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  SummitClimb Ama Dablam 2005: What a picture!


Dispatch Ten: Dear EverestNews Readers. Doug Sandok writing to you from Basecamp at 4600m.

Yesterday we had a beautiful morning with our first up close views of the route on Ama Dablam. Chuck, Kurt, Colby, Stuart, Eric, Mor, Mishael, Paul, Phil and I decided to take a load up to Advance Base Camp (ABC) at 5350m. The Romanians, Florin and Coco had taken a load up to Camp 1 the day before and headed down to Pangboche for a couple nights of low altitude rest. John, Rick, Larry, and Andrew decided to stay at Basecamp with Jay for the day enjoying the weather, the tea, and the rest. High up the ridge we had a very enjoyable walk to ABC. The weather held out until the descent and the trail was quite good. We deposited some gear and set up tents and headed back down. Kurt, Chuck and I pulled out the topo maps on the way down and tried to pick out some of the major features of the valley. We had an enjoyable evening with the Peak Freaks team. It seems that the Russians have pushed the route through to Camp 2 and are today on the way to Camp 3, but there is a fair amount of fresh snow on the route still making it quite difficult. This morning Andrew, Rick and John made preparations to take a load up to ABC as the Sherpas were busy getting everything ready for another puja ceremony at the large boulder just outside of camp. Around 10 am we all gathered at the large Boulder (Jangbu's Rock) and the Lama began the ceremony to make a prayer for our success. There was lots of Chang (rice beer) and burning juniper...the scent and the smoke swirling and blowing in the breeze. We sat in a semicircle with Ama Dablam's summit looming 2.2 vertical kilometers above us. We all have the feeling the weather has changed for the better and the monsoon has receded. Although we have some thin blowing clouds at the moment it felt very auspicious to have the weather on our side as we made the puja. The puja ended with much chang all around, and throwing of rice and tsampa wheat. Then the fruit, sweets, breads and whiskey came out...our climbing gear was blessed and the Sherpas hung long strands of prayer flags from the rock in all directions. After all this the ABC crew headed up the mountain and the rest of us headed into the tent to eat and hydrate. Tomorrow it is likely that some of the team will head up to ABC for a few days and to start setting higher camps. Others will stay at Basecamp and follow shortly after. It has been a great day at 4600m, chang and all. Spirits are high and we are all feeling well acclimatized so far.

 

From the Abode of Snow - Doug.

 

Phil Austin - Hi All,  To continue from Doug, Two days ago Doug and I ran a training day consisting of a morning of fixed rope ascending and descending. I went up the hill with 3 sherpas and set up the ropes while Doug inspected all the members climbing hardware.  All went well and everyone enjoyed themselves,  In the afternoon Jay and Doug went through the first aid box and instruction in the use of the Gamow / P.A.C. bag.

 

Yesterday myself and Stuart went up to ABC, the walk up was wonderful and we got into a great rhythm and felt great. We deposited all our loads and ran down for lunch which we missed by an hour. So we had to drink lots of soup and tea instead.

 

All is well and our affections go out to all our families and friends.

 

Take care from the lush green base camp of Ama Dablam. Attached photo of Advance Base Camp (ABC) at 5400 metres, with Lakpa Sherpa, 4 time Ama Dablam summitter and one of our top sherpas, of which we have nine on this 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  has made some minor changes by adding more Kevlar. USES Expeditions / High altitude / Mountaineering in extremely cold conditions / Isothermal to -75°F Gore-Tex® Top dry / Evazote Reinforcements with aramid threads. Avg. Weight: 5 lbs 13 oz Sizes: 5 - 14 DESCRIPTION Boot with semi-rigid shell and built-in Gore-Tex® gaiter reinforced by aramid threads, and removable inner slipper Automatic crampon attachment Non-compressive fastening Double zip, so easier to put on Microcellular midsole to increase insulation Removable inner slipper in aluminized alveolate Fiberglass and carbon footbed Cordura + Evazote upper Elasticated collar.

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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