An Ultimate Guide for Ama Dablam Expedition

An Ultimate Guide for Ama Dablam Expedition

  • 2024-04-12
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Ama Dablam, located in the Koshi province of eastern Nepal, is a challenging 6,812-meter peak known for its stunning vistas and difficult climbing routes. Despite not being the highest in the region, it is a serious undertaking that demands both ice and rock climbing skills, earning it the nickname "Matterhorn of the Himalayas." The Silver Hut, led by Sir Edmund Hillary, was the first group to reach the summit, establishing the standard route, the southwest ridge.

This expedition requires previous climbing or high-altitude trekking experience, as well as proficiency in rock and ice climbing, navigating snow-covered slopes, and basic mountaineering skills like fixing ropes, using an ice axe, and crampons.

Ama Dablam's pyramid shape and challenging routes attract climbers worldwide, offering not just the thrill of the sport but also breathtaking views of the Himalayas, including Everest, Cho Oyu, Makalu, and Lhotse. This trek is more than just a mountain climb; it's an opportunity to immerse yourself in Nepal's rich culture and history, experiencing the warm hospitality of the Sherpa people.

Before embarking on an Ama Dablam expedition, climbers should be well-trained and experienced in both rock and ice climbing, as well as high-altitude trekking. Basic mountaineering skills are essential, including fixing ropes, using an ice axe, and crampons. Despite the challenges, the rewards are immense, from the thrill of the climb to the awe-inspiring views of the Himalayan peaks and the rich cultural experience.

An Introduction to Ama Dablam

Mt. Ama Dablam is a mountain located in the Himalayas, in the eastern part of Nepal, specifically in the Khumbu region. It is considered one of the most beautiful and technically challenging peaks in the world, with its steep faces and ridges, and sharp, exposed granite towers. The mountain stands at a height of 6,812 meters (22,349 feet) above sea level.

The name "Ama Dablam" means "Mother's Necklace" in the local Sherpa language, and refers to the mountain's distinctive shape, which resembles a mother embracing her child with a necklace around her neck. The mountain is also known for its hanging glacier, which adds to its unique and striking appearance.

Mt. Ama Dablam has become a popular destination for mountaineers and adventure seekers, but it is considered a highly technical and challenging climb that requires advanced mountaineering skills and experience. The mountain has several different routes, each with their own challenges and risks, and climbers must be prepared to deal with extreme altitude, harsh weather conditions, and difficult terrain.

Despite its challenges, Mt. Ama Dablam remains a highly sought-after peak for mountaineers and has become an iconic symbol of the Himalayas and the adventurous spirit of exploration and discovery. The mountain is often referred to as the "Matterhorn of the Himalayas" due to its soaring ridges and steep faces.

Mt. Ama Dablam was first climbed on 13 March 1961 by Mike Gill (NZ), Barry Bishop (US), Mike Ward (UK) and Wally Romanes (NZ) via the Southwest Ridge. The most popular route by far is the Southwest Ridge, which offers stunning Himalayan views of the Mt. Everest 8848 m, Mt. Lhotse 8516 m, Mt. Makalu 8463 m, Mt. Cho Oyu 8201 m and other more mountains. Mt. Ama Dablam expedition requires good physical fitness and previous climbing experience.

The expedition begins at Lukla after a 35-minute mountain flight from Kathmandu and leads through the Sherpa valley of Phakding, Namche, Tenboche, Pangboche, and finally to Amadablam base camp.

The normal route for climbing Mt. Ama Dablam is the South-West Ridge. The ascent from Amadablam Base Camp to Camp I is considered one of the most challenging parts of the climb, with steep rock and hard water ice. Mt. Ama Dablam expedition is considered relatively safe, but exposed and not really a mountain for debutantes. The expedition is arranged by various companies, including Outward Adventure Treks & Expedition, which offers customized expedition services for Amadablam expedition cost is depend on group size but individual person also may join as per their wish and holiday frame.

Mt. Ama Dablam expedition is one of the most popular expedition in Nepal as well as technical Himalayan expedition in Everest Everest 8848m, Mt. Makalu 8463m, Mt. Lhotse 8516m, Mt. Cho Oyu 8201m with 23 snowy capped mountains of Khumbu Himalayan range.

Mt. Ama Dablam is a beautiful and technically challenging peak in the Himalayas that offers stunning views and a unique climbing experience. It is a popular destination for mountaineers and adventure seekers, but requires advanced mountaineering skills and experience. Despite its challenges, the mountain remains a highly sought-after peak for those seeking to explore the beauty and majesty of the Himalayas.

Trip Highlights

  • Mt. Ama Dablam (6,812m), one of the world's prominent peaks, offers a close view of magnificent mountains like Lhotse (8,516m), Everest (8,848.86m), and Makalu (8,485 m).
  • Explore the culture and lifestyles of the local Sherpa people amidst the heartwarming Nepali hospitality.
  • Witness UNESCO World Heritage Site - Sagarmatha National Park, adorned with prayer wheels, colorful flags, mani stones, and high suspension bridges.
  • Immerse yourself in the wide range of flora and fauna while visiting the ancient monastery in Tangboche (3,867m / 12,687ft).
  • Offers a blend of natural beauty and cultural experiences, allowing you to explore Sherpa villages, lush forests, and terraced farmlands.

