News of Our Recent expedition: Ama Dablam October 2006
1 October to 1 November, 2006
SummitClimb Ama Dablam 2006, Final Dispatch
Hello all, This is the final dispatch for SummitClimb's International Ama Dablam Expedition 2006. Yesterday, we all arrived safely, but very tired, back in Kathmandu. The trek back from basecamp was fairly uneventful.
In summary, this years SummitClimb Ama Dablam Expedition have been a great experience with a fantastic group of people from seven different countries who all got on together very well. The conditions on the mountain were characterized by colder weather with more snow than usual, making the climbing conditions more challenging. Despite of this we have enjoyed very good summit success, including the first woman from Terai to summit Ama Dablam.
So, all there is left to say from us here in Kathmandu is that we have had a fantastic time and we are now looking forward to going home to our families and friends. Thank you to all of you for following our expedition, we hope you have enjoyed it.
Below is a summary of those who took part in our expedition and those who summited -
1 Dan Mazur, USA
2. Thomas Meling, Norway
3. Marius Bakkeng, Norway
4. Frank Sandbakk, Norway
5. Alf-Kare Askeland, Norway - summited 25/10/2006
6. Birte Haugland (Doctor), Norway
7. Oystein Ormasen, Norway - summited 25/10/2006
8. Roy Hansen, Norway - summited 24/10/2006
9. David Malia, UK - summited 24/10/2006
10. Stein Johansen, Norway
11. Mark Jensen (Leader), Denmark - summited 24/10/2006
12. Doug Sandok (Leader), USA - summited 24/10/2006
13. Pat Millegan, USA - summited 24/10/2006
14. Chris Breemer, USA
15. Larry Boersma, Holland and USA
16. Fred Blodgett, USA
17. Jangbu Sherpa, Okhaldhunga, Nepal - summited 25/10/2006
18. Tenji Sherpa, Okhaldhunga, Nepal - summited 25/10/2006
19. Phuri Sherpa, Okhaldhunga, Nepal - summited 24/10/2006
20. Pasang Gyalu Sherpa, Okhaldhunga, Nepal - summited 24/10/2006
21. Shera Sherpa, Okhaldhunga, Nepal - summited 23/10/2006
22. Lakpa Kongle Sherpa, Okhaldhunga, Nepal - summited 24/10/2006
23. Lakpa Gormu Sherpa, Okhaldhunga, Nepal - summited 24/10/2006
24. Usha Bista, Tarai, Nepal - summited 25/10/2006
(Ms. Bista was the 1st woman from Terai to summit Ama Dablam)
25. Neer Kaji Tamang, Okhaldhunga, Nepal
1. Jay Bahadhur Nagarkoti, Rasuwa, Nepal
2. Pemba Sherpa, Makalu, Nepal
3. Temba Sherpa, Makalu, Nepal
Doug Sandok and Mark Jensen
SummitClimb Ama Dablam 2006 Autumn: Hi, this is Doug Sandok, Expedition Leader calling you with dispatch number eight from the SummitClimb International Ama Dablam Expedition 2006. It’s snowed almost every day here this week on Ama Dablam. Here at Base Camp there is still a nice covering of snow all over. This week has also seen, in spite of the weather, the first summit days on Ama Dablam this year.
A little recap- On the 20th and 21st we spent two nights at Camp 1 and we did see a group going for the summit on the 21st, that was the first day of people going up to the summit in spite of the weather. On the 22nd we moved up to Camp 2, and saw another group going for the summit. On the 23rd we made our way up to Camp 3 and we passed a third group that was coming down from the summit on that day. Up to that point the weather had not really cleared.
But on October 24th, our first summit day, we awoke to mostly blue skies and we did go for the summit. On October 24th we summited with four members including Patrick Millegan of the U.S., Roy Hansen of Norway and David Malia from the UK. Expedition Leaders Mark Jensen and Doug Sandok also summated as well as Sherpas Phuri Sherpa, Lakpa Gormu, Lakpa Kongle and Pasang Gyalu.
On the 25th we had two more members, Oystein Ormasen and Alf Kare Askeland from Norway who summited as well as two other Sherpas--Jangbu Sherpa and Miss Usha Bista, who is the first woman from the Terai region of Nepal to summit Ama Dablam.
