Climbing Ama Dablam – 6812mtr Pt1

At the same time that I was in Nepal for the Everest Marathon I was given the opportunity to take part in a quick expedition. This expedition was probably the best and hardest climbs I have undertaken. I was in Nepal to support my friends on the Everest Marathon and I had arrived in Namche Bazaar ten days early. There was an American climbing friend of mine about to go and climb Ama Dablam but his partner had injured himself on Baruntse. Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth I accepted an offer of a free climb.

We left Namche as the sun was setting over Kusum Kanguru and started out for Pangbouche. We contoured North-East, high above the Dudh Kosi and had excellent views of Ama Dablam as we descend through the ever-popular Rhododendron forest towards the river. We crossed the Dudh Kosi at Phunki Tenga and started the steep climb to the saddle at the top of a hill. This path wound on and on passed Mani wheels (like a prayer wheel) until suddenly we walked over the ridge and into Thyangboche, the main monastery of the Khumbu area sat straight in front of us.

We were carrying large packs with food, hardware and loads of other things when we arrived and decided to rest in a local guest house. We moved into a large room, sorted out our equipment and went to get some food. About 11pm we turned in for the night, and while Pat slipped outside for a cigarette, I settled into the warmth of my down sleeping bag.

At 4am we woke and started getting ready to leave, it was cold and we dressed warm, packed and left. We stored a sack of surplus gear at the guest house and set off for base camp. We walked out of Thyangboche and continued up the valley towards Everest Base Camp for about two hours before turning right up a smaller valley which leads first to the small hamlet of Mingbo and then to base camp, nearby. As we reached Mingbo the sun started to pick out Ama Dablam creating a beautiful pink glow over the top section of the mountain…

Part 2 coming tomorrow…

To find out more about my expeditions, please have a look at my book.

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