Ama Dablam 2018 Expedition Dispatches

Dispatch #12 - December 6, 2018 – Kathmandu

Some of our team members are now on their way home via international flights only 36 hours after reaching the summit of Ama Dablam. Others will folow suit and return home in the next few days whilst some will stay in Nepal and explore this wonderful country more.

A full report on the climb in a few days after we have enjoyed all that Kathmandu has to offer after an expedition.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #11 - December 5, 2018 – Namche Bazar

All the team are now on their way back to Kathmandu. They took helicoters from Base Camp this morning and will be enjoying one of the many wonderful Kathmandu restaurants this evening.

I was with the team in Lukla at lunchtime before they left for another chopper flight, this time to Kathmandu and hot hotel showers. I decided to stay behind in the Khumbu for a few days and jumped onto a chopper from Lukla up to Namche so I can spend a few days with local friends before heading back to Kathmandu in a few days.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #10 - December 4, 2018 – Base Camp

We have summits. All team members and Sherpa are now safe at base camp.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #9 - December 3, 2018 – Base Camp

Our team members are now at Camp Two or very near to it. We plan to leave this camp very early in the morning for our summit push. The team reported by radio last night and this morning that there were no winds and the temperatures were very warm.

Kami Neru Sherpa and I will leave around midnight and meet the team somewhere above Camp Two on the summit push.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #8 - December 2, 2018 – Base Camp

Our weather forecasts are predicting higher wind speeds than we are observing over the past few days and with this in mind, we have changed our summit plans slightly.

Several of the team and some Sherpa departed Base Camp today with the intention of breaking up the climb to Camp Two and they will spend this evening at Camp One. They will then proceed to Camp Two tomorrow. The other team members will climb directly to Camp Two tomorrow. Kami Sherpa and myself plan to leave Base Camp around midnight and meet the team above Camp Two where we will all go to the summit together.

We may not post any more dispatches until we are down and off the hill.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #7 - November 30, 2018 – Base Camp

We have now enjoyed our third rest day at base and are ready to get back on the hill and make our summit attempt. There is a potential small window for tomorrow AM but we decided the window was too small with high winds predicted departing camp two and also the potential to be descending from the summit in very high winds. With this in mind we are remaining at base camp for tomorrow, the first of December.

As I mentioned in a previous dispatch we have a very strong team this season and all the climbers will climb directly from Base Camp to Camp Two, departing early morning from this camp for the summit, hopefully returning to base camp the same day.

There are now only two teams left at base camp and we are working together in regards to camp sites at Camp Two. We see a potential summit window on the 4th and this is most likely what we will focus on over the next few days.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #6 - November 27, 2018 – Base Camp

For those family members and friends following the expedition, all our climbers and Sherpa are now back at base camp.

Most of the team tagged Camp Two, at an elevation of 5,900 meters, today and yesterday in preparation for our summit attempt.

The weather forecast is now predicting strong winds for a few days and we will keep checking our forecast, hopefully being able to make a summit attempt sooner than later.

Our Sherpa team have done an amazing job of getting the camps stocked and ready for our push.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #5 - November 26, 2018 – Base Camp

We have a very strong team this year on Ama Dablam. Today, some of the team members climbed directly from Base Camp to Camp One where they dropped their packs, and then tagged Camp Two before returning to Camp One for the evening. The other team members have decided to tag Camp Two tomorrow morning and then all the climbers and the Sherpas will descend to Base Camp.

I climbed again to Camp One from Base Camp with the members but decided to return to Base Camp so I can update the team by radio if there are any weather changes that may effect tomorrow's Camp Two tag. At present, the weather looks good for tomorrow's rotation but then the winds are supposed to pick up on the 28th, when we are already back safely at base camp.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #4 - November 25, 2018 – Base Camp

Our team members made the climb to Yak Camp, also known as Advanced Base Camp in great time yesterday. Times varied from 1.5 to 2.5 hours, they then returned to base camp for lunch. I climbed to Camp One to check on campsite availability and I was pleased to see only a handful of tents erected.

Today several members and some Sherpa have made the climb to Yak Camp again where they will spend the evening before spending tomorrow night at Camp One. The rest of the team will make the climb to Camp One directly from Base Camp. All team members will then hopefully tag Camp Two on the 27th before returning to Base Camp later that day.

Our weather forecast is showing some strong winds starting on the 28th so we will hunker down at base camp for several days and then make plans for our summit push.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #3 - November 23, 2018 – Base Camp

We arrived at base camp yesterday and today held our Puja ceremony. Tomorrow we will take another rest day and possibly climb to intermediate camp on Sunday or Monday, depending on how all the team members feel.

Our first rotation will see the group spend the night at intermediate camp, followed by a night a camp one. The plan will be to try and tag camp two before returning to base camp for the evening.

There are now only three teams present at base camp and all the teams are on different schedules so we are assuming there will be no bottlenecks on the route.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #2 - November 19, 2018 – Namche Bazar

All of our team members are now in Namche Bazar. We left the hotel at 6.30 am this morning and were in Namche Bazar by 8am. We had a very smooth transition through the airport as all the Lukla bound fixed wing flights were grounded in Kathmandu for a second straight day due to bad weather in Lukla and on route. We feel very fortunate to be here today with so many folks stuck in the Kathmandu airport and that was due to the skillful helicopter pilots from Simrik and Shree Airlines whom took alternative routes to Lukla to avoid the bad weather.

Our team is doing well and tomorrow we will talk a short walk up to the Everest View Hotel for some views and to gain a few more hundred meters in elevation before descending back to Namche for the evening.

Our first order of business today in Namche was to visit the Sherpa Barista coffee house before having lunch at our lodge and then again after lunch.

It is surprisingly colder than we thought it would be in Namche but we hope the sun is out tomorrow to warm things up.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #1 - November 16, 2018 – Kathmandu

Our Ama Dablam team members are now starting to arrive in Kathmandu. If all goes to plan every member and their luggage should be here late on Saturday evening.

We have received our expedition permit and weather permitting, we shall be taking several helicopters directly to Namche Bazar on Monday. We hope to arrive at base camp on the 22nd where we will spend several days before venturing higher on the hill.

The Ama Dablam season is now starting to draw to a close as the majority of groups are now off the mountain. We expect to be one of a few teams present this November & December climbing later in the season to avoid the crowds that are seen earlier in the fall.

Phil Crampton

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