Makalu 2019 Expedition Dispatches

Kathmandu - May 18, 2019

Kathmandu - Ama Dablam Base Camp - Everest Base Camp - Makalu Base Camp - Makalu Summmit - Kathmandu = 24 days total.

No gimmicks, no cheesy high altitude tents at home, no social media overlaod, no high profile sponsored egos, just plain old common sense mountaineering, doing things old school, with the exception of using helicopters to reduce the time away from friends and family.

I will post a full report in a few days when I have relaxed and spent time in Kathmandu with my amazing climbing partner. This summit would not be possible if it was not for my regular climbng Sherpa brothers, whom have been with me for many years and hopefully many more in the future.

Many thanks for the support from our Kathmandu and New York offices, especially with the weather reports, and my dear friend "Russ the Brice is right" for his friendship and full support as always.

As my climbing buddy Dante would say, "we smashed it". I'm still not 100% sure what this means, but I think that it means we did good.

We did a similar climb in 2018 with our Everest Tibet expedition. Kathmandu - Everest summit - Kathmandu in 30 days. So, it seems as if we are doing something right, without all the hype.

Phil Crampton

Update - Advanced Base Camp - May 17, 2019

The team summited May 16, 2017 at 3:45 AM. They proceeded down to Camp 3, where they took a rest before descending to Camp 2 for the night. They are now back in Advanced Base Camp and planning to depart tomorrow by chopper back to Kathmandu. There will be a more detailed update soon.

Update - Camp 3 - May 15, 2019

The team is resting at Camp 3, and has decided to attempt the summit tomorrow morning Nepal time, the 16th.

Dispatch #13 - Camp 3 - May 14, 2019

The team is at Camp 3 at 7465 meters / 24,493 feet. They are resting now. They will devise their summit plan soon.

Dispatch #12 - Camp 2 - May 13, 2019

We are at approximately 6600 meters / 21, 710 feet at Camp 2. Tomorrow, we will climb to Camp 3 at 7500 meters / 24,606 feet. It is from there that we will launch our summit attempt. The weather has been good for the ascent and looks good for the descent.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #11 - Advanced Base Camp- May 12, 2019

We plan to leave ABC tomorrow, May 13 for Camp 2. This will be the start of our summit push. We hope to reach the summit on May 15 from the high point of Camp 3 at 7500 meters / 24,606 feet.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #10 - Advanced Base Camp- May 11,2019

We are now back at Advanced Base Camp which is at 5860 meters / 19,229 feet. The Sherpas carried loads to Camp 3, while we were at Camp 2.

We will now rest up in anticipation of our summit push. Of course, this is strictly weather dependent.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #9 - Camp 2- May 9,2019

The team is now at Camp 2 and had a very windy ascent. Camp 2 is at 6655 meters / 21,834 feet. They will return to Advanced Base Camp tomorrow.

Dispatch #8 - Camp 1 - May 8, 2019

The team members and Sherpa are spending tonight at Camp 1 at 6,350 meters / 20,833 feet. Tomorrow, we will make the short climb to Camp 2 at 6,600 meters / 21,653 feet.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #7 - Makalu Advanced Base Camp - May 6, 2019

The Junkies are back at Makalu ABC (5600m / 18,636 feet) after tagging Camp 1 at 6,300m / 20,650 feet. The Sherpas went to Camp 2 and are also back at ABC. They are now making preparations to sleep at Camp 1 and Camp 2 in the upcoming days.

Dispatch #6 - Makalu Base Camp - May 2, 2019

The Junkies took a helicopter from Pangboche to Makalu base camp today. The weather held out, as a cyclone is approaching the region which could make it too cloudy to fly. Tomorrow, we will have our puja ceremony. Our rotations will begin the day after that.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #5 - Everest Base Camp - May 1, 2019

A tale in 2 photos. On the left, we have Russell "The Brice is Right" Brice and on the right, we have Phil "I Don't Think So" Crampton. Both, legends in the bars and on the mountains.

Dispatch #4 - Lobuche - April 29, 2019

Today, the Junkies hiked from Dingboche to Lobuche. We are now close to 5,000 meters / 16,404 feet. Tomorrow, we are going to Everest base camp and will be hosted by my good friend (and legend) Russ and his Himex Everest team.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #3 - April 25, 2019 – Pangboche

Our chopper trip from Kathmandu to Pangboche took 1 hour.

We will use Pangboche as our base camp now for a few days.Tomorrow, we plan to visit Ama Dablam base camp.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #2 - April 16, 2019 – Kathmandu

Our Makalu expedition is now moving ahead with our Sherpa team getting ready to head to base camp. Our team members will be enjoying some time trekking in the Khumbu region before taking helicopters directly to advanced base camp.

We were one of the first expedition companies to regularly use helicopters, over the fixed wing flights, into the Khumbu. We prefer to fly directly to Namche instead of Lukla for our Cholatse and Ama Dablam expeditions, and it now seems as if many other teams are following this schedule, to save a few days here and there.

We are hearing that there are 53 foreign climbers on 4 climbing permits on Makalu this spring, and that is a similar amount as when we last climbed Makalu in 2017.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #1 - April 12, 2019 – Kathmandu

Our Makalu expedition is about to start. We will be posting updates throughout the climb.

Phil Crampton

Contact us: