Ama Dablam (6,856m) Expedition

Overview

Ama Dablam 6,856m (22,494ft) is one of the most stunning peaks in the Khumbu region and one of the most beautiful mountains in the world. 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. 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.

Ama Dablam Climbing Photo

Ama Dablam means “Mother’s necklace” the long ridges on each side are like the arms of a mother protecting her child. The hanging glacier is thought of as the Dablam, which traditionally is worn by Sherpa woman as a double-pendant containing pictures of the gods. While trekking in the Khumbu on the trekking route to Everest Base Camp, Ama Dablam stands monolithically above Tengboche monastery. A pearl of beauty in itself that commands its surroundings and captures your attention by its presence alone. This expedition is a serious undertaking and is a strong prerequisite to Everest. In terms of technicality Ama Dablam is considered harder than Everest. It demands a high skill level in rock climbing and ice climbing; sufficient experience at high elevation and technical competency. Ama Dablams summit is located at 27°51’42” N longitude and 86°51’40” E latitude.

Ama Dablam Climbing

Ama Dablam was first climbed on 13 March 1961 by Mike Gill (NZ), Barry Bishop (USA), Mike Ward (UK) and Wally Romanes (NZ) via the Southwest Ridge. They were well-acclimatized to altitude, having wintered over at 5800 meters near the base of the peak as part of the Silver Hut Scientific Expedition of 1960-61, led by Sir Edmund Hillary.

Ama Dablam is the third most popular Himalayan peak for permitted expeditions. The most popular route by far is the original first ascend route along the Southwest Ridge. The climb is typically done with three camps along the ridge with camp 3 just below and to the right of the hanging glacier, the Dablam, so that any ice that calves off the glacier typically goes away from the camp. A climbing permit and a liaison officer are required when attempting Ama Dablam. You need to have a strong base of rock and ice climbing experience to climb this mountain. Most of the route on Ama Dablam is fixed, so climbers will need to be competent at ascending and descending fixed ropes and passing anchors. There is one pitch on the route that is just about dead vertical, so practice ascending a vertical fixed rope before the expedition.

Ama Dablam Expedition Photo

As with Mt. Everest, the best climbing months are April-May in the spring season and September-October-November in the autumn season. It is popular to combine the Ama Dablam expedition with a trek to Everest Base Camp or with an ascent of Island Peak. One of these two options serves as a very enjoyable way to acclimatize for the climb. Trekking to Everest Base camp is a very nice way to pay homage to Everest, the King of the Himalayas and to experience the classic Everest view from Kallapather. Combining Ama Dablam expedition with an Island Peak climb offers an extraordinary view of Everest from the summit, which in itself worthwhile ascetically and albeit an easy climbing experience.

The standard climbing route is via the Southwest ridge with typical arrangements of 3 high camps: Camp 1 (5600m), Camp 2 (5900m) and Camp 3 (6200m) with Base Camp at 4500m. Camp 3 is located on the shoulder of the ridge just below and to the left of the last steep snow climb to the summit. Some years a camp 2.7 comes up which is tucked away on a narrow corner on the side of the southwest ridge between camp 2 and 3. Most climbers summit from camp 2 and do not establish a camp 3.

Ama Dablam Southwest Route Camps:

Base Camp (4600m/15092ft):
Ama Dablam base camp is one of the biggest grass base camps located in Nepal. It is rare to see such hospitable terrain at height of 4600m. Climbers will play volleyball and soccer at base camp to keep warm and enjoy the beautiful site. Base camp will be set up here for almost 45 days in both spring and autumn seasons. In the camp, you will have great views Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Taboche, and Kongde. Ama Dablam’s base camp is generally sunny due to its location, the sun is out early and stays late into the day. There are approximately 7-10 climbing teams each spring and autumn season. To provides these high facilities for climbers at the appropriate times we arrange climbing permits with your time frame in mind. Our guides and staff are always ready to establish different departure dates as requested by climbers.

