Amadablam, one of the most beautiful mountains in the world, is a technical mountain for climbing. Although the height is only 6812m it requires steep ice, rock and snow climbing. Normally, three camps are set in the approach above the base camp (4,570m), however, only two camps are used to spend the night. The normal route for climbing is South-West Ridge.
The ascent from Base Camp to camp one is considered one the difficult days of the expedition. We follow old grassy moraine ridges passing through a saddle and then turning to north climbing up rocky ground and through boulders to the ridge where camp I is set up. From camp I, we cross a rocky bowl and climb the ridge frequently alternating the sides along the fixed lines to the camp II. Climbing the ridge involves severe rock climbing which leads to the top of a yellow tower. The climbing route here from camp II changes significantly with the steep mixed gully's of rock, ice and snow. The route leads to the ramp and climbs to an amphitheatre and then passes through steep snow and ice runnel and finally, along the snow ridge to reach camp III. The summit from camp III requires steep climb on snow and ice to the right of a huge hanging glacier.
Experience Required: The Amadablam expedition is one of the most technically difficult expeditions. The climbers need to have good skills on rock and ice climbing and technically competent. On most parts of the routes there will be fixed rope, however, the climbers should posses skills to climb through steep rock and hard water ice.
Having flown from Kathmandu to Lukla, we will use porters and yaks to carry our supplies and equipment to the Base Camp. This is a secluded camp off the main trekking trail, and looks out to the spectacular views of Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse.
From BC the route continues up a scree slope to the bottom of a short series of rock slabs. These take us to a small col on the ridge. There is a short section of mixed ground before the slope becomes steeper and joins a series of snow flutes which take us to camp 1.
Camp 1 is tucked under a rock overhang and is quite sheltered from any bad weather. Immediately upon leaving camp 1 there is a steep, one-pitch rock wall. This provides access to the long and exposed snow mushroomed ridge. It is spectacular climbing, with great exposure and energetic short vertical snow steps, which go on and on. Camp 2 is wildly exposed on a flat area just below a set of ice cliffs which bars the way to the final summit ridge.
Access to the final summit ridge is gained by climbing these ice cliffs, however the climb is not over yet. There is still a series of flutes to climb in and out of, whilst traversing the ridge. Eventually this leads to a broad snow slope that takes you directly to the summit.
It should be possible to leave camp 2 early in the morning, go to the summit and be back at BC that evening.