A 'must-do' for the committed alpinist

Ama Dablam South West Ridge

Ama Dablam's South West Ridge is one of the most aesthetic climbing routes in the Himalaya. It is renowned as a 'must-do' for any committed alpinist, with an exposed rock ridge, dotted with towers and intricate climbing leading from Camp One to the summit ice fields.

Accentuated with outrageous exposure the route offers spectacular views of the Everest Massif - the panorama, if not the altitude, will take your breath away.

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Difficulty Level Very High ?
Fitness Level High ?
Duration 28 days
Elevation 6,828M / 22,401FT
Large view

Outrageous exposure on the summit approach - Lydia Bradey

Large view

Climbing towards Camp 1 - Lydia Bradey

Large view

Negotiating fixed lines across rock - Lydia Bradey

Large view

Mountain vistas from Camp 2 - Lydia Bradey

From Oct 15 to Nov 11, 2019
Departs from Kathmandu, Nepal
$13,500 USD $
  • Overview

    • One of the most aesthetic mountains on earth
    • Exposed and varied climbing at altitude
    • A ‘must do’ for any committed alpinist


    The Ama Dablam South West Ridge expedition is befitting for technically oriented climbers but is never extreme. You need good mountaineering skills, some altitude experience and an adventurous attitude.

    On the final day of the climb, the route follows steep snow and ice slopes, accentuated by outrageous exposure directly to the summit.

  • Why AC?

    Adventure Consultants is renowned for the quality of its service and strategy applied to high altitude expedition climbing. Our reputation is attributed to meticulous planning and experienced logistics coordination. We have a philosophy of investing in every expedition to offer our climbers the best possible chance of success.

    We employ strong and specialised Expedition Leaders and Sherpa staff who are recognised as some of the most pre-eminent mountaineers in the industry.

    Many operators make statements about their services that are intentionally designed to mislead or avoid addressing important issues. The reality on the mountain is that unless you have a strong and experienced leader with sufficient Sherpa staff in support, the chances of summiting are dramatically reduced. Expeditions that are operated by local staff, with no qualified and experienced western guides, are generally not able to offer you a legitimate level of safety or success. These expeditions have the highest ratio of accident and frostbite injury on trips which may seem cheap at the time when booking but the long term effects make the price difference irrelevant.

    The AC approach to making expeditions work for you is reflected in the quality and safety of the expeditions we run along with our consistently high success rate.

  • Payment Conditions

    Inclusions

    The price of your trip includes the following:

    • Nepalese government royalty fees
    • All expedition organisational requirements
    • All climbing and trekking permits
    • Air transport within Nepal
    • All team equipment
    • All expedition staff, including qualified Western guides and experienced Sherpa support
    • All food whilst away from Kathmandu
    • Portage of personal gear from BC to Yak camp
    • All supplies necessary to make a safe and strong bid for the summit
    • Access to AC’s satellite communication facilities
    • Regular expedition dispatches to our website for families and friends back home to follow the expedition’s progress
    • dZi Foundation support for their “revitalize a village” programme – likely to include support for a Nepalese child’s education for a year


    Exclusions

    The price of your trip does not include:

    • Air travel to and from Nepal
    • Nepalese airport entry visa
    • Hotel accommodation and meals in Kathmandu
    • Purchases of bottled water, gifts, alcohol (we supply boiled/treated water for drinking)
    • Other charges at lodges/tea houses such as showers, internet access or battery re-charging
    • Personal clothing and equipment
    • Personal travel insurance and medical/trip cancellation/rescue insurance
    • Any rescue costs or costs of early departure from the expedition
    • Excess baggage charges over 30kg of personal luggage
    • Any costs associated with early departure from the expedition
    • Gratuities

    Account Information

    All payments should be made by bank transfer to the following bank and account:

    Bank of New Zealand
    Offshore Branch
    1 Willis Street
    Wellington
    New Zealand

    for the account of Adventure Consultants Limited

    Account # 1000-594771-0000
    Account Type: US Dollars
    Swift Address: BKNZNZ22

    Note: All bank transfer charges are for the remitter's account.

    We can also accept your deposit and balance payments by credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Amex) plus a 3% credit card fee.

    Deposit

    A non-refundable deposit of US$1,000 is payable to secure a place on the expedition.

    Balance

    The balance is payable 90 days prior to trip start date.

