Tips to summit Mount Ama Dablam
Five time summiteer Lakpa Sherpa shares his experience
Ama Dablam, a beautiful peak in Nepal, translates to “Mother’s Necklace”. Besides beauty, Ama Dablam is also popular as one of the most technical mountains to climb. The climb to the top is full of steep granite rocks that need skillful manoeuvring with quality equipment.
Despite its unfavourable climbing conditions, Lakpa Sherpa is a five-time summiteer of Ama Dablam. He first summited the mountain on October 26, 2013. Sherpa is currently working as Managing Director of Pioneer Adventure Pvt. Ltd, an adventure company consisting of 40 experienced guides. He is still passionate about climbing and taking many clients to the top of different peaks every year.
“One cannot resist the urge to climb this beautiful peak of Ama Dablam, once you’ve reached the base camp,” remarked Sherpa. The summit of 6814 metre (officially) can be reached via Southwest Ridge. “To reach summit and return back safely, climbers must be mentally and physically fit, must have good climbing skills and must be well equipped,” he explained. Mid-October to the first week of November is the best time of the year to enjoy favourable weather for summit.
“Every year we take a group of 7 to 12 people to Ama Dablam. A minimum budget of 5,000USD to 7,000USD is required to scale the peak. You will get a personal guide with domestic and logistic support. However, at the beginning of every season, we need to scale the mountain first and then set the slopes with ropes for our clients to follow. Climbers heavily rely on us for their safety and success,” he explained. He added, “Ama Dablam expedition is one of the bestselling packages of our company. We already have confirmed groups and our booking is still going on for this coming October. There will be three groups of climbers from Pioneer Adventure who will be scaling the mountain this year.”
The rocky ridges and snow slopes of Amasteep slopes of Ama Dablam make it one of the most exhilarating mountains in the world. “To reach Camp II, climbers have to go through a part of the mountain called Yellow Tower. The route will test your ability to climb vertical rocks. Not only that, but it will also test your muscle strength and endurance. The most difficult part of the ascend begins after you reach camp II.
Passing through camp II, you have to go through an area called Grey Tower. The unpredictable weather might cause rockfalls or avalanches in Grey tower. As you climb further, you can find the Dablam glacier after crossing the Mushroom Ridge. You may face different kinds of hardships along the way. The trip back to the base camp is challenging as well.” Sherpa said. “Although I have scaled this mountain numerous times; it still sends chills down my spine. It has always been a thrilling experience,” exclaimed Sherpa, commenting on his trip to Ama Dablam.
Tips to climb Mount Ama Dablam
- The ‘UIAA or CE’ certified gears and ‘Experienced Guide’ are preferable. A climb with the right gears can have a profound impact on the success of the trip.
- Prior experience on any 6000m peak is much recommended. Ama Dablam is one of the most technical mountains to climb and so, beforehand experience can help a lot. To test endurance to altitude, a trip to Everest Base Camp or Annapurna Base Camp may also help.
- Deciding the correct time of the year with the correct amount of budget also plays a vital role. As the weather can be unpredictable in these high altitudes, it is favourable to climb this peak in mid-October and early weeks of November. It can take around 27 days to scale this beautiful peak.
- Choosing a good company to guide you through the journey also plays a vital role in the success of the climb. A company must assure the safety and success of the trip to the client. A company with a good reputation must be preferred.
Mountaineering and Visit Nepal 2020
“This year of Visit Nepal 2020, we are trying our best to bring in as many tourists as possible. We are also trying to get in touch with our previous clients and encourage them to explore the wonderful Himalayas,” he said. “I feel like we might be unfortunate this year. We used to get 60 to 70 clients from China every year who would reserve packages to climb different peaks of Nepal. However, the recent outbreak of coronavirus has decreased the number of visitors and climbers from China,” he added. “Putting aside the negative impacts on tourism, we are still putting our best efforts to make the visitors’ stay comfortable, as thousands of visitors from various countries come to visit Nepal every year,” said Sherpa optimistically.