Ama Dablam - South West Ridge

The 'normal' route on this magical mountain!

Towering over Tengboche monastery and the Sherpa village of Pangboche at a height of 6,856m, Ama Dablam is one of the most iconic mountains in Nepal. The much-coveted South West ridge is one of the more popular routes in the Himalayas today, with climbers often using it as preparation for an expedition to one of the greater 8,000m peaks (of course the mountain is by its own right a fantastic objective!). Comprising of steep ice and rock with exposed ridges, the technical nature of the route is somewhat lessened by the presence of fixed lines along the majority of the route.

You’ll need a good head for heights. Our summit push will begin early in the morning from our last camp and hopefully you’ll top out in great weather, as the summit affords spectacular 360 degree views of numerous Himalayan giants, including Mount Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse.


Trip Facts

  • Price Starts From: USD 6,850

  • Duration: 26 Days, 25 Nights

  • Difficulty Level: Intermediate Mountaineering

  • Type:

  • Activity: Expedition, 6000m+

  • Max. Altitude: 6856m

  • Destination: Nepal

Trip Highlights


Internal fixed wing flights, climbing permit fees, 4 nights in Kathmandu hotel equivalent to Hotel Tibet or Radisson (Lazimpat or similar), experienced climbing guides, team transport in Nepal, extensive high altitude wilderness first aid kit, fully serviced base camp with quality personal tent, dining, kitchen and shower tents, serviced higher camps, all meals outside Kathmandu plus breakfast in Kathmandu, porters to carry personal/group equipment on treks and up to base camps, climbing Sherpas to set up camps and carry group food; plus receive an expedition duffel. (All accommodation is on a twin share basis - single share can be arranged on request at an additional cost).


International flights to and from Kathmandu, lunch and dinners in Kathmandu (allow USD $10-15 per meal), aerated and alcoholic beverages, personal items (e.g. phone calls, internet, laundry), tips and Ama Dablam summit bonus, travel insurance (incl. early departure, mountain rescue) and personal trekking/climbing gear.

Trip Map

Short Itinerary

Day 1:   Arrive Kathmandu
Day 2:   In Kathmandu
Day 3:   Fly Kathmandu to Lukla (2,840m), trek to Monjo (2,840m) ~5 hrs
Day 4:   Trek Monjo (2,840m) to Namche Bazaar (3,440m) ~5 hrs
Day 5:   Acclimatisation day in Namche ~ 5 hrs
Day 6:   Trek Namche (3,440m) to Deboche (3,710m) ~ 5 hrs
Day 7:   Trek Deboche (3,710m) to Ama Dablam Base Camp (4,600m) ~4.5 hrs
Day 8:   Rest day in Ama Dablam BC
Day 9:   Training day at BC
Day 10:   Day trip BC to 5,800m
Day 11:   Rest and gear preparation
Day 12:   Climb BC (4,600m) to Camp 1 (5,900m)
Day 13:   Climb Camp 1 (5,900m) to Camp 2 (6,100m), return to BC (4,600m)
Day 14-15:   Rest, contingency day and final Summit preparation
Day 16:   Climb base camp (4,600m) to Camp 1 (5,900m)
Day 17:   Climb Camp 1 (5,900m) to Camp 2 (6,100m)
Day 18:   Climb Camp 2 (6,100m) to Camp 3 (6,400m)
Day 19:   Climb Camp 3 (6,400m) to Summit (6,856m), return to Camp 2 (6,100m)
Day 20:   Climb Camp 2 (6,100m) to base camp (4,600m)
Day 21:   Rest and pack up base camp
Day 22:   Trek base camp (4,600m) to Namche (3,440m) ~6 hr
Day 23:   Trek Namche (3,440m) to Lukla (2,840m) ~6hr
Day 24:   Fly Lukla to Kathmandu
Day 25:   In Kathmandu
Day 26:   Depart Kathmandu

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive Kathmandu

An Expedition Base representative will collect you from Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan Airport. It’s a free day to recover from your international flight. Later in the day, there will be a team briefing, gear check and welcome team dinner.

