This Expedition peak is located in the heart of the Khumbu region; Lhotse,
Nuptse, Island Peak and Everest surround it. Ama Dablam is often sited as
the most beautiful peak in the world. From far distances, Ama's steep slopes
and curving ridges draw ones eyes up toward its spectacular summit. Our
route, the South West ridge, requires exposed granite ridge walking,
ascending fixed lines on steep buttresses and snow and ice climbing at high
This trip is combined with our Basecamp Trek.
As one team, we will
journey into the Khumbu region. After our acclimatizing trek to Island Peak
Base Camp, (and optional summit bid) we climb to the scenic Ama Base Camp
near Mingbo. At Base Camp we will enjoy the comfort and reassurance of
Satellite and email communication with the outside world, hand-held radios
for daily team interaction and a spotting scope to view the route up close.
From here, we say goodbye to our Island Peak Team and begin the climbing
process. We will have the assistance of an experienced, fully insured High
Altitude Climbing Sherpa for moving camps up the mountain. We utilize 3 or 4
camps on the mountain, depending on how everyone acclimates. Our Summit day
client to guide ratio will not exceed 2:1. The "A" team will summit first,
with "B" to follow the next day. This method guarantees the best opportunity
for climber safety, service and success.
Days 1-3: Kathmandu
Upon arrival you will be met at the airport and taken to the classy Nirvana
Hotel in the busy Themel district. A welcome dinner with other team members
will launch our expedition. Days two and three will be spent visiting the
numerous sights around Kathmandu, including The Himalayan Light Foundation,
the crazy Hindu temple complex of Pashupatineth, the Buddhist Monkey temple
Swamayabhu, and the magical Stupa of Bodnath.
Day 4: Kathmandu to
We fly from Kathmandu into the famed and exciting Lukla airstrip meeting Cam
Su and our trekking support team. Loading up our Zopkios and porters we
begin our ascending path up the Dudh Kosi to Phakding. We will strike camp
by the raging river and enjoy our first of great expedition feasts together.
Our cook Lobsang seems to be the best in Nepal, he can whip up a pizza at
Day 5: Phakding to Namche
We enjoy a lush river-edge walk through Himalayan Pine and Deodar Cedar
forests to a steep and dusty hill leading to the celebrated village of
Namche Bazaar at 11,300'. Drinking lots of water, hiking slowly and being
mindful of our breath will help us acclimatize better.
Day 6: Namche Bazaar
A day for acclimatization is necessary here, and what a place for it! This
famous and interesting trading village is located in a giant steep cirque.
At the top of the cirque, prayer flags and views of the major Khumbu peaks,
including Everest, dominate the horizon. There is plenty to do here, shop
the local Nepali/Tibetan marketplace, go for a day hike or even eat a pizza
if you miss home!
Day 7: Namche Bazaar
Today we head to the villages of Khumjung or Kunde for some exercise, both
villages are just a short day hike from Namche. Our extra day here will help
tremendously with our acclimation. We can visit the 4 star Everest View
Hotel for some good coffee, grab an apple strudel at Herman's Bakery or even
play a game of pool in the pub. The day is yours to explore.
Day 8: Namche Bazaar to
Climbing up to the most revered religious and cultural center of the region
brings a sense of tranquility as the magical views grow to encompass Nuptse
25,843', Lhotse 27,883', Everest 29,035', Ama Dablam 22,487', Kwangde
20,293', Kangtega 22,235', and Thamserku 21,674', Tawachee 21,457' to name a
few. Cam Su will lead us through the world renowned Monastery, explaining
and describing its interesting history and Buddhist practice. We will have
the option here to sit in the colorful prayer hall early in the morning and
Day 9: Tengboche to
Moving on from the Monastery we descend and cross the Duhd Kosi again as we
climb past and around the majestic Ama Dablam. At Dingboche/Pheriche there
is a fork in the valley, one way leads towards Everest the other, Island
Peak to our East.
Day 10: Dingboche 14,200'
In order to be able to go higher with maximum comfort we will have a rest
day here. As a team we will attend the HRA (Himalayan Rescue Association)
high altitude clinic and meet the volunteer doctors. There is plenty to do
in addition, climb the beautiful ridge above to Dingboche, hike up to Dusa
or soak your feet in the chilly river water.
Day 11: Dingboche/Pheriche
14,200' to Lobuje 16,175'
This short distance, but 2000' elevation gain, will surprise everyone as we
struggle in the thin air of high altitude. We travel across glacial moraine
and gain better views of Pumori, Nuptse and eventually Everest. There is a
climber's memorial we will visit along the way as well.
