- About BBE
- TREK, SKI,
- Blog and News
- Contact Us
Ama Dablam (6,812m) is undoubtedly one of the most striking mountains on our planet. Located in the Khumbu, Everest region of Nepal, she is recognized as one of the most beautiful peaks in the Himalaya and has special significance to the Sherpas in the Khumbu Valley.
Our unique Khumbu acclimatization program begins with a climb of Chukhung Ri (5,550m) before we trek across the Kongma Pass (5,535m) to the village of Lobuche. From there, we enjoy the once–in-a-lifetime chance to trek to Everest Base Camp and summit Kala Patthar (5,550m) before returning to Lobuche to climb Lobuche East (6,119m). Depending on weather, we also plan to spend a night on Lobuche’s summit ridge, valuable for our acclimatization, before descending to Pangboche to start our ascent of Ama Dablam, following the traditional Southwest Ridge.
This 30 day program not only offers a stunning opportunity to explore the mountains of the Khumbu, but also allows us to begin our ascent to high altitude as early as possible. The results are clear: better acclimatization and a bonded team upon arrival at the Ama Dablam Base Camp!
As we prepare for an exciting Fall climbing season, we continue our tradition of leadership and attention to detail. Read on to discover our unique acclimatization program for Ama Dablam 2016!
For new Himalaya climbers we are now also offering pre-training with a day-10 course in Ecuador, or closer to home, on Mount Baker for 4 days.
The South West Ridge is incredibly picturesque and a fine alpine route of world class standard due to its ease of access, sound rock and a truly spectacular summit day on steep and exposed snow slopes. Summiters are rewarded with panoramic views of the Everest group, Makalu, Cho Oyu and a multitude of lesser peaks.
Our expeditions reflect the spirit of mountain exploration in an exciting, yet safe and intimate atmosphere. Our climber to guide ratio is 3:1, and our climber to Sherpa ratio is 1:1. This ensures unparalleled support for carrying loads, fixing ropes, and building camps. Our guides climb with the members every day throughout the trip. The Sherpa team will work ahead preparing the camps, but they will also spend a lot of time climbing with us, and on summit day each will be with their assigned climbing member at all times.
Ideally, we will be climbing in a semi-alpine style: the Sherpa team will help us with the majority of the weight carrying, but as climbers we will be doing our fair share of the work. For our high camps, we will be using light Black Diamond tents and Jetboil stoves with a mix of light freeze-dried food. Team members will assist in setting up camps, carrying loads, cooking, and melting snow in high camps. This way, summiting Ama Dablam with BBE will be a success you have genuinely earned; it can also be, if you choose, an ideal stepping stone to more independent expeditions on big Himalayan peaks later on. Our Ama Dablam expedition in many ways reflects the Benegas Brothers Expeditions’ teaching approach and mission. On Ama Dablam, our expectation is that each climber takes real responsibility for their own success as well as that of their teammates, and leaves a better equipped climber for the future.
Please note, that this climb is NOT for novice mountaineers. It will require members to be comfortable ascending and descending steep terrain on fixed ropes. A high technical standard is not mandatory because primarily the guides will be leading the climb, however, this is not a mountain to visit and then discover that you are not comfortable with exposure. We suggest that you gain experience and the required skills for travel on exposed technical ground before joining this expedition. Membership will therefore be restricted to climbers with a proven list of alpine ascents. A high standard of fitness is expected and it is advantageous to be able to move over rocky terrain efficiently.
There is no definitive measure for assessing the required skill-level to climb Ama, so we prefer to discuss this on an individual basis – please call our offices on 801-783-3216. There are however some broad guidelines that can be applied from the outset: a successful team member will have been visiting the mountains for at least three seasons and made ascents of peaks up to 18-20,000 feet (5,500 – 6,000 metres). It is quite common for members to have previously climbed Mt McKinley in Alaska, Aconcagua in South America, or various Mexican volcanoes as training for Ama Dablam. He/she will be familiar with fixed rope and crevasse travel techniques and have a good overall standard of fitness. Age itself is no barrier. To date we have succeeded on Himalayan trips with members aged from 22 to 65 years of age.
A fierce determination and a burning desire to climb the mountain are essential prerequisites for this expedition. One Climbing Sherpa per member will assist with the load carrying. Guides and Sherpas will carry all group gear but members are expected to carry their own personal gear.
Day 1 – Oct 19
Arrivals in Kathmandu
You will be met at the airport to transfer to the Yak & Yeti Hotel (shared rooms).
Day 2 – Oct 20
Today we have a team briefing and gear check, and some fun in Kathmandu!
Day 3 – Oct 21
Trek to Phakding , 2,610m
An early start for our fixed wing flight from Kathmandu to Lukla and a first short day of trekking in the Khumbu to Phakding, where we overnight at the comfortable Star Lodge.
Day 4 – Oct 22
Trek to Namche Bazaar, 3,440m
Today we enjoy the stunning scenery of the lower Khumbu, before a long climb up to Namche Bazaar, capital of the Khumbu. We overnight at the SherpaLand Lodge for two nights.