Most folks are down at Base Camp right now. We still have two members coming down from Camp 1 as well as a few more folks coming down from Camp 2 today. They will be looking forward to a rest day and then starting to move out of here tomorrow. We were very lucky to have two very nice days up on the summit on the 24th and 25th. Let’s hope that this weather system has stopped and for other groups that are here that the clear weather has finally begun. It’s been a very snowy season which made going up to the summit very difficult. Thanks for posting these dispatches.
SummitClimb Ama Dablam 2006 Autumn: Dispatch 7: This is Doug with SummitClimb International Ama Dablam Expedition. This is dispatch number seven. I just wanted to say that five members, Mark Jensen and myself are all up at Camp 1 right now. Last night and this afternoon a little storm came in and started dumping some snow and continued through the night, we had a little break this morning, not quite blue sky, but thin clouds, and now it’s kind of continued and we’ve got probably about 10 centimeters of snow accumulating here.
The route going to Camp 2 has become pretty slick and icy on the slabs, so we’re going to do our best. Hopefully tomorrow the weather will clear and we will be able to proceed to Camp 2 very carefully. Hopefully when the sun hits those slabs, all that snow will dry up really quickly.
We have still the six Norwegians down in Base Camp and they’re planning to come up tomorrow, assuming that we move forward on to Camp 2. So this is our final summit push. We hope to be summating in three days actually. There was a group today that was pushing up on the summit pitch. We saw them reach as far as the dablam and then the clouds clouded in and we couldn’t see much after that. So we’re awaiting news of their success.
A couple of days ago our Sherpas did push 200 meters of rope up towards the dablam and we saw people that were using our ropes this morning and then continued with their Sherpas to put in the ropes to the dablam. So we’ll await news on that, but right now we’re just sitting in the storm, staying happy in our tents at Camp 1, enjoying the early snowfall and trying to keep ourselves occupied. Thanks for posting this and hi to everyone at home from everyone here on the SummitClimb 2006 International Ama Dablam Expedition. Bye bye.
SummitClimb Ama Dablam 2006 Autumn: Dispatch 6
This is Doug Sandok calling in from Ama Dablam Base Camp for the SummitClimb International Expedition. This is dispatch number six. We are all here down at Base Camp after most members spending a night at Camp 2. We’ve shuttled a lot of gear up there. Right now the route seems to have been pushed a little bit higher today, almost to the mushroom ridge which is below Camp 3. Our Sherpas have been shuttling gear to the high camps and after some rest now they’re going to be moving to the front end of the rope and helping to set the route. Because of the snow this year the route setting has been difficult and slow.
Some groups have run out of time and are packing up unfortunately in the next few days to move out. But we still have plenty of time to be able to make the summit hopefully. There are rumors of some weather coming in around the 19th, so we’re down here for a couple of rest days, maybe a little more than a couple depending on weather.
The six Norwegians have also pushed on to Camp 2. Some are back here at Base and some are still acclimatizing up there at Camp 1. Our plan is to take a few days rest, drink some coffee, see what happens with the weather and the route fixing and then go for the summit push in the next few days.
Also, after two tough days of climbing, Larry Boersma, who is our 76-year-old member of our team has ended his expedition. We are all in admiration at Larry’s strong attempt this year. He’s on his way to Namche at the moment and hopefully out at Lukla. Everyone is safe down here at Base Camp and resting up. Hopefully if all goes as planned we should be summating somewhere around the 22nd, 23rd, or 24th. Thanks for posting this for everyone out there, and we’ll call again in a few days with another dispatch. Bye.
We have no less than eight Norwegians with us so we have a special dispatch in Norwegian here below -
Og her kommer en rapport fra de norske utsendingene:
Etter noen relativt stressende dager i Kathmandu med shopping, eksos, tuting og innpaaslitne hasjselgere kom endelig dagen da vi skulle fly til Lukla og begynne turen inn mot fjellene. Tett pakka i en Twin-8 tok vi av I perfekte flyforhold og etter 15 min kunne store, hvite fjell skimtes I horisonten.
