Ama Dablam & Island Peak
14th October – 12th November 2017
Expedition Leader: Paul Noble
The team are at Camp 1.
The team are now at Ama Dablam base camp, a relatively short day from Pangboche. They plan to have a couple of days at base camp before heading up the mountain. Within the rest days the team will have their Puja, the buddhist good luck blessing for the climb.
We’re at Pangboche. Boys enjoyed an 8.30 start after their epic day yesterday. Good to see our next Island Peak Team heading in and share our stories. Now the team are in the coffee shop.
Paul has called to say that the team have summited Island Peak, they have been blessed with good weather. We should get some photos when the team head back down the valley tomorrow.
Today’s plan was to go for an acclimatisation walk from Namche and the plan was made to go to the villages of Kumjung and Kunde which makes for a perfect walk. Setting off at 8am we made good time up to Kumjung, which is a beautiful village. This is where some of the original Sherpa’s came from and Edmund Hillary had many friends here. The local school is named after him and there is a statue of him in the village amongst other tributes. Of course there was also a bakery, I’m not sure Eric was impressed with his Yak cheese croissant but our locally made carrot cake was great. After this there was a visit to the gompa which is home to the famous Yeti skull, and then we headed to Kunde virtually joined together, both villages are very religious. Then up to another monastery where monks were taking a break from praying and we were invited to look inside, a rather beautiful place. After being at around 3840 meters it was time for home and lunch at 2. James and Paul had a mooch round cafes/shops and Eric did a bit reading.
It was a blue sky start to the day with the early morning silence shattered with the first planes arriving at 6.30. The last of the bags were delivered, kit was repacked with some bags dispatched for base camp. We said goodbye to the Baruntse team and headed out for an easy trek to Phakding. After lunch we headed to a monastery on the hillside. A stunning place that looked down on the village and gave great views to the mountains. Tomorrow we will walk to Namche, capital of the Khumbu. It’s fair to say we’re all getting excited!!!!
It was a 6am breakfast this morning before goodbyes to the Himlimg Himal Team and both the Baruntse and Ama Dablam teams driving up to the domestic airport to fly to the Tenzing /Hillary airport at Lukla. This challenging mountain airstrip is often disrupted by the weather at Lukla. There often are very frustrated trekkers and climbers waiting for their flights at Kathmandu, many becoming increasingly impatient as the day wears on. Of course there were delays today but caused by international flights getting priority over the smaller aircraft. We didn’t fly until the last plane of the day, arriving around 4.30pm, certainly the latest I have ever arrived in Lukla. The team were very patient, entertained by Eric’s ‘missing history of France’ lecture.
Sadly not all our bags could come on the flight but we are very happy to be here! As a result we are staying in a nice lodge in Lukla tonight, with teams heading out tomorrow after the gear arrives. Dinner is done, I suspect an early night is coming!
Teams from Adventure Peaks’ Himlung Himal, Mera/Buruntse, Island Peak/Ama Dablam were all out to dinner tonight before heading their separate ways tomorrow. The Himlung Himal team leave on the coach while the others head out to the airport to catch the always interesting flight to Lukla.
Today was a day for briefings, shopping and eating while leaders sorted last logistics, visited supermarkets and the ministry. Some people had a tour of the city visiting the main attractions. Heartening to hear repairs are coming along in areas affected by the earthquake. The main area of Thamel has quite a few new shops, and looks very smart!