11 October – 5 November, 2022
01 – 26 October 2023
About the mountain
The name ‘Ama Dablam’ means ‘Mother’s Necklace’ with the long ridges on each side of the mountain representing the arms of a mother protecting her child, and the hanging glacier being thought of as the ‘Dablam’ which is the traditional double-pendant containing pictures of the gods and is worn by Sherpa women.
The mountain was first climbed on March 13th, 1961 by Mike Gill, Barry Bishop, Mike Ward and Wally Romanes via the Southwest Ridge, with their chance of success greatly increased having wintered at 5,800m near the base of the peak as part of the Silver Hut Scientific Expedition led by Sir Edmund Hilary – a testament to how important good acclimatisation can be for summiting any mountain.
Climbing the mountain
This expedition will take place over 30 days, starting and ending in Kathmandu from our usual luxurious hotel, the Hyatt, and will use some of the route/infrastructure for the Everest basecamp trek.
After a day or two in Kathmandu making final preparations and checking the team has the correct kit, we will set off by helicopter directly to Namche Bazaar, where we will trek along the Everest basecamp route until about day 8 where we head to the Ama Dablam basecamp at 4,750m.
We will have two higher camps on the mountain, with camp 1 at 6080m and camp 2 at 6,200m, although there is an option to have a third camp at the end of mushroom ridge if absolutely essential.
The journey from basecamp to camp 1 is unlike many others in that there is no glacier approach, and we can walk in trainers along grassy ridges, and should take around 5-6 hours. The higher we go on this first part of the climb, we start to get fantastic views of various local mountains such as Cho Oyu, Numbur and Taweche.
The trip from camp 1 to camp 2 takes us straight onto the Southwest ridge, with some fairly easy traversing of rock and snowy ledges, and then onto the Yellow Tower which is the most technical part of the whole route, requiring jumaring and up to 5 hours of hard climbing before reaching camp 2.
From camp 2 we start gaining height straight away, with the Grey Tower being the next tricky part of the climb, before some easy snow and ice leads us to the Mushroom Ridge, a corniced snow crest that connects the mixed SW ridge below and the summit snow fields above. From here the climbing becomes less technical, but can be exposed and cold before the sun comes up, and we should reach the summit in around 7-9 hours from camp 2. After a bit of time at the top, we will aim to get as far down the mountain as possible, ideally all the way to basecamp if everyone is still climbing well.
From basecamp we will make the return journey back to the luxury of the Hyatt in Kathmandu, before everyone goes their separate ways home after a fantastic trip on one of the most beautiful mountains in the world.