The Best Time for Climbing Ama Dablam

The best time to go on the Ama Dablam Expedition is during the months of spring and autumn. Spring, which includes March, April, and May, offers clear blue skies, snow-clad mountains, lush vegetation, and moderate temperatures. Autumn, from September to November, provides stable weather conditions with less precipitation and more favorable climbing conditions.

Both seasons offer a favorable weather temperature for the climbing expedition, making them ideal for embarking on this challenging journey. Proper acclimatization is crucial for adjusting to higher altitudes and preventing altitude sickness. It is recommended to ensure that the expedition package includes adequate acclimatization days to help climbers adjust to the altitude effectively and reduce the risk of altitude-related issues. Here is a brief description of the weather at high altitudes throughout the year.

A. December to February (Winter Season)

This is the coldest period of the year especially January to late February and in these months, there is heavy snowfall in the mountainous regions including Ama Dablam. In those regions, there are frigid temperatures.

The daytime is warmer, and clearer with the glistening views of the Himalayas. But the nights are extremely cold and frigid. It is not advisable to plan an expedition during these months because the Mount Ama Dablam climbing and the trek get very stimulating. The cold temperatures and snowfalls make it even harsher!

B. March to May (Spring Season)

Spring is the best season for climbing mountains including Ama Dablam. This period is highly favorable and you will witness the stunning views of the Himalayas ranges and glaciers. The temperature begins to increase from the beginning of March and due to the clear blue sky, glistening snow mountains look at their best. The expedition success rate is very high during these months.

The trekking route in this season gets very charming as the trail is full of rhododendron flowers. It is the pre-monsoon and post-winter period in which Everest and other 8000m peaks are climbed.

C. June to August (Summer Season)

From the second half of June, the monsoon catches up in Nepal. The monsoon brings a lot of rain in the lower trek regions and the trekking route becomes muddy and slippery and difficulty level rises substantially. Another is the chance of flights to Lukla getting canceled or postponed due to bad weather and less visibility. This season is also not highly recommended for the expedition.

D. September to November (Autumn Season)

It is the second-best season for the expedition, and it forms the peak season for tourists flocking to Nepal. The monsoon rain sweeps all the dust particles from the air and earth and makes everything clear; the mountains, hills, waterfalls, and all.

At high trek altitudes, the temperature goes up to 20 °C/68.0 °F in the daytime and falls to 5 °C/41.0 °F at night which is the most favorable for climbing Ama Dablam. The houses seem colorful as they decorate for their biggest festivals; Dashain and Tihar. You can get stunning views of the Himalayas ranges and glaciers due to clear blue skies.

Itinerary for Ama Dablam Expedition

An overall itinerary for the Ama Dablam Expedition is briefly given below.

Day 1: Kathmandu Arrival (1338m/4390ft)

Day 2: Fly Kathmandu to Lukla (2,860 m/9384 ft) and trek to Phakding [2,652 m/8,700 ft]: 9 km/3-4 hours

Day 3: Trek Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3,440 m/11,283 ft): 10.5km/5-6 hours

Day 4: Namche Bazaar: Acclimatization Day - Hike to Everest view hotel

Day 5: Trek Namche Bazaar to Pangboche (3,985 m/13,074ft): 6 hours

Day 6: Trek to Ama Dablam Base Camp (4,570m/14,994ft): 3 hours

Day 7: Pre-Climbing Training at Base Camp and Worshipping Ceremony at Ama Dablam Base Camp  (4,570m/14,994ft)

Day 8: Climb to Camp I (5,700m/18,700ft) and back to Base Camp (4,570m/14,994ft)

Day 9: Trek Ama Dablam Camp I (5,700m/18,700ft) and spend overnight there

Day 10: Climb Camp II (6,000m/19,685ft) and hike back to Base Camp (4,570m/14,994ft)

Day 11: Rest at Base Camp (Prepare for ultimate summit push)

Day 12: Climb to Ama Dablam Camp I (5,700m/18,700ft)

Day 13: Climb to Amadablam Camp II (6,000m/19,685ft)

Day 14: Early night summit push (6,812m / 22,349ft) and back to Camp II (6,000m/19,685ft)

Day 15: Contingency Day (In case you could not push summit on previous day due to the bad weather and other conditions)

Day 16: Climb back to Ama Dablam Base Camp(4,570m/14,994ft)

Day 17: Trek back to Namche Bazaar (3,440 m/11,283 ft)

Day 18: Trek back to Lukla (2,860 m/9384 ft)

Day 19: Fly back to Kathmandu (1338m/4390ft)

Day 20: International Flight

Note: This itinerary is for those who wish to climb Ama Dablam Rapidly. If you wish to join the Ama Dablam Expedition with Everest Base Camp Trek, then click here

Getting into Ama Dablam

After you arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, one of the group members of Outward Adventure Treks and Expedition will transfer you to the Hotel in Thamel (3-star standard hotel.)

