|Group size:||Minimum of two people||Max-Altitude:||6,856m/22,488ft|
|Arrival on:||Kathmandu, Nepal||Departure from:||Kathmandu, Nepal|
|Meals:||Breakfast in Kathmandu and all meals during the rest of the trip|
|Accommodation:||Hotel, teahouses and camps|
Popularly known as the 'Matterhorn of the Himalaya', the overwhelming, ice-coated granite pyramid of Ama Dablam (6,856m/22,494ft) dominates the sky above the trekker's trail to the Everest Base Camp. The 30-day Ama Dablam Expedition begins in Kathmandu with sightseeing of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Next, we fly to Lukla and begin trekking. We trek in the beautiful Everest trail before beginning our summit of Ama Dablam.
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 a varied and sustained climb with a 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. After scaling the summit, we return back to base camp.
Upon our arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, we will be greeted by a representative from Himalayan Glacier who will take us to our hotel. In the evening there will be a welcome dinner hosted by Himalayan Glacier. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Today after breakfast, we start a guided tour to several of the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu which are also UNESCO World Heritage sites. We visit the historic Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupatinath, the famous 'Monkey Temple' (Swayambhunath) and Buddhist shrine (Bouddhanath), which is also one of the largest stupas in the world. After the tour, we get our equipment checked by our climbing leader, get introduced to fellow participants, and discuss our trip at Himalayan Glacier’s office. Overnight in Kathmandu.
After breakfast, we drive to the airport for our flight to Lukla. After flying above the breathtaking lush hills and snowcapped mountains, we reach Tenzing-Hillary Airport at Lukla. This is one of the most beautiful air routes in the world culminating in a landing on a hillside surrounded by high mountains. At Lukla, we meet the rest of our staff members and begin our trek to Phakding. To assist in acclimatization, we only have a short hike today. Overnight in Phakding.
We begin trekking after breakfast. Our trail passes through pine forests and we also walk alongside the Dudh Koshi River. After walking for around an hour, we begin to see Mt. Thamserku (6,608m) on our right. We continue our trek through lush pine, fir and juniper forests, cross a few suspension bridges and reach Namche Bazaar. The small town is the main trading center of the Everest region. Overnight in Namche Bazaar.
This is the day set aside for acclimatization. Health experts recommend that we stay active and move around even during the rest day instead of being idle. There are a few options set aside for this day. We can either stroll around Namche’s quaint villages or come in contact with the Sherpa people and their rich culture, or we can hike up to the Everest View Hotel and enjoy an up-close view of the mighty Everest. While in the Namche village or upon returning from the hike to the Everest View Hotel, trekkers may also visit the local museum containing exhibits displaying the area’s native flora and fauna as well as the history of the Mount Everest region.
For trekkers who want to hike for a little longer, a hike to Khumjung village (5-6 hours) may also be an option. While in the village we can visit the Edmund Hillary School and Khumjung Monastery (a monastery famous for housing the head of the Yeti!). Overnight in Namche Bazaar.
We trek further along the Everest route and pass through beautiful villages and cross the Dudh Koshi River while also enjoying magnificent views of the Himalayan peaks like Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam along the way. After ascending on a steep trail, we reach the Tengboche Monastery and spend some time there. Later, we descend to Debuche to spend the night.
We hike to another village called Pangboche on our way to Pheriche. Pangboche is a scenic village surrounded by Everest to its north, Ama Dablam, Thamserku, and Kangtaiga to the east, the Kongde range to the south and the Imja Tse River flowing through the wide fertile valley. From here, we continue further up towards Pheriche, another beautiful village for an overnight stay.
This day is set aside just for acclimatization. This will help minimize the chances of anyone being affected by AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). Today we climb a terrain above the Pheriche village as it is well suited to give us a good hiking experience in a cold condition. After an uphill climb to the top of the hill, we are rewarded with great views of the Himalayas. Overnight in Pheriche.
We begin today’s trek by walking back to Pangboche and crossing the Dudh Koshi River. Next, we ascend on a trail which will take us to the Ama Dablam Base Camp. The Base Camp is large and open grassland at the foot of Mt. Ama Dablam. Overnight at Ama Dablam Base Camp.
Our guides will provide training on peak climbing techniques and the best ways of using climbing gear such as the ice axe, climbing boots, crampons, harness, ascender, etc. The training will also include using ropes for climbing both up and down. The training will boost our confidence and climbing skills, thus increasing our chance of a successful summit of the mountain. Overnight in Ama Dablam Base Camp.
