Ama Dablam Expedition BooK Now

  •   Duration: 26Days
  •   Activities: Expedition
  •   Country: Nepal
  •   Trip Grade: HARD
  •   Price:6500 USD
  •  Group size: 2-12 persons
  •  Best Season: Feb-May Oct-Nov

Overview

Popularly known as the ‘Matterhorn of the Himalaya’, the overwhelming ice-coated granite pyramid of Ama Dablam dominates the sky above the trekker’s trail to the Everest Base Camp. The mountain derives its name from the glacier lying on its Southwest face. The glacier looks like a jewel box hanging on the neck of the mountain, hence the name Ama Dablam, literally meaning ‘The Mother’s Jewel Box’. Interestingly, when a team led by Edmund Hillary scaled the mountain for the first time, Nepal’s King nearly imprisoned Hillary for climbing the sacred Ama Dablam without permission.

The standard ascent to Ama Dablam is made via the South-Western Ridge, the same route followed by Ward (UK), Bishop (USA) and Gill (NZ) in the first ascent of the mountain in 1961. The route offers varied and sustained climb with reasonable level of difficulty. Three high camps are set up at strategic points. The climb is moderate up to Camp 1, then it gets challenging up along the narrow granite ridge. Negotiating pitches of steep ice and snow slopes, the route gets more technical from Camp 2.  From Camp 3, skirt around the hanging glacier or the Dablam, cross snow arete (A sharp ridge) and bergschrund(A gap or crevasse at the edge) between ice cliffs, and scale the summit.

Important Note : Your safety is of paramount concern while traveling with Sherpa Holidays.Please note that your leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary; however, since this adventure entails travelling in remote mountainous regions, we cannot guarantee that we will not deviate from it. Weather conditions, health condition of a group member, unexpected natural disasters, etc., can all contribute to changes in the itinerary. The leader will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but please be prepared to be flexible if required.

DAY 01: Kathmandu (1300m)

 

Upon your arrival in the Kathmandu airport (KTM). After completing your custom formalities (Visa, etc) pick up your luggage and look for our representative with a Sherpa Holidays’  display board at the arrival gate and you will be picked up by one of our representative or your trip leader.You will be then transferred to hotel.After check in, you can either take a rest, wander around in the city,it all depends upon your interests and condition. In the evening we will organize a “Welcome Dinner” at an excellent traditional Nepalese Restaurant where you will enjoy a Nepalese cultural program followed by a set Nepali dish(Dal Bhat) for dinner.

 

DAY 02:  Kathmandu : Sightseeing and Trek Preparation

 

Today after breakfast your trek leader will introduce you to rest of the members of the group and brief you about the trek . After the group briefing, you will be taken for a guided sightseeing tour to two of the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu. Both of these landmarks are considered World Heritage Sites; including the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupatinath and the famous Buddhists shrine (Bouddhanath) which is one of the largest Stupas in the world. After lunch you have an opportunity to prepare yourself for the entire trip and next day’s flight to Lukla.

 

DAY 03:  Kathmandu – Lukla (2,860 m – Phakding (2,690m) 3 – 4 hours

 

After an earlybreakfast, you will be escorted to the domestic terminal of Kathmandu Airport for an early morning flight to Lukla (2,800m), a gateway destination from where our trek begins. After an adventurous 40 minute flight above the breathtaking green and white mountains, we reach the Tenzing-Hillary Airport at Lukla. This is one of the most beautiful air routes in the world culminating in a dramatic landing on a hillside surrounded by high mountains peaks. Upon arrival at Lukla, we meet our other crew members and after some packing and arrangements, we start our trek through the prosperous village of Lukla until we reach Phakding. To assist in acclimatization, we only have a short hike today. However, if interested in additional activities we can take a side trip to a nearby monastery. Overnight in Phakding.

 

 

 

DAY 04:  Phakding – Namche Bazaar (3,440 m): 6- 7 hours

 

Today’s our trek starts in the morning after breakfast. The walk today is pleasant with few short uphill and downhill with multiple crossings over Dudh Koshi River and magnificent view of Mt. Thamserku (6,608m/21,675ft) from the Benkar village. We cross more bridges and reach entrance of Sagarmatha National Park at Monjo, where our trekking permits are checked in order to keep record of trekkers and local trekking staffs as well. A descend and a gradual walk brings us to Jorsale, the last village until Namche Bazaar. The walk is enjoyable through the river bed and we reach Hillary Suspension Bridge. Now, as we climb up hill towards Namche Bazzar, closer and magnificent sight of Kwangde Peak, its sister peaks, Kusum Kangaru, Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Tawache, and many other fabulous mountains will be viewed closely. We stop at Chautara to admire the view. Finally, we reach the colorful village of Namche Bazzar, the main gateway of Khumbu region. Overnight in Namche Bazaar.