    Cancellation & Refund Policy

    Once you have paid your deposit your trip is confirmed, subject to payment of the balance of fees owing 90 days prior to your trip commencement date. An expedition member may then cancel his/her participation on the following basis:

    • Cancellations outside of 90 days will result in the loss of the trip deposit.
    • For cancellations made within 89 - 60 days of the trip commencement date we reserve the right to retain 50% of the balance payment fee.
    • For cancellations within 59 days of the departure date a cancellation fee of 100% of the full fee applies.


    Trip Cancellation Insurance

    Team members should take out private insurance if they wish to be covered against cancellation due to medical, personal or other reasons. This is called trip cancellation insurance and can be obtained from your normal travel agent.

  • Trip Notes

    Ama DablamThe Expedition Trip Notes provide detailed information and background for Adventure Consultants' Ama Dablam Expedition.

    You can view the trip notes online by clicking the image or download a pdf by clicking the following link:

    Ama Dablam Expedition Trip Notes 2019

    Team Membership

    The team will have a minimum size of 3 members and 1 guide and a maximum size of 6 members and 2 guides. Two or three climbing Sherpas will assist with the load carrying on the mountain.

    Our Guides

    The expedition leader is generally scheduled approximately six months out from the trip start. All of our trip leaders have extensive experience at high altitude and a proven record of safety, success and compatibility.

    The number of guides is determined by the team size but the normal ratio of guides to members is 1:3. You will find our guides companionable and strong expedition members with considerable power and willingness to see you achieve your goals.

    Mark Austin ProfileMark Austin
    Expedition Guide 2018

    The expedition leader for our 2018 Ama Dablam expedition will be Mark Austin. Mark began his climbing career at the age of 20 and led a successful expedition to Ama Dablam in 2008. His most recent expedition was to Island Peak as an AC guide in the 2018 pre-monsoon season. Mark is a fully qualified IFMGA Climbing and Ski Guide.

    Alex Geary Web ProfileAlex Geary
    Assistant Guide 2018
    Our 2018 Assistant Guide for the Ama Dablam expedition will be Alex Geary. Hailing from Australia, IFMGA Guide Alex has climbed and skied all over the world, including Europe, Alaska, Thailand and South America, as well as in New Zealand for Adventure Consultants. His people skills make him a popular guide and a welcome addition to any trip.

    Head Office Support Team

    Running successful journeys and expeditions is more about experience, knowledge and strategic management than any other factors. As an organisation, we place a substantial amount of time and resources into ensuring our trips are well planned and supported. You can be assured that the AC staff will provide you with friendly advice and knowledgeable support throughout the planning stages of your trip and we will be there to provide backup while the trip is running.

    Amelia Crofut-BrittinghamAmelia Crofut-Brittingham, Client Liaison

    Amelia has been with Adventure Consultants since October 2017 in the role of Client Liaison for European and Himalayan Operations. Having spent many years working in the ski industry, Amelia brings a wealth of experience to her role.

     

     AC Team 2016 Landscape

    Your Health

    Expedition members will be provided with pre-trip medical advice and a medical questionnaire and asked to visit their family physician to receive a full medical examination. This information will be sighted only by the expedition leader and our medical adviser and treated with full confidentiality.

    Level of Experience Required

    This climb is not for novice mountaineers. It will require members to be comfortable ascending and descending steep terrain on fixed ropes.

    A high technical standard is not mandatory because primarily the guides will be leading the climb and fixing the route. However, this is not a mountain to visit and then discover that you are not comfortable with exposure. We suggest that you gain experience and the required skills for travel on exposed technical ground before joining this expedition.

    Membership will be restricted to climbers with a proven list of alpine ascents. A high standard of fitness is expected. It is advantageous to be able to move over rocky terrain efficiently.

    Difficulty Rating

    Each of our trips is individually rated according to its physical and technical difficulty, displayed in the icons towards the top of each trip page. You can click on the accompanying question mark for additional descriptions and the full run-down of our grading system is available on our Difficulty Ratings page.

    What You Carry 

    We have the luxury of a strong Sherpa team that will carry all the team equipment, food and ropes on the mountain. Whilst there are some instances where the Sherpas will take a couple of small items for you to the next camp, this is only occasional and you are expected to carry your personal gear. When you put all your gear into a pack it still amounts to between 18-25kg so the load is not insignificant and you must come prepared for the high level of physical output. This reinforces the need to take just the right amount of equipment with you on the mountain and to ensure you are ‘pack fit’ before you arrive on the expedition. See our Fitness Training Programs for information on how we can help you prepare for the expedition.

