Ama Dablam • November 2002

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For the month of November Chris Kulp joined Mark for an expedition to Nepal's Ama Dablam. Arguably the most beautiful mountain in the world. In addition to Ama Dablam, we also climbed Pokalde Peak as well as the Lowe-Kendall route on Lobuche East. The latter was as difficult as the former was easy. The Lowe-Kendall route follows a hidden icy gully with several pitches of steep waterfall climbing.

Other Recent Trips

Sunset on Ama Dablam, seen from Dingboche. This view is from the northwest.


Chris, enjoying tea and cookies in our Ama Dablam Base Camp.


Dawa and Lhakpa in Lukla. Dawa was our sirdar and Lhakpa his brother, and our cook's helper, porter and all-around great guy (as was Dawa). All our staff was great. Thanks to the above as well as Nima, Pemba and Dorje.


Yeti Airlines and our plane to Lukla, some 45 minutes from Kathmandu.


The Lukla airport, at about 9300 feet above sea level. Originally built in 1964 as part of the Sir Edmund Hillary Himalayan Schoolhouse Expedition, the airport is now the major entry into the Khumbu area. About 20,000 trekkers come into the Khumbu each year and the lion's share fly in and out of Lukla. Just last year the sloping runway was paved, reducing the bouncy nature of takeoffs of years past.


Monjo is a small village just at the southern edge of Sagarmatha National Park. This view was ours on the second day of our trek in.


The bridge over the Dudh Kosi ("Milk River") not far below Namche. Prayer flags fly in the wind.


Namche Bazar. Namche is the most important town in the Khumbu, serving as a major trading post for goods coming on the backs of yaks from Tibet, over the high pass of the Nangpa La. Each year there are more and larger guest houses and recently internet cafes equipped with satellite phones have sprung up. We spent 3 nights here, acclimating, shopping and online. Kwande is the impressive peak behind.


A large mani stone just above Namche. These often giant carved rocks repeat the mantra "Om Mani Padme Hum" over and over. The mantra is from Tibetan Buddhism and is so complex in meaning as to be more or less untranslatable.


The major "street" through Namche. Here you can buy supplies clothes and a host of things you probably won't need.


Yak bells for sale in Kyangjuma, a tiny hamlet not far from Namche. Juniper is burned in the morning sun as a pleasant smelling offering to the gods.


Not far past Namche we get our first views of Mount Everest (behind on the left) and Ama Dablam, just out of sight to the right.. Porters carry heavy loads of food and supplies to points further up valley The famous monastery of Tengboche lies on the level ridge in the middle distance.


Ama Dablam as seen from Pangboche, with lots of carved mani stones in the foreground.


Dingboche at sunset. We spent 3 nights at Dingboche acclimating. This is one of the last "major" towns and, at about 14,500 feet above sea level, is a great place to stop for a rest.


The immense south face of Lhotse seen from Dingboche.


On one of our first "rest" days in Dingboche we hiked up to just over 16,400 feet on Chhukhung Ri, a rocky peak visible on the left side of this photo. The amazing Nuptse-Lhotse ridge dominates the view.


Ama Dablam as seen from Dingboche. The "peak" on the right is really just a bump on the giant arm of the NW ridge. In this view of Ama Dablam, the North Ridge forms the left-hand skyline.


On the day we left Dingboche, day 10 of the trip, Chris and I hiked up and over the Kongma La pass and climbed Pokalde Peak en route. Pokalde is a fun, but easy climb. At over 19,000 feet we were definitely gasping for breath on the exposed summit. After the ascent we continued down to Lobuche village.


Chris on the summit of Pokalde Peak.


Sunset from Lobuche. Pokalde is the peak on the left. Kangtega is the impressive peak down valley.


The view of Ama Dablam from near Lobuche.

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