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 arête(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.