In the evening or the next day morning (depending on when you arrive), there will be a pre-trip meeting at your hotel or the office of Outward Adventure Treks and Expedition. In the meeting, your climbing guide will check your gear and equipment and will ensure that you have packed all the required gear, equipment, and appropriate clothing.

The next day, you will be transferred to the airport from the hotel for your domestic flight (40 minutes) to Lukla. Lukla is the gateway to Ama Dablam and lies at the foot of Khumbu mountain. From Lukla, you will begin your Ama Dablam expedition initially following the classical Everest Base Camp Trek route.

A Typical Day During Ama Dablam Climb

A typical day during the expedition consists of two main parts: trekking to Ama Dablam and climbing Ama Dablam.

I. Trekking to Ama Dablam Base Camp

During the trekking days, you will wake up early with a hot cup of tea or coffee served by our guide or porter. After getting fresh, you will start the day's trek around 7 to 8 AM, depending on the duration and nature of the walk. You will trek for three to four hours in the morning, and after taking a lunch break around midday, you will continue for another two to three hours in the afternoon.

Throughout the trek, you will enjoy scenic views, capture pictures, and explore local villages. Our experienced guide will brief you about the places you are trekking, including their history, myths, and importance. Porters will carry your main luggage, but you are expected to bring a small backpack with your valuables and important documents for safety and ease.

Once you reach the overnight lodge/tea house/tent, you can snack on the extra dietary food, explore nearby places, and indulge in friendly conversations. We serve dinner from around 6 to 7 PM, and after dinner, you can enjoy games like Monopoly, cards, or read books. You can also watch mountaineering documentaries, if available.

II. Climbing Period

During the climbing days, you will climb to higher altitudes (camps) early in the morning to avoid wind and sun rays heating the glaciers. You will ascend higher during the day and descend to spend the night, providing enough time for acclimatization and familiarizing yourself with the route.

Climbing hours will be short, and you will often be living at the camps. Overall, a typical day during the expedition involves a mix of trekking, climbing, and enjoying the beautiful scenery and local culture of Nepal.

Ama Dablam Expedition vs. Everest Expedition

Amadablam Expedition and Everest Expeditions are two popular climbing adventures in the Khumbu Himalaya region of Nepal. While Mount Everest is the tallest mountain on earth, standing at 8848.86 meters (29031 feet) above sea level, Amadablam is not even an eight thousand – er mountain, with a height of 6812 meters (22343 feet) above sea level.

However, Amadablam is an iconic and dazzling mountain along the Everest base camp trekking trail. Amadablam is technically harder than the Everest Expedition, requiring more than two months for the Everest Expedition but less than a month for the Amadablam expedition.The real challenge of the Amadablam expedition lies in its vertical climb and narrow route, with nearly no place for proper camping.

The climbing route is not fixed, making it a more challenging climb. Climbers need technical skills and knowledge of using climbing gear for the Amadablam expedition. On the other hand, Everest is believed to be less technical than Amadablam climbing, but it is still a challenging climb due to its height and extreme weather conditions. Climbers need to spend more than two months for acclimatization and height adjustment.

Amadablam is located in the middle of the Khumbu Himalaya range, making it a perfect viewpoint for thousands of mountains. The summit view of Mt Amadablam is mesmerizing, providing a bird's eye view of the Khumbu Himalaya range.

The trail for the expedition to Amadablam follows the trail of Everest base camp trekking, giving climbers a chance to visit Tengboche monastery, Namche Bazar, Khumjung village, Pangboche monastery, Amadablam village, and many other small villages.

The expedition is not just about getting to the top of a mountain but also about getting to know the culture and traditions of the region.

In conclusion, while Everest is the tallest mountain on earth, Amadablam is a challenging climb due to its technical difficulty. Both expeditions offer unique experiences and challenges, making them popular climbing adventures in the Khumbu Himalaya region of Nepal.

Accommodation and Food During the Trek

Trekking agencies will offer accommodation in hotels and tea houses. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you will stay in a standard hotel with complimentary breakfast included. However, meals other than breakfast will be at your own expense.

The hotel package will cover amenities like internet access, hot showers, and charging facilities. During your stay in tea houses, the accommodation will be more basic compared to urban areas. You might have to share rooms, use open dining areas, and shared squat-type washrooms. While both vegetarian and non-vegetarian meal options are available, the variety may be limited compared to city restaurants.

Throughout the trek, three meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) will be provided. Additional charges will apply for hot showers, charging electronic devices, and wifi services, which are not included in the standard package.

For camping arrangements, high-quality tents and kitchen utensils will be provided, along with a professional chef who will prepare nutritious meals. During the summit expedition, you will receive high-altitude packaged meals designed to be warm and nourishing.

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