From the Ama Dablam Base Camp we move further up to Camp 1 at 5,700m (17,400 ft) along the standard route. Generally, one night is spent at Camp 1 for acclimatization and before 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, we follow existing fixed lines and then establish new ropes wherever necessary both for ascent and descent. The climb from Camp 2 to Camp 3 is comprised of mixed rock, snow and ice, which is loose in certain places. The climb from Camp 3 to the summit is relatively less technical. After summiting the peak, we return back to the base camp.
We trek back to Lukla via Tengboche, Namche Bazaar and Phakding.
We catch an early morning flight to Kathmandu after our long mountain journey. After reaching Kathmandu, we can take the much needed rest in our hotel room. In the evening, we participate on a farewell dinner hosted by Himalayan Glacier to celebrate our successful summit of Ama Dablam. Overnight in Kathmandu.
This is a reserve day to accommodate any possible delay in the Lukla to Kathmandu flight. If the flight is as scheduled, we spend the day enjoying Kathmandu's delights. If there is someplace we wish to visit during our stay in Kathmandu, we may do that today or we can do some souvenir shopping. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Your adventure in Nepal comes to an end today! There is nothing to do but trade emails with your travel companions and organize your photos. A representative from Himalayan Glacier will take you to the airport, approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight. On your way home you'll have plenty of time to plan your next adventure in the wonderful country of Nepal.
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.
We will be staying at Hotel Moonlight in Kathmandu, tea-houses during the trek and camps (tents) during the climb. Most teahouse accommodation will only have shared toilet facilities. For tent accommodation, a 4-season sleeping bag and foam mattress will be provided. In climbing section, toilet facilities will be provided with necessary natural preservation. All accommodations are on twin-shared basis. However, single room will be provided on request and by paying a single supplement of USD 390.
The most significant thing that makes the expedition, enjoyable and memorable is the skilled, experienced, courteous and helpful leader(s) and the crew members with the ability of operating our days in the mountain smoothly. Our trip will be led by the best and most professional leaders. All of Himalayan Glacier's leaders are carefully selected on the basis of their appropriate experience, leadership skills and personal aptitude. With an objective of sustaining local communities, Himalayan glacier only employs local staff who have adequate knowledge about culture, ecosystem, flora, fauna, geography, and history of their local region(s). The trek and expedition leaders have undergone the following trainings:
To meet Himalayan Glacier's team, check out the Guide Profile Page.
We make sure that all our porters are well treated, well paid and we provide the level of shelter, clothing and footwear that these harsh environments demand. Porters who become sick are treated with the same care and attention as other team members and we have previously used helicopters - at our expense - to rescue porters from dangerous situations. We support the work of the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG), making our resources available to them to help improve the working conditions of the porters.
Responsible Tourism Practice
Himalayan Region of Nepal is stunningly beautiful, but equally fragile. Future generations have just as much of a right to appreciate it as we do and so the tourism industry has an obligation to protect and preserve it. Himalayan Glacier employs a 'zero impact' policy on the natural environment and the traditional communities that live there. Himalayan Glacier, therefore, enforces number of do's and don'ts. Himalayan Glacier's experienced staff can advise us on how to minimize our impact on the local environment. To find out more about the clean-up campaigns and environmental awareness events, Himalayan Glacier works with KEEP.
Ama Dablam Expedition’s itinerary is planned with a high degree of awareness of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). Going up at higher altitudes too fast causes a medical condition serious enough to result in death. The higher the altitude, the less oxygen will be in the air. For example, at an altitude above of 5000m, there is 50% less oxygen than at sea level. Therefore, our body needs many days to adapt to an environment with less-oxygen. During this trip, two separate days are set aside at Namche and Pheriche just for acclimatization. Also, the gradual trek will us acclimatize better to the high altitude. There is also a separate day set aside as a contingency, should things not go as planned.
Guest(s) with known heart, lungs or blood diseases are recommended to consult their doctor(s) before traveling. Mild headaches, fever, loss of appetite or stomach disorders are symptoms of AMS. The company’s itineraries are designed with maximum precaution for AMS but it is important to remember that some visitors are more vulnerable than others.
Ama Dablam expedition is categorized as 5D in the difficulty level. This means that the technical difficulty will include very steep ice and/or rock climbing. 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. As the climbing experience will be strenuous, it is important for climbers to be physically fit with previous climbing experience.