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Month: November 2012

Ama Dablam Expedition–Am I Ready?

Well that’s the million dollar question isn’t it? It’s also the only question no one can answer until you’ve stood on the summit, and then gotten back to basecamp safe and sound, and in one piece. But have a read through the following statements/questions, answer honestly and you should have a better idea whether your capable or not. Many of Vertical Frontiers clients have climbed and trained with us prior to an Expedition, and indeed the preparation for a mountain like Ama Dablam might last two or three seasons before the trip. If something below doesn’t make sense, then get in touch for more personal advice. I have experienced moderate to high altitude previously, and have climbed to around 4500m in the alps as a minimum. My technical ability on scrambling terrain is very good, I am steady on my feet even after a long day out on the hill. Likewise, my experience with crampons is high and on exposed terrain I know how to use them effectively to keep myself safe.   I have rock climbed outdoors and seconded around Hard severe. I have done some winter Ice climbing and seconded around Scottish grade III or WI3. Exposed ground does not unduly phase me. My rope work is good enough to second someone rock climbing, and I have abseiled in mountainous terrain. Abseiling steep ground does not phase me,...

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Ama Dablam SW ridge route description

Ama Dablam’s South-West ridge is commonly climbed using seige tactics, meaning fixed ropes, camps, load carrying etc. On all the technical sections there are fixed ropes for people to clip onto, and jumar up the steeper sections. Trying to put a conventional grade onto parts of the route is difficult, and although I have “freed” nearly all of the ridge, I have always done so clipped into a rope that has safeguarded my climb. You can’t have a true feel for a grade until you have led a pitch traditionally,  something very, very few of Ama Dablam’s climbers will...

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Ama Dablam Expedition 2012 Summit day Photos

The team are back in namche bazar having walked out of basecamp this morning. It already seems a while ago that we were stood on the summit of Ama Dablam, even though only two days have passed. It worked out well in the end, and the main priority of the trip being to return safe and sound with reaching the top a secondary bonus. Starting from Camp 2 means a long day, we set off at 2 am, topping out at 11.30 and getting back to camp 2 at 5.30 in the evening. Technical climbing in the dark up...

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Photos from ABC, Camp 1 and the ridge to Camp 2.

(Yep, written ages ago!) We’re back down at basecamp for a couple of rest days before our summit attempt, and I thought I’d escape basecamp for a couple of hours and send some photos to the blog. Four days on the mountain has left everyone a little fatigued, so some rest, and a lot of eating is needed before we head back up again. We had perfect weather for our acclimatisation trip, with very light winds and clear skies which was great for our journey along the ridge towards Camp 2. Our two climbing sherpas, Tendi and Lombarbu were...

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Acclimatisation to ABC and basecamp Puja in photos

(Written a while ago, and only just got internet back in namche) We’ve had a few nights at basecamp now, settling into a routine and getting prepared for our first acclimatisation journey onto the mountain. Yesterday we walked about four hours up to an Advanced Basecamp (ABC) to drop some gear off and more importantly get acclimatised to that altitude (5450m). It’s very straightforward walking but at that height it is quite hard work, especially with a rucksack on.  Having dropped our stash of food and boots it was a quick hour and a half back down to base...

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Another day of laps in the trees. Low angled slopes avoiding the avi hazard and trying to keep out of the wind. Pretty wild weather at the moment.

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Mellow laps through the trees with Rob and Louise today. So quiet - fresh tracks all day 👍

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Superb weather and soft snow on the Vallee Blanche today. Even got some fresh tracks, although not shown on this video.
A pleasure to be skiing and guiding the white valley again 👍⛷

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A bit wind blown up top but some pretty good snow lower down. Good fun being #skiguide for Rich and Andrew.

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