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 mountain? 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 SURROUNDING PEAKS. 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. mountains. on expeditions. THE LEADER 26 l VILLE l PEOPLE ISSUE