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. The glacier looks like a jewel box hanging on the neck of the mountain, hence the name Ama 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 Ama Dablam without permission.
The standard ascent to Ama Dablam is made via the South-Western 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 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 snow arete (A sharp ridge) and bergschrund(A gap or crevasse at the edge) between ice cliffs, and scale the summit.
Important Note :
Your safety is of paramount concern while traveling with Himalayan Glacier. Please note that your leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary; however, since this adventure entails travelling in remote mountainous regions, we cannot guarantee that we will not deviate from it. Weather conditions, health condition of a group member, unexpected natural disasters, etc., can all contribute to changes in the itinerary. The leader will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but please be prepared to be flexible if required.
What Is Included
- All airport/hotel transfers
- Four nights in 4-star hotel in Kathmandu with bed and breakfast
- Round trip flight Kathmandu to Lukla to Kathmandu with 30KG cargo per climber
- All trekking and Ama Dablam climbing permit fees
- Liaison officer and all his expenses
- Experienced climbing Sherpa (s) for the group
- Trekking and teahouse arrangements to/from Ama Dablam Base Camp and full board basis at Base Camp
- Food and fuel above Ama 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
- Welcome and farewell dinner in Kathmandu
- All government taxes and agency service charge
What Is Not Included
- 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
Day to Day Itinerary
After your arrival in the afternoon, you will be taken to the Shanker Hotel for relax and refreshment. Hotel Shanker is a 4 star hotel just a 10 minute walk from the Thamel centre.
Take rest, familiarize, and make a sightseeing tour to KathmanduÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s World Heritage Sites. The day will also be for finalizing official procedure and other necessary arrangements. You will be also briefed on the nature of expedition, equipments and team composition. You can also make your last minute buying of personal items as you will be flying to the Himalayas tomorrow.
Fly to Lukla of Everest region. The spectacular mountain flight takes approximately 30 minutes from Kathmandu. Witness the fabulous views of the high Himalayan peaks such as, Everest, Cho Oyu, Makalu, Ama Dablam and scores of other trekking peaks. After making necessary arrangement of porters and yaks, trek to Phakding. Overnight stay at Phakding.
The trek begins early morning along the steep hill to Namche Bazar. Namche, at altiude 11,300 ft (3,445 m), is the largest Sherpa town with vibrant Himalayan culture. Two consecutive nights will be spent at Namche to acclimatize with the high altitude.
Day for rest and acclimatization at Namche Bazar. Also an opportunity to discover the area and familiarize with the Sherpa culture.
Trek further along the Everest route. Pass by several settlements and cross the Dhudh Koshi River. Along the way, witness the magnificent views of the high peaks including Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam. After making a steep climb arrives the Buddhist monastery of Thyangboche. Spend some time at the monastery and have a look around the place. Then decend to the village of Deboche. Stay overnight in Deboche.
Hike to the village of Pangboche (4,000m/13,120ft). Continuing the trail further up, an overnight stay at Pheriche.
Another day for acclimatization. The terrain is most suitable for higher climbing conditioning. Walk up a slope overlooking the high Himalayan valleys. A briefing on altitude in the afternoon.
Trek back to Pangboche and cross the Dudh Kosi River. Climb up the trail which takes to the Ama Dablam Base Camp. The Base Camp lies at an altitude of 15,000ft (4,570m). Spend the day at the Base Camp for acclimatization and further planning.
Based on their previous Himalayan Glacier Expedition experience, the expedition leader with other crew members 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.
Trek back to Thyangboche, Namche Bazaar and Phakding finally arriving at Lukla.
Morning flight from Lukla to Kathmandu
Also a reserve day to accommodate possible delay in Lukla to Kathmandu flight. If the flight is as scheduled, spend the day enjoying Kathmandu's delights.
Concluding day of Ama Dablam Expedition. We transfer you to airport for your journey ahead.
Please note that often the Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu flight gets delayed by a few hours or may even be canceled for one, two, or more days due to unfavorable weather conditions. Such conditions may arise even in the best seasons. Hence, in such cases, you must be prepared for long waits both at Kathmandu or Lukla airports, as this can happen either at the start or end of the trek or even both! We do our utmost to avoid such delays, and fix you on next flight. Still, we suggest you to be prepared for possible delays/cancellation, and if possible to come with some extra buffer days (1-2 days) at the end of the trip to accommodate such delays. We also organize heli rescue in such conditions, if it's available and upon request by our clients. The helicopter charges around USD 3500 and it can lift 4-5 persons per flight. If everything runs smoothly and if interested, you can also enjoy other activities like sightseeing, rafting, wildlife activities, shopping, etc during your buffer days.
In case, the flight delay/cancellation happens at the start of trip and it goes so long that it disturbs your onward travel schedule, you are free to choose an alternative trip: such a trek in the Annapurna, Langtang, or any other regions. If you are not interested in the alternative trip and would rather wait for the trip, you are welcome to wait in Kathmandu for as many days as it takes to get a flight to Lukla. However, please note that there will be no refund, if you lose your time waiting at the airport and do not take an alternative tour or you only do short trek later due to time limitation. If the cancellation happens before the trip, we will provide you accommodation and lunch in a guesthouse in Kathmandu. In case of the flight delay/cancelation after finishing of the trek, you will be responsible for all your expenses. Please also note that you will not be entitled to any refund for the services (such as hotel, transport, flight, etc) included in the package that you would not use later.