Day 12: Lobuje to Gorak
At this altitude it is mandatory to breath mindfully, drink many liters of
water and be aware of our individual physiological responses. For those
interested, an evening ascent of the hiking peak Kala Pattar (18,185') is
achievable from our Gorak Shep camp.
Day 13: Gorak Shep to
Everest Base camp 17,200' (back to Gorak Shep)
A longer but flat day takes us further up the winding moraine to the sites
of Everest Base camp. The exact location of Base camp changes from year to
year, and it will probably be empty. Most climbers ascend Everest in the
spring, however if we are lucky, there will be a fall expedition on the
mountain. We can spend a few hours poking around and get a good look at the
famed Khumbu ice fall before we return to Gorak Shep.
Day 14: Gorak Shep to
Fully empowered and acclimatized, going down hill will be a breeze. Great
views of Island Peak, Makalu and Ama Dablam (our next stop) abound. The Snow
Lion teahouse will be our camping spot for the night.
It should be noted that an
optional ascent of Island Peak is available and recommended for Ama Dablam
climbers ($500). This trekking peak offers a great technical review and
added acclimatization. Please see our Island Peak page for a route
Day 15: Dingboche to Ama
Dablam Basecamp 15,200'
Having spent several nights above 15,000', hiking directly to Ama's Base
camp will be undemanding. From Dingboche we descend to Pangboche, pick up
our additional expedition equipment, cross the river once again, and climb
the 2000' to the comfortable glacial meadow. We will have a special farewell
dinner as tomorrow the Base camp trekking support team says farewell to the
Day 16: Base Camp to Camp 1
19,200', Back to Base.
Trekkers descend to Tengboche. Climbers carry to either Advanced Base camp
or Camp 1. This is a long rocky day, we follow the winding ridge as it
evolves from grass to scree into talus and finally to car sized boulders. We
will climb the slabs to gain the ridge at the cramped and beautifully
exposed location of Camp 1 to establish our cache. This is traditionally
quite a long day.
Day 17: Base Camp to Camp
Both Team A and B will depart from base camp for the move to Camp 1 with our
High Altitude Sherpa. We will establish our camp in three tents, two people
in each. Living here is cramped and difficult but the morning sun and
amazing views previously hidden to the East are put to show. We will
continue with 8AM/PM radio checks each day with our base camp manager for
weather information. They will be watching us through our spotting scope
while we climb as well.
Day 18: Camp 1 to Camp 2,
This day requires delicate ridge walking and short snowfield crossings all
while attached to fixed lines we have previously approved. When there are
lines that look slightly dubious, they will be replaced immediately. Camp 2
is even more cramped, but we will eat well and get to sleep when the sun
Day 19: Possible rest day/
Day 20: Camp 2 to Camp 3,
Our most technical day involves overhanging fixed line jugging, gully
climbing and spectacular ice and snow climbing. Most of the day at this
altitude is on snow. We will use the traditional lower more sheltered High
Camp, just below the giant ridge based snow mushroom.
Day 21: Summit Day, 22,493'
Leaving camp just before the sun hits will allow us to keep warm and move
faster. We must climb slowly and mindfully as we ascend the snowy headwall
to the right of the Serac. Up past the Dablam, we must cross the Bergshrund,
continue up the 65 degree snow wall until we gain the diagonal sloping
ridge, and climb that directly to the Summit. This is such an aesthetic
line! From the Summit, views of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Makalu, Island Peak
and many more surround us in all directions. What a place to be! Summit
times from this camp have been under 5 hours. We will descend the fixed
lines carefully and slowly. The client to guide ratio will be 2:1 for this
Day 22: Summit day for B
Team. A-Team can descend with our Sherpa to Camp 1 or wait and watch the
Day 23: Possible rest day,
Possible Summit day.
Day 24: Possible rest day,
Possible Summit day.
Day 25: Possible rest day,
Possible Summit day.
Day 26:Possible rest day,
Possible Summit day.
Day 27: Everyone descends
to either Camp 1 or Base Camp.
Celebration dinner a la Lobsang!
Day 28: Base Camp to
Day 29: Tengboche to Namche
Day 30: Namche Bazaar to
Day 31: Lukla to Kathmandu
The Nirvana awaits us. Team celebration dinner.
Day 32: Kathmandu to ?????
Day 33: HOME