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In 1996, when on a three month trip in Nepal, I spent a night camping near the Ama Dablam base camp. I will never forget seeing this majestic mountain, feeling the energy and exuberance of a party of climbers who had submitted and imagining one day experiencing this myself. 


In 2018, when I decided I would definitely do a climb and combine it with fundraising for MS, my mind went straight back to Ama Dablam. But self-limiting beliefs intervened -  Ama Dablam is a big mountain!!  It is 6812m high and referred to as the ‘mountaineer’s mountain’. It is a very technical climb, with ice and rock climbing at high altitude, and significant exposure. And so I spent a couple of years researching what other mountains I may be able to climb that may bring me the same sense of achievement and be significant enough to make a statement to help increase my profile and this fundraising. 


But the more I researched the more Ama Dablam kept calling me (it is, after all, considered one of the most beautiful peaks in the Himalayas), until it became the screen on my phone, the subject of a Facebook post sharing my dream, and then a reality as I took the step to find an expedition that I could join. And so it is, that in late November 2022, I will be making my own push to the summit of this mountain that I feel has been beckoning me for nearly three decades! 


While I have spent a lot of time ski touring and snow camping in alpine environments, rock climbing some pretty big cliffs, and several months trekking in Nepal at up to 5400m, in order to be able to climb Ama Dablam, I need to gain a little more experience at high altitude, gain some important mountaineering skills and increase my physical fitness, and so my journey now has a number of distinct parts to it:

Fitness training- this will include the following

  • Climbing conditioning — pack-loaded uphill hiking, walking, and stair climbing

  • Strength training — for the lower body and core

  • Cardiovascular training — including both aerobic and anaerobic workouts with and without pack weight (weighing approx. 

  • Flexibility training

Mountaineering skills training


This will involve training in – crampon and ice ax technique, self-arrest, setting snow anchors and running protection, fixed line ascension, ice climbing , rappelling, snow anchors & running protection and crevasse rescue


Mera Peak expedition (23 days)


This expedition is just prior to the Ama Dablam expedition, and will provide the opportunity to trek/cimb to 6461m and practice basic mountaineering skills at high altitude

Ama Dablam expedition (28 days) - The dream!!


Tues 11 Oct

Fly from Melbourne to Kathmandu

Wed 12 Oct

Personal preparation day

Thurs 13 Oct

to Fri 14 Oct

Visit the Youth Hostel of the Forum for the Welfare of Himalaya Children in Kathmandu

Sat 15 Oct

Mera Peak expedition starts in Kathmandu

Sun 16 Oct

Expedition preparation in Kathmandu for Ama Mera Peak

Mon 17 Oct

Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla (2800m), then day trek to Chutanga (3200m) to begin acclimatisation

Tue 18 Oct

to Thurs 27 Oct

Trek from Lukla to Khara (5100m)

Fri 28 Oct

Glacier and mountaineering skills day at Khare

Sun 29 Oct

Trek Mera Peak Base Camp (5400m)

Sun 30 Oct

Trek to Mera Peak High Camp (5780m)

Mon 31 Oct

Climb to Mera Peak Summit (6461m) and return to Khare (This is a long day of approximately 10-12 hours)

Tue 1 Nov

to Fri 4 Nov

Trek from Khare back to Lukla (2800m)

Sat 5 Nov

Fly from Lukla to Kathmandu and re–check into The Radisson Hotel. Time to celebrate and party

Sun 6 Nov

Trip concludes in Kathmandu

Sun 6 Nov

Ama Dablam Expedition starts in Kathmandu

Mon 7 Nov

Expedition preparation in Kathmandu for Ama Dablam

Tues 8 Nov

to Tues 15 Nov

Fly to Lukla (2800m) then trek to Ama Dablam base camp (4600m) with acclimatization side trips up to 5800m

Wed 16 Nov

to Thurs 17 Nov

Rest, train, prep for climb

Fri 18 Nov

to Tues 29 Nov

Approx. climbing schedule

Day 1 - Climb to Camp 1 (5,600m/18,368ft) and camp

Day 2 - Return back to base camp

Day 3 - Rest

Day 4 - Climb to Camp 1 (5,600m/18,368ft) and camp

Day 5 - Climb to Camp 2 (5,900m/19,352ft) and camp

Day 6 - Touch 6,000m and return base camp

Day 7 - Rest

Day 8 - Climb to Camp 1 (5,600m/18,368ft) and camp

Day 9 - Climb to Camp 2 (5,900m/19,352ft) and camp

Day 10 - Summit push (6,812m/20,283ft) and return to Camp 2

Day 11 - Return to base camp, celebrate

Day 12 - Rest, pack up

Wed 30 Nov

to Fri 2 Dec

Trek back to Lukla then fly back to Kathmandu

Sat 3 Dec

Ama Dablam expedition ends

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