Tag: summit

Hi, this is Garrett Madison calling in for the Mount Vinson climbing expedition. Today is January 19 and today we came from high camp down to Vinson base camp. We had a nice day, it was cloudy some light snow but not windy. Everyone did great coming down from high camp to low camp and all the way to base camp. Had a big meal hamburgers, pasta and a little champagne to toast our successful climb. Now we are just hanging out at base camp getting ready to go to sleep and waiting for a flight back to Union Glacier hopefully tomorrow. Then onward back to Chile and home. We have had a wonderful expedition we are down safe to base camp just waiting for a airplane to fly back to union glacier camp then a jet back to Chile. We will check in soon. Thanks.

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Mount Vinson climbing expedition

Mount Vinson climbing expedition

Hello, this is Garrett Madison with the Mount Vinson expedition. Today is January 17th and we are at the summit of Mount Vinson! Beautiful day up here, got the summit all to ourselves. We are the only team up here on the mountain on high camp. And we are going to savor the top here for 45 minutes, take a few photos and then head on down to high camp and spend the night. Everyone did great today worked hard, and just a glorious day up here blue skies. Views of the Sentinel range, Ellsworth mountains, Tyree, Shinn and just a spectacular day up here, we will check in soon. Thanks.

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Mount Vinson expedition

To celebrate our successful Aconcagua expedition, we concluded with a team dinner, an Argentinean ‘Asado’ barbecue with a selection of meat and vegetables cooked to perfection over the open fire. All team members are now on their way home, after what has been a wonderful experience.  We were very lucky with the weather, as our summit day on December 19th was perfect without any wind or clouds.  Since then, the weather has deteriorated and the other teams have not been able to summit, let alone go much higher above base camp because of the high winds.  This is typical of Aconcagua and the southern Andes, where storms can pass through and prevent climbing high on the peak for up to a week at a time.  As a recap, we did the ‘Aconcagua 360’ route, trekking in the less traveled Vacas valley to Plaza Argentina base camp, then utilizing 3 high camps before reaching the summit, and then descending to the other side of the mountain to the Plaza Mulas base amp, and trekking out the shorter and more popular Horcones valley.  We enjoyed a night before and after the expedition at the Ayelen hotel in Penitentes with our good friend Steve Allen, who does a fantastic job of managing the hotel, a rustic ski lodge in the winter that becomes a haven for Aconcagua climbers during the summer climbing season.  A couple of nights at the Park Hyatt in Mendoza made our stay very comfortable, a great way to begin and end our time together in Argentina.  We have had a fantastic time, enjoying the experience of climbing the highest peak in the Andes (and also in the Americas) as well and immersing ourselves in Argentine culture and cuisine.  Onward, to the next mountain adventure!   – Garrett Madison

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Kilimanjaro weather can be great, weather on mountains can also not be great. As we tried to sleep in our tents in preparation of our 11pm wake up for our summit bid, our tents folded like tacos in the wind and sounded like chip bags with snow and hail. Needless to say, I don’t think anybody slept. We got up, ate a light breakfast and started our ascent. About 5 inches of new snow had fallen overnight and the wind had increased, we climbed higher and higher in the dark bucking a serious wind, steady and unrelenting. By around 5:15AM we stood at Stella Point, the bulk of the climbing below us the sun rose and illuminated Africa and the clouds below. We made the final stroll to the summit and at 6:40AM we all celebrated. The descent was straightforward if not muddy due to the melting snow and the wind had abated. We were in high spirits as we strolled back into camp until we saw what remained of much of our camp. The winds throughout the night had taken their toll on our cook tent, our dining tent and our porters sleeping tent leaving them destroyed. What would generally be a celebratory lunch turned into a rush to pack and head down the mountain. As the icy winds began again we hurriedly packed our gear and hightailed it down the mountain. After a 4 hour hike we finally got to relax at McKay high camp where we are, drank water and tea and slept like baby rhinos.
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The last day of any trip is bitter sweet. On one handed we long for cold beer, new food and hot showers while on the other we have to leave a place we have given so much for. We came out here and climbed the mountain and the trip is over. Now we all go back to our lives and have the memories and pictures. This was on all of our minds as we hiked the 10 kilometer hike out to the gate, through the rain forest we saw more birds and monkeys than we could count. We arrived at the gate to our team singing and dancing and congratulating us on a great climb. We feasted on a fantastic buffet lunch, thanked our staff, said goodbye then loaded up in the van back to the hotel. We are all sad to be going home, but psyched for the pool.
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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!!

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William enjoying the amazing summit views from Cayambe.

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Summit success!

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Route to summit.

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Lower glacier crossing.

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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!

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William celebrating his first summit of Pasochoa. This extinct volcano is located in the Guayllabamba river basin in the Ecuadorian Andes.

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Today our climbing team made a safe descent to Camp 2 on Everest and will be arriving into base camp tomorrow. After resting at Camp 4 last night the team enjoyed warm drinks and food after their successful summit. All team members are in good health and look forward to hot showers and thicker air back at base camp. We are expecting the whole team to arrive early afternoon and we will have a celebration in order here at our camp. I will have more pictures up tomorrow and look forward to hearing the team tell of their journey to the top of the world!

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What a day!! Our climbers are now resting at Camp 4 at 7,950m (26,085ft) on Everest after their successful summit bid earlier today. The weather was perfect and the views from what I hear were nothing short of spectacular. Tonight the team will rest on oxygen before descending to Camp 2 tomorrow. Our Lhotse team is waiting and will not make an ascent tonight due to uncertain route conditions. The current plan is to descend together tomorrow and re-evaluate Lhotse conditions before making a decision. All members are in good health and have accomplished what many dream of today.

Will have pictures and videos up as soon as possible! 🙂

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After a early alpine start this morning our entire team is now safely resting at Camp 2 on their summit rotation. Our team will plan to rest at Camp 2 for an additional day before making the ascent to Camp 3 on Everest. Weather reports are looking positive for our original summit date between May 14-16. Tomorrow morning we will receive a detailed weather report from Michael Fagin in Seattle which will provide our team with the forecasts needed to make the decision. Our Sherpa team higher on the mountain is securing the route and fixed lines to the summit and is on track for success. It has been snowing pretty consistently here at base camp in the afternoon’s with the sun shining earlier in the day. Communication systems are back up and running and we will check in tomorrow at the same time. Onward!

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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.

-Andrew

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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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