Emery Dameron, Ama Dablam Expedition • October 18 - November 17, 2004

Emery Dameron from the San Francisco joined Mark for an expedition to Ama Dablam, in Nepal's Khumbu. Our plan was to trek to Kala Patar as well as climb Lobuche Peak prior to our Ama Dablam climb, both in order to acclimate as well as to see a bit more of the area than simply heading into the Base Camp would have allowed.

After a day in Kathmandu, we flew into Lukla and started our trek into the Everest Base Camp area. The photos below tell the story.

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We stayed at Ang Karma Sherpa's house in Kathmandu for the few days we were there. This is the view to the east from the roof. These rice fields were all harvested by the time we came out.


We spent a day going up to Nagarkhot, a high hill on the edge of the Kathmandu Valley, and also stopped by Bhaktapur on the way back to town to take in some of the sights. This photo was actually taken in Patan, the "other" Kingdom of the valley.


Pottery square in Bhaktapur. These clay pots are set out to dry. They were thrown on "foot-powered" wheels just out of view to the left. In a nearby alley they fire them by putting them in a big pile, and build a fire of straw over them.


Another view of Bhaktapur.


Emery looks out the window of the Twin Otter we flew into Lukla.


The runway in Lukla. There is a pretty good downhill slope, to help with both takeoff as well as landing. I have old photos from about 20 years ago showing the old dirt strip and old control tower, now used as military barracks.


The same day we flew in, we met some of our Nepalese staff (the sirdar, Pasang, Kathy and I had worked with on Cho Oyu). We started our trek in and went to Phakding the first night. This is the bridge at Phakding.


On our second day of the trek we arrived at Namche Bazar, the largest and commercially most important town in the Khumbu.


We spent an extra day in Namche, both to begin acclimating and also to give our staff time to purchase supplies for the trip. On our extra day we hiked up the hill behind town a enjoyed a good view of Mount Everest and Lhotse, seen here with prayer flags.


The view of Ama Dablam from Khumjung, above Namche.


Mani stones, prayer flags and Ama Dablam. The ever-present signs of Tibetan Buddhism are one of the many wonderful things about mountainous Nepal.


We continued our trek into the mountains. Here, we have arrived in Dingboche. Comforters set out to air.


Another view of Ama Dablam, this one from the northwest.


We spent an extra day in Dingboche at about 14,000 feet above sea level.


The evening sun on Ama Dablam is hard to resist.


After Dingboche we continued our trip higher, and deeper into the mountains. We are almost to Lobuche, where we spent another two nights.


We had a fine camp in Lobuche. Even though the only westerners on our trip were Emery and me, we had a cook tent (the dark green tent) a dining tent (the light green one) Emery and my sleeping tents (the yellow ones) and an outhouse tent on the left.


With our extra day in Lobuche we did a hike up to Kala Patar, an 18,000 foot "hill" with a great view. Here, we are starting out on our hike in the early morning. Pumori is the nice looking summit behind.


The great views of Everest are one of the main attractions of visiting Kala Patar. In this view Everest is the dark pyramid partly cloud-covered. Nuptse is the sharp summit to the right.


Prayer flags and Mount Everest from Kala Patar.


After our hike to Kala Patar, we were ready to make a climb of Lobuche Peak, a 20,000 foot high summit just above the town of the same name. This required us to move base camp. We also put in a high camp, show here. Though only about 1000 feet higher than base sleeping at the higher elevations was good for acclimatization


Climbing on Lobuche as the rising sun just clears the ridge. Ama Dablam is the big peak behind.


Emery looking good on Lobuche. This is a fun climb with a few short steeper sections and great views.


Arriving at the summit. Lobuche actually has several summits. This one, the east summit of the East peak is by far the most commonly done. The highest point of Lobuche East is actually quite hard to reach and is very seldom climbed. Here, we are looking south, down the Khumbu. Ama Dablam is on the left.


The view from the summit of Lobuche. The nice pyramid left of center is Pumori and Mount Everest is on the right.


After the climb of Lobuche it was time to head back down-valley a bit to Ama Dablam Base Camp. If you compare this photo with the one of Emery on the summit you can probably figure out where it was taken.


A nagging cold was forcing a slightly slower pace. We spent a couple days in Pangboche, trying to shake it.


Morning light shines on a house in Pangboche. It actually looked like this. I did not "PhotoShop" this image much at all, honest. In fact, I took about a dozen photos at this point, so impressed I was with the light.


More Pangboche houses catching the first rays of the rising sun.


A great mani stone. Lhotse behind.


Prayer flags above Pangboche. I thought this group of flags looked like priests dressed up in colorful robes.

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