Ama Dablam Expedition Photoss

Camp One (5700m/18,800ft) 5hrs:
The climb from Ama Dablam base camp to camp one is easy a trekking trail with only a short section of casual rock scrambling that is 100m in length. It nearby camp one at a slope of 60º. Along the way, you will scramble over large boulders and climb an easy fourth class slab, with no fixed rope in place. You will quickly come to learn that on Ama Dablam Southwest ridge there are not many places to put a tent. So there is some logistics and sharing that is required among climbers. Roughly there is only space for 6-7, two-man tents and 6-7 single tents.

Camp Two (5950m/19,521ft) 3hrs:
The climb from camp 1 to camp 2 is the most technical section on the route. You begin the day by scrambling and climbing along an easy fourth class horizontal rock ridge around several pinnacles and gendarmes, gaining only 300 meters/1000 vertical feet. The exposure is huge, with massive drop-offs on both sides of the ridge. The climbing is very enjoyable with good quality granite. At the end of the horizontal ridge, you will climb the Yellow Tower for 6 meters which are considered French 4th class, British Severe, North American YDS 5.5. Above the Yellow Tower, you will arrive at Camp 2 on small ledges. This will feel like a real big mountain high camp, high exposure on all sides. Be careful when you go to the toilet.

Ama Dablam Photo

Camp Three (6200/20,341ft)-2hrs:
The climb from camp 2 to camp 3 shifts over to mixed, ice and snow terrain. This section also has fixed ropes along the entire distance. You will have great views of Ama Dablam base camp, Kusum Kanguru and Kantega. It is now time to traverse the infamous Mushroom Ridge at 6150 meters/20,300 feet. Looking up at camp 3 (6300 meters/20,800 feet), with the Dablam above. Some strong climbers push for the summit from camp two. However, Satori Adventures will always fix camp three before the summit. With that being said it is important to advise that this section of the mountain is at high risk for avalanches. So reducing the time spent at this camp or bypassing it completely is imperative. For clients not feeling strong enough to push from camp 2 we usually spend 6 hours here before starting for the summit push. The route from the yellow tower to camp three is almost 55º of slop most of the way.

Summit (6812M/22349ft) 10 hrs:
To summit from camp three and return back down to camp two takes most climbers about 10 hours. Summit day on Ama Dablam is a special one. Two easy pitches of dramatic but very solid snow-ice (40º+) are climbed to the side of the Dablam. Once you are next to the Dablam you reach a fluted snow/ice field (30-50º) that leads you to one of the world’s finest summits. Here you will be rewarded will the best seat in the house to view the Khumbu, the epicentre of high altitude climbing. Stunning panoramic views of the Lhotse, Nuptse, Mount Everest, Cho Oyu, Pumori, Shishapangma and Makalu come into view.

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Full Itinerary

  • DAY 01

    Arrival in Kathmandu airport

    Welcome to the Himalayan country of Nepal! Upon your arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport one of Community Trek representatives will be there to welcome you before taking you to your hotel in Kathmandu.

    (1335 meters ) (Hotel)
  • DAY 02

    Pre-trip Meeting and preparation day

    Your guide briefs you regarding our trek and expedition as well as provides us opportunity to ask any questions we may have regarding our upcoming adventure.

    (Breakfast) (1335 Meters ) (Hotel)
  • DAY 03

    Preparation day - Briefing in Tourism Ministry

    Free preparation day with Briefing in Tourism Ministry

    (Breakfast) (1335 m) (Hotel)
  • DAY 04

    Fly to Lukla - Trek to Phakding

    An early morning start takes us to the Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu for the 35-minute scenic flight to Tenzing and Hillary Airport at Lukla (2,804m). On arrival at the airport, the guide will brief you and introduce our porters before we begin our trek towards Phakding (2,610m). After landing we will have some time to explore the village while our Sherpa crew sort and load our trekking equipment. Then we begin our trek by descending towards the Dudh Kosi River where we join the main trail to Namche Bazaar, located just above Chaunrikharka (2,713m). The walking is easy and after passing through the small village of Ghat (2,550m) it is a short walk to Phakding which will be following.

