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  SummitClimb Ama Dablam 2005: Ama Dablam climbing and trekking dispatch, 4 October, 2005


Ama Dablam copyright Dan Mazur

Dispatch Seven: This is Phil Austin, Leader in Training, writing today's dispatch from Namche Bazaar. Namche Bazaar is the capital of the Solu Khumbu region of Nepal and is at an altitude of 3500m. It is set in a dramatic natural amphitheatre with all the buildings forming a horseshoe, it is a truly beautiful place.

On the way up there have been several bouts of "dodgy tummies", but all are making quick recoveries and are marching onward and upward with no problems. Everyone is in high spirits and there is a good sense of humor amongst everyone and we're all mixing well.

 

Mor and Mishael have informed us that it is Jewish new year of 5766, we will all be taking a drink with them tonight to celebrate.  Today we had a rest day and wandered around Namche at our leisure drinking hot lemon tea and eating cinnamon rolls (mmmmm).  This rest day is essential in our acclimatization process; go up too fast and the chance of acute mountain sickness becomes more common.  So its a good excuse to chill out.

 

We all want to say a special hello to all our loved ones and to tell them are thoughts are always with them.

 

So this is Phil signing off and saying farewell for now

 

"Namaste" and best wishes from all of us on the 2005 Ama Dablam climb and trek.

 

Ps. Team member Andrew McDonald here. Thought I would make mention of one of the interesting moments from Monday. Having sat around at Kathmandu airport for quite a few hours I was somewhat relieved by gaining a last minute seat on our second flight out. The flight was going smoothly until we crossed the ridge that leads to the Lukla airfield, after that the normally dramatic approach was complicated by heavy cloud cover, in Nepal the clouds often have rocks in them! This first approach was aborted and the pilot made a steep, stomach churning, climb within the valley. The second approach was where the excitement really began with the pilot seemingly deciding in an instant to dive down to the airfield through a break in the cloud. When I say an airfield, it's really a patch of asphalt that seems to have dripped down the side of a hill. As we plunged from the sky I told myself to enjoy the experience rather than scream in terror. My emotions were well placed as before I knew it we had touched down and an enthusiastic round of applause echoed through the plane. Hopefully our luck will be equally as good during the days ahead! 

 

We plan to trek to the village of Pangboche tomorrow at 4100m:- the day after - Basecamp! We will send another dispatch from there.

 

Thank you for following the news of our expedition.

Updates

AMA DABLAM: sometimes spelled: Ama Dablan, or Amadablam, or Amadablan

ASIA'S MOST FAMOUS TECHNICAL BUT CLIMBABLE ROCK-ICE-SNOW CLIMB

Leader: Daniel Mazur, Ama Dablam 4 time summiter, climber-leader-organizer of Everest, K2, and 12 "eight-thousand-metre-peaks", leading together with Jay Reilly, two time Ama Dablam and two time Pumori summiter

Our expedition offers an opportunity to climb this challenging semi-technical rock-ice-snow climb with an experienced team, at an affordable price. We have organized five previous expeditions to Ama Dablam, so our leaders and staff are very familiar with the climb. In October 2003, fourteen of our members and 5 sherpas reached the summit in all safety. It was our fifth successful ascent of the mountain. We were fortunate in that the weather was ideal, the team cooperated together well, our Sherpa climbing staff worked very hard, our equipment functioned well, the food and hot drinks were well prepared, and the route was in excellent condition. Please share in our congratulations to all of the team members and thanks to everyone who helped and supported us, including our generous sponsors. Nepal is indeed beautiful now and the pleasant weather and calm conditions in this very peaceful and happy region made our expedition especially enjoyable.

SOME FACTS ABOUT AMA DABLAM:  Ama Dablam is in the Khumbu valley, near to Mt. Everest, in the heart of the Sherpa area of Nepal, and is considered by many to be the most famous rock-ice-snow climb in all Asia. The name Ama Dablam means Mother’s Charm Box: the high hanging serac located just below the summit resembling the Dablam or Charm Box which unmarried Sherpa women used to wear around their necks. The first ascent of the mountain was by Ed Hillary's Silver Hut expedition in 1961 when Bishop (USA), Gill, Romanes (NZ) and Ward (UK) reached the summit, via the SW ridge, on 13 March after 20 days working on the route. Since then the mountain has received about 500 ascents (not including Sherpas) mostly via the SW ridge.

WHY THE SOUTH WEST RIDGE

Here is what one of our previous top climb leaders (Jonathan Pratt, from Essex, England) had to say about the route:  “The easiest way to the top of Ama Dablam is via the SW ridge, a semi-technical route, and considered to be the standard route. Although there are several other routes on the mountain, they are all very much harder than the SW ridge. The route has been considered to be a safe route, free from objective danger, such as avalanche. It is a varied and interesting route with loads of superb climbing - not just a huge snow slog, unlike other Himalayan climbs. On Ama Dablam, the rock and ice is not sustained but tends to come in short manageable sections.”

NOTE: Please don’t underestimate this climb. Although there is only one 6 metre, 20 foot section of grade British severe, or North America 5.5, (the rest of the climb is known as "scrambling" or "4th class") there are complicating factors which you may not find at home on your local crag and definitely not in the rock-gym. These may include: ice, snow, high-altitude, temperature, weather, exposure, and other factors.

 

Millet One Sport Everest Boot Expedition and mountaineering boot for high altitude and extremely cold conditions. The Everest has conquered all 14 mountains over 8,000m and also the Seven Summits- and has now had a makeover to ensure continued peak preformance. With a newer sung, Alpine Fit, and even lighter Expedition footwear for mountaineering in conditions of extreme cold.  NOTE US SIZES LISTED. See more here.

 

A cold weather, high altitude double boot for extreme conditions The Olympus Mons is the perfect choice for 8000-meter peaks. This super lightweight double boot has a PE thermal insulating inner boot that is coupled with a thermo-reflective outer boot with an integrated gaiter. We used a super insulating lightweight PE outsole to keep the weight down and the TPU midsole is excellent for crampon compatibility and stability on steep terrain. WEIGHT: 39.86 oz • 1130 g LAST: Olympus Mons CONSTRUCTION: Inner: Slip lasted Outer: Board Lasted OUTER BOOT: Cordura® upper lined with dual-density PE micro-cellular thermal insulating closed cell foam and thermo-reflective aluminium facing/ Insulated removable footbed/ Vibram® rubber rand See more here.

 






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