Mountain Climbing

Ama Dablam Climb

A Classic View of AmaDablam as seen from Khumbu

Location:Khumbu, Nepal

Elevation: 6, 812 meters

If you know folk musician Roy Harper, you must also be familiar with Nick Harper, the English singer-songwriter whose songs have brought him to reach different places for his renowned tours and impressive albums! In his 2010 album “The Last Guitar,” he has included a song entitled “AmaDablam.” But what is AmaDablam?

Known as the “Matterhorn of the Himalayas,” AmaDablam is a mountain situated in the eastern Himalayan Range of Province No.1, Khumbu Nepal.

Its name means “Mother’s Necklace” and was called so because the long ridges on each side appear like a mother (ama) embracing and protecting her young. Additionally, the hanging glacier is thought to be represented by the word “Dablam,” a traditional pendant worn by Sherpa women.

For those who plan to trek to Mt. Everest, AmaDablam is part of the scenic and spectacular view when heading back to the basecamp. Those who have successfully reached the mountain’s peak would agree that it is one of the most challenging and technical climbs among the globe’s many summits. For expert alpinists, it is the ultimate mountaineering destination.

 History of the Mountain

View of Ama Dablam from Kala Patthar

It was on March 13, 1961, that AmaDablam was first climbed. Consisting of the team were Mike Gill, Barry Bishop, Mike Ward, and Wally Romanes. These men had passed through the Southwest Ridge and before the climb was well-acclimatized.

In the year 1979, a different path was taken by Jeff Lowe. He instead took the Lowe Route on the South Face, and this climber was responsible for its namesake. In the very same year. But after around five months, a French expedition was led by Raymound Renaud and Yvan Estienne. Their group consisted of 14 French men and 4 Nepalese Sherpa, all who were grouped into three and ventured on the summit for three days.

What to Prepare

 Before booking your tickets and inviting friends to hike along, it’s important to know much about the mountain and what things to prepare for the climb. In 47 years of its grounds marked upon mountaineers, 18 people have died.

However, don’t be discouraged. As of 2008, approximately 1900 people have successfully reached the top. What’s important to note are the various things anyone has to prepare and adjust for before going on this trip.

Other than conditioning oneself, it’s vital to train beforehand, such as running and other aerobic conditioning exercises. The altitude has seemed to be an issue for many, and so acclimatization is deemed necessary. While traveling to the base camp, there are many areas where people can have side climbs. Although no one can prepare fully for towering altitudes, putting it in mind can help.

Taking a hike on AmaDablam requires a certified mountain guide for climbing. Having someone around who is very familiar with the area is encouraging. When it comes to equipment, it’s important to bring things that will help you endure alpine climbs such as ice axes, crampons, cams, jumars, and ice screws.

Lastly, a climbing permit is required to make the hike. Some hikers have advised taking this climbing permit through the Nepal Ministry of Tourism.

AmaDablam (right) with Lhotse and Mt. Everest (left)

 Best Time to Climb

Similar to Mt. Everest, it’s best to climb this mountain from April to May, before the monsoon. If a person is unavailable for that time, September to October is another timeframe that interests many. Spring is the best season for hiking because it gets warmer. The Fall is also excellent because most of the guides are preoccupied with reservations made for climbers planning to reach Mt. Everest’s peak in Springtime.

Routes to Climb

  • Southwest Ridge Route

This the first route climbed to reach the top of AmaDablam, it is also the most popular one. The ascent is a challenge, but the descent has been known to pose risks. There had been debris and falling rock issues in the past.

  • Lowe Route

Found on the mountain’s southern face, the Lowe Route is the second path in history that was trampled on to reach the top of this mountain successfully.

  • Northeast Route

This pathway is known to be the steepest out of all the other routes. Extra caution must be taken when climbing this way.

  • Stane Belak Srauf Memorial Route

In 1996, VanjaFurlan and TomazHumarearned the Piolet d’Or prize after climbing this route on the Northwest face. They were the pioneers for this route.

  • Northwest Ridge

Although this isn’t a popular route and has only been climbed once successfully in 2001, it remains an option.

 Cost to climb Ama Dablam

Generally, an excursion to this fascinating peak would cost a majority of hikers around 6000 to 8000 dollars. However, this depends on the trip duration, the number of people in the hiking group, and additional costs like accommodations, permits, entrance fees, and transports.

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