 

DAY 05:  Namche Bazaar: Acclimatization Day

 

This is the scheduled ‘acclimatization’ day for this trek. Health experts always recommend us to stay active and moving during the rest day too instead of being idle. We either spend the day taking a day hike or relaxing and exploring Namche Bazaar itself. Namche Bazzar is the main centre of the Everest (Khumbu) region and has government offices, ATMs, Internet cafes,Wi-Fi, shops, restaurants, a bakery and a colorful market each Friday evening and Saturday. If we trek a few hundred vertical feet during the day, it will help us to properly acclimatize.Sherpa Holidays’ guide take us to the Tourist Visitor Center near the headquarter of the Sagarmatha National Park where we can observe an assortment of things related to the first Everest ascenders, Sherpa culture and learn about the various plant and animal life of the Everest region. We also take an interesting side trip up to Khumjung. We further climb up to the famous airstrip at Syangboche and go further to one of the tea house for a tea break with great views of the highest mountains on Earth. The Khumjung valley is surrounded by the snowy peaks of Kongde and Thamserku and the sacred peak Khumbila, hosts a well known monastery that houses a yeti scalp. We also visit Hillary School which is loacted at the same site. After having lunch and spending some time in Khumjung, we walk back down to Namche Bazzar. Overnight in Namche Bazaar.

 

DAY 06:  Namche Bazzar – Mong-La (3960m): 5 hours

 

Today at first, we climb steeply out of Namche Bazzar up to Kyangjuma Village. Kyangjuma, we can enjoy outstanding views of Thamserku, Katenga, and Ama Dablam.And then we start to climb up gradually until we get to Mong-La.We get there for lunch and then after lunch we will go for an acclimatization walk and back to the hotel in Mong-la.And then get ready for your supper.

 

DAY 07: Mong-La – Dole (4180m) 4 hours

 

After breakfast we start the walk to Dole to admire the grandest views of surrounding snow-capped mountains and valleys while having lunch. The most outstanding feature of the trail today is the abundance of plant and animal vegetation including wildflowers and Rhododendrons. While on the way it will not be  unusual to spot wild lives like pheasants, mountain goats, and the elusive musk deer. Traversing through forests, some water falls and bridges, we reach at Dole, a small place with few teahouses. Overnight .

 

Day 08:  Dole – Machherma-(4,450m) 4 hours

 

Firstly, we climb steadily up through a scenic ridge above Dole and the trail climbs via Lhabarma at 4220m to Luza at 4360m. The path is steep in most places as we pass through thorny bushes up to Lhafarma. Offering us good views of Cho Oyu, Kantega, and Thamserku the trail takes us through many summer settlements and a charming hamlet of Luza (4360 m). While ascending from Luza, the Dudh Koshi valley is deep like a canyon with its sheer sides. Walking along the hill side above thundering Dudkoshi passing through some small hamlets and through sandy spurs, we reach Machherma. Machherma is the last major settlement on the way up to Gokyo. The beautiful stream flowing down from the Kyajo Ri and Phari Lapche mountains runs through the middle of village before draining into the Dudh Koshi. It is the place where Khumbu people got first sighting of Yeti in 1974. At this juncture, we pay our visit to the Himalayan Rescue Hospital for a lecture regarding the altitude sickness, its precaution and primary treatment. Overnight at Machherma.

 

DAY 09:  Machherma – Gokyo (4800m) 5 hours

 

Today, we climb through a ridge Chorten from where we can see fabulous view of both down the valley and of the Mt. Kangtega, Thamserku, and northern part to the Cho-Oyu (8153m). Beyond the ridge the valley widens as the trail passes through a Chorten and reaches Pangka (4480 m) after some gentle walk. Phangka is the palace where an avalanche in 1995 killed 40 people. We descend to the river bank before beginning to climb up to the terminal moraine of the Ngozamba Glacier. It is a steep climb on the moraine. After crossing an iron bridge over an stream the trial levels out as it follows the valley past the first lake, known as Longpongo at 4690m, where we get chance to observe the Lama footprints on a stone. At the sight of the second lake, Taboche Tsho we become mesmerized by the shimmering turquoise blue sheet of water sparkling in the sun. Little ahead of the second lake, we reach the third lake, the two linked by a surging stream. Gokyo village stands by the third lake and Cho-Oyu Mountain as a backdrop sets an amazing spectacular sight at this juncture. After lunch, we explore around the third Lakes, Dudh Pokhari. We spend night at a teahouse with comfortable bedrooms. Overnight at Gokyo.