Day 5 – Oct 23
Rest Day, 3,440m
Today we can enjoy an acclimatization hike from Namche Bazaar climbing high to sleep low, or just rest and relax.
Day 6 – Oct 24
Trek to Deboche, 3,930m
One of the most spectacular trekking days in all Nepal, today our route takes us along a winding mountainside trail with spectacular views of Everest, Lhoste and of course the breathtaking Ama Dablam.
Day 7 – Oct 25
Trek to Dingboche, 4,343m
Today we leave most vegetation behind on our way to Dingboche Village, feeling truly surrounded by the Himalaya’s soaring peaks.
Day 8 – Oct 27
Trek to Chukung, 4,730m
Today we trek to the lodge village of Chukung enjoying views of many magnificent peaks including Island Peak and Ama.
Day 9 – Oct 28
Chukung Ri Summit, 5,550m
Today we enjoy this trekking peak, a key day for our acclimatization as we will reach 5,833m. We may also decide to sleep up high.
Day 10 – Oct 30
Trek to Lobuche, 4,930m, over Kongma La Pass (5,520m)
Weather and team health permitting we will take the Kongma La Pass, used to move yak between grazing areas in the Chukung and the Khumbu Valleys, over to Lobuche. We are now in high glacial terrain and just a few miles from Everest and Tibet. If the weather is bad for the pass, we will take a low route via Dingboche.
Day 11 – Oct 31
Trek to Gorak Shep, 5,140m
Today we move on up the Khumbu Glacier to the windy collection of lodges at Gorak Shep, from where we hike up Kala Phattar on the south ridge of Pumori, to another high point of 5,545m with astonishing views of the Everest “Panorama”, especially at sunset.
Day 12 – Nov 01
Visit to Everest Base Camp, 5,350m, and return to Lobuche, 4,930m
Today we visit the famed EBC before returning to Lobuche Village for the night.
Day 13 – Nov 02
Rest in Lobuche, 4,930m
A well deserved rest day after lots of recent activity!
Day 14 – Nov 03
Trek to Lobuche East High Camp, 5,750m
Today we make up light packs for our climb of Lobuche and head south before diverting west into the base of Lobuche Peak. We begin climbing up the mountain’s east face to make camp below the South Ridge.
Day 15 – Nov 04
Climb to Lobuche East Summit Ridge Camp, 6,000m
Today we have a good chance to review some rope and footwork techniques as we climb towards the summit ridge of Lobuche East. We spend the night up high, with starry skies overhead as we get more used to the chores of high camp life such as melting drinking water and staying well hydrated, in preparation for Ama.
Day 16 – Nov 05
Lobuche East Summit Day, 6,119m
Today we experience some exposure whilst ascending the stunning snow ridge to reach the summit, from where, surrounded by the giants of the Khumbu, Nuptse, Lhotse, Makalu, Ama Dablam and of course Everest, among many others, the view is simply breathtaking. Afterwards we carefully descend all the way down to Lobuche where our bags are waiting.
Day 17 – Nov 05
Trek to Pangboche, 3,901m
A mostly downhill day today to the lower altitudes of Pangboche,we will feel the extra oxygen for sure. By now we should be very fit and well acclimatized for our climb of Ama Dablam.
Day 18 – Nov 06
Rest day in Pangboche Village, 3,901m
A rest day in preparation for Ama Dablam, today we have time to study the upcoming weather and plan accordingly for our ascent of Ama.
Day 19 – Nov 07
Trek to Ama Dablam Base Camp
Today we move to Ama Dablam Base Camp, where we are sure to find some old friends, or if we prefer up to Yak Camp, at 5,415m
Day 20 – Nov 08
Climb to Camp One
Moving up to 5,807m today, we will be happy to have spent so much of the trip so far together at such high altitudes – by now we are a strong, bonded and focused team! We will have 1:1 Sherpa Support for the climb to help us with load carrying. Members will carry personal gear and guides and Sherpas will carry group gear.
Day 21 – Nov 09 Climb to Camp Two
After reaching 6,277m (traditional Camp Three) via some exposed and steep terrain today, we rest up and hydrate for summit day.
Day 22 – Nov 10
Ama Dablam Summit Day, 6,812m
A truly spectacular summit day on steep and exposed snow slopes. We are rewarded with panoramic views of the Everest group, Makalu, Cho Oyu and a multitude of smaller peaks.
Day 23 – Nov 11
Return to Base Camp
Today we begin our journey down and out!
Day 24 – Nov 12
Trek to Namche Bazaar, 3,440m
Moving south we enjoy our return to vegetation and feel plenty of oxygen in the air!
Day 25 – Nov 13
Trek to Lukla, 2,840m
Our final day of trekking down to Lukla, crossing back and forth over the Dudh Kosi River.
Day 26 – Nov 14
Fixed Wing flight to Kathmandu
An early start for our group fixed wing flight back to Kathmandu.
Day 27 – Nov 15
Two days are scheduled for any alterations we need to make to our itinerary to work around weather conditions.
Day 28 – Nov 16
Two days are scheduled for any alterations we need to make to our itinerary to work around weather conditions.
Day 29 – Nov 17
Sad farewells before flights home from KTM Airport.
