Ville Magazine l Insider Access for City Lifestyle Mar/Apr 2016 / People Issue - Page 26
I wanted to focus on bigger objectives (K2) as well as
linking up summits (Everest & Lhotse combination)
and the realm of unclimbed peaks. Nobody was
doing that. Rather than focus exclusively on the “7
Summits” as many international guiding operations
do, I wanted to branch out and attempt some new
and harder objectives.
Do climbers have to have a certain level of experience to
be guided or can it be someone’s first time? What’s the
normal training time for climbs?
To go on a guided Rainier or Mt. Baker climb, you
need to be physically fit. The guides will teach you
how to use the ice axe, crampons, and climbing
rope. To attempt a bigger peak like Denali or
Everest, you need the technical training as well as
some expedition experience beforehand.
You have the historic achievement of summiting both
Mt. Everest and Lhotse together in less than 24 hours.
What was your biggest challenge during the climb?
The biggest challenge was staying motivated to finish
this climb. After reaching the summit of Everest and
returning to the high camp, (like everyone) we were
really tired and just wanted to sleep. Finding the
motivation to get up and march out of the camp to
climb Lhotse was tough, but once we got moving
we were okay.
Photo: Madison Mountaineering
Mountain climbing can be very dangerous. You have
faced deadly avalanches including this past one that
occurred from the Nepal earthquake last year and
sadly lost team member, Eve Girawong. What gave you
the strength and calmness to help get people off the
During his life, he has broken records,
taught others to climb, rescued survivors There was no other option for me than to help
during natural disasters, and doesn’t manage the situation the best I could to get us
down. We had some serious challenges, but we got
plan on stopping anytime soon.
through them; the team pulled together. I’ve been
How did your first climb feel?
involved in many mountain rescues over the years,
We did not have the technical skills or and this was by far the worst for me personally.
experience to feel comfortable going on
our own, so we went with the guide service With the tragedies you have faced, why do you continue
Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. We followed to climb? Have you thought about stopping?
WHEN GARRETT MADISON WAS A BOY, HE AND
the recommended training program of The last two seasons on Everest have been very
HIS FATHER WOULD GO HIKING IN THE OLYMPIC hiking stadium steps with 45 lb. backpacks tragic, both natural disasters resulted in the deaths
and rented or purchased all of the required of 16-18 people respectively. My first 6 expeditions
AND CASCADE MOUNTAINS, SOMETIMES
clothing and equipment. For my dad and to Everest were perfect; our teams made it to
SCRAMBLING UP TO A NEARBY MOUNTAINTOP
me, it was a very serious undertaking; we the summit and got down safely. I believe the
TO SEE THE INCREDIBLE 360-DEGREE VIEWS OF really wanted to succeed if the weather last 2 seasons have been anomalies (icefall then
and mountain conditions allowed, so we earthquake). I don’t expect this to happen again
did everything we could to maximize our in my lifetime, and the positive benefits of climbing
outweigh the potential negatives. I plan to return to
The magical feeling of being above it all, up chances of success..
Everest this spring and have a great expedition.
in the clouds, with jagged ridgelines and
Why did you start your own company and
mountain spires was what inspired him to guide others in mountain climbing?
Do you have any major upcoming climbs or personal
climb higher. At age 17, he made his first After 14 years as a professional mountain goals in the future you want to achieve?
climb at Mt. Rainier. In 2014, he founded guide, I decided to start my own company I plan to go back to Everest in the spring of 2016,
Madison Mountaineering, leading climbers because I wanted the freedom to choose then to K2 in July of this year. We will do another
to the summit of Mt. Everest and other the mountains and the people I would lead unclimbed peak expedition in the autumn as well.
26 l VILLE l PEOPLE ISSUE