    Specific Technical Training for Ama Dablam

    We climb Ama Dablam via the SW ridge, a technical route, and considered to be the standard route. The route is considered a relatively safe route by Himalayan standards. It is a varied and interesting route with loads of superb climbing on snow, rock and ice. On Ama Dablam, the hardest pitches of technical rock and ice climbing are not sustained but tend to come in short manageable sections, all with ropes fixed in place.

    One of the most energy absorbing activities, if not done properly, is ascending a steep fixed rope. Getting specific training in this area is important for not wasting energy at altitude (it’s hard enough at sea level). By practising at a local cliff or climbing gym you should be able to get all your lengths of leash attachments right and fine tune your technique.

    Other skills specific to Ama Dablam include travelling along rocky ridges in your plastic mountaineering boots, camping in the snow, repelling/abseiling and general mountain movement, which can be difficult if you live in a city.

    Above all, have fun, enjoy the people around you and marvel in the spectacular environment you are in!

    History

    Ama Dablam was first climbed in 1961 by a New Zealand and American team, and we follow their same route, the SW Ridge. A six-day trek into base camp (4,529 metres) via the Khumbu Valley provides great views of Ama Dablam and we experience some of the culture and hospitality of the Sherpa people.

    Food

    The well-trained Sherpa cooks prepare high quality ‘western’ food as well as popular Sherpa dishes in the Base Camp Lodge. On the mountain your guides will cook and a team environment means all efforts to assist with collecting snow for melting water and other meal preparation tasks will be much appreciated. Please indicate any specific dietary requirements you may have on your application form.

    Clothing & Equipment

    Expedition members will be sent a list detailing all necessary individual clothing and equipment to be provided.

  • Itinerary

    Day  
    1 Meet in Kathmandu, team briefing
    2 Gear checks, optional sightseeing in Kathmandu
    3 Fly to Lukla (2,860m/9,383ft) and trek to Phakding (2,610m/8,563ft), 3hrs
    4 Trek to Namche Bazaar (3,440m/11,286ft), 5hrs
    5 Sightseeing in Namche Bazaar, possible day walk to Khumjung (3,780m/12,402ft) and Khunde (3,840m/12,598ft)
    6 Trek to Phortse (3,950m/12,959ft), 5-6hrs
    Trek to Pangboche (3,985m/13,074ft), acclimatisation hike
    8 Trek to Ama Dablam Base Camp (4,529m/14,859ft)
    Set up Base Camp area – acclimatise/rest
    10  Day trek to ABC / Yak Camp (5,415m/17,766ft) 
    11 Move to ABC / Yak Camp
    12  Move to Camp 1 (5,807m/19,052ft)
    13  Carry and Fix to Camp 2 (6,064m/19,895ft)
    14-20 Summit window 
    21 Move back down to Camp 1 
    22  Return to Base Camp
    23 Contingency day
    24 Depart Base Camp to Pangboche 
    25 Trek to Namche Bazaar
    26 Trek to Lukla
    27 Fly Lukla to Kathmandu
    28 Depart from Kathmandu

    From Kathmandu, we fly by helicopter or fixed-wing plane directly to Lukla and follow the Khumbu Valley to Namche Bazaar. Acclimatising along the way and relishing in the hospitality provided by our Sherpa friends, we reach Base Camp (4,529m/14,859ft) and after some rest and preparation, we begin the ascent.

    Base Camp is now at a comfortable high altitude lodge where the meal preparation is supervised by our Sherpa cooks. AC import a lot of high-quality western food to supplement the local produce available.

    Once established in Base Camp, we move loads to Camp 1 (5,807m/19,052ft) via a long slope to the beginning of the SW Ridge proper. This is where the technical climbing begins and the route follows the spine of the rock ridge leading directly to the Camp III (6,277m/20,594ft). The very exposed nature of the route makes for exciting climbing, yet the climbing is not as steep as one would imagine. Climbers with moderate technical experience can attempt this route.

    The guides and Sherpas will fix the rope on the route and stock the camps with provisions and equipment. Two or three Climbing Sherpas will assist with the load carrying but no more will be engaged in order to avoid clogging the route and spoiling the nature of the climb.

    When the fixed line is in place and the two camps are established and stocked, we will climb back up the ropes and make a bid for the summit.

    On summit day, the route weaves between the ice cliffs then follows a snow arête directly onto the 6,828m/22,401ft summit.

  • Add Ons

    C Rutherford 01237City Tour

    Experience the sights of Kathmandu with a qualified English speaking guide. See some ancient temples nestled within the city, places that have remained the same for centuries. But don't just see them; get a valuable insight from a knowledgeable local guide. You will be amazed. Kathmandu has more surprises than you can imagine.


