Ama Dablam Stays Open Until 2023

Ama Dablam hosts more climbers each season, leading to crowding on the ropes and lack of space in the higher camps. Local outfitters are trying to ease the problem (and increase business) by extending the season into the first weeks of winter.

Last week at Camp 1 on Ama Dablam. The precarious location is hardly suitable for crowds. Photo: 8000 Unlimited/Sophie Lenaerts

 

Seven Summit Treks will keep its Base Camp open, with a crew ready to guide, until January 10, 2023. Clients willing to brave the winter cold will have a well-prepared route, fixed ropes, and plenty of room in the narrow camps. A climbing permit also costs half what it does during spring and fall. (The summer monsoon season has the same discount.)

Winter permits begin on December 1, when the climbing fee drops from $400 to $200, according to Satori Adventures. Final prices for the climb itself vary with the operator and the options.

Tim Mosedale shot the above video of Camp 2 and the route on Ama Dablam route, from the so-called boulder field between Advanced Base Camp and Camp 1.

“December provides a great opportunity on Ama Dablam,” Alex Txikon told ExplorersWeb. “It’s colder, but that is better than enduring crowds and full camps, which has happened lately in October-November.”

In case there is some snowfalling on the mountain, the fresh snow at hand will be clean and suitable to melt for water.

Alex Txikon atop Ama Dablam on January 25, 2020. Photo: Pasang Sherpa

 

The Spaniard climbed Ama Dablam in winter 2020, with a small group to prepare for winter Everest. They made sure to start the climb beginning December 21, in order to do an indisputable winter climb.

Ama Dablam’s upper section from Camp 2. Photo: 8000 Unlimited

 

Ama Dablam too popular?

The number of permits for Ama Dablam increases not only every year but seemingly every week. On October 15, 11 teams accounted for a total of 131 permits. One month later, on November 15, the number had increased to 460 over 39 teams. 

Nepal climbing permits for fall 2022, listed by mountain, and issued on November 15, 2022.

 

The mountain is one of the most popular adventure climbs in the world, thanks to its beauty, easy access, and brief time required. Yet it’s a mistake to underestimate it. Its 6,856m altitude demands proper acclimatization, especially since bottled oxygen is normally omitted.

The normal southwest ridge route also involves sustained steep sections on mixed snow, ice, and rock. Despite the fixed ropes, a fall is potentially fatal. Emergency evacuations are frequent. Two people have already died on Ama Dablam this season.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides is a college-graduated journalist specializing in high-altitude mountaineer and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.