Day 2

In Kathmandu

This is a free day for you to explore Kathmandu. Home to 5 World Heritage sites, Kathmandu is a stunning landscape of handcrafted wooden palaces (Durbar or palace squares of Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur) and glorious Buddhist stupas (Swayambu and Boudhanath).

Day 3

Fly Kathmandu to Lukla (2,840m), trek to Monjo (2,840m) ~5 hrs

Our day begins with an early morning 40 min flight to Lukla. Once in Lukla, we have a short break to organize porters and gear before starting our day’s walk, descending and ascending to Monjo. This region is Buddhist so remember to walk clockwise and walk to the left of mani walls and prayer flag poles (keeping them on your right).

Day 4

Trek Monjo (2,840m) to Namche Bazaar (3,440m) ~5 hrs

Before leaving Monjo, we’ll check into the Sagarmatha National Park Information Centre. On a clear day, you can catch your first view of Mt Everest from a lookout about mid-way up the hill to Namche. Once in Namche, you have the afternoon to rest, and explore.

Day 5

Acclimatisation day in Namche ~ 5 hrs

We spend an extra day in Namche before trekking higher to allow our bodies to adjust to the increased altitude. In the morning, we will walk up to the Everest View Hotel to enjoy panoramic views and you can explore the villages of Khunde and/or Khumjung. The afternoon is free for exploring Namche, or relaxing, as you wish.

Day 6

Trek Namche (3,440m) to Deboche (3,710m) ~ 5 hrs

The trail behind Namche is a gentle trail that traverses high above the Imja river with overlooking views of Thamserku and Ama Dablam. We will pause at Kyangjuma for a morning tea break and to admire stunning views of Ama Dablam. From here, we descend to the valley floor to cross the Imja river and then uphill to Tengboche. Then, it’s a short 30 min descent from Tengboche to Deboche, our home for the night.

Day 7

Trek Deboche (3,710m) to Ama Dablam Base Camp (4,600m) ~4.5 hrs

In the morning we head to Pangboche, take a short break, cross the Imja river and then walk up the ridge opposite the village. It’s a gentle ascent to this meadow base camp that sits at the foot of the mountain. You’ll get a good sleep in your personal stand up tent and on your comfortable sleeping mattress, critical for good rests after acclimatisation rounds on the mountain, and before the summit push.

Day 8

Rest day in Ama Dablam BC

An easy day to give your body extra time to slowly acclimatise. You can enjoy the day by exploring BC, taking short walks or sleeping and enjoying your BC service. During one of the rest days before you head up the mountain, we’ll conduct a special puja (Buddhist ceremony) with the local lama to request the mountain spirits for safe passage.

Day 9

Training day at BC

We begin the day by first checking gear before heading out for some time climbing up and traversing on ropes.

Day 10

Day trip BC to 5,800m

The first round of acclimatisation trips on the mountain starts with a trek up to 5,800m, 
at the foot of the SW ridge route. We walk eastwards on a ridge around the south end of the Mingbo glacier that stretches 
off Ama Dablam. Then, after 30 mins rest or so we will head back down to rest at BC.

Day 11

Rest and gear preparation

Over the next 2 days we’ll be climbing up to Camp 2 and sleeping at Camp 1, so this is the day to pack and prepare. You’ll be carrying your sleeping bag, mat and personal items. Some climbers choose to bring 2 sets of sleeping bags so that 1 is left at base camp and 1 at a higher camp. This saves you from carrying your sleeping bag constantly up and down the mountain. (For the climbing period, we will keep the itinerary flexible to allow for different factors such as the speed of team members, acclimatisation and weather conditions).