     

    caro DawrikasLuxury Hotel Upgrades

    Kathmandu has a wealth of accommodation options.  On our standard expedition departure we stay at a good, western standard, mid-range hotel but if you feel you would like to upgrade to luxury style, we can assist with booking alternative hotels.

    Just a few hours drive from Kathmandu is the beautiful Himalayan region of Langtang National Park. We offer two week long pre-acclimatisation trips to either the Langtang or Gosain Kunda lakes area. An ideal opportunity to pre-acclimatise prior to your Himalayan expedition. Contact our office for more detail.

    C Rutherford 2595Langtang - 7 Day / 6 Night Trek

    Day 1 - Drive to Shyabrubesi (1,550m)
    Day 2 - Trek to Lama Hotel (2,380m)
    Day 3 - Trek to Langtang Villages (3,430m)
    Day 4 - Trek to Kyanjin Gompa (3,870m)
    Day 5 - Trek to Kyanjin Ri (4,770m) and return to Lama Hotel
    Day 6 - Back to Shyabrubesi 

    Langtang Sophie WardGosain Kunda - 7 Day / 6 Night Trek                                 

    Day 1 - Drive to Dhunche (1,950m)
    Day 2 - Trek to Thulo Shyabru (2,200m)
    Day 3 - Trek to Shing Gomba (3,584m)
    Day 4 - Trek to Gosain Kunda (4,381m)
    Day 5 - Trek back to Shing Gomba
    Day 6 - Trek back to Dhunche
    Day 7 - Return to Kathmandu

    Chitwan Rhino Kasara ResortChitwan National Park

    Chitwan National Park is one of the major draw cards in Nepal outside of the Himalayas. This World Heritage listed wildlife reserve protects over 932km² of wilderness and is home to a raft of different wildlife. While there you will have the opportunity to see one-horned rhinoceroses, monkeys and deer. If you are really lucky you might even see a Royal Bengal Tiger. Since you are in Nepal, why not stay a little longer and experience this gem. For more information check out our Chitwan page.  

    Tiger Mountain Lodge Pokhara Camilla RutherfordPokhara and Tiger Mountain Lodge

    Perched 1,000 feet above the Pokhara Valley with a spectacular Himalayan backdrop, Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge provides a perfect haven, the essence of tranquillity. This side trip is ideal for guests pre- and post-expedition, or for those wishing to take day walks exploring local communities, bird-watching, gentle exercise, or just to relax in a typical Nepalese rural setting. For more information check out our Pokhara page.

    We are also able to offer Privately Guided Expeditions where you have the services of a top AC western guide as well as your own Sherpa support team to work exclusively with you on the expedition to ensure your needs are best met. AC have been fortunate to work with many privately guided groups over the years with exceptional results.

    Trekking Option for Non-climbing Family and Friends

    Your family or friends may wish to join you on your Expedition but may not like the idea of actually climbing a mountain. We can arrange for them to accompany you on the trek. Please contact us for more information.

    Personal Sherpa Guy Cotter

    Additional Sherpa Support

    We offer a service giving members the option to have their gear carried on ‘camp moving’ days, so all you have to carry is your jacket and water bottle and items required for the day. This option is popular with those who have difficulty recovering after a carrying a heavy load at altitude.

    Personal Sherpa

    This option provides you with the assistance of a very experienced and dedicated Sherpa who will support you for the duration of the expedition above Base Camp. Your Personal Sherpa will climb with you each day while you are climbing on the mountain as your climbing partner and generally assist you throughout the expedition all the way to the summit. When on the mountain, you would share a tent with your Personal Sherpa and he would supervise cooking duties. Our Sherpa guides are very experienced with multiple Himalayan ascents under their belts, and are friendly and supportive companions along the way!

    Personal Communications & Personal Tent on the Mountain

    You may also like to talk to us about other options such as personal communication systems (own BGAN satellite connection and laptop at Base Camp), or the provision of a personal tent on the mountain.

    Film Your Expedition

    Have a cameraman join your expedition and document the entire thing! Choose from a variety of options for different budgets. You could have a full colour book and short film, or a full documentary for television. Your trip is the trip of a lifetime; why not keep it to show your friends and family. Contact us or see our specialty Film and Photo Services page for more information.

