Today our Aconcagua climbers finished their first carry up to Camp 1 at an elevation of 16,100′, spending 5 hours on the way up and 3 back down towards base camp. The conditions have been beautiful with blue skies as our team moved gear and food up the mountain.
The plan is to climb to Camp 1 and sleep there tonight and then carry a load tomorrow to Camp 2. The following day we plan to move to Camp 2 and then evaluate the weather forecast. If all looks good we will carry a load to camp 3, then climb to camp 3 and sleep, going for the summit the following day.
To see our teams detailed itinerary for getting to the top visit our page here!
After a nice trek up the Vacas Valley, our climbers have arrived at Plaza Argentina base camp. The weather has been perfect on our trek toward Aconcagua. Last night our team enjoyed a traditional open fire barbecue with chicken, steak, fresh salad and vegetables along the riverside. After a relaxing nights rest at Pampa de Lena camp (9,200′) our team woke up early to cross the river (with river shoes or by mule) through the Relinchos Valley to Plaza Argentina base camp (13,900′).
This will be our team’s third day of trekking and they will be greeted shortly with a warm dinner celebrating their arrival to Aconcagua. Tomorrow our team will rest at base camp and begin to organize the loads of gear to be moved to higher camps on Aconcagua.
The Madison Mountaineering Aconcagua 2017 team has arrived in Mendoza, Argentina and is now heading off to begin our expedition and ascent of the highest mountain in the western and southern hemispheres. Aconcagua (the stone sentinel) stands at an impressive 6962m (22,834 ft.) above sea level and is great training for high altitude peaks in the Himalaya. Please follow our dispatches as we journey from the lush wine region of Mendoza (known for grass fed beef and Malbec wine) to the arid slopes of the Vacas Valley and up to the base of the Polish Glacier, before making our way to the highest point in the Andes. Aconcagua is known at times for high winds (100mph) and sub zero temps, as well as the high altitude extreme environment. This mountain is never an easy feat and over half the climbers who attempt are turned back. We are sure to encounter challenges along the way and with those come potential rewards for hard work and a job well done in the end. On a clear day we might even see the surreal blue of the Pacific ocean from the summit. To the summit!
Early this morning our Ecuador climbers reached the summit of Cayambe at 5,790 m (19,000 ft)! Located in the Cordillera Central, this glaciated super-volcano runs along the Ecuadorian Andes mountain range. The volcano and most of its slopes are located within the Cayambe Coca Ecological Reserve. Weather conditions looked beautiful on the summit today with epic views from high above the clouds! After a short rest at the high altitude hut, our team packed up their gear and will now drive back down the mountain and toward their next mountain ascent on Chimborazo.
Way to go team!!
William enjoying the amazing summit views from Cayambe.
Route to summit.
Lower glacier crossing.
Beautiful views in the Andes as our climbers set off for the Ecuador volcanoes! Our team will spend the first few days acclimating on local peaks close to Quito in preparation for Cayambe at an elevation of 18,996 feet. For a detailed overview of this exciting climb please visit our page here.
To the top!
William celebrating his first summit of Pasochoa. This extinct volcano is located in the Guayllabamba river basin in the Ecuadorian Andes.
Our climbing team is having a cloudy and rainy week across Ecuador so far and we all hope that conditions will get better shortly. Starting in Guachala earlier this week the team moved up towards the hut on Cayambe. Despite a smooth start to our team’s summit attempt last night on Cayambe, the weather very quickly turned shortly after roping up and starting up the glacier. Two hours into the climb up the glaciated slopes of Cayambe the clouds appeared out of nowhere and proceeded to dump wet snow on our team. Not long after, the sky was filled with lightning and thunder. At this point our team quickly descended back to the hut. The weather turned on our climbers when they reached around 5,000 meters. It dumped snow most of the night causing Jared and Andrew to be a bit delayed on the departure trying to wait for the hazardous road conditions to improve. Our team is now assessing options for Chimborazo given the weather and our maximum acclimatization height to date.
Mother Nature always gets the final say.
Thank-you Jared for the update and pictures!
Today our Ecuador climbing team successfully summited Pasochoa (13,860ft) outside of Quito, Ecuador. Jared and Andrew got caught in a unexpected afternoon hail storm on the summit which made for a bit of fun for the descent. It poured and hailed on us on the way down which made for a wet ride home to our hotel in Quito. The team is in good spirits and is enjoying the adventure!
It is currently raining with thunder and lightning in Quito. Jared and Andrew are back at the hotel, sorting through some gear for tomorrow’s climb of Rucu Pinchincha. To view our Ecuador team’s upcoming climbing itinerary click here.
So far, so good! Team is one for one in the summit department!
Pictures provided by Jared. Enjoy! 🙂
Madison Mountaineering’s 2015 Mount Vinson climbers are currently enroute to Punta Arenas, Chile! Our journey begins in the Tierra del Fuego or ‘Land of Fire’ in Chile’s southernmost city of Punta Arenas, located on the straight of Magellan. The team will gather together, have a few welcome drinks, and check equipment for before departing on this adventure of a lifetime.