 

DAY 10:  Hike – Gokyo Ri (5360m) – Thaknak (4750 m) 5-6 hours

 

Early morning, we hike up to the Gokyo Ri (Gokyo Peak). Climbing to Gokyo Ri is obviously strenuous as it is steep up and takes about 3 to 4 hours to reach the top. But even from the trial scenery of Gokyo village on the edge of third lake overlooked by Cholatse and the broad Nogzumpa Glacier are mind blowing. We feel like we are surrounded by panoramic mountains like Kusum Kanguru, Thamserku, Kangtega, Taboche, Cholatse, Makalu, Lhotse, Nuptse, Everest, Changtse, and Pumori. Sight of sunrays kissing the Everest that towers over all surrounding peaks is unlike from Kala Patthar (from Kala Patthar Nuptse seems taller). Our Gokyo Ri visit will be unforgettable life time memories. We trek down to Gokyo. Upon breakfast we trek to Thaknak for overnight scaling by the second Lakes and the Ngozumba Glacier. Overnight at Thaknak.

 

DAY 11:  Thaknak – Cho-la Pass (5367 m) – Dzongla (4830 m) 7-8 hours

 

Cho La Pass is also another show up of this trip. Today is the toughest day and we need to start early (4-6 am) compared to other days on the trip. The pass is not itself difficult but it is steep and involves a glacier traverse on the eastern side. We need to be careful as the trail is vertical and the rocks glazed by ice add trouble to the trekkers making the trail slippery. Thought the trail from Phedi climbs through a ravine and a rocky trail we climb up continuously. While trekking through the side of a frozen lake we reach at the top of the pass decorated with prayer flags. The pyramidal Ama Dablam presides over a range of mountains on the south even as Cholatse soar on the west and Lobuche East and Baruntse rises sharply to our right. We need to pass through some crevasses before we reach Dzongla, another beautiful place with a complete view of Mt. Cholatse, Mt. Ama Dablam, Lobuche peak and the Pheriche village far below. Overnight at a very basic local lodge.

 

DAY 12:  Dzongla to Lobuche (4930m) 3 hours

 

Today’s walk will be a bit shorter. Thus, we would get more time to observe and relax. We climb down from Dzongla and cross a bridge and then transverse through grassy trail. Enjoying the view of Lobuche Peak we stretch up eventually through a ridge. Ama Dablam, Kangtega, Thamserku Taboche are seen looming prominently. Curving round through the wide gravelly river bed, we will be at Lobuche. Overnight at Lobuche.

 

DAY 13:  Lobuche – Gorak Shep  (5180m) 4hours Everest Base Camp (5365m) 3 hours – Gorak Shep: 2 hours

 

The trail to Gorak Shep goes ahead through the lateral moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. We pass through the pyramid sign post. Ahead on the trail we see crest of north ridge of Everest along with Mt. Pumori, Mt. Mahalangur, Mt. Lingtern, Mt. Khumbutse, Mt. Nuptse, etc. A small ascent would take us to Thangma Riju from where we perceive 360 degree vista of snowy mountains. Climbing steeply up to the top through the torrent of Changri Glacier, we catch our first glimpse of Kala Patthar, a grey-green knoll beneath the Mt. Pumori. As we reach Gorak Shep, we will find snow-capped mountains looming all around us including the top of the world – Mt. Everest. After a brief lunch and rest, we take the trail to Everest Base Camp through the once vast Gorak Shep Lake. Continuing straight ahead, we come through the Indian army mountaineers’ memorials. Only upon reaching the Everest Base Camp do we really appreciate the Everest climbers who brave the hazardous route through the Khumbu icefall. Mountaineer’s tents stand out in bright colors against the monotony of gray surroundings (especially in the Spring). Nuptse, Khumbuste and Pumori are the mountains we can view from the base camp. Everest actually is not visible from here. By now we have met the ultimate objective of our trip. Overnight at Gorak Shep.

