Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Ama Dablam: A Fitting Finale

A fitting finale
Cake the lodge and our cook boy, Dawa,
made for our arrival

4th November

Hello from the Ama Dablam base camp lodge,

Our summit day was long, clear, windy and cold, but equally exhilarating. The day after we woke with emotional and physical memories that made it challenging to consider any movement beyond rolling in one's sleeping bag. Nevertheless the team rallied, and we descended all the way from Camp Two to the lodge. It's always amazing how quickly you can descend off a peak, especially to the promise of snacks and cold beverages. Our Sherpa team met us throughout the day to provide us treats and help lighten our loads, their ever present support continuing to the very end.

Once arriving back at the lodge, we treated ourselves to the creature comforts of on demand hot tea, and delicious meals cooked to order. We all slept so well, due to the relatively thick air and comfortable mattresses. A hydrated, satiated, and well rested summit crew have spent the day relaxing here at the lodge. The Yak's brought down the last of our gear off the mountain and we used the sunny afternoon to dry equipment, organise, and pack away the expedition. It's a wonderful feeling to wrap up the climb in the shadow of the peak itself, knowing it will loom large behind us as we trek out of the Khumbu in the coming days.

It has been an amazing trip, not without its challenges but with even greater rewards. Thanks for following us, as a climb of this magnitude takes the effort of not only the climbers on the mountain, but the friends and family who have supported us along the way. We look forward to touching base with you all from Kathmandu in a few days.

Andrew Yasso

The end if an expedition is often filled with reflection; how the climb went, how challenging it was, the worst and best parts. One's thoughts also are turned towards home and loved ones.

It is hard to understand why we put ourselves through such challenges and risks unless one has done so themselves. An old quote sums it up best for me.

"A ship is safe in the harbour but that is not what they're built for."

Thanks for following us on our journey.

Signing off for the last time.

Tim Robertson and the 2014 Ama Dablam Team

Ama Dablam: Success!

Summit team and view of Everest & Lhotse

2 November 2014

Hi Everyone,

A tired but happy Ama Dablam team is now safely back at Camp Two after summitting today. You could not have called it the perfect weather day but the cold winds did not deter us.

So at 11am Matthew, Fiona, Mary along with guides Tim and Andrew and of course our great Sherpas; Sangay, Kami and Chewang summitted Ama Dablam.

Bye for now,

Tim and the Ama Dablam summit team

Ama Dablam: Camp 2.9

Camp 2.9
Matthew enjoying the view

1 November 2014

Hi from Camp 2.9,

So we are well over 6000m up here at around 6250. To get here we ascended the Grey Tower via a steep mixed gully and then up a wildly exposed snow ridge.

The views around us are truly impressive looking back towards camp 1 & 2 as well as Base Camp and all the way back to where we had our first views of this proud mountain.

Tomorrow is summit day with 600m more climbing to go. Wish us luck.


Tim and the Ama Dablam team

Ama Dablam: Camp Two, home for the night

Camp Two, home for the night
The famous Lakpa Dorje, with his perma-smile on display

31 October 2014

Hello from Camp Two!

And here we are, sitting in our tents again - only this time the tents are physically tied into the mountain as we are precariously perched on a snowy and rocky ridge. Our members are under strict orders to clip into the ropes the moment they step out of their tents, and as usual they are being awesome and taking care of themselves in these difficult living conditions. So much of being successful on these trips is just simply having the will to stay up and melt snow and force yourself to hydrate, even after a long day.

Today was certainly a long day - we left Camp One at 07:30 and followed the fixed lines up the mountain ridge. The team paced themselves excellently, and we made great time to the base of the Yellow Tower just below Camp Two. Many teams have been making use of this good weather, which means we encountered a lot of climbers trying to descend the same lines we were climbing. Unfortunately, that had us waiting our turn for some time, but fortunately the weather was absolutely stunning. Very little wind and sunshine had us warm while we waited, and gave us the chance to take lots of photos of the Himalayan giants that surrounded us.

Once we had our turn to climb the Yellow Tower, our climbers had to put both their ascenders on the rope to gain upward progress on the 25m vertical rock face. Climbing a rope in this style at sea level is challenging, but doing it at 6050m is taking it to another level. Once again, I'm psyched to report the team performed strongly.

Our phenomenal Sherpa team did a great job helping us get settled in. Tim and I have the pleasure of sharing a tent with our lead climbing Sherpa tonight, Lakpa Dorje. It's really great working alongside locals who know these mountains so well, and individuals who Adventure Consultants has had a long standing relationship with. Lakpa told me I was strong like Sherpa, but until my muscles start producing oxygen like theirs do, I'll respectfully beg to differ.

Tomorrow the plan is to move to Camp 2.9, and it looks like we have another great weather day ahead of us. Wish us well!

Cheers from Andrew and the Ama Dablam team

Ama Dablam: Onward and Upwards

Onwards and Upwards
Andrew and Tim excited for the coming days. 

30 October 2014

Tashi Delek Everyone,

As the sun lays its golden blanket upon the peaks above us and the clouds form a bubble bath in the valley below us, we snuggle into our sleeping bags for the last time at Camp One. The goal is to begin our summit push by moving up to Camp Two tomorrow. The excitement amongst the team is palpable, as our rest days have left us with energy to spare and the desire to move.

Specific numbers of tea bags have been packed, spare pages of notebooks have been cut out, and I think I even saw one member cutting tags off their clothing. We are lightening our loads and as strong as we can be. With our supremely capable Sherpa team and a favourable weather outlook we are cautiously optimistic.

Tim and I have had a busy day sorting last minute details as the remaining team members have prepped their systems. We'll leave you with an unabashed snapshot of a moment where Tim and I took a break, comfy in our down palace.

Moving on up!

Andrew and the Ama Dablam team