     

    (30 minute flight to Lukla) (BLD) (2,804m - 2,610m) (3-4 hours) (Lodge)
  • DAY 05

    Trek to Namche Bazaar

    We continue trekking along the banks of the Dudh Kosi, crossing the majestic river many times on exciting suspension bridges laden with prayer flags. After entering the Sagamartha National Park, the trail climbs steeply with breathtaking views. Namche Bazaar (considered the Gateway to Everest) is home to many quality restaurants, hotels, lodges, shops, money exchange services, internet cafes and bakeries. Namche is the biggest town along the Everest trail.

    (BLD) (3,441 Meters ) (5 - 6 hours) (Lodge)
  • DAY 06

    Namche Bazaar acclimatization day

    We spend a day in Namche Bazaar in order to acclimatize and adjust to the thinning air. We will trek a short distance to a museum that is celebrated for its exhibits of the traditional customs of the Sherpa people. We also hike up the Syangboche Airport near the Everest View Hotel. From this point, we can see rewarding views of the Himalayas with a stunning sunrise and sunset over the panorama of Khumbu peaks.

    (BLD) (3,441 Meters ) (Lodge)
  • DAY 07

    Trek to Tengboche Monastery

    The trek continues along the rushing glacial waters of the Dudh Kosi, with magnificent views of the mountains. We will reach an altitude of 3860 meters today. After five hours we’ll reach Tengboche, where the local monastery can be seen. Inside the monastery are incredibly ornate wall hangings, a twenty foot sculpture of Buddha, and the musical instruments and robes of the Lamas will certainly give you a deeper insight of Nepal’s Buddhist culture. The group will be taken to observe a prayer ceremony in either the evening or morning, depending on how the day’s trekking progressed.

    (BLD) (3860 Meters ) (5-6 hours) (Lodge)
  • DAY 08

    Trek to Dingboche

    From Thyangboche the trail drops to Debuche, crosses suspension bridge on the Imja Khola, and climbs to Pangboche amongst thousands of mani stones. Our uphill trek continues for six hours, taking us to the quaint traditional Sherpa village of Dingboche, with its exquisite views of Lhotse, Island Peak, and Ama Dablam. We’ll set a leisurely pace to adjust to the altitude (4350m).

    (BLD) (4350 Meters ) (5-6 hours) (Lodge)
  • DAY 09

    Trek to Ama Dablam base camp

    We trek back down the trail to the bridge at Pangboche and cross the Dudh Kosi before climbing up the far side of the river and follow the trail and ridgeline up to the base camp (three and a half hours from Pangboche). Base camp is located in an idyllic spot from which the majority of the route is visible. At an altitude of about 4600m (15,000ft), it provides a comfortable escape from the rigors of the climb. Our porters deposit their loads and leave us here for the next three weeks, with only our Sirdar, Sherpas and culinary staff remaining.

    (BLD) (4600 Meters ) (5-6 hours) (Camp)
  • DAY 10 - 27

    Climbing period for Mt. Ama Dablam

    We do not provide a day-to-day itinerary for the climb period, as this will be determined by the expedition leader and members. Guides will take a flexible approach based on what fits with climbers’ desires and their own experience. Typically, the team will spend a few days at the base camp organizing food, practicing rope skills, and acclimatizing before moving above the base camp. It is normal to ‘tag,’ or spend at least one night in Camp 1 (5700m), as part of any acclimatization schedule before returning to the base camp, resting, and preparing for a summit push. Summit push will be normally at the mid night. So that team reached at top early in the morning. Catch breathtaking sunrise and surrounding view then get back to base camp before getting affected by heat.