 

DAY 14:  Gorak Shep – Kala Patthar – Pheriche (42000) 8-9 hours

 

Today is the climax of our trip. We start early in the morning to catch the dramatic views from Kala Patthar witnessing the first light of day shining on Mount Everest. However, we need to get prepared for an early morning, dark and cold temperature (-10 to -14 C) departure beforehand. Further, there is always the potential for chilly wind which is quite common. Familiar peaks such as Lingtren, Khumbutse, Changtse tower to the east even as Everest begins to reveal itself emerging between the west shoulder crest and Nuptse. During the ascent to Kala Patthar, we can pause to catch our breath at several outstanding view points to snap pictures. After several hours of an ascent, we reach Kala Patthar. From this juncture, we scramble to climb the rocky outcrop near to the summit marked by cairns and prayer flags. As we reach the top, we sit on the Kala Patthar where rocks our eyes taking unbelievable Himalayan Panorama, wandering from one mighty massif to another. We take as many pictures as we can and take the in view with our mind’s eye to last lifetime. On being back to Gorak Shep, we have breakfast and then slowly descend down to Pheriche via lobuche.

DAY 15:  Pheriche – Ama Dablam Base Camp (4,570m):  6-7 hours

 

Today, we trek down through the hillside blanketed by rhododendron and juniper trees. If it is spring, pink and red rhododendron flowers ablaze our surroundings.We stop for lunch in Somare or Pangboche.Trek back to Pangboche and cross the Dudh Kosi River. Climb up the trail which takes to the Ama Dablam Base Camp. The Base Camp lies at an altitude of 4,570m). Spend the day at the Base Camp for acclimatization and further planning.

 

DAY 16-25:  Ascending and Descending of Ama Dablam Top (6856m)

 

Based on their previous Sherpa Holidays Expedition experience, the expedition leader with other crew members make the planning and other necessary ground work for the ascent. A few days may be spent on the Base Camp for organizing food, acclimatization, and practicing rope and other mountain climbing skills.

 

DAY 26:Ama Dablam Base camp to Namche Bazzar (3440m)  5-6 hours

 

From Tenboche, we make a steep descent and the trail leads us back along the Dudh Kosi River. We keep a lookout for wild life such as mountain goats, snow leopards, colorful pheasants, etc., while passing through the forest by the trail. After passing a Chorten, we reach the army camp at of Namche Bazaar where we want to take a long last look back to Lhotse, the tip of Everest and Tengboche. The final steep climb traverses the hill side taking us to Namche Bazaar. We take a nice hot shower and have very relaxed sleep in our room in Namche Bazaar.

 

DAY 27:  Namche Bazzar to Lukla (2860m)   6-7 hours

 

The trail descends steeply downward so we need to walk slowly and under control as our shaky legs continuously battle the rocky terrain. After crossing the suspension bridges over the fast flowing Dudh Koshi and its tributaries the trail becomes more level and natural. By today we start to get warmed up by the light breeze. Any remaining sore throats and colds will be gone by today as we pass through this charming mountain air. Although we are travelling the same route down, we feel completely different views. We snap a mixture of open plains, rhododendron and pine forests, and in the distance snow covered peaks. We walk through the Sherpa villages’ noticing impressive faith in Buddhism and culture of prayer stones and prayers flag while we walk through the villages. Upon arrival in Lukla, we stretch those sore legs and recall the experiences of the last couple of weeks. We experience the culmination of a fantastic trek on a happy note with everyone back safe and sound with smile on faces! Overnight at Lukla.

 

DAY 28:  Fly Back to Kathmandu

 

Today, we fly back to Kathmandu after our long mountain journey. The early morning flight drops us in Kathmandu.You can rest and relax throughout the day at hotel. If you are interested to take some gifts home from Nepal for friends and relatives,you can visit to some nearby shops or vendors in Thamel for typical Nepalese goods.If you are still keen on exploring any other areas in Kathmandu,you can talk to your leader and he will organize it for you accordingly.

 

DAY 29:  Final Departure

 

The journey within the mountains of Nepal comes to an end today!If you have more time then you can do some shopping or just wander around Thamel and relax before your flight. At last approximately 3 hours before our scheduled flight, your leader will escorts you to the airport.

What is included?

