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.
Day 01: Arrival day in Kathmandu
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.
Day 02: Kathmandu Sightseeing and Preparation
Take rest, familiarize, and make a sightseeing tour to Kathmandu 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.
Day 03: Fly to Lukla & Trek to Phakding- 9,184 ft (2,800 m)
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.
Day 04: Trek to Namche Bazaar
The trek begins early morning along the steep hill to Namche Bazar. Namche, at altitude 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 05: Rest & Acclimatization at Namche Bazaar
Day for rest and acclimatization at Namche Bazar. Also an opportunity to discover the area and familiarize with the Sherpa culture.
Day 06: Trek to Deboche
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.
Day 07: Trek to Pheriche (4,300m)
Hike to the village of Pangboche (4,000m/13,120ft). Continuing the trail further up, an overnight stay at Pheriche.
Day 08: Acclimatisation above 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.
Day 09: Move to Base Camp 4570m/15000ft
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.
Day 10-25: Ascending and Descending of Ama Dablam Top 6856m/22488ft
Based on their previous Actual Adventures 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.
Day 26-27: 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: at leisure in 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.
Day 30: Depart Kathmandu
Concluding day of Ama Dablam Expedition. We transfer you to airport for your journey ahead.