  • Travel & Rescue Insurance

    Adventure Consultants recommends the following travel insurance and rescue insurance options, although this is only just a start! Once you book on a trip with AC, your Client Liaison will help you by sending through advice on your options;

    • Travel insurance
    • Trip interruption
    • Trip cancellation
    • Medical Evacuation and Rescue Insurance

    RIPCORD RESCUE TRAVEL INSURANCE

    Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance Logo webRipCord is the leading medical evacuation program offering elite evacuation and rescue services. With their new partnership with TravelEx, they can also now provide the benefits of a traditional travel insurance product with their just released, RipCord Rescue Travel Insurance™. This is specifically designed for the adventure enthusiast with unique trip cancellation/interruption, medical expense, sporting equipment and other coverage benefits to protect your financial investment.

    RipCord is powered by Redpoint Resolutions, an elite team of special operations veterans, Stanford Medicine affiliate physicians, paramedics, nurses, former intelligence officers and other medical/security experts comprising the most experienced team in the industry. They will rescue you from the field wherever your emergency occurs and evacuate you to your home country hospital of choice.

    RipCord rescues you from the field if you have an emergent medical condition that will result in significant permanent injury and/or death, but does not require hospitalisation.

    RipCord are proud to partner with Adventure Consultants to provide RipCord’s industry leading rescue, evacuation and travel insurance coverage to its clients.

    Adventure Consultants can also assist with purchasing polar cover for Antarctic expeditions and if interested in this, please contact RipCord directly for a specialised quote.

    GLOBAL RESCUE MEMBERSHIP SERVICES

    Global Rescue SnipAdventure Consultants also recommends the rescue evacuation and security membership/services provided by Global Rescue, which provides transport from the point of illness/injury back to your home countries hospital of your choice. TotalCare provides real-time access to medical information and coming soon, this includes urgent card and speciality consultations from some of the world’s health physicians at the Elite Medical Group and John Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore.

    Recently Global Rescue has released a new travel insurance product, the Signature Travel Insurance option. This has no height limitation and gives comprehensive cover for trip cancellation/interruption, medical and dental expenses, delays, lost luggage as well as optional add-ons to ‘cancel or interrupt for any reason. This is currently only available to US Residents.

    Click here to find out more about this insurance cover which covers climbing and is thus suitable for many of our expeditions.

  • FAQ

    • Expedition Documentation

      The following is to serve as a helpful guideline on our Himalayan climbs. Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions. Our team is here to help!

      info@adventure.co.nz
      US: +1 866 757 8722 (Freephone from North America)
      NZ: +64 3 443 8711 (Monday - Friday, 8:30am - 5:00pm PST + 19 hours)

      Please note you will be emailed 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.

    • Choosing a Provider

      How long have Adventure Consultants been in operation?
      Adventure Consultants started in 1990 and we have been guiding internationally ever since. You can read more on the history of Adventure Consultants here.

      A few outfitters claim to have the same level of experience and prestige as Adventure Consultants. In this league, what makes you the first choice for your climbers?
      We are renowned for the quality of service and strategy applied to our expeditions. Our reputation is attributed to the meticulous planning and logistics coordination done by our head office. Once on the ground in Nepal, you can expect to be well looked after by our guides so that you can relax and enjoy climbing in this amazing country.

    • Climbing Ama Dablam

      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.

      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/6,000m.

      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 the 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.

      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.

      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.

    • Food, Accommodation & Facilities

      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 a rooftop swimming pool! A perfect place to begin and end your trip.

      What showers and laundry will be available on the expedition?
      We offer shower facilities on all our high altitude expeditions and these will be made available as often as possible. During the trek in, many lodges offer hot showers for a fee and while at Base Camp, we will often set up a dedicated shower tent. We advise people to bring wet-wipes for impromptu washes in between available showers. Most days in Base Camp also start with a 'hot towel' delivered to your tent or dining table.

      Hot water is sometimes available to wash clothes on rest days and some of the lodges provide a laundry service for a small fee.

      What food will be available?
      You’ll get breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, as well as ample hot and cold drinks. We can cater for vegetarians as well as many other special diets as long as we are informed of this prior to the trip. All of our expeditions provide excellent local and Western food! If you have any special treats that you like, we encourage you to bring some along.

      What is the food like?
      When staying in the lodges, expect local food such as dal bhat as well as Western-style dishes such as pizza or yak steak. When in Base Camp, our well-trained cooks prepare high quality Western food as well as popular local dishes - don't be surprised to see sushi, nachos and pad thai on the menu as well as Kiwi bacon, cheese and salami, fresh coffee and yoghurt. Please indicate any specific dietary requirements you may have on your application form as we are happy to accommodate those with specific diets.