  • All airport/hotel transfers
  • Accomodation in Kathmandu with bed and breakfast basis
  • Round trip flight Kathmandu to Lukla to Kathmandu
  • Food and hot drinks throughout the trek
  • Accommodation throughout the trek
  • Transportation enrolled for sightseeing and transfers
  • All trekking and Ama Dablam climbing permit fees
  • Liaison officer and all his expenses
  • Experienced climbing Sherpa (s) for the group
  • Trekking and teahouse arrangements to/from Ama Dablam Base Camp and full board basis at Base Camp
  • Food and fuel above Ama Dablam Base Camp and (Kathmandu-lukla-kathmandu) round trip
  • All group camping equipment, kitchen tent, dining tent, toilet tent, table, chair and kitchen utensils etc
  • Single tent for use at the Base Camp (with foam mattress provided)
  • Base Camp Sherpa (s) and Cook crew
  • Insurance for all Nepalese staffs
  • Use of group gear and supplies: rope, ice screws, rock, and snow anchor protection etc
  • Walkie-talkie radios, satellite telephone, etc.
  • Solar charging at Base Camp
  • Necessary Porter or Yaks support from Lukla to and from Base Camp
  • Emergency equipment like medical oxygen, Gamow bag, base camp medical kit, high-altitude medical kits etc
  • High-altitude camp equipment and supplies, and Sherpa support on summit day
  • Climbing Sherpa will establish camps, carry group equipment (including sleeping bags and pads), establish the route, etc
  • Porterage of group equipment to Advance Base Camp and Camp 1
  • Welcome dinner in Kathmandu
  • All government taxes and agency service charge

What is not included?

  • Personal climbing clothes and equipment
  • International roundtrip airfare to and from Kathmandu
  • Lunch and evening meals in Kathmandu(and also in the case of early return from mountain than the scheduled itinerary)
  • Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu because of early arrival, late departure, early return from mountain(due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary
  • Nepal Visa fee
  • Tips for Climbing Guides and other staffs
  • Climbing Sherpa summit bonus
  • Personal communications (Satellite phone, phone, fax, email)
  • Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, bottle water, shower, heater, etc.)
  • Porterage of personal equipment to beyond Base Camp
  • Nepal Custom Duties
  • Personal travel /medical/cancellation/rescue insurance
  • Any rescue costs or costs of early departure from the expedition
  • Helicopter or charter flight

A typical strategy would look like what follows:

After getting established on the Base Camp, move further up to Camp 1 at 5,700m along the standard route. Generally, one night is spent at camp 1for acclimatization and then returning to the Base Camp for the final preparation to scale the summit. There are three camps above the base camp before reaching the summit. The ascent from Base Camp to camp 1 is technically challenging. From Camp 1, follow existing fixed lines. Establish new ropes wherever necessary both for ascent and descent. The climb from Camp 2 to Camp 3 is mostly ice and mixed-climbing. The climb from Camp 3 to the summit is relatively less technical. By the Day 22, scale the peak before getting back to the Base Camp.

 

 

Health and Experience Requirements

Our Ama Dablam expeditions are led by professional and experienced mountaineers and guides supported by other crew members and all the necessary logistics for the expedition. Besides, there are fixed ropes up to the summit that prove helpful on the difficult terrain. Still, as the grade 5D indicates, the climb would be a challenging one. The climbers need to feel confident and comfortable ascending or descending on fixed ropes along the steep technical terrain. Moreover, we recommend climbers to have prior experience on rock and ice climbing especially above 6,000 m. A high standard of physical and mental fitness is also necessary for the climb.

Travel Insurance

It is a condition upon joining any of Sherpa Holidays trips that all clients be insured for comprehensive expenses that might incur due to medical issues or accidents (this includes air ambulance, helicopter rescue, and treatment costs). Please note that we don’t arrange or sell insurance.

Trekking Day

Since you will be in the remote countryside area, you will be experiencing the ‘early to bed and early to rise’ schedule. A typical trekking day starts at around 6 or 7 am. Enjoy the hearty breakfast and begin trekking. Carry your pack containing personal items you need for the day. The porters and yaks carry all the loads. Walk at your own pace, enjoy the scenery, chat with the natives, and take photographs. The lunch time depends upon the terrain and is prepared by our catering team. Generally you stop for lunch after about 3 hours of walking. The lunch hour also helps in acclimatization. The aim would be to reach next stop by the sunset. After reaching the overnight stay point, the crew members fix the tents. You may relax with a cup of tea or coffee or take a pleasure walk around the camp site. The dinner would be ready around 7 PM. Enjoy the dinner while sharing the day’s experience with team members.

Climbing Day

The climbing itinerary may vary according to the climber’s personal experience. A climbing day involves a steady climbing for 3-4 hours in the morning. After taking lunch rest and relax, there is a climb of 2-3 hours in the afternoon. However, flexibility in climbing itinerary is necessary as people climb at their own pace and respond individually to the stresses of climbing. We ensure the ratio of climbers and Sherpa guides focusing on high safety measures so that each individual climber is able to progress at their own rate.

