Ama Dablam Expedition
Starts from: Lukla
Best season: Spring and autumn
Trip duration: 30 days
Popularly known as the ‘Matterhorn of the Himalaya’, the overwhelming ice-coated granite pyramid of Aama 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 Aama 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 Aama Dablam without permission.
The standard ascent to Aama Dablam is made via the southwestern 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 a 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 snowarete (a sharp ridge) and bergschrund (A gap or crevasse at the edge) between ice cliffs, and scale the summit.
Details Itinerary for Aama Dablam Expedition:
DAY 01: Arrive in Kathmandu and transfer to the hotel.
DAY 02: Kathmandu Sightseeing and trip Preparation
DAY 03: Fly to Lukla and Trek to Phakding- 9,184 ft (2,800 m)
DAY 04: Trek to Namche Bazaar (3440m)
DAY 05: Rest and acclimatization at Namche Bazaar
DAY 06: Trek to Deboche
DAY 07: Trek to Pheriche (4,300m)
DAY 08: Acclimatization in Pheriche
DAY 09: Trek to Aama Dablam Base Camp 4570m/15000ft
DAY 10: to Day: 25 Ascending and Descending of Aama Dablam Top 6856m/22488ft
Based on their previous All Trekkers Team experience, the expedition leader with other crewmembers 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.
A typical strategy would look like what follows:
After getting established on the Base Camp, move further up to Camp 1 at 5,700m (17,400 feet) 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 26, scale the peak before getting back to the Base Camp.
DAY: 26 to Day: 27 Trek to Lukla
Trek back to Thyangboche, Namche Bazaar and Phakding finally arriving at Lukla.
DAY 28: Fly Lukla to Kathmandu
Morning flight from Lukla to Kathmandu
DAY 29: A leisure day in Kathmandu
DAY 30: Depart from Kathmandu
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.
Base Camp to Camp 1(4,570m to 5,700m)
The Aama 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 1000 meter long walk from the base camp to camp 1. Climb up along a moraine gravel ridge slope. Then cross a boulder field on the southwest ridge. There is a stream with fresh water so the place is also sometimes used as an 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 granite 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. Following existing fixed lines; the Sherpa’s fix new ropes wherever necessary. Camp 2 is a narrow exposed area atop a rock pillar therefore it’s important to find out if there is already groups 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 couloirs. 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 jammer as backup for safety. Cross the snow and ice with patches of bare rock at places leading to a knife-edge, crested with snow, and overhung on both sides – the Mushroom Ridge. The Mushroom ridge links the mixed terrain on the southwest 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 snowfield just above the big snowy 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 Sherpa’s 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.
All airport/hotel transfers
Round trip flight Kathmandu to Lukla to Kathmandu with 30KG cargo per climber
All trekking and Aama Dablam climbing permit fees
Liaison officer and all his expenses
Experienced climbing Sherpa (s) for the group
Trekking and teahouse arrangements to/from Aama Dablam Base Camp and full board basis at Base Camp
Food and fuel above Aama Dablam Base Camp
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
All government taxes and agency service charge
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
Excess baggage charges if you have more than 30KG luggage
Nepal Visa fee (bring accurate USD cash and passport photographs)
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.)
Personal Climbing Sherpa (must be arranged before the expedition)
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
Our Aama Dablam Expedition Trek itinerary is planned with an awareness of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). Going up too fast causes a medical condition serious enough to kill you. The higher the altitude the less oxygen is in air. For example, there is 50% less oxygen than of the sea level. Your body needs some days to adapt to this ‘less oxygen’ environment. So for a safe trek, it is absolutely essential to allow sufficient time for acclimatization. Sensible planning is therefore required to minimize the risk of AMS. We especially advise the guest(s) with known heart, lungs or blood diseases to consult their doctor before traveling. Mild headaches, fever, loss of appetite or stomach disorder are symptoms of AMS.
Leader(s) and Staff Arrangements
The most significant thing that makes your Aama Dablam Expedition successful, enjoyable and memorable is the skilled, experienced and helpful trek leader and crew members. Professional guides will lead your trip. All of our trekking leaders are carefully selected on the basis of their experience appropriate to each individual trek. With an objective of sustaining local communities All Trekkers Team supplies only Nepalese staffs that have adequate knowledge about culture, ecosystem, flora, fauna, geography, and history of Nepal. Trek leaders of ATTm are also trained with and educated on potential medical issues during their trek, biodiversity and environmental issues:
- Intensive Wilderness First Aid
- Trekking Guide Training
- English Language
- Conservation and Biodiversity
- Rock climbing, ice climbing and mountaineering (applies to expeditions)
The Trekking Group
For the Aaam Dablam Expedition, there will be one guide, assistant guide and Sherpa porters for luggage carrying (2 trekkers:1 porter) This arrangement ensures that should anybody in the group become sick, the trip can still go ahead as planned. We can run the Aama Dablam Expedition for group of any size, but generally have a maximum of twelve people, as we’ve found this to be the optimum size for a successful trip. However, if you’d like to make a group booking for more than twelve people together, we can arrange this.
Though often overlooked, it is important to mention. The trekking and expedition companies in Nepal are built on the back of hard working local porters. It is their tireless efforts carrying supplies, equipment and baggage that make the journeys to these remote areas possible. So it’s very sad for that there is a history of exploitation and abuse at the hands of the industry. In an effort to combat this, we are firmly committed to porter rights. We assure all our porters are to be well treated, well paid and we provide a decent level of shelter, clothing and footwear. Porters who become sick are to be treated with the same care, attention as other team members – to rescue porters from dangerous situations is our duty. And for the porter’s sake we inform that all trekkers keep their luggage bag weight to a maximum of 15kgs. If you need to have more weight than this additional porters can be hired. Thus we support the working conditions of the porters
Health and Experience Required:
Walking in this high Mountain Region usually requires maximum 6-8 hours of walking every day. Climbing in the high mountain is the challenging part of your adventure and will require long hours of walking. You should be prepared max 14 Km of walking or jogging exercise everyday 1 month before your Trek starts. And also a positive attitude and a strong determination are important. Previous hiking/camping experience is good to have but technical experience is not required.
It is a condition of joining any of our trips that you be protected with an insurance policy. Should medial issues or accidents (to include air ambulance, helicopter rescue, and treatment costs) happen it is important to be prepared. Please mind that we do not arrange or sell insurance.