      What are the lodges like? Can I have my own room or tent?
      We book tidy, clean, modern lodges - the best that are available in each village. They are well-known locations to us and we have a good relationship with the lodge owners. We can book private rooms for you if that is a preference at an added cost. Our standard trips are based on shared rooms, usually twin-share and sometimes triple-share. On the mountain you will share a tent with one, or sometimes two other climbers.

    • Travel

      What is the best way to get to Nepal?
      Regular flights operate into Kathmandu via Bangkok, Doha, Hong Kong, Singapore and Delhi.

      Do I need to arrive the day before the trip starts? And when should I book my flight to leave?
      No, our trip programmes all have an arrival day and a departure day built into them. You are welcome, and encouraged, to arrive a bit earlier to explore Kathmandu if you have the time. 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 and the first of many team briefings will take place on the evening of Day One. Please do not book to depart before the scheduled final trip itinerary day.

      My travel agent says I can just get an ‘e’ ticket (electronic ticket) and will not need to be actually issued a physical ticket.
      'E' tickets are the standard practice these days and are now acceptable in Kathmandu. Do ensure that you print your itinerary and have your booking number with you, as this allows our local agents to assist with changing your return flight plans if need be, while you are in the mountains.

      When should I book my ticket?
      Generally, we ask you to wait until 90 days prior to your trip start date to ensure your trip has met the minimum numbers and will operate. If you see a good deal and want to book your flights, then ensure that you can make changes to your ticket or you run the risk of losing it if we do have to cancel the trip. In such situations, we are usually able to help you book on to an alternate departure, either with us or another operator.

      Can I get a cheap ticket online?
      The problem with these tickets is that you usually end up having to pay quite a lot more if you have to make any changes at a later date. Some of the places we go to aren't straightforward and we highly recommend using a travel agent for such travel, as there are many intricacies that they can help you with. In the long run they save you money! We use professional travel agents for all our staff and guides' travel bookings.

      Where do we meet? Will I be picked up?
      You should fly into Kathmandu International Airport (KTM) and an Adventure Consultants guide or representative will be there to pick you up off your flight. If you are arriving before the scheduled trip start date, we can often make arrangements for a pick up, although taking a taxi is generally the easiest form of transport before your trip starts.

      What if I am arriving early or departing late?
      Adventure Consultants can make reservations for you and can often make recommendations for attractions that you can enjoy while waiting for your trip to begin. Please let our office know your specific plans as we love to pass on Kathmandu sightseeing tips.

      Do I need to get a visa for Nepal? 
      Yes. For most nationalities, a visa can be obtained on arrival into Kathmandu or can be issued prior through an online system. Upon arrival, be sure to have the correct USD amount in cash for your visa application and have a passport photo ready. Currently, a 40-day visa costs $40 and 90-day visa costs US$100. Do make sure that your passport has at least six months validity and more details on this process are included in your comprehensive set of Reference Notes, which will be emailed out to you upon sign up.

    • Clothing & Equipment

      Do you have a recommended list of clothing we should bring?
      Once we have received your application we will email your Team Reference Notes which offer an assortment of information including detailed equipment lists. Any questions you have after reading through this can then be directed to our Equipment Coordinator, who can assist you in preparing for the trip as well as recommending and sourcing a range of clothing and equipment suitable for the climb via our gear retail service.

      Do I really need all the equipment on the equipment list?
      Yes, these lists have been carefully prepared and please bring everything on the list!

      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 warm do we need our sleeping bags to be? Will there be extra blankets available if required?
      This will be clearly stated in your recommended gear list. It will depend on where you are going but in general, you will need a sleeping bag warm enough for you in conditions that can be as cold as -20°C/-4°F. Blankets are generally not available so pay careful attention to the bag we recommend. We suggest buying a sleeping bag big enough to allow you to wear extra clothes in if it is especially cold. Sleeping in a warm hat can greatly improve a bag's warmth.

      How much weight will we carry on the expedition?
      You will carry your day pack with warm clothes, water, snacks, sun block, camera and whatever else you need for the day. Generally it will be light, 5 to 10kgs (10 to 20 pounds). On summit day(s) you will add your down jacket, technical climbing gear (which you will be wearing most of the time) and heavier gloves.

    • Acclimatisation & Oxygen

      Will there be any oxygen carried on the expedition? Is this included in our expedition fee?
      Most of our expeditions take oxygen as a medical backup. We also take PACs (Personal Altitude Chambers) with us. A trekker or climber with mountain sickness is placed inside the chamber and it is inflated around them. It increases the air pressure and any altitude related illness is usually immediately fixed. The climber then feels better and can usually walk down to lower elevations to recover.