The Climb

Base Camp to Camp 1  (4,570m to 5,700m)

 

The Ama Dablam Base Camp is a broad, grassy plain at an altitude of 4,570m/14988ft. Camp 1 lies at 5,700m/18696ft. So, it’s about 1000m long walk from the Base Camp to Camp 1. Cimb up along a morainal gravel ridge slope. Then cross a boulder field on the South-West ridge. There is a stream with fresh water so the place is also sometimes used as advanced base camp. It takes about 5-6 hours to get to Camp 1 which is perched on a steep rocky area. Generally, one night is spent at camp 1 for acclimatization and then returning to the Base Camp for the final preparation to scale the summit.

Camp 1 to Camp 2 (5950m):

 

The ascent from Camp 1 to camp 2 is the most technical part of the expedition. Cross the exciting granites slabs and snowy patches. The most challenging part is the rock tower, also called Yellow Tower, just before Camp 2. The climb between Camp 1 and the Yellow Tower is mostly class 3-4. Follow existing fixed lines, the Sherpas fix new ropes wherever necessary. Camp 2 is a narrow exposed area atop a rock pillar therefore it’s better to get informed if there is already any group staying at Camp 2. Takes about 4-5 hrs.

 

Camp 2 to Camp 3 (6,400m):

 

Camp 2 to Camp 3 involves climbing on the steep ridge over the 70-degree couloir. The intimidating rock wall of the Grey Tower tests your stamina. Put on your crampons in order to climb a steep pitch of rock and ice. Better make use of your jumar as backup for safety. Cross the snow and ice with patches of bare rock at places leading a knife-edge, crested with snow, and overhung on both sides – the Mushroom Ridge. The Mushroom ridge links the mixed terrain on the South-West ridge below to the snowy field above of the summit. It takes about 3-4 hours from Camp 2 to Camp 3.

 

Camp 3 to Summit (6856m):

 

Camp 3 lies on a relatively flat snow field just above the big snow Mushroom Ridge. The summit climb is very cold and exposed. The route is mostly straight up but comparatively less technical than before. The climb is about a 3-4 hours climb up then about 3 hours down. The Sherpas set up fixed ropes wherever necessary. Continue up the steep snow slopes. Haul yourself up the near vertical ice-pitch. On a clear dry day, the summit looks awesome. Marvel at the breathtaking views of the Everest, Lhotse and Makalu unfolding before your eyes. Stay at camp 3 for the night and return to base camp the following day.

Weather

The post-monsoon season from October to January is considered the best time form Ama Dablam Expedition. The lower valleys observe pleasant days, and it varies from cool to very cold high in the Ama Dablam. The nights may be quite cold due to chill wind. Temperatures may get as low as minus 25C above Camp 1.

Leader(s) and Staff Arrangements

Our Ama Dablam expeditions are led by experienced and professional mountaineers  and guides who have scaled the mountain several times supported by other crew members and all the necessary logistics for the expedition. Not only in terms of qualification, but we also make it sure that our leaders have proven track of record in climbing high altitude mountains. The number of guides is chosen according to the team size to maximize every individual climber’s chance of making it to the summit without compromising the safety aspect. Our expedition leaders are also equipped with the expertise in handling altitude related problems including acute mountain sickness (AMS) symptoms. The crew members are experts in setting up tents and camps, melting snow on the route, cooking, and other daily needs.

Team Composition

Team composition is important to ensure safety and comfort of the climbers. We observe high safety standards, therefore, for 2 International Climbers, we assign:

  • HGT Accredited Climbing Leader
  • High Altitudes Assistance Sherpa
  • Cook
  • Base Camp Assistance and other necessary trek crew such Porters, Yaks and Yak man
  • Because of our high safety standards, team members would be added as per the number of international climbers.

Expedition Timing

Most of the expeditions to Ama Dablam are operated during the pre and post monsoon seasons. However, we also operate the expedition in early winter for those who wish to avoid the high traffic during the pre and post monsoon seasons.

Please note that often the Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu flight gets delayed by a few hours or may even be canceled for one, two, or more days due to unfavorable weather conditions. Such conditions may arise even in the best seasons. Hence, in such cases, you must be prepared for long waits both at Kathmandu or Lukla airports, as this can happen either at the start or end of the trek or even both!  We do our utmost to avoid such delays, and fix you on next flight. Still, we suggest you to be prepared for possible delays/cancellation, and if possible to come with some extra buffer days (1-2 days) at the end of the trip to accommodate such delays. We also organize heli rescue in such conditions, if it’s available and upon request by our clients. The helicopter charges around USD 350 per person and it allows 4-5 persons in a flight.