Expedition leader Garrett Madison is preparing final expedition logistics as the team prepares to fly to Antarctica onboard the massive Russian Ilyushin 76 jet that is shown below. Garrett has led 9 successful expeditions to Mt. Vinson over the last 6 years. Each of these 9 climbs was successful in reaching the top of Vinson Massif, the highest point in Antarctica. Madison Mountaineering’s approach to leading small, self sufficient teams allows us the flexibility to adapt to changing conditions in Antarctica and accommodate the needs of our climbers.
Our flight from Punta Arenas to the frozen continent is currently scheduled for November 26th. Photos of Punta Arenas will be up shortly!
The Russian Ilyushin 76 jet that we will fly from Punta Arenas, Chile to Union Glacier, Antarctica!
The Ecuador Volcanoes offer fantastic climbing on high altitude glaciated peaks with wonderful accommodations along the way. The volcanoes are located just outside Quito, the capital city, making for short travel days in between climbs. Our program offers climbs on two major peaks in Ecuador: Cayambe (18,996’) and Chimborazo (20,564’), both with heavily glaciated summits. During the program, we have ample time for technical skills review. With Quito as our base, we ascend these Ecuadorian giants and rest between climbs in Hacienda style lodges that provide an outstanding relaxation and dining experience. Our camps on these volcanoes are either European style mountain huts or tent camps. The combination of these beautiful climbs with first-rate lodging throughout make this program very enjoyable!
”We had a fantastic time! Thanks for all the hard work. From the climbing to the sightseeing it was top notch. Estalin was a Superb Guide! Not only was he a skillful climbing guide he was a blast to hang out with. He also took the time to share his mountaineering expertise with us. I learned a lot about history and culture as well. The food was fantastic. He always went out of his way to show us a great time. Thanks again.”
–Luke Palmatier, 2015 Ecuador Climber
”It was an amazing time start to finish. Both Jose Luis and Andrew were both helpful and fun to be around. The quality was first class with everything. It was a 10 out of 10.”
–Jeff Glasbrenner, 2016 Ecuador Climber
We regularly organize custom programs for private groups. We are happy to accommodate your program dates, as well as other specific requests related to the itinerary, amenities, and group size. Please contact us if you would like to know more about custom programs.
Day 1: Depart country of residence and arrive in Quito, usually in the afternoon or evening. You will be picked up and driven to our hotel. We will conduct a brief orientation and equipment check.
Day 2: Today we “acclimatize” around Quito (9,400’) by touring the many beautiful colonial structures and historic district, stopping to enjoy lunch in one of the many outdoor cafes.
Day 3: Acclimatization hike on Pasochoa (13,860’). This is a beautiful day hike and we have lunch along the way. We return to our hotel for the evening.
Day 4: Today we depart the hotel with our gear and hike up Pichincha (15,700’). After the day hike we drive to Hacienda Guachala, located close to the town of Cayambe. We sleep in Hacienda Guachala.
Day 5: We climb the small peak of Imbabura (15,190’) and return to Hacienda Guachala for the night.
Day 6: Visit the town of Otavalo then continue to the Cayambe hut (15,250’). Overnight at the hut.
Day 7: Glacier skills on Cayambe. Overnight at the hut.
Day 8: Cayambe summit climb (18,996’) – return to Hacienda Guachala.
Day 9: Today we travel from Hacienda Guachala to the Estrella del Chimborazo lodge (13,125’). We organize our gear and prepare for the next day’s climb to our high camp.
Day 10: We depart the lodge after breakfast and hike to the Stubel Camp (16,200’) on Chimborazo.
Day 11: Summit day! We begin our climb before dawn, and reach the summit of Chimborazo (20,560’) shortly after sunrise. The summit of Chimborazo is the closest point to the sun, and we savor this spectacular mountain top view. We descend and drive back to our hotel in Quito for a celebration dinner.
Day 12: Today we depart Ecuador and fly home.
Cayambe & Chimborazo Expeditions
July 25- August 6
October 31-November 11
November 18-November 29
December 12-December 23
January 2-January 13
January 24-February 4
February 13-February 24
February 20 – March 3
• Airport Pick up
• 3 star hotels in Quito
• Park entrance fees
• Climbing permit fees
• Hut fees
• Hacienda lodges
• All meals while climbing
• Guide service (Ecuadorian or American)
Costs Do Not Include:
• Personal Items
• Meals in Quito
• Option to upgrade to single room
• Fees for early departure
• Trip cancellation insurance
• Wire transfer fee
• Airport taxes
• There are no refunds for the deposit or balance payments for this expedition. This includes but is not limited to, expeditions that conclude without a summit or progress towards a summit for participants due to route conditions, weather, insufficient manpower, or any other factor outside the control of Madison Mountaineering. Expedition leader has the final say on the expedition conclusion and will make all best efforts within our margin of safety.
