Please note you will be mailed a set of Team Reference Notes upon registration. This extensive booklet includes detailed information to assist in the planning of your trip; from travel and medical advice to equipment lists and photography tips.
The following is to serve as a helpful guideline on our Ama Dablam Expedition. Please feel free to call or e-mail if you have any further questions. Our team is here to help!
I hear that Ama Dablam is very technical, and after seeing pictures I am wondering, how is it climbed?
Yes, Ama Dablam is more technical than most of the other climbs that we do. Above Camp 1, we are on fixed ropes moving over technical terrain for the rest of the climb. We are even “clipped in” while moving around Camp 2! The route we ascend is the Southwest Ridge, which is the standard route on the mountain. We also offer a trip that ascends the highly technical North Ridge of Ama Dablam. Please contact our office for further information on this route.
This will be my first big altitude climb - how can I best prepare?
The best way to prepare for a climb like Ama Dablam is to train for stronger cardiovascular and muscle strength AND to improve your technical skills. Due to the technical nature of this peak, it is necessary to attend a basic rock climbing course. This will help you to feel more comfortable with the exposure as well as the movement over rock on the fixed lines.
What are the skills/prior experience required for this climb?
You must have completed at least a basic rock climbing course, and have had exposure to altitude above or near 20,000ft / 6000m.
What is the conditioning level needed for this climb?
You need to be in excellent shape for this climb. Due to the technical nature of this peak, it is critical that you are in the best shape possible. Also, as Sherpa support is moderate on this climb, you are expected to be able to carry all of your personal gear needed for the climb. The Sherpas will primarily be responsible for transporting our group gear.
What is summit day like?
Some say that summit day is the most straightforward day of the whole climb! It is the one day of the climb where you are totally on ice and snow with no rock. It is a longer day than most, but very straightforward. Expect a summit day of anywhere from six to twelve hours.
How heavy will my pack be?
We will move our personal gear up the mountain in stages, but typically our packs are 30-60lbs / 14-26kgs.
How long is a typical day on the mountain?
The distances vary from camp to camp, but you can expect days usually to last 4 to 8 hours.
How many climbers will be on this expedition?
There are typically 8-10 climbers on the expedition.
Can I contact other climbers or guides for this expedition?
Of course! Be sure to contact our office before the trip and we will be happy to put you in touch with other recent Ama Dablam climbers with AC.
Will I be sharing a tent or room with other climbers?
You will be sharing a room on both the trek and at the Base Camp lodge with another climber unless a single room supplement has been arranged prior to departure. On the mountain you will share a tent with one, or sometimes two other climbers.
What equipment will I need for this climb?
Once we have received your application we will post out a set of Team Reference Notes which includes an assortment of information including detailed equipment lists. Any questions you have after reading through this will be directed to our Equipment Coordinator. They can assist you in preparing for the trip as well as recommend and source a range of clothing and equipment suitable for the climb via our gear retail service.
What kind of food do you have on the mountain?
We work hard to make sure that our meal selections are tasty and varied! On the trek we will be eating at teahouses; once we reach Base Camp we eat at the Base Camp lodge and supplement these meals with a few of our own treats and snacks including fresh yoghurt and coffee. Once on the mountain, we typically focus on MRE’s (meals ready to eat) which are real food, freeze dried and vacuum sealed.
What type of communication is available on the climb?
Your guides will have satellite phones with them on the trip which you are welcome to use for a nominal fee. Contact the office for details.
What sort of hotels do we stay at in the city?
We stay at the Hotel Radisson in Kathmandu. Only 15 minutes walk from the tourist centre of Thamel, the Radisson is situated in a quiet location and boast a fitness centre, sauna and steam room, three restaurants, a bar, café and Kathmandu’s only rooftop swimming pool! A perfect place to begin and end your trip.
What is the accommodation like on the trek into Base Camp?
We stay at teahouses or lodges each night on the trek into Base Camp. You may be surprised at some of the amenities in these remote locations! Many of the lodges have solar power and some even have gas showers.
What time should I arrive and where do I meet my guides?
Before your expedition you will receive a “final details” letter. This will let you know the time and place to meet your guides. An AC representative will meet you at the airport; the first of many team briefings will take place on the evening of Day One.
What if I arrive early or depart late?
On a trip as long as this, we request that you arrive in Kathmandu on the assigned date, to assure that your baggage makes it on time, and that you have time to recover from jet lag before trekking. It is hard to catch the group if you are arriving late and still waiting for lost baggage! We can arrange extra nights in the hotel. Many people depart from our Nepal expeditions later or arrive earlier, to enjoy the sights and sounds of Kathmandu, but do keep in mind that this is a long expedition and we find that people often want to head home as soon as the climb finishes.
Are there any entry or visa requirements?
Yes there are. You can print the forms here or online or you can complete them on the plane when the forms are handed out on your arrival flight into Kathmandu. Be sure to have the suggested USD in cash for your visa application and have a passport photo for your arrival in Kathmandu. You will receive your visa at the airport, and be sure to ask for a 30 day visa.
How much should I budget for this expedition? How much cash should I plan to bring?
For an expedition of this length, we suggest between 500USD and 1000USD. This is to cover everything from staff tips to gifts, and all the little extras that you will come across both in Kathmandu and on your trek. There are ATM machines in Kathmandu, but they only give out Rupees, the local currency.
How much should I tip my guide & Sherpa staff?
This really is up to you but US$150 – US$250 (split amongst the group) would be considered appropriate for each Climbing Sherpa and US$50 - US$100 for each Base Camp staff member. Details of the final makeup of the team (numbers of Sherpa and climbers) will be sent to you prior to your departure; however, the recommended total is usually in the region of US$100 - $200 per climber. Typical amounts to your western guide(s) range from US$100 - $300 per person or more, but it is a decision for you to make.
What is your cancellation policy? Refund policy?
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From the AC Blog page
Ama Dablam 2017 - Final dispatch
Island Peak 2017 - Last day
Everest 2017 - Wrapping Up