 

In case, the flight delay/cancellation happens at the start of trip and it goes so long that it disturbs your onward travel schedule, you are free to choose an alternative trip: such a trek in the Annapurna, Langtang, or any other regions.  If you are not interested in the alternative trip and would rather wait for the trip, you are welcome to wait in Kathmandu for as many days as it takes to get a flight to Lukla. However,there will be no refund, if you lose your time waiting at the airport and do not take an alternative tour or you only do short trek later due to time limitation. If the cancellation happens before the trip, we will provide you accommodation and lunch in a guesthouse in Kathmandu. In case of the flight delay/cancelation after finishing of the trek, you will be responsible for all your expenses but your travel insurance may cover those expenses depending upon the insurance company you have and also note that you will not be entitled to any refund for the services (such as hotel, transport, flight, etc) included in the package that you would not use later.

 

A typical strategy would look like what follows:

After getting established on the Base Camp, move further up to Camp 1 at 5,700m along the standard route. Generally, one night is spent at camp 1for acclimatization and then returning to the Base Camp for the final preparation to scale the summit. There are three camps above the base camp before reaching the summit. The ascent from Base Camp to camp 1 is technically challenging. From Camp 1, follow existing fixed lines. Establish new ropes wherever necessary both for ascent and descent. The climb from Camp 2 to Camp 3 is mostly ice and mixed-climbing. The climb from Camp 3 to the summit is relatively less technical. By the Day 22, scale the peak before getting back to the Base Camp.

 

 

Health and Experience Requirements

Our Ama Dablam expeditions are led by professional and experienced mountaineers and guides supported by other crew members and all the necessary logistics for the expedition. Besides, there are fixed ropes up to the summit that prove helpful on the difficult terrain. Still, as the grade 5D indicates, the climb would be a challenging one. The climbers need to feel confident and comfortable ascending or descending on fixed ropes along the steep technical terrain. Moreover, we recommend climbers to have prior experience on rock and ice climbing especially above 6,000 m. A high standard of physical and mental fitness is also necessary for the climb.

Travel Insurance

It is a condition upon joining any of Sherpa Holidays trips that all clients be insured for comprehensive expenses that might incur due to medical issues or accidents (this includes air ambulance, helicopter rescue, and treatment costs). Please note that we don’t arrange or sell insurance.

Trekking Day

Since you will be in the remote countryside area, you will be experiencing the ‘early to bed and early to rise’ schedule. A typical trekking day starts at around 6 or 7 am. Enjoy the hearty breakfast and begin trekking. Carry your pack containing personal items you need for the day. The porters and yaks carry all the loads. Walk at your own pace, enjoy the scenery, chat with the natives, and take photographs. The lunch time depends upon the terrain and is prepared by our catering team. Generally you stop for lunch after about 3 hours of walking. The lunch hour also helps in acclimatization. The aim would be to reach next stop by the sunset. After reaching the overnight stay point, the crew members fix the tents. You may relax with a cup of tea or coffee or take a pleasure walk around the camp site. The dinner would be ready around 7 PM. Enjoy the dinner while sharing the day’s experience with team members.

Climbing Day

The climbing itinerary may vary according to the climber’s personal experience. A climbing day involves a steady climbing for 3-4 hours in the morning. After taking lunch rest and relax, there is a climb of 2-3 hours in the afternoon. However, flexibility in climbing itinerary is necessary as people climb at their own pace and respond individually to the stresses of climbing. We ensure the ratio of climbers and Sherpa guides focusing on high safety measures so that each individual climber is able to progress at their own rate.

The Climb

Base Camp to Camp 1  (4,570m to 5,700m)

 

The Ama Dablam Base Camp is a broad, grassy plain at an altitude of 4,570m/14988ft. Camp 1 lies at 5,700m/18696ft. So, it’s about 1000m long walk from the Base Camp to Camp 1. Cimb up along a morainal gravel ridge slope. Then cross a boulder field on the South-West ridge. There is a stream with fresh water so the place is also sometimes used as advanced base camp. It takes about 5-6 hours to get to Camp 1 which is perched on a steep rocky area. Generally, one night is spent at camp 1 for acclimatization and then returning to the Base Camp for the final preparation to scale the summit.

Camp 1 to Camp 2 (5950m):

 

The ascent from Camp 1 to camp 2 is the most technical part of the expedition. Cross the exciting granites slabs and snowy patches. The most challenging part is the rock tower, also called Yellow Tower, just before Camp 2. The climb between Camp 1 and the Yellow Tower is mostly class 3-4. Follow existing fixed lines, the Sherpas fix new ropes wherever necessary. Camp 2 is a narrow exposed area atop a rock pillar therefore it’s better to get informed if there is already any group staying at Camp 2. Takes about 4-5 hrs.