• Participants that choose to leave an active expedition for any reason are not entitled to any refunds
• Madison Mountaineering, LLC highly recommends trip cancellation insurance for all expeditions
• Due to the nature and heavy costs of government and operator permits, Madison Mountaineering must adhere to a stringent refund policy
• Deposit due with registration materials
• All balances are due 120 days prior to departure date unless otherwise specified
• Participants whose balances are not received by the 120-day deadline as stated above, risk forfeiture of their funds and their place on the expedition
Note: Madison Mountaineering, LLC reserves the right to waive any fees. As we offer personalized service, we will attempt to accommodate changes and cancellations when necessary, waiving certain fees when feasible. Deposits paid by participants acknowledge the above cancellation terms.
Ice Axe: A general mountaineering ice axe no longer than 60-65 cm.
Crampons: General mountaineering crampons
Trekking Poles: Adjustable poles for the trek to base camp
Climbing harness: An alpine climbing harness
Carabineers: 4 locking and 2 non locking
Belay / Rappel device: For rappelling or belaying climbers
Helmet: Must fit over a thick hat
Light hiking boots or trekking shoes: For hiking days, these can be worn in the lodges or mountain huts.
Mountaineering Boots: Either double plastic or insulated synthetic boots.
Socks: Minimum 3 pair thick mountaineering socks and 3 pair liner socks
Short Underwear: 1-2 pair of synthetic short underwear
Long Underwear: 1-2 pair lightweight long underwear pants and shirts. 1 pair of heavy expedition weight long underwear.
Soft Shell Jacket: A hooded jacket
Soft Shell pants: For trekking and climbing
Insulated Jacket: PrimaLoft or Down
Expedition Down Parka: A hooded down jacket with 800 minimum down fill.
Insulated Pants: PrimaLoft or Down, these should have full side zippers.
Hard Shell Jacket: To be worn in wet conditions
Hard Shell Pants: To be worn in wet conditions, these pants should have full side zippers.
Headlamp: Bring extra batteries
Warm Hat: A warm fleece or wool hat.
Balaclava: to cover your face and neck on windy days.
Sun hat: A baseball style sun camp.
Buff: To wear around your neck & face to block the wind, UV rays, dust.
Glacier Glasses: wrap around style sunglasses with dark lenses
Goggles: With dark lenses.
Soft Shell Gloves: 1 pair
Shell gloves with insulated liner: 1 pair
Expedition overmitts: With insulated removable liners
Gaiters: Full length
Expedition Backpack: A 50-65 liter internal frame back pack.
Sleeping Bag: Rated to at least -20 °F. Down is preferable over synthetic.
Compression stuff sacks: for reducing volume for your sleeping bag and down jacket.
Self Inflating pad: A full length air mattress
Closed Cell foam pad: Full length is best
Cup: 16oz. minimum
Bowl: ½ liter minimum capacity
Spoon: Plastic (lexan)
Sunscreen: 2 tubes, SPF 40 or stronger
Lip screen: 2 sticks, SPF 30 or stronger
Water bottles: 2 bottles with 1 liter capacity each
Water Purification System: Tablets or Steripen
Water Bottle Parkas: To keep your water from freezing
Pee Bottle: 1+ liter capacity
Pee Funnel: For Women
Toiletry Bag: Toothpaste, Toothbrush, baby wipes, etc.
Hand Sanitizer: 2 small bottles
Hand warmers / Toe warmers: 3 sets of each
Trash Compactor bags (4): To line stuff sacks and separate gear
Camera: lightweight with extra batteries
Travel Clothes: For days in Quito.
Large Duffel Bag with lock: for transporting all personal gear to the mountains.
Small duffel bag: to store items in the hotel
Small Personal First Aid Kit: Athletic tape, band aids, Ibuprofen, Moleskin, blister care products, personal medications, cough drops.
• Acetazolamide (Diamox) for altitude illness
• Antibiotics such as Ciprofloxin or Azithromycin for gastro intestinal or respiratory illness
• Ibuprofen for muscle soreness
• Pepto Bismol for loose stool
• Excedrin for headaches
• Anti nausea medications.
• Electrolyte Replacement Drink Mix: Bring a supply for 1 week.
• Energy Gel: Single serving gel packs such as GU, Clifshot, Powergel, etc.)
• Energy Bars: Power bar, Cliff bar, etc.
• Candy Bars: Snickers, Mars, Twix, Milkey Way, etc.
• Hard Candy: 1 cup
• Crackers: 1 box
Madison Mountaineering is recognized for well thought out strategy in high altitude climbing expeditions, as well as high-quality service throughout. Because we have two decades of experience in the planning and coordination of mountaineering expeditions, our reputation is excellent. We strive to make each expedition the best possible experience for our climbers and focus on our 3 primary goals of success in reaching the summit, returning safely, and having fun!
Our guides are some of the best and most experienced in the industry, having a strong grasp of technical climbing, expedition, and high altitude experience, along with strong interpersonal skills. Our teams are small and equipped with the best support available to ensure the highest chance of success. We are renowned for our comfortable base camps, high-quality food, first-rate communications, and medical support services, all of which are overseen by a professional member of our team.
Most of our climbers have either climbed with us before, been referred by a friend who has climbed with us, or met one of our teams while attempting another peak and decided to join us for their next expedition. We work hard to facilitate safe, successful, and enjoyable expeditions for all of our climbers. Our track record and past climber testimonials prove we are not only experts in our field, but we also love what we do!