      On Nuptse, there is the option to use bottled oxygen if you wish, at an additional cost. Climbers desiring oxygen would adopt our standard expedition package that provides 2-3 litres of oxygen per minute for summit day above Camp 3 and 0.5 litres per minute for sleeping at Camp 3 before leaving. This is sufficient for an ascent of Nuptse, although we can arrange for a Max OX option should you want that option (4 litres per minute climbing and 1 litre per minute sleeping). Please contact our office to discuss your oxygen requirements on Nuptse.

      What altitude medication will be available on the expedition? Do we need to take tablets before/ during the trek?
      All our guides carry extensive medical kits including various medications for altitude illness. If you have a previous history of altitude illness then please discuss this with us and your physician, otherwise there is no need to take preventative medication before or during your expedition.

      You need to bring any medications you regularly use (don’t forget to tell us about them), plus extras. Also bring a small first aid kit including a blister kit and mild headache medication for the normal altitude headaches.

    • Guides, Sherpas & Team Members

      How many guides/ Sherpas will be assigned to our group?
      A ratio of climbers to Western guides is stated on each trip’s web page in the downloadable ‘Trip Notes’. Sherpa guides are assigned depending on the size of the group and type of expedition.

      Who goes on your trips?
      Our climbers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, interests, countries and skill levels. From those seeking skill development to those seeking assistance with the world's highest mountains or purely adventure, we provide courses, expeditions, treks and guided ascents for all levels of outdoor enthusiasts.

      Can my friends and family join me on the trek into Base Camp? 
      Yes, this is possible on some of our expeditions. Please enquire directly with the Adventure Consultants office.

      Can I contact other climbers or guides on this expedition?
      Yes, we encourage that. Perhaps there is someone in your area that can become a training partner, perhaps they can help you source some hard-to-find gear. The bottom line is that it’s a good idea to have some contact with folks that you will share this experience with. We respect the privacy of each team member and check with each person before releasing any contact details.

      I would like to arrange a private trip, is this possible?
      We are happy to arrange a private group trip and we have run many successful private trips and expeditions including summits of 8,000m peaks such as Gasherbrum 2 and Kanchenjunga, all of the Seven Summits and remote destinations such as Antarctica. Some clients enjoy the added privacy and schedule flexibility that a private expedition allows, so you can hike and climb at your own pace and enjoy the mountains on your own terms. There is no specific group size, but obviously larger groups are more cost-effective. Please contact the office for more information.

    • Health & Fitness

      What kind of physical condition should I be in for the expedition?
      We cannot recommend enough being fit prior to the expedition as this will make all the difference to your success and enjoyment. You should be comfortable climbing at altitude while carrying a pack for 4-6hrs on most climbing days. Summit day will be longer, often 10-14hrs. Contact us for specific advice regarding training for your climb or visit our Fitness Training Programmes page.

      How do you train for a trip like this?
      We have specific ideas around training and great book suggestions to help you along. Please look over our Fitness Training Programmes for details. If you require more information please contact our office and we will be happy to put you in touch with one of our senior guides for a consultation and we can also link you with our training coach to design a training programme for you.

      How do I know this is the right trip for me?
      We offer trips to suit all levels of ability and ambition, from your first mountain experience to extreme ascents and everything in between. To help you navigate the choices available, our trips are graded by both the level of physical exertion and the level of skill required, allowing you to find your perfect expedition match. These ratings are displayed in the icons at the top of each expedition page, with a further explanation available by clicking on the accompanying question mark. A full run-down of the categories can be found on our Difficulty Ratings page and our team is more than happy to discuss your experience to find the right trip for you.

    • Communication & Electronic Devices

      Will there be any access to a satellite phone? If yes then what would be the charges for usage?
      Yes, most of our expedition guides take satellite phones and you are welcome to use these at US$3 per minute. Most often, your guide will post daily dispatches on the AC website where your friends and family can follow your progress.

      I want to contact my friend or relative, who is on one of your trips, how can I reach them?
      We receive regular updates from our guides while they are in the field so the best place to reach a loved one is through our office.

      Will there be any power source for charging batteries, etc. available throughout the expedition? What voltage requirements?
      We take solar panels and sometimes battery power packs on our expeditions. Our first priority is to charge our radios, satellite phones and expedition electrical equipment. There is usually enough power to then charge your personal electrical equipment.

      At the Base Camp we will also have a 12V electrical re-charging system, so do bring 12V car chargers for any electrical items that you wish to recharge. We cannot charge items in Base Camp that do not have a 12V cigarette lighter adapter, so please check that your accessory takes batteries or can plug in with a 12V cigarette lighter charger. We can cater for special power requirements at an extra cost or advise on the purchase of a suitable personal solar charging system - please enquire with our office.

