Ama Dablam Frequently Asked Questions
What is the skill level of this climb?
Climbers should have successfully completed our 6-Day Training course or have equivalent skills and experience. Technical rock climbing, ice climbing and high altitude and climbing experience are required. Previous recommended climbs are Denali and the Matterhorn. Climbers must be mentally prepared to deal with strenuous situations at high altitudes. The requirements are also based on our desire to have similarly skilled team members.
What is the physical conditioning level needed for this climb?
Climbers must be in excellent physical condition. Summit day can be 10-12 hours long.
Any tips on how a climber can maximize their chances of success?
Along with the required climbing skills, review cardio training on the training page of our web site. We strongly recommend following the advice of our guides to acclimatize properly.
Who is the guiding team composed of (How many guides? Climber to guide ratio?)
Your expedition leader will be one of our International Mountain Guides. They will have along as many assistant guides as necessary to ensure a low climber to guide ratio.
What is the best season to climb / which dates will have the most chance for success?
The best time to climb Ama Dablam is in October - December.
How many climbers are on this expedition?
Generally, our maximum for this climb is 8 climbers plus guides.
Will I be sharing a tent or lodging with other climbers?
Along our trekking route climbers will be two to a room in the teahouses. In BC each climber will have their own tent.
How much will my pack weigh?
During the trek team members will only be carrying gear and supplies for the day. At no point do we carry camping gear or equipment for overnight during the trek. Daypacks will weigh no more than 20 lbs. Above BC on the climb we will typically be carrying packs that weight 20 – 35 lbs. At no point will your pack weigh more than 50 lbs.
What gear will I need?
Please review the gear list.
How does your gear rental system work?
Those requesting rental gear must submit an expedition rental form with payment by fax or mail. All rental gear will be mailed to the climber prior to the climb. Climbers are expected to clean all rental gear and return it to us by mail following the expedition.
Any further advice on gear and using your gear list?
While all items are required there may be times when some of the items on the gear list may not be used (such as warm weather or changing conditions). The gear lists are created by the guides to assist in having climbers be prepared to summit in any conditions.
While it is impossible for us to list all brands for certain gear, we do offer a wide variety of equipment in our Gear Shop, that has been hand-picked by our staff of mountaineering experts. Please feel free to call our offices with any gear questions or substitutes. Plastic boots are required for this climb.
How is drinking water treated?
During the trek we will provide unlimited amounts of boiled water at mealtimes. Team members can fill up water bottles at meals. Bottled water can also be purchased in teahouses at additional cost. Water that can be treated is nearly ever present along the trekking route. At BC and on the route water will be boiled.
What will the meals on the expedition be like?
Meals in the mountains consist of a diet rich in carbohydrates because our bodies do not process fat and protein efficiently at higher elevations and to compensate the increase in caloric need that high altitude climbing involves. We try to make meals and breakfast varied and as normal as possible. During the trek we will be eating in teahouses where a variety of food is served. Typically served are rice, pasta, or potato based dishes. Many vegetable and egg dishes are also prepared. Meat is also available in most teahouses. At BC much of the same food is served along with food brought from the U.S. Above BC climbing food mainly consists of dried food imported in Nepal or brought from the U.S. Lunches while climbing will mainly be made up of bars and snacks brought from the U.S.
Can I bring some food from home?
You may bring power bars, Gu, Power Gel, cereal bars or similar high energy foods, powder Gatorade is also recommended to fight dehydration.
All meals will be provided on this expedition.
Are there any innoculation requirements?
No requirements at this time
What is the best air route to my destination?
Most routes from the States to Kathmandu are via Bangkok. Climbers that arrive early or depart late will incur in an additional airport pick up fee.
When should I book my flight? Do I need to use your Travel Agent?
Fares are generally less expensive when booked early. You may use our Travel Agent (Charles Mulvehill 1-800-727-2157) or book flights yourself. Please note that flights booked online are often difficult to change. Please send us a copy of your flight schedule as early as possible as this allows us to book pick ups and hotels.