A note on dates: dates listed begin with arrival day in Kathmandu and end when we arrive back in Kathmandu after the trip. Our permits actually allows us to stay on Ama Dablam into November, and we strongly suggest that you keep your homeward flight flexible so that we can extend into the mid to latter part of May for a summit attempt if need be. We have November 17 as the PROVISIONAL finish date for departing Kathmandu.
The end dates for Ama climbs vary, depending on the weather and other conditions. We suggest adding a minimum of a week’s contingency days to these itineraries, and most climbers leave their departure flights flexible until they know exactly when the expedition will end.
BBE’s reputation for guiding is virtually unsurpassed in the Himalaya. During your trip, you’ll rest comfortably knowing you’ve got the safety, security, and professionalism of a world-class team.
Our 2016 expedition will be lead by IFMGA guide Willie Benegas, director of Benegas Brothers Expeditions and veteran of Everest expeditions for fifteen years. In addition to his reputation for first ascents around the planet, his success rate for guiding climbers up Mount Everest is truly legendary.
BBE’s guiding ethic is not to climb with mega-sized, institutionalized expeditions, but to run specialty trips with a truly personalized service tailored to individual needs. Furthermore, our knowledge of local culture as well as the mountains, combined with our guides’ passion for teaching others to become competent mountaineers, guarantees that your experience will be one to remember!
In our expeditions, we bring together the best components of high altitude mountaineering. On a BBE expedition, you’ll benefit from our many years of experience, our world-class guides, and the most professional Sherpa team in the industry. We also work hard to utilize new technology and equipment advancements, including the latest weather forecasting facilities, safety equipment, and communications systems. Wherever we climb, we combine our guides’ experience with the top choice of local expertise. We can confidently say that our expedition offers you the most respected staff, resources, food, equipment, lodging and staff support available.
Our Sherpa team can count literally dozens of Himalayan summits between them. Their knowledge and experience creates an atmosphere of cooperation and commitment to the expedition and its members, and our Sherpas are regarded as some of the strongest and most conscientious on the mountain. They feel a great sense of responsibility toward both their climbing team and the high mountain environment. Our reputation is so strong that we’re proud to say that Sherpas from other expeditions work to pursue a future position with the Benegas Brothers Team.
Khumbu Himal, Nepal
Oct 19 – Nov 17 2016
$ 11,000 (6 minimum), $750 deposit to confirm place
1:3 western guides plus Sherpa guides support; 1:1 climber-to–Sherpa ratio
Multiple ascents of 6000 meters peaks. experience in cold-weather expeditions. Excellent physical condition; fundamental alpine skills; glacier climbing experience with and ability to perform cramponing and ice axe skills well; and a good understanding of glacier travel procedures including crevasse rescue
To Summit one of the most renowned and beautiful peaks in the world!
As such your experience from arrival, to summit, to departure, will be TOTALLY different from what it will be with a large company. Small numbers allow us to focus on making every member of the team a better climber. This allows our team to be self-reliant and independent of all the other groups on the mountain. Your summit push is not going to revolve around the plans of tens of others, but at the most opportune moment for a successful and safe summit.
Our level of service is unmatched, making our time in the mountains a fun, family-oriented, and positive experience as we ready ourselves for the ascent. Our teams are always small with a true family atmosphere.
We know we’re not the cheapest deal around, and we certainly don’t want to be. We spend more providing the best leaders, the best guides, equipment, logistics and safety measures – things that many lower-cost programs cannot afford and do NOT have. We don’t cut corners.
As you shop around, consider the following:
• BBE leaders are professionals, and are great teachers as well as strong climbers. All have done numerous high-altitude expeditions, including numerous expeditions in the Himalaya. Our clients enjoy the immense benefit of a core group that has climbed together extensively, producing a team that knows how to work well together. We do not think you will find any other Himalayan climbing or trekking programs that will be led or staffed by persons of the caliber we boast…. We challenge you to try!
• BBE always complies with all local, state, federal, and international regulations for the countries in which we climb. This includes proper visas and climbing permits, full insurance and equipment for our employees and Sherpa support teams, and complete adherence to all environmental regulations. We take our business and responsibility as an employer seriously!
• BBE Sherpas are top-notch. We hire the same great Sherpas every year, we treat them with respect, we pay them well and they like working with us. Most of them have been on many climbs with us over the years and many of them have multiple Everest summits. Our enthusiastic cooks do a great job and our menus are the BEST. We also make sure our support staff is the best in the business, and well paid, way beyond normal Nepali standards. We take a huge responsibility towards looking after our local staff. It makes a difference!
19 Oct - Nov 17
Khumbu Himal, Nepal
$11,000 6 minimum
1:3 IFMGA guides plus Sherpa guides support; 1:1 climber-to-Sherpa ratio
We can organize this expedition on a ‘tailor-made’ private basis for groups of friends, families, clubs, charities or any other group. Depending on your mountaineering experience, you may want a BBE leader or go ‘self-led’ with the assistance of local guides. The cost of going private can be surprisingly reasonable, particularly if you take the self-led option. Please contact us to discuss the itinerary and your preferred dates. We will then send you a quote, with no obligation.