Day 12

Climb BC (4,600m) to Camp 1 (5,900m)

We follow the ridge route up through the boulder field, over the slab, up the gully and then scramble further to the tent platform, or Camp 1.

Day 13

Climb Camp 1 (5,900m) to Camp 2 (6,100m), return to BC (4,600m)

This is the first serious day of climbing. It begins with a climb up to 2 finger like rock projections, and a climb up to the ridge proper. It’s a narrow ridge that leads to an exposed traverse on tension fixed lines. We jumar up to the ridge again and follow this to another face traverse, that takes us to the Yellow Tower. It’s a 15m pitch at around AUS 16/US 5.8/5b standard to our camp. We will touch Camp 2 and drop back down to BC.

Day 14-15

Rest, contingency day and final Summit preparation

With our full rotation now complete and familiarity of the route and its challenges established, we now rest and wait for our summit push. This is time to rest and eat! We plan an extra contingency day for weather.

Day 16

Climb base camp (4,600m) to Camp 1 (5,900m)

The final summit push! We follow the now familiar route up to Camp 1.

Day 17

Climb Camp 1 (5,900m) to Camp 2 (6,100m)

We continue on up now to Camp 2. Get a good rest and sleep. The next 2 days will be challenging and rewarding!

Day 18

Climb Camp 2 (6,100m) to Camp 3 (6,400m)

The climb from Camp 2 to Camp 3 is considered to be the most difficult of the entire route. We begin by dropping briefly, traverse eastwards and then ascend to 
the base of the Grey Tower. We cross an exposed traverse that brings us to the west side of a large snow ridge (Mushroom ridge). From here, it’s a climb up on this steep and narrow ridge to Camp 3. (Conditions and related factors will determine whether we place our Camp 3 on a large snow section, or slightly lower in a location known as Camp 2.7).

Day 19

Climb Camp 3 (6,400m) to Summit (6,856m), return to Camp 2 (6,100m)

Our summit push! We climb up the steep snow/ice slope behind Camp 3 and move towards the right side of the face to a small snowfield. We cross a Bergschrund and climb up to an ice crest. This follows the summit ridge route to the large glorious snowfield summit top! From the summit, you see the summit of Island Peak just below you, and unobstructed views of Everest and Lhotse. After a period of celebration on the summit, we climb and rappel down to Camp 3, pack up camp and head to Camp 2 for the night.

Day 20

Climb Camp 2 (6,100m) to base camp (4,600m)

After a quick breakfast, we pack up Camp 2 and descend back down to base camp. Showers and great food from our base camp cook are waiting to welcome you “home” from your summit success.

Day 21

Rest and pack up base camp

It’s been an exhausting last few days so we take an extra day to rest and slowly begin to pack up base camp. Enjoy your last day soaking in the views from this tranquil camp site.

Day 22

Trek base camp (4,600m) to Namche (3,440m) ~6 hr

We trek down the ridge to the village of Pangboche, and then follow the main traffic of trekkers back to Namche. Back in the village, you can send emails to family and friends about your news, and enjoy good coffee and bakery treats, or explore at your leisure.

Day 23

Trek Namche (3,440m) to Lukla (2,840m) ~6hr

This is our last day on the trail. The route from Namche drops back down to the valley floor and follows the river towards Lukla. Take in the beautifully decorated mani walls and prayer wheels lining the trail to Lukla.

Day 24

Fly Lukla to Kathmandu

We arrive back in the melting pot of cultures that is Kathmandu. Spend this day, doing last minute sighting and shopping

Day 25

In Kathmandu

Today is your last day in Nepal so prepare for departure, packing and returning gear. A massage is highly recommended to relax your tired muscles before your flight home.

Day 26

Depart Kathmandu

We farewell the Himalayas and people of Nepal until your next Himalayan adventure. We will be sad to see you go. We hope to see you again soon!

Expedition Base Pvt. Ltd.

Bansbari-3, Kathmandu, Nepal, Tel: +977 01 4371291