Ama Dablam is one of the most stunning peaks in the Himalayas and one of the most impressive mountains in the world. Situated in the heart of Everest’s Khumbu region, it lies directly above the Thyangboche Monastery on the well-worn path to Everest Base Camp and is admired by thousands of trekkers and climbers every year. This expedition offers a superb, technical climbing experience in a magnificent setting, with numerous cultural and scenic diversions. Our route will take us along the original line of ascent, the South West Ridge.
It provides a fine and varied climb, sustaining a reasonable level of difficulty, with good camp platforms at strategic points. The climb provides interesting rock, snow and ice sections, and although it is of a fairly technical nature, in normal conditions it is never very difficult. Apart from one short section, the climb is very safe, overall. The route description is included in the detailed itinerary.
The expedition will be professionally led by a team of competent mountaineers who have enough experience to climb one of the world’s most sought-after mountains, without undue risk. This approach ensures that team members are suitably experienced, reasonably self-sufficient and capable and willing to move between camps, unsupervised. You will still have a high level of support, starting with strong, confident leadership; this will maximize your chances of success without undermining the quality of your accomplishments. If you have the necessary experience and wish to fully participate as a team member in an expertly led expedition to one of the world’s most impressive mountains, this could be the trip for you!
Arrival in Kathmandu
We arrive in the morning and are taken to the hotel.
Flight to Lukla
The 40-minute flight from Kathmandu to Lukla is one of the most spectacular flights in the world. A sixteen-seater Twin Otter takes us eastward, into the heart of Sherpa country, giving us views of all the peaks of the Khumbu region, including Everest and Ama Dablam (remember to sit on the left-hand side of the plane!). The landing on the tiny airstrip at Lukla is, to put it mildly, exciting. Soon after landing, we set off, along the renowned trail to Everest Base Camp. From Lukla (2,800 m), we walk north-west and descend to the river at Phakding (2,652 m), where we camp for the night.
Walk to Namche Bazaar
Setting off early in the morning, we follow the river before climbing the steep hill to Namche Bazaar. Hopefully, we get our first views of Everest and Lhotse as we approach Namche. We reach the town after about six hours of walking. Namche is the most prosperous and largest settlement in the Khumbu region. It is the capital of the Sherpa population, a people who closely resemble Tibetans in appearance and culture. Namche is a vibrant town with many shops and several restaurants and lodges.
Rest day at Namche Bazaar
Today, team members have the opportunity to look around Namche and walk to the Everest View Hotel (3,900m).
Trek to Deboche
From Namche, the well-worn Everest trail contours around the side of the valley, high above the Dudh Koshi. As we follow the path, we will get our first really good views of the great peaks of Khumbu: Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam. Passing by several villages and numerous tea shops, we will cross the Dudh Koshi river and make a steep climb to Thyangboche, home of an impressive and recently rebuilt monastery. We have plenty of time to look around Thyangboche and have cake at the bakery before dropping down to the river and the village of Deboche (3,700m) a little further along the trail, where we will stay in a relaxing lodge.
Trek to Pangboche
It’s a 1.5 hour walk further up the trail to the village of Pangboche (4,000m). Pangboche is situated directly below Ama Dablam and many of the Sherpa’s who work on the mountain every season are from this village.
Acclimatisation above Pangboche
To ease our acclimatisation, we can walk up the slope towards Nangar Tsang (5100m) for great views up the Khumbu and Imja Valleys.
Move to 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 (3.5 hours from Pangboche). The base camp is an idyllic spot from which the majority of the route is visible. At an altitude of about 4,570m it provides a comfortable escape from the rigors of the climb. Our porters deposit their loads and leave us here for the next 3 weeks, with only our Sirdar, Sherpa and Cook staff remaining.
Ascent of Ama Dablam
We do not provide a prescriptive day-to-day itinerary for the climb, as this will be decided by the expedition leaders. They will take a flexible approach based on their own experience, previous EST expeditions to the mountain, and the make-up of the team. Typically, the team will spend a few days at base camp organizing provisions, practicing rope skills and acclimatising before moving above base camp. It is normal to ‘tag’ or spend at least one night in Camp 1 (5,700m) as part of any acclimatisation schedule, before returning to base camp, resting and preparing for the summit push.
Descend to Lukla
Trek to Lukla
Lukla - Kathmandu
Flight Lukla to Kathmandu
Leisure time in Kathmandu or departure day‚ depending on your return flight ticket.
Transfer to the Kathmandu airport for your flight home.