What time should I arrive and leave and where do I meet the guides?
Those arriving on the scheduled date (or those who have made prior arrangements) are met at the airport by an Alpine Ascents representative (look for the sign) and taken to the Yak and Yeti Hotel. Although it is likely that you will meet your team leader at the airport and other members during the day, we will have a scheduled meeting that day. This meeting will include introductions, final review and an overview of the itinerary and trek.
What if I arrive early or depart late? Can you arrange extra night lodging? Is there a single room option for this expedition?
We are happy to make arrangements such as personalized tours, extra hotels rooms, airport pick ups and arrange for private rooms. Please indicate that you would like a private room on your application and we will contact you with information on single room supplement costs (for hotels only). (for hotels only).
Are there any entry or Visa requirements?
The easiest way to obtain a visa is in the Kathmandu airport. Upon arrival in the KTM airport fill out the necessary forms and proceed to the visa line. As visa prices change often we suggest taking a variety of cash denominations, such as (2) $20.00 bills (1) $10.00 bill (1) $5.00 bill. We will obtain a trekking permit for you in KTM.
- Current visa cost is $25.00 and is subject to change
- Please obtain a 60-Day visa
Is there any communication while we are on the mountain?
In Kathmandu telephones and internet access are readily available. Our guides will carry satellite phones in the mountains. The quality of the reception varies from location to location.
Where can I get more information on history, books, and additional activities in the region?
Check the reading list on the Ama Dablam page of the web site.
Can I contact the others on the climb? How about the guide?
You can always call our offices and we will have your Ama Dablam lead guide contact you. 30 days prior to departure, we will mail a list of the other team members to you.
How much should I budget for this expedition? How much cash should I plan to bring?
$1,000.00 should easily cover any extra expenses and tips. Most climbers prefer to bring about $1000.00 and have credit cards.
How much should I tip my guide and staff?
Climbers generally tip our Sherpa staff (We usually have about 4+ Sherpa assisting with the expedition – dependent on the amount of climbers) and a separate tip for the Western guide on your expedition. $300 total is the suggested tips for all Nepali staff including climbing Sherpa. You may have some perfunctory tips at hotels and at time of transport. Tipping is not required but a common practice.
How do I register for this expedition?
You may call our offices with a credit card or mail/fax an application with a check or credit card number.
What paperwork do I need to send in?
Each climber should submit an application and flight information.
When is the money due for this expedition? What kind of payment do you except?
We accept MasterCard, Visa, American Express, personal checks and Alpine Ascents gift certificates. To reserve a space the deposit is $2,000.00 and balances are due 90 days prior to departure. Unpaid balances can result in forfeiture of trip.
What is your cancellation policy? What is your refund policy?
CANCELLATION AND REFUND POLICY: Note: Alpine Ascents International highly recommends trip cancellation insurance for all programs.
Due to the nature and heavy costs of government and operator permits, Alpine Ascents International must adhere to a stringent refund policy. Specific brochure cancellation and refund policies may supercede those enumerated below.
• Each deposit, regardless of amount, includes a $200.00 non-refundable registration fee.
• All Expedition balances are due 90 days prior to departure date unless otherwise specified.
• Full refunds, less registration fee, will be provided 90-days or more prior to departure date.
• 50% refunds will be provided 60-89 days prior to departure date.
• No refunds will be provided 59-days prior to departure date.
• Participants whose balances are not received by the 90-day deadline as stated above, risk forfeiture of their place on the expedition.
• All refund requests must be made in writing and be received in our office within the 90-day period, as stated above.
What happens if I need to leave the expedition early?
Communication is sometimes difficult in the mountains. However our guides and local staff will make the necessary efforts to obtain the necessary transportation and reservations to get you home as quickly as possible if for any reason you need to depart early.