Ama Dablam Overview
Situated in the heart of the Khumbu region of eastern Nepal, Ama Dablam is one of the most popular mountaineering destinations in the world.
The peak sits just to the south of Mount Everest and is located in close proximity to several of Sagarmatha National Park’s other iconic Himalayan Peaks
Ama Dablam is a technically and physically challenging climb that requires about one month to complete. Most trips include trekking from Lukla to the base camp, which takes about five days to one week.
However, Ama Dablam is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful mountains in the Himalayas and along with attracting numerous climbers each year, is also a popular trekking destination too.
Quick Facts about Ama Dablam
- Ama Dablam is the third most popular permitted Himalayan peak for mountaineering expeditions.
- Ama Dablam is also one of the most iconic mountains in the world. Its likeness has been used in branding for Apple and PepsiCo, among many others.
- Due to its distinctive ridges and steep faces, Ama Dablam is often referred to as the Matterhorn of the Himalayas.
History of Ama Dablam
The first ascent of Ama Dablam took place on March 13, 1961 via the Southwest Ridge Route and was undertaken by a team of climbers from New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom.
Since then, about 3,000 people have attempted to summit the peak, with 1,900 making it to the top. The vast majority have done so via the southwest ridge route. It was not until 1979 that climbers made it to the top using different routes.
Over the course of the next 10 years, various mountaineering professionals would ascend the peak via five different routes and using variations of existing routes.
The single deadliest day on Ama Dablam occurred on November 14, 2006 when an avalanche passed through Camp III killing six climbers.
Experience Required for Climbing Ama Dablam
Ama Dablam is a technically challenging climb and requires a combination of intermediate and advanced rock and ice climbing skills. The Southwest Ridge Route (the most popular one) is rated V+ on the UIAA scale.
Any would-be climbers should have experience climbing at 6,000 metres (19,700 feet) or more prior to taking on the climb. Prior to the ascent, climbers should also spend at least three weeks slowly acclimatizing in order to avoid altitude sickness.
In addition to the technical requirements, aspiring climbers also must be in very good physical condition, able to climb for three to five hours consecutively with minimal to no breaks.
Main Routes up Ama Dablam
The main route up to the summit of Ama Dablam is the Southwest Ridge Route. It is widely considered to be the easiest one and is the exclusive one used by the vast majority of mountain guides.
The actual climb to the top of the peak begins from the Ama Dablam base camp, at the southwest foot of the mountain. From here, climbers slowly ascend up to Camp I, Camp II and then either Camp III (many guides do not recommend staying at this camp due to the high altitude) or the summit.
Aside from the Southwest Ridge Route, there are seven other routes to the summit. The most popular of these is the North Ridge Route, which is also occasionally climbed by amateurs. The other routes are mostly climbed by only professionals.