    (BLD) (6,812 Meters ) (17 Days) (Camp)
  • DAY 28

    Trek to Namche Bazaar

    We will descend six hours to Namche Bazaar. If we are lucky, we’ll arrive at market time in Namche. Regardless, there is always fabulous food to be found, including delicious espresso, yak steaks, and chocolate cake with frosting! This market is where lowland porters bearing supplies meet the highland Sherpa and Tibetan people who have journeyed over high passes from many miles away to trade food and supplies for their houses and villages. Enjoy and celebrate your expedition.

    (BLD) (3441 Meters ) (6-7 hours) (Lodge)
  • DAY 29

    Trek to Lukla

    Finally we return to Lukla where we started our trek, which might seem like a lifetime ago. We’ll spend some time enjoying and reflecting on the trek as a group and the personal achievement of all those who took part to it. We might also have some spare time to explore the town some more.

    (BLD) (2840 Meters ) (7-8 Hours ) (Lodge)
  • DAY 30

    Flight from Lukla to Kathmandu

    On your flight back to Kathmandu as you leave Lukla, you can enjoy some last-minute glimpses of the mountains you just recently visited. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, our airport representative will transfer you to your hotel from the airport.

    (30 minute flight to Kathmandu ) (Breakfast) (1335 Meters ) (Hotel)
  • DAY 31

    Free Day at Kathmandu

    A leisure day in Kathmandu, which can used for an early morning mountain flights to Everest or can extended into further more tours to Kathmandu. If we want to explore any other areas of Kathmandu, we may do that today. Our guides can help you with both souvenir shopping or sightseeing. There will be a farewell dinner in the evening to celebrate the successful completion of our journey.  (This is also spare day in case of cancellation of flights)

    (Breakfast, diner) (1335 Meters ) (Hotel)
  • DAY 32

    Departure Day from Kathmandu

    Your adventure in Nepal comes to an end today! A representative from Community Trek will take you to the airport, approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight. On your way home you’ll have plenty of time to plan your next adventure in the wonderful country of Nepal.

    (Drive to Airport by Private Transport ) (Breakfast)
  • Note

    Customize your trip

    ALL ITINERARIES CAN BE CUSTOMIZED AT YOUR REQUEST. CHECK OUT “EXTENSION” FOR SOME SUGGESTIONS.

Cost and Services

Cost Includes
1. Airport transportation as per your arrival date to join the Amadablam expedition
2. Standard hotel accommodation in Kathmandu on B/B plan
3. Kathmandu Lukla Kathmandu airfare as per the expedition itinerary
4. Amadablam summiteers climbing Sherpa (01 Sherpa: 02 climbers ratio)
5. Group climbing gears like rope, ice bar etc for the Amadablam expeditions.
6. Amadabam expedition peak climbing permit and all government taxes.
7. Everest National part permit fee for the expedition.
8. Full board high altitude meal while trekking to base camp and climbing Amadablam
9. Liaison officer with all his expenses while on Amadablam climbing expedition.
10. Expedition manager, Expedition cook, support crew and porters with their equipments, daily wages, food, insurance etc.
11. All necessary camping and kitchen equipment provided that includs base camp tents, dining tent with table and chair, kitchen tent with all utensil, toilet tent with commode.
12. Mountain Hardware high altitude tents while climbing the Amadablam expedition
13. Emergency Oxygen with regulator and mask while on Amadablam expeditions.
14. EPI gas and burner for high climb;
15. Gamow bag / Portable Altitude Chamber (PAC)
16. All necessary climbing hardware group equipment
17. Satellite Phone and Walkie-Talkie in case of emergency

 

Cost Excludes
1. Medical and personal high risk insurance
2. Nepal entry visa fees
3. Main meal in Kathmandu
4. Personal equipment and climbing gears.
5. International airfare and airport tax
6. Climbing Bonus, tips and personal nature expenses.
7. Applicable permit fees and custom charge for Sat phone, communication equipment and commercial filming while on Amadablam expedition.