 

Camp 2 to Camp 3 (6,400m):

 

Camp 2 to Camp 3 involves climbing on the steep ridge over the 70-degree couloir. The intimidating rock wall of the Grey Tower tests your stamina. Put on your crampons in order to climb a steep pitch of rock and ice. Better make use of your jumar as backup for safety. Cross the snow and ice with patches of bare rock at places leading a knife-edge, crested with snow, and overhung on both sides – the Mushroom Ridge. The Mushroom ridge links the mixed terrain on the South-West ridge below to the snowy field above of the summit. It takes about 3-4 hours from Camp 2 to Camp 3.

 

Camp 3 to Summit (6856m):

 

Camp 3 lies on a relatively flat snow field just above the big snow Mushroom Ridge. The summit climb is very cold and exposed. The route is mostly straight up but comparatively less technical than before. The climb is about a 3-4 hours climb up then about 3 hours down. The Sherpas set up fixed ropes wherever necessary. Continue up the steep snow slopes. Haul yourself up the near vertical ice-pitch. On a clear dry day, the summit looks awesome. Marvel at the breathtaking views of the Everest, Lhotse and Makalu unfolding before your eyes. Stay at camp 3 for the night and return to base camp the following day.

Weather

The post-monsoon season from October to January is considered the best time form Ama Dablam Expedition. The lower valleys observe pleasant days, and it varies from cool to very cold high in the Ama Dablam. The nights may be quite cold due to chill wind. Temperatures may get as low as minus 25C above Camp 1.

Leader(s) and Staff Arrangements

Our Ama Dablam expeditions are led by experienced and professional mountaineers  and guides who have scaled the mountain several times supported by other crew members and all the necessary logistics for the expedition. Not only in terms of qualification, but we also make it sure that our leaders have proven track of record in climbing high altitude mountains. The number of guides is chosen according to the team size to maximize every individual climber’s chance of making it to the summit without compromising the safety aspect. Our expedition leaders are also equipped with the expertise in handling altitude related problems including acute mountain sickness (AMS) symptoms. The crew members are experts in setting up tents and camps, melting snow on the route, cooking, and other daily needs.

Team Composition

Team composition is important to ensure safety and comfort of the climbers. We observe high safety standards, therefore, for 2 International Climbers, we assign:

  • HGT Accredited Climbing Leader
  • High Altitudes Assistance Sherpa
  • Cook
  • Base Camp Assistance and other necessary trek crew such Porters, Yaks and Yak man
  • Because of our high safety standards, team members would be added as per the number of international climbers.

Expedition Timing

Most of the expeditions to Ama Dablam are operated during the pre and post monsoon seasons. However, we also operate the expedition in early winter for those who wish to avoid the high traffic during the pre and post monsoon seasons.

Please note that often the Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu flight gets delayed by a few hours or may even be canceled for one, two, or more days due to unfavorable weather conditions. Such conditions may arise even in the best seasons. Hence, in such cases, you must be prepared for long waits both at Kathmandu or Lukla airports, as this can happen either at the start or end of the trek or even both!  We do our utmost to avoid such delays, and fix you on next flight. Still, we suggest you to be prepared for possible delays/cancellation, and if possible to come with some extra buffer days (1-2 days) at the end of the trip to accommodate such delays. We also organize heli rescue in such conditions, if it’s available and upon request by our clients. The helicopter charges around USD 350 per person and it allows 4-5 persons in a flight.

 

In case, the flight delay/cancellation happens at the start of trip and it goes so long that it disturbs your onward travel schedule, you are free to choose an alternative trip: such a trek in the Annapurna, Langtang, or any other regions.  If you are not interested in the alternative trip and would rather wait for the trip, you are welcome to wait in Kathmandu for as many days as it takes to get a flight to Lukla. However,there will be no refund, if you lose your time waiting at the airport and do not take an alternative tour or you only do short trek later due to time limitation. If the cancellation happens before the trip, we will provide you accommodation and lunch in a guesthouse in Kathmandu. In case of the flight delay/cancelation after finishing of the trek, you will be responsible for all your expenses but your travel insurance may cover those expenses depending upon the insurance company you have and also note that you will not be entitled to any refund for the services (such as hotel, transport, flight, etc) included in the package that you would not use later.

 

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