Just received a sat phone call from Garrett. The team is tucked in at Camp 4 on the South Col of Everest. Everyone did really well today on the climb up from Camp 3. They may take a rest day and then go for the summit on the 23rd. The sat phone call is very garbled
and we will be working on a transcription and will update this dispatch soon:
Our Everest team made the move up to Camp 3 on the Lhotse face today and looks to be in position for a summit attempt on May 22nd. The weather is looking good and the team is feeling strong and healthy. Garrett Madison, expedition leader, provides this update:
Helllo, this is Garrett calling in for the Everest climbing team. Today we left Camp 2 at 5:00 AM and climbed up the Lhotse face to Camp 3. We made it to Camp 3 by about 9:30 AM. Everyone did great! We set up our tents, moved into camp, had some ramen noddles, and then relaxed before dinner. Our plan is to move up to Camp 4 tomorrow. The weather’s looking really good right now. Everybody is doing great – feeling healthly and strong and enjoying the good weather and nice views from up here at Camp 3. We’ll check in soon. Thanks!
(photo: Everest Camp 3 – Madison Mountaineering archives)
The Everest team is heading to Camp 3 tomorrow to start the summit attempt. The weather forecast is looking favorable. Here’s expedition leader, Garrett Madison’s, update via sat phone:
Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Everest team. Today is Sunday, May 19th and we had a nice rest day at Camp 2 as we have been watching the weather carefully and determining which day we want to move up for our summit attempt. Our plan is to move up tomorrow, May 20th, to Camp 3. Everybody’s doing great here, all packed and ready to head up from Camp 2 on the Lhotse face up to Camp 3. And it looks like the weather forecast is playing out into our favor – it looks like good weather for the next four or five days. So fingers crossed that the forecast holds true. All’s well here at Advanced Base Camp, Camp 2 on Mount Everest. Thanks for checking in!
(photo: Madison Mountaineering archives from earlier this season)
Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Everest team. We are up at Camp 2 right now and everybody’s doing well. We are taking a rest day and watching the weather. We are also watching some teams come down off the Lhotse face after their summit attempts. But the main thing is that we are just making sure that we’ve got a good weather window before we head up. We may head up tonight or the following day. We not exactly sure yet, still waiting for a couple of weather forecasts to come in. But, everyone’s doing good here, the weather’s improving, and we are looking forward to a summit attempt here in the next few days!
Now on their summit rotation, the team climbed from base camp (5307m/17,411ft) to Camp 2 (6500m/21,325ft) today. Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, provides today’s update via satellite phone from Camp 2:
Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Everest climbing team. Today is May 17th, and we awoke at about 1:00 AM and left at 2:00 AM from base camp. We had a beautiful, bright Moonlit night climbing up through the Khumbu Icefall on our way up to Camp 1 and then onward to Camp 2. We all made it to Camp 2 today and had a leisurely afternoon. We’re just going to reassess the weather forecast tomorrow, take a rest day, and then think about potentially moving up towards Camp 3 and Camp 4 on a summit attempt. So, all’s well here in Camp 2, everybody’s doing great, and we’re tucked in after dinner getting ready for a nice night of sleep. We’ll check in tomorrow. ‘nite!
(photo: Camp 2 from this season’s previous rotation)
Game time! Our Everest main team is heading up tonight (Nepal time) for their summit rotation! Stay tuned to these dispatches and our Amazon Alexa flash briefing for up to date coverage. Meanwhile, the climbing group of Kenton Cool, Michael Lavelle, are safely down to Camp 2 and descending to base camp tomorrow after their summit success! Here’s Garrett reporting in just before turning in for some rest before the alpine start of 1:00 AM:
Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Everest team. We are leaving tonight to head up to Camp 2 for our summit rotation! This will be our final trip up the mountain for hopefully a summit here somewhere around May 21st, 22nd, or 23rd depending on the weather and route conditions. Our team is doing great! We had a team meeting today, got everything packed, organized, and we are excited to head up and see what lies ahead on Mount Everest! Fingers crossed for good weather and hopefully a good summit!!
Today our madison everest team climbers with guides Garrett Madison, Conan Bliss, & Sid Pattison along with climbers Josh, Matt, Randy, Tym, & David are resting in base camp up . They are waiting to begin the summit rotation, this is the final rotation on Mount Everest and hopefully will culminate in reaching the summit! The weather has been windy, more so than the specialized weather forecasts have predicted. So, we have been conservative in our decision making and decided to hold here in base camp until the weather trend looks suitable for us to move us.
