An intimidatingly vertical pinnacle of rock and ice in Nepal’s Eastern Himalayas, Ama Dablam takes its name from its striking appearance. ‘Ama’ means mother, as the mountain’s long ridges are believed to look like a mother’s arms, outstretched to protect her children, while ‘Dablam’ is the name of the pendant traditionally worn by Sherpa women, a reference to the prominent hanging glacier dangling beneath the summit.
The mountain is well-known to anyone who’s made the trek to Everest base camp, as it dominates the Eastern skyline for several days of the walk. It’s also one of the most popular peaks in the Himalayas among climbers, but it’s not without its difficulties.
Elite Exped’s Ama Dablam expedition is a 25-day round trip from Kathmandu, allowing for several weather contingency days, and plenty of time for acclimatization. While some operations establish three camps up the southwestern ridge, we prefer to use just two, avoiding the need to spend a night at the usual camp three spot, just beneath the hanging glacier. We believe this is a more efficient way to climb the peak, but perhaps more importantly, it’s also potentially safer. Camp three is not usually a danger zone, as any calving from the Dablam glacier tends to fall away from it. But in 2006, Ama wasn’t feeling so protective, and a large serac broke off her Dablam, killing several climbers in camp three.
As with all Elite Exped trips, our expedition plan for Ama Dablam has been put in place by Nimsdai and Mingma David, our Guinness World Record holding directors, whose operational experience in the Himalayas is unparalleled. Nimsdai, of course, shattered the speed record for climbing all 14 of the world’s 8,000m peaks, summiting them in just over six months in 2019. Mingma David, who climbed with him on many of those peaks, became the youngest person ever to have summited all 14.
Elite Exped’s guiding team, handpicked by the pair, are not only hugely experienced mountaineers in their own right, they’re trained to the very highest levels in alpine rescue and recovery techniques. As part of our expedition planning, we ensure that we have constantly updated evacuation plans in place, and helicopters on standby in case of emergencies. If you want to try tackling a tricky peak like Ama Dablam, you could not be in safer hands.
Not only that, our team’s Nepalese heritage - and ability to straddle the divide between Western and Himalayan climbing cultures, means we can be sure that every aspect of your expedition will run like clockwork, offering you the best possible opportunity to reach the peak.
From the moment you sign up, to the summit, and safely back home again, Elite Exped’s expert team will be with you, every step of the way.