Ama Dablam 6,812m is located in the eastern parts of Nepal of Khumbu region, also known as Amai Dablang, popularly known as the “Matterhorn of the Himalayas”. It is the third most popular Himalayan peak permitted for the expedition. It belongs to the Mahalangur sub-range of the Nepalese Himalayas. The name Ama Dablam means “Mother’s necklace”. The long ridges on either side are considered the arms of the mother (Aama) which are protecting her child and the hanging glaciers are considered the Dablam, which means a traditional double pendant with the god’s picture imprinted on it, much worn by the Sherpa women in Nepal. It was first climbed on March 13, 1961, by Mike Gill (NZ), Barry Bishop (USA), Mike Ward (UK), and Wally Romanes (NZ) via the Southwest Ridge. The most popular route by far is the Southwest Ridge typically set up three camps along the ridge with camp 3 just below and to the right of the hanging glacier. It is a steep pyramid of ice with vertical walls and sharp, exposed ridges.
Amadablam Expedition Climbing Route
Base Camp (4650m/15,255ft) to Camp I (5,700m/18,700m)
Climb up a long moderate moraines ridge, giving excellent views of our entire route toward the southwest ridge till the bottom of the large boulders at 5400m. This is the location of the advanced base camp and climbs toward the north to reach camp I. From Camp 1, up is always incredibly exposed and interested.
Camp I to II (6000m/19,685ft)
Encounter the route’s crux rock climbing sections. There are interesting technical traverses combined with countless easy fifth-class moves and some short harder pitches of up to 5.8 climbing. On all of this climbing, you will be truly climbing each move, using fixed ropes only to protect yourself. There is a spot for an alternate camp close to the two rock fingers. After this first section of snow or easy rock, follows steppers steps and slabs. Traverse to the right to the first 5.6 pitch. Join the ridge which is very exposed on both sides. Follow the ridge in mixed terrain to the right to the bottom of the yellow tower. Climb the yellow tower, 5.9 up to the ridge.
Camp II to III (6300m/20,670ft)
Offers the route’s most challenging ice climbing, with sustained pitches of steep ice and mixed terrain. The final section of Camp 3 is the famed mushroom ridge, a mostly horizontal traverse across cornices tenuously stuck to a knife-edge ridge. Go to the right and climb a few pitches of very steep mixed ground. Join the bottom of the gray tower, go to the left of the tower (West face) and climb a gully up to the top of the tower and the mushroom ridge. Climb the mushroom ridge; horizontal and short step sections (60°-70°) up to the flat area of camp 3 at around 6 300 m / 20,670 ft.
Camp III to the Mt. Ama Dablam summit
The route lessens slightly in technical difficulty, climbing straight-forward 50-70 degree ice and snow around the hanging glacier (the Dablam) and up the summit face. Climb the steep ice slope on the right of the Dablam. On the top of the Dablam, go to the left and climb the snow slope and ice flute toward the summit (40°-60°).