Then our Everest climbers will climb from Everest base camp through the Khumbu Icefall and negotiate the many ladders which span crevasses, sometimes about 20 ft. (6m) in width, along with the steep ice and vertical sections of the route. We will go up past Camp 1 through the Western CWM (Valley) to Camp 2, our Advanced Base Camp and from there take a rest day to re evaluate the weather, route conditions, etc.
Our 2 advance teams are already enroute on the final summit rotation! Ed & Ant, our first team, are at Camp 2, having moved up from Everest base camp 2 days ago, and are assessing the mountain conditions which includes the weather, the rope fixing progress, etc.
Our second advance team with Kenton, Ben, and Mark left Everest base camp yesterday and are currently also at Camp 2. They reported very good conditions in the Khumbu Icefall and after arriving at Camp 2 are also reassessing the mountain conditions in preparation for moving up higher on Everest.
Our rope fixing Sherpas moved up to the South Col (Camp 4) yesterday in preparation to fix ropes from there to the Balcony (27,500 ft. / 8,333m), despite strong winds on the Lhotse Face. Yesterday we had a huge wind storm on Everest that lasted through the night and many teams lost tents at Camp 2, fortunately we had our entire Sherpa team (22 Sherpas plus camp staff) in our Camp 2 (Advanced Base Camp) so they were able to secure and protect our camp during this massive wind event. Thankfully, our Sherpas reached the South Col (Camp 4) and established a camp there, and then commenced the first part of the rope fixing project today, reaching the Balcony (27,500 ft. / 8333m).
If the weather is good, and mountain conditions are favorable (they reported deep snow on the route), and our team has the physical energy and mental fortitude, then hopefully our Sherpas will be able to finish the summit rope fixing and open the route by the end of May 12th, so that the route will be open for all climbers on Mount Everest by May 13th.
This is our plan, and with determination and good luck we expect our 4 teams of climbers (Sherpa rope fixing team, advance team of Ed & Ant, second team of Kenton / Ben/ Mark, and third team of Garrett / Conan / Sid with Josh / Matt / Tym / Randy / David to be reaching the summit of Mount Everest between May 12th and May 18th, weather pending! Fortunately the weather forecast looks good through May 21st, so we have a very good weather window in which to make our summit attempts. Thanks for your kind thoughts and prayers! We hope Mount Everest (‘Sagarmatha’ in Nepal) will grant us safe passage to the top of her peak and back!
Yesterday the weather was good up here , we took some rest in Camp 2. Today we departed Camp 2, our Advanced Base Camp, at 7 AM to climb up the Lhotse Face to Camp 3 at nearly 23,500 ft. (7120m) We donned our Down Suits to stay warm in the early morning before the sun arrived on the Lhotse Face at around 9 AM. Climbing up the steep ice was challenging, but our steel crampons held firm as we made our way up the face to Camp 3.
Upon reaching Camp 3 we took a long break and had a snack before making our way down the Lhotse Face, rappelling the steeper line over the blue ice to the base of the Lhotse Face near the Bergschrund. We then made our way back to Camp 2 for dinner and a restful sleep. Our plan is to either descend tomorrow or take a rest day and descend the following day down to Everest base camp, and then take a long rest before embarking on our summit rotation!
Today our climbing sherpas carried loads to the South Col high camp (Camp 4) in preparation for the final rope fixing to the summit of Mount Everest – Our Rope fixing team fixed the rope upto South Col! . Now that all of the essential equipment is in place for the rope fixing (ropes, ice screws, carabiners, oxygen, etc) we are keeping an eye on the weather for an opportunity to fix the final portion of the route up the Triangular Face to the Balcony (27,500 ft / 8335m), then up the south east ridge and over the rock bands to the south summit, along the summit ridge to the top of the world! Stay tuned for updates from our rope fixing team!
For our 2018 expedition we are using these backpack from Mountain Hardwear. Also, our Mountain Hardwear ‘South Col’ backpacks are utilized by our climbing Sherpa to transport the essential equipment in harsh environment . Furthermore, these backpacks are used for rope fixing all the way to the summit.