FAQ's

1. Who can climb an 8000m mountain & who can obtain a climbing permit?

There is only one restriction for obtaining permits for 8000m peaks, the government of Nepal does not allow climbing permits to be issued to a climber who is below the age of 16. Beyond that restriction, any climber with appropriate fitness and skills can attempt an 8,000-meter mountain in the Himalaya. However, our policy for accepting clients on these peaks require that the client has previous experience on 6,000 to 7,000-meter peaks, as well as general skills and knowledge with ice/rock climbing, experience and knowledge of how to ascend/descend on fixed lines and the proper use of ice axes and crampons. Attempting these peaks also requires a very high level of physical fitness and good health. Although we do not have any specific restrictions in place about our client’s physical fitness level, it is in your best interest to take the matter of your physical fitness very seriously. This puts your group members, Sherpa and yourself in a safer situation.

2. Why should I visit Nepal for an 8000M expedition?

For those seeking the experience of climbing an 8000m peak, Nepal should be at the top of your list of countries to visit. With the rich variety of flora and fauna, the everlasting smiles of the rural Nepalese, the hospitality of the village communities, the favourable climatic and geographical conditions, the cultural and linguistic diversity and the rich cultural spirit which represents a unique blend of Buddhism and Hinduism Nepal is the adventure capital of the world. With 1400 trekking peaks above 6000m and 8 of the 14 8000m peaks in the world it is fair to say that your mountaineering ambitions can be taken to a new level here in Nepal. Will never start and complete without having a Himalayan peak experience.

3. How to Choosing an experience Provider, Why climb with Community Trek?

It is important for each climber to choose the right expedition guide service that not only suites their needs, but provides the best safely and secure mountaineering experience possible. There are more than 1,700 trekking companies in Nepal who offer 8,000-meter expeditions including Everest, but only about 30 companies who operate 8,000-meter peaks on a regular basis. We are proud to be one of these 30 companies and consistently offer, run and succeed at these types of expeditions year after year.

It is very important that the climbers who choose Community Trek for this trip of a lifetime experience have expectations that are compatible with the program we offer and the style of expedition Community Trek runs. We do not want to simply “fill our expedition”, but instead we want to comprise a team of companionable people who are focused on reaching the summit with the highest level of support and safety standards that can be provided by a guiding service on Mt Everest. We team this with the best standards of food and quality equipment to further assist each client reach their full potential. We feel that we offer the best environment and opportunity for you to be successful in the world’s highest mountain.

4. Is this adventure suitable for me?

Climbing an 8,000-meter peak is a serious physiological and physical undertaking. The steep snow climbing and ice-climbing that can be required entices craftsman to test, hone and develop their skills. If you are considering climbing an 8000m peak there are several questions that you need to ask yourself and be truthful about your findings. Am I physically fit enough? Am I technically capable of handling the expected terrain? Am I mentally capable of the hardship associated with high altitude expeditions? Community Trek recommends that if you’re considering to climb Mt. Everest that you have a high level of physical endurance and previous experience on 6000m or 7000m peaks. We would also like to see that you have climbed an 8000m peak prior to attempting Mt. Everest. For this, we recommend Cho Oyu, Shishapangma and Manaslu. The Himalaya demands truth, be truthful to yourself, your climbing partners and the agency your working with because at some point your life will be held by someone else’s awareness and skill.

5. What is an 8000m mountaineering expedition?

An 8000-meter expedition refers to an expedition to one of the 14 tallest peaks in the world, which are all above 8,000 meters in altitude. Ten of these mountains are located in the Himalaya Range of Nepal. Community Trek operates 8,000-meter expeditions in both the spring and autumn climbing seasons to all of these 8 peaks in Nepal. Climbing periods for these 8000-meter mountains range in duration from 40 to 65 days, this time includes your arrival and departure from Kathmandu. These 8000-meter mountains range in height from 8,091meters to 8,848 meters. The climbing permits for these peaks can be obtained from the Department of Tourism in Nepal, The Tibet Mountaineering Association in Tibet and Ministry of Tourism in Pakistan.

