15 januari 2014

Ama Dablam 2013 - Kathmandu & Khumbu

Kathmandu & Khumbu - the Climb - Logistics & Gear - Full Gear List

So, I've finally started writing up this report of my Ama Dablam climb, which I did in november 2013. To start with the finale: I summited on november 22nd!

This wil be a 3 part report. First up is the Kathmandu and Khumbu valley section of the trip. Second will be about the climb itself. The third section will feature the gear and logistics of the trip.

Boudhanath stupa in Kathmandu


I left Amsterdam on november 2nd on a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flight, and arrived in Kathmandu (KTM) on november 3rd. My trip was with Tim Mosedale, and he uses Himalayan Guides (HG) as the operator in Nepal. A representative of HG was waiting for me at KTM airport and took me to the Hotel Manaslu, which is not too far from the Thamel area.

My second day in KTM was spent sightseeing and shopping. Tim had arranged a sightseeing tour in the morning. We visited the Boudhanath stupa and the Pashupatinath temple. After lunch it was time to visit Thamel and buy the last odds and ends we needed. Shona's came highly recommended, so off course we had to visit.

Shona's in Thamel
The next day had an early start. We were to take the first flight out of KTM to Lukla. As it turned out, it was a bit foggy, and so we had to wait for a few hours in domestic terminal. Let me tell you: there's not much to do there, so we just had some tea and biscuits and waited it out.

Flying to Lukla, and especially landing and taking off at Lukla, is 'an experience'. If you don't like flying much, you'll be in for a treat. The runway is short and steep and at the edge of cliff :-)
The short and steep runway at Lukla
After breakfast at Paradise Lodge in Lukla, we started trekking. Our first overnight stop was not at the usual suspect Phakding, but at Monjo, which is just 10 minutes walking from the Sagarmatha National Park entrance gate. The benefit of this was to beat the crowd to the entrance gate the next morning, so we wouldn't have to walk up to Namche Bazaar in a train of other hikers.
This is me at the national park entrance gate

The second night we stayed in Kyangjuma, at the very good Ama Dablam View Lodge & Restaurant, where we were well looked after Tashi and her family. From the lodge you have your first great view of Ama Dablam (hence the name).
Ama Dablam Lodge Kyangjuma
Ama Dablam View Lodge & Restaurant
After our stay of two nights at Tashi's lodge, we moved on to Pengboche, via Tengboche, where we made the obligatory stop at the bakery. It's unbelievable how good the coffee and cake tastes at a place this high up the valley. We slept in an proper bed one last night at the Sonam Lodge at Peng, as the next day we would move to basecamp!
views along the Khumbu trail
Amazing views along the Khumbu trail
Stay tuned for part 2 of 3 in this series: the Climb!

Kathmandu & Khumbu - the Climb - Logistics & Gear - Full Gear List

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