      During the trek in, many of the lodges also have power available with typical Asian plugs (two nail-like horizontal prongs) and offer recharging for a fee.

    • Insurance

      What insurance do we need to get?
      On all of our international expeditions, there is a requirement for each expedition member to have insurance to cover any personal or medical mishaps that may occur before or during the expedition. Click here for more information on Expedition Insurance.

      Do I need evacuation insurance?
      Yes, it is very important. Many of our expeditions are in remote places with no roads and third world medical services. In the unlikely event you get sick, you want to get to good medical care ASAP.

      Who do you recommend for insurance?
      Coverage varies based on your nationality and the trip that you are taking with us. When you have booked on for a trip with us, we will send you comprehensive information on various insurance options which will serve as a good starting point for obtaining the best coverage available for yourself.

      What is Trip Cancellation Insurance?
      We recommend to all our expedition and trek members to buy trip cancellation insurance upon sign up for your expedition or at the very least, at the same time as you pay for your flights (and the balance payment) for the trip you are going on. It is very important to buy trip cancellation insurance (in addition to your evacuation and comprehensive travel insurance) as it is not unknown for people to have unforeseen circumstances that force them to cancel their trips for reasons such as family illness, injury to one’s self, business issues, etc.

    • Fees & Payments

      Can I pay by credit card?
      We can accept the trip deposit payment on credit card, and we add a 3% fee to accept the balance payment by credit card for your trip. Please contact our office or visit our secure credit card page to send us your credit card details - your card is not charged at the time as we process this here in our office and not via an online payment system.

      What is included in the cost of my trip? Does it include airfare?
      Each specific trip page on the website has a section as well as a downloadable pdf document with exactly what is and what is not included on the trip. International airfares are not included in the trip price. We can however recommend excellent travel agents whom we have worked with in your country should you require help with arranging your international airfare.

      Why are you sometimes more expensive than other operators?
      Many of our trips are very similar in price to our competitors. Some companies even wait for us to set our prices and use ours as a guideline!! Some of our main selling points, which sometimes do cost more are; internationally qualified western guides, proven dependable local operators, small group sizes and safe client:guide ratios, quality equipment and high summit success rates, among other things. You do get what you pay for which is why we stand out from the rest. Many clients come to us after failing on one of our competitors ‘cheaper’ trips.

      How do I sign up for a trip?
      The best way to reserve your space on a trip is to call our offices or complete our online booking form. Return this with the trip deposit either through a telegraphic transfer (information is on our trip notes downloaded from the specific trip page) or by using our secure credit card page. Phone our New Zealand head office on +643 443 8711 (Monday - Friday, 9:00am - 5:30pm PST + 19 hours) or Freephone 1-866-757-8722 from North America.

    • Photography

      I love the photographs in your brochure and on your website, are they for sale?
      Yes, our images are available for licensing or purchase.

      What is the best equipment for photography in Alpine environments?
      There is an extensive section in our reference notes, which are sent out on receipt of your trip registration form and deposit, explaining about photography in the mountains.

      Remember photos are wonderful records of your expedition but keep your camera gear simple and light to best enjoy the trip you are on. Disposable and digital cameras are the lightest weight, but all cameras have maintenance issues that need to be carefully considered before bringing them to high elevations.

    • Safety

      What about the Maoists in Nepal?
      The Maoist problem which partly crippled the economy of Nepal for the past decade garnered major international interest. The Maoists have now formed part of the Nepalese government and there is a comprehensive peace agreement in place so we hope the troubles of the past are put behind the Nepalese people. Our sources in Nepal keep us up to date with the political situation and if there are significant changes we will be sure to advise you.

    • Employment

      I want to become a mountain guide, where do I start?
      Those with limited experience generally start by taking an alpine climbing course and then go out and climb for a few years. You generally should have at least 5 years of climbing and/or teaching/guiding experience. You need avalanche and medical training and then you can apply to do a NZ Mountain Guides Course or the equivalent in your country, aligned with the IFMGA. Check the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association web pages for a complete description.

  • Dispatches

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Ama Dablam

The overall leadership was excellent and got better when we got to the business end - on the mountain, our guide’s management of the group and the Sherpas was nothing short of excellent.
Ama Dablam Expedition

David Pinches
Australia
Ama Dablam Caro

Not one time on the trek or the climb did I watch another group with envy. We were always the better equipped, better cared for, safer and happiest.
Ama Dablam 2017

Michael Neal
USA