6. Who is the team leader, my personal climbing Sherpa guide and what is the experience?

Our climbing Sherpa guides are experienced and highly qualified. Most were born in high altitude regions and have spent much of their lives above 4,000 meters. We provide extensive training to our guides in technical climbing as well as English, customer relationships and Wilderness First Aid. These guides are all certified mountain guides via the Nepal Mountaineering Association and generally have three former summits of the 8,000 meter peak that they are guiding. Our high altitude Sherpa climbing guides have many years of experience and are qualified through training with TAAN and NATHAM. They are highly skilled in all aspects of mountaineering in Nepal and hold a Nepal Government License, Mountaineering Association Accreditation and Summit Certificates for Nepal Himalayan peaks. All of these government licenses are displayed in our office.

7. What is Community Trek’s physical fitness criteria to climb an 8000m peak?

To climb an 8000m peak your physical fitness is very important, excellent physical fitness is required. Not only for the opportunity to succeed but for your overall safety and enjoyment Our guides like to tell clients, “Be in the best shape of your life”.

8. Is there any age limit for 8000m expedition?

Persons below 16 years of age are restricted from climbing 8,000 meter peaks in the Himalaya of Nepal. Tibet does not allow any persons under the age of 18 years old to climb an 8,000 meter peak. This was a recent change in Nepal but the Tibet mountaineering association had limited access due to age for 75 years in the Everest north region.

9. What are the details about food and meals?

On popular trekking trails, we utilize lodges/guesthouses (aka teahouses) the meals will be provided by these lodges. Menu meals are often available including soups, noodles, rice, and dishes. On certain 8,000 meter trekking routes, lodges and guest houses may be limited, or not available. In these instances, accommodations will be via tents and the meals will be provided by our staff. In these instances, meals will be prepared on the route with canister stoves or natural fires. While in base camp our expedition cooks will prepare meals. Above base camp, the meals will be provided by our climbing Sherpa. Above base camp, we always supply high altitude food that meets our client’s requirements.

10. Is there any communication system while we are trekking and climbing?

Communication will vary greatly depending on the location. Most trekking routes have local VHF phones and increasingly more places get mobile coverage from a variety of carriers. We recommend upon arriving picking up a CDMA prepaid card and insert that into your mobile device. In remote areas, communication is generally not available, or on a very limited basis. Some other and more costly options include the use of Satellite phone. We like to use Delorme. We will always supply a phone that is available upon the client’s request during trekking and mountaineering expeditions.

11. Who will lead me approach to base camp and during the climbing period?

A licensed, trained and experienced climbing Sherpa Guide will lead all expeditions on 8,000 meter peaks above base camp. On the approach to base camp, our teams may be lead by a licensed Sirdar or professional mountaineering/trekking guide.

12. Will, someone picks me up from the airport?

Yes. A Community Trek representative will be waiting for you at the airport with your placard. Clients will need to collect their luggage, clear customs and proceed to the outside of the terminal. The Kathmandu International terminal is very small and once you exit the airport terminal, you should see our representative holding a placard with your name. We will then transfer you to the hotel. We monitor all client flights, so if your flight is delayed, we will adjust your pick-up time and be waiting for you as per the schedule.

13. Do I require travel insurance?

Yes. All trekkers and climbers are required to purchase adequate travel insurance, which includes a helicopter emergency evacuation plan. Insurance is not expensive compared to the cost of an evacuation during an expedition. Without having travel insurance during your trek or climb you will be financially responsible for all the costs of your evacuation and treatment. These bills can be tens of thousands of dollars.

 

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Trip Facts

  •  Trip Duration:  32 Days
  •  Activities:  Expedition
  •  Country:  Nepal
  •  Group Size:  2 minimum
  •  Price:  7000 US $ per person
  •  Trip Style:  Teahouse/Camp
  •  Diffculty:  Very Hard
  •  Best Season:  Mar - May

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