15 januari 2014

Ama Dablam 2013 - Logistics & Gear

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 is part 3, about the logistics of the climb and the  gear I used. The first post is about Kathmandu and the Khumbu valley, the second about the actual climb.

The logistics in Nepal were all taken care of by Tim Mosedale (www.timmosedale.co.uk), who had organized the entire trip. All I needed to do was to book a return flight to Kathmandu. I flew with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (www.klm.com), using the AMS-DEL-KTM route.
Tim explaining logistics in the mess tent
The Flight

I had some luck as, due to various reasons, I got upgraded to business class. It was even in one of the refitted new World Business Class cabins! For this flight I needed to tranfer at Delhi Airport (DEL) in India as there are no direct flights (anymore) from Amsterdam (AMS) to Kathmandu (KTM). There are other good options, depending on where you're flying from. For instance, if you're based in the UK, or don't mind transferring there, Qatar Airways (www.qatarairways.com) is a good option.
The new World Business Class on KLM is nice!

Be aware of which booking class you book your ticket in! The booking class sets the conditions for your travel (min/max days of stay, dates changeable, cancellation possible yes/no). Information on this can be found on the website of KLM. Why be aware of the booking class? Well, if you buy the cheapest ticket it won't be changeable. So if the dates of your expedition change, and you have a cheap ticket (and thus low booking class) you can't change your ticket. If you buy a ticket in a higher booking class you can change it later. This is obviously more expensive, but can save you money later on. The booking class (e.g. Y,Q,R) is not the same as the class of travel (economy, business) (ok, enough of this avgeek stuff).

The Gear

In this post I'm not going to write about all the gear I took on this trip, I will highlight some of the gear I used a lot, or liked a lot (or both). I will do another post with my entire gear list though, in case you're planning a trip like this and would like an example gear list. Although Tim's gearlist is pretty good, I always like to crosscheck more then one list to see what may be on one, but not the other.

Julbo Monte Bianco sunglasses with cat. 2-4 Cameleon photochromic lenses - I wore these the whole expedition, they look stylish enough for in town (if you care about that kind of thing), were good during the trek in, and thanks to the (removable) side wings and cat.4 lenses, they were also perfect for high up the mountain. The photochromic lenses adjust to the intensity of the sunlight. Fortunately we did not have  a lot of wind, but if we had, my Jublo Revolution goggles (with cat. 2-4 Zebra lenses) would protect my eyes.
Somthing's brewing in Jetboil
Jetboil Sol with Sumo cup - normally stoves and pots are supplied by the operator. In fact, they were on our expedition. The problem is you don't know what you're going to get. It could be a Pocket Rocket, which are light, but not the best for expedition use in my opinion. So I decided to bring my own, because I know the Jetboil is light, the Sumo 1.8 liter pot is big enough and allows for a gas canister inside and, basically, it's a snow melting machine. Hydration is important! I would take it again.

Helinox Passport TL trekking poles - these are fixed length trekking poles (I use the 115cm version), and really don't look very strong. But trust me, they are. I've slipped once or twice, and the poles bend (a bit), but don't break! They are also very light, at 158 grams per pole ,and fold up to only 35cm!. Trekking poles aren't everybodies cup of tea, but I wouldn't go without them, if the terrain allows for their use.
Helinox trekking poles and the Arc'teryx Alpha FL 45 pack
Arc'teryx Alpha FL 45 backpack - this was the only pack I used during the entire expedition. I love it. This is a real alpine climbing pack with all the features. A post with initial impressions of this pack I wrote can be found here. The pack is min. 32 liters and max. 45 liters. With the bungy cords and hooks and loops you can attach some more stuff to the pack. The only time 45 liters was too small was for the move to high camp 2.

Yellowbrick Tracker - this satellite communicator (text-only, based on the Iridium network) allowed me to stay in touch with home (text and tweet), and vice versa. I would not go on an expedition again without it.
Yellowbrick Iridium
Yellowbrick Tracker
If you want to know more about logistics, flights or gear, please leave a comment!

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

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