Ama Dablam 2020
Ama Dablam 2020 – who is it for?
If you are a seasoned all round mountaineer and are wanting to do your first Himalayan peak then this trip to climb Ama Dablam will be right up your alley. Or perhaps you have visited Nepal already and want to do something higher or harder than Mera or Island peak. Alternatively maybe you are just awe inspired by the name, sight and size of the mountain and just want to give it a go.
The terrain on Ama Dablam is fantastic and consistently easier than it looks (it is a pretty daunting mountain from afar). Having said that a good head for heights and being happy with exposure is an absolute necessity … it would be very easy to come along ill prepared and be in for an epic fail.
People often hear that there are sections of VS or HVS climbing, that it is Scottish grade III out of Camp 3 or that you have to be able to do 5a moves. In all honesty the harder sections are fixed and it is up to you, on a personal basis, to decide how you want to climb the mountain.
Some folk will want to solely jumar to get to the top, some may want to clip a cowstail in to the fixed ropes and climb the harder sections safe in the knowledge that they are protected, and others will perhaps want to do a combination of various techniques. It is entirely a personal choice and since we all have different threshholds it is up to you to decide how you want to tackle it (and if you want to carry all your own loads and do it Alpine style then go for it – it’s how I did it in 2003).
But regardless of all that, rest assured that I conduct a comprehensive training session at Ama Dablam Base Camp, on appropriate terrain, to cover all the situations that you may be faced with.
For a comprehensive overview of the minimum requirement please have a look at the suggested list of skills you should have.
One other thing that I would mention is that whilst rock and ice climbing are certainly essential skills to have in actual fact a lot of the terrain is of a scrambling, mixed or Alpine nature. So whilst you may think that cranking it out on a 6b rock route or WI4 ice climb is good pre trip training please don’t overlook the fact that you should also be out doing lots of hill days covering a variety of not too technical terrain to make sure that you have a rounded background and all round mountain fitness.
The ratios that I use are between 1:2 and 1:3 depending on the group size. For instance, in 2005 we managed to get 13 clients (out of 15) and 3 Climbing Sherpas on the summit. In 2013 we got 17 (out of 19) clients on the summit on 7 separate summit bids and the Climbing Sherpas summited 12 times between them. The expeditions were an unprecedented success. The Climbing Sherpas that we use are amongst some of the most experienced that there are. You are in VERY experienced and capable hands.
- Ama Dablam Peak Fee
- Liaison Officer
- Compulsory rope fixing fee
- Climbing Sherpas
- Base Camp Crew
- Cook crew
- Administration fee for our expedition agent in Nepal – I use one of the premiere trekking and climbing agencies in KTM. (They have a proven track record of providing an excellent service, are able to provide full support throughout the expedition and have a tried and tested emergency call out procedure should the need arise)
- My fee for administration and planning prior to the expedition and technical support, guiding, instruction, planning and logistics during the expedition
- Trekking and teahouse arrangements to / from Ama Dablam Base Camp
- Full porter support to / from Base Camp
- Catering and sleeping arrangements during our stay at Base Camp on a full board basis (this includes 3 course meals, services of cook crew, camping equipment, kitchen tent, dining tent, toilet tent, shower tent, kitchen utensils etc)
- Single tent for individual use at Base Camp (with foam mattress provided)
- Solar charging at Base Camp (priority given to the comms equipment)
- Snacks and goodies for rest days including olives, gherkins, pate, crackers and cheeses, Tangfastics™, various chocolatey bars from the UK, proper coffee, cashew nuts, pistachios etc etc. You will not be disappointed.
- Tents, pots and pans for use on the mountain
- Food and fuel above Ama Dablam Base Camp. There is a really varied menu with a great mixture of things for you to choose from.
- Porterage of group equipment to Advance Base Camp and Camp 1 (I don’t allow porters to go beyond Camp 1 as the terrain becomes too technical)
- A member of staff stationed at Camp 1 who will be melting ice and providing hot water for you when you camp there
- Technical training day to acquaint you with the skills required for using the fixed ropes on the mountain. Please note … THIS IS NOT a teaching you to abseil session – that is a skill that you should be very well versed in already. If you are a little bit rusty then please refresh your abseiling skills before the expedition
- Ropes, climbing gear required for equipping the mountain, ice screws, snow stakes etc
- Comprehensive 1st aid kit including antibiotics and medicines for use at altitude (Note: there is also a 1st aid post at Pheriche which is manned with Western doctors throughout the trekking season which is only a couple of hours away)
- Emergency oxygen, mask and regulator
- Insurance for Base Camp crew
- Insurance for the Climbing Sherpas
- Insurance for porters
- Internal flights … heli from KTM to Lukla and fixed wing from Lukla to KTM
- Departure tax KTM / Lukla / KTM
- 25 kg baggage allowance on Lukla flight
- Airport transfers in KTM
- National Park entrance fees
- Sightseeing tour in Kathmandu
- Hotel arrangements in Kathmandu on a twin shared basis
- Feeding arrangements in Kathmandu
What’s not included
- International flight (approx £750-£850). Please make sure you book a flexible ticket to allow for changes should you summit early and wish to come home ahead of schedule
- Entry visa (approx £40)
- Inoculation / vaccination costs
- Travel and medical insurance – MUST include helicopter rescue and repatriation
- Hire of any equipment for personal use
- Portering of personal equipment beyond Base Camp (see below)
- Tips for the staff (approx US$150 – in GB£, US$, €uros or Rs)
- Climbing Sherpa summit bonus (US$400 – in GB£, US$, €uros or Rs)
- Excess baggage charges on the Lukla flight (around Rs120 per kilo)
- Drinks with meals in Kathmandu
- Any drinks and/or food during the trek other than that which is provided by the crew (e.g. soft drinks, snacks, alcohol, etc etc).
- Spending money
- Unscheduled Hotel / teahouse stays and restaurant meals (e.g. if delayed departing KTM or Lukla)
- Any costs incurred if leaving the expedition early
- Any costs incurred if the expedition ends early (e.g. bringing your international flight departure forward)
- Any international freight charges in the event that your bags don’t arrive in Kathmandu from Lukla due to any delays prior to your departure from Nepal.
Some optional extras
- Single occupancy hotel room in KTM – please ask for the price but usually around US$50pn subject to availability
- 1:1 Climbing Sherpa ratio for the summit bid. Around US$550 (plus summit bonus)
- Kit and equipment carry to Camp 1 – around US$35 per load (restricted to only 1 load per member)
- Your climbing gear to the bottom of the slabs below Camp 1 and your plastic boots, ice and axe and crampons to Camp 1 – US$20pp.