Health and Experience Requirements
Our Ama Dablam expeditions are led by professional and experienced mountaineers and guides supported by other crew members and all the necessary logistics for the expedition. Besides, there are fixed ropes up to the summit that prove helpful on the difficult terrain. Still, as the grade 5D indicates, the climb would be a challenging one. The climbers need to feel confident and comfortable ascending or descending on fixed ropes along the steep technical terrain. Moreover, we recommend climbers to have prior experience on rock and ice climbing especially above 6,000 m. A high standard of physical and mental fitness is also necessary for the climb.
It is a condition upon joining any of Himalayan Glacier's trips that all clients be insured for comprehensive expenses that might incur due to medical issues or accidents (this includes air ambulance, helicopter rescue, and treatment costs). Please note that we don't arrange or sell insurance. For more information
Equipment and Packing List
While packing for Ama Dablam Expedition certain equipments are essential.
Please Click here
for this trip's comprehensive checklist.
Since you will be in the remote countryside area, you will be experiencing the ‘early to bed and early to rise’ schedule. A typical trekking day starts at around 6 or 7 am. Enjoy the hearty breakfast and begin trekking. Carry your pack containing personal items you need for the day. The porters and yaks carry all the loads. Walk at your own pace, enjoy the scenery, chat with the natives, and take photographs. The lunch time depends upon the terrain and is prepared by our catering team. Generally you stop for lunch after about 3 hours of walking. The lunch hour also helps in acclimatization. The aim would be to reach next stop by the sunset. After reaching the overnight stay point, the crew members fix the tents. You may relax with a cup of tea or coffee or take a pleasure walk around the camp site. The dinner would be ready around 7 PM. Enjoy the dinner while sharing the day’s experience with team members.
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 Ama 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 1000m long walk from the Base Camp to Camp 1. Cimb up along a morainal gravel ridge slope. Then cross a boulder field on the South-West ridge. There is a stream with fresh water so the place is also sometimes used as 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
The ascent from Camp 1 to camp 2 is the most technical part of the expedition. Cross the exciting granites 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. Follow existing fixed lines, the Sherpas fix new ropes wherever necessary. Camp 2 is a narrow exposed area atop a rock pillar therefore it’s better to get informed if there is already any group staying at Camp 2. Takes about 4-5 hrs.
Camp 2 to Camp 3
Camp 2 to Camp 3 involves climbing on the steep ridge over the 70-degree couloir. 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 jumar as backup for safety. Cross the snow and ice with patches of bare rock at places leading a knife-edge, crested with snow, and overhung on both sides - the Mushroom Ridge. The Mushroom ridge links the mixed terrain on the South-West 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
Camp 3 lies on a relatively flat snow field just above the big snow 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 Sherpas 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.
The post-monsoon season from October to January is considered the best time form Ama Dablam Expedition. The lower valleys observe pleasant days, and it varies from cool to very cold high in the Ama Dablam. The nights may be quite cold due to chill wind. Temperatures may get as low as minus 25C above Camp 1.
Leader(s) and Staff Arrangements
Our Ama Dablam expeditions are led by experienced and professional mountaineers
who have scaled the mountain several times supported by other crew members and all the necessary logistics for the expedition. Not only in terms of qualification, but we also make it sure that our leaders have proven track of record in climbing high altitude mountains. The number of guides is chosen according to the team size to maximize every individual climber’s chance of making it to the summit without compromising the safety aspect. Our expedition leaders are also equipped with the expertise in handling altitude related problems including acute mountain sickness (AMS) symptoms. The crew members are experts in setting up tents and camps, melting snow on the route, cooking, and other daily needs.
Team composition is important to ensure safety and comfort of the climbers. We observe high safety standards, therefore, for 2 International Climbers, we assign:
- HGT Accredited Climbing Leader
- High Altitudes Assistance Sherpa
- Base Camp Assistance and other necessary trek crew such Porters, Yaks and Yak man
- Because of our high safety standards, team members would be added as per the number of international climbers.
Most of the expeditions to Ama Dablam are operated during the pre and post monsoon seasons. However, we also operate the expedition in early winter for those who wish to avoid the high traffic during the pre and post monsoon seasons.
We provide all camping equipment and gear, including tents, dining, toilet, and Kitchen tents. At base camp we have a large mess tent equipped with all necessary kitchen gadgets including stoves, tables and chairs. Meals are prepared by our trained and experienced expedition cooks. We make it sure that the food we provide is hygienic and at the same time suits your palate. Please let us know if you have any special food requirements.
We offer all varieties of food including continental and local Nepali/Tibetan items. Breakfast includes porridge, egg, bread, etc. Some of the items in the lunch include rice, lentils, beans, green vegetables, chapattis, bread, and tinned meat and fish items. Fresh or tinned fruit and tea or coffees make the desserts. For the main meal, you can choose your own menu - either local or western varieties. Local varieties include from the local Dal Bhat, yak stew, momo to the western burghers, pastas, sandwiches, and pizzas.
During the actual mountain climbing, we mostly use dry or dehydrated foods, including chocolate, cheese, nuts, and muesli items.
Trip Start Dates and Price
Our website contains as much information as possible about this trip. However, if you wish to discuss any aspect of this trip or your suitability for it, please contact us by email
. If you want to talk to us directly, feel free to call us at: 00977-98510-55684