the summit!

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Climbers head up the Canaleta

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Last rest break before the summit

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Peter climbing up the Canaleta

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Summit day!

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The team at Camp 1 on the way up

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View of the Andes from 22,500′!

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In the final expedition audio dispatch, today Garrett reports that the team had a great day descending the 1,600 vertical meters from high camp. They are now safely down to Plaza de Mulas Base Camp (4367m / 14,327ft) and revelling in their 100% summit success! Doubly great day as the team is also celebrating team member Ginna Kelly’s birthday. Happy birthday Ginna from all of us at Madison Mountaineering! Tomorrow they will trek out to the Los Horcones trail head and continue the celebration with a nice team dinner and night in Los Penitentes before heading back to Mendoza on Monday.


Audio dispatch by Garrett Madison:


Beautiful photos taken Wenny Sanchez:












100 % summit on Aconcagua!! Congratulations to the entire Madison Mountaineering climbing team as they made it to the summit of the highest point of the South American continent just minutes ago. Reaching an elevation of 6962 meters /22,841 Ft with blue skies gave the team a perfect break in the weather for this summit push. Woot!!! “Couldn’t ask for a better summit day!” Listen to expedition leader Garrett Madison‘s phone call from the summit:

Following this successful summit on Aconcagua, our team will descend from our Camp 3 to Plaza de Mulas base camp at(13,800′). After a days rest our team will then make the return trek to Horcones trail head, and transfer to the Ayelen hotel in Penitentes. Here the team will have a much deserved shower and celebration dinner!! Congratulations to all of our climbers and we look forward to seeing the beautiful pictures to come.


6962 meters /22,841 Ft on the Suunto! Go Team!!

6962 meters/22,841 Ft


Team members celebrating at the summit of Aconcagua!


The Aconcagua team is preparing for their summit bid and have moved to the high camp, Camp 3 at 19,600 ft. (5974m)! Everyone is doing great and hoping for nice weather for the summit climb. The team is ready for the long day tomorrow required to reach the top of the highest point in the Western and Southern Hemispheres and then return back to high camp.

On summit day our team will climb to Independencia refuge, then traverse the western slope, ascend the Canaleta, and reach the summit ridge leading to the highest point in the Americas. Descending into the Horcones valley and exit out of the western side of Aconcagua, nearly circumnavigating the entire peak!

Onward and upward!


Beautiful photos taken by Aconcagua climber Linda Wohlegemuth!



Team photo while climbing Aconcagua!


Team members and tentmates Audrey and Linda call into to report the team is in good health for summit, setting several personal altitude records, and have completed the carry to the high camp, Camp 3 (5989m / 19,650ft). They were also able to sneak in several product placements in their dispatch! 🙂 After a nice dinner and night at Camp 2, the plan is to complete the move to Camp 3 tomorrow and plan to make the summit attempt on Friday, January 22. The team members miss their family members and send their love. To higher places!!


Bernd on the way to Camp 3:

Bernd on the way to Camp 3