Flystripa I Lukla er en opplevelse I seg selv da man lander I oppoverbakke over en ganske kort strekning, men gutta bak stikka hadde gjort dette et par ganger foer og overgikk mange av landingene jeg har opplevd paa norsk jord. Etter noen timer venting var nesten all bagasjen kommet og det var paa tide og ta paa seg sekken og proeve aa ungaa og bli spiddet paa mange av zoe'ene man bruker som baeredyr. En zoe er en nepalsk gatemix av yak og ku. Grunnen til at disse er skapt er fordi yaken ikke fungerer saerlig bra I hoeyder under 3500 moh.
Etter noen time rolig gange nedover(!) ble foerste leir inntatt og en bedre sherpa-produsert middag inntatt, og foerste natt paa tur senket seg. Dagen derpaa foregikk I saerdeles sceniske omgivelser opp den stadig brattere og smalere dalen. Stadige kryssinger paa hengebruer krydret turen som foregikk I vakker furuskog. Og til slutt stod vi under dagens store utfordring: 800 hoeydemeter med stigning opp til sagnomsuste Namche Basar.
Namche er en by som klamrer seg til fjellsiden under de store gutta. Bl. A. Everest og Ama Dablam, som er vaart maal, kan skimtes etter et kvarters gange ut av byen. Selve byen bestaar av steinbygninger er overraskende stor og har et yrende gateliv. Her blir det en hviledag foer nye hoeyder inntas og turen videre mot Ama Dablam BC fortsetter. Vaeret er straalende og utsikten er mildt sagt imponerende. Her staar man I verdens midt-etasjer og ser opp mot taket. Foemen I ekspedisjonen er stort sett god og akklimatiseringen gaar greit. Enkelte har til og med faatt anledning til aa sjekke ut Namcha at night, noe som kan anbefales! Er viktig aa drikke mye naar man akklimatiserer.
Saa, I morgen baerer det videre opp I hoegda til nye utsikter mot nye fjell. Alt gaar mao. Bra saa langt. Fortsettelse foelger!
This year our expedition will consist of 17 international climbers and 12 Sherpas who will be supporting our ascent.
1 Dan Mazur USA
2. Thomas Meling Norway
3. Marius Bakkeng Norway
4. Frank Sandbakk Norway
5. Alf Kare Askeland Norway
6. Birte Haugland (Doctor) Norway
7. Oystein Ormasen Norway
8. Roy Hansen Norway
9. David Malia UK
10. Stein Johansen Norway
11. Mark Jensen (Leader) Denmark
12. Doug Sandok (Leader) USA
13. Pat Millegan USA
14. Chris Breemer USA
15. Martha Johnson (Doctor) USA
16. Larry Boersma Holland and USA
(Larry is attempting to become the oldest person ever to summit Ama Dablam).
17. Fred Blodgett USA
18. Jangbu Sherpa Okhaldhunga, Nepal
19. Tenji Sherpa Okhaldhunga, Nepal
20. Phuri Sherpa Okhaldhunga, Nepal
21. Pasang Gyalu Sherpa Okhaldhunga, Nepal
22. Shera Sherpa Okhaldhunga, Nepal .
23. Lakpa Kongle Sherpa Okhaldhunga, Nepal
24. Lakpa Gormu Sherpa Okhaldhunga, Nepal
25. Usha Bista Tarai, Nepal
(Ms. Bista is the 1st woman from Terai to attempt Ama Dablam)
26. Neer Kaji Tamang Okhaldhunga, Nepal
1. Jay Bahadhur Nagarkoti Rasuwa, Nepal
2. Pemba Sherpa Makalu, Nepal
3. Temba Sherpa Makalu, Nepal
This year's team is gelling well and there is a lot of excitement already about our upcoming climb. We look forward to another safe and exciting adventure this season on Ama Dablam with this great group. Yours in Adventure, From Doug Sandok and all of us at SummitClimb.com
SummitClimb Ama Dablam 2006 Autumn: Third Dispatch
This is Doug Sandok calling in for the 2006 SummitClimb Ama Dablam
International Expedition. We've all arrived at Ama Dablam Base Camp now at 4500 meters. Six of our members, Norweigans, went from Pangboche to climb Island Peak and will rejoin us in about a week. The rest of us are here in Base Camp. We arrived to a little bit of a wet and gray day.
We talked to some groups that are here already and apparently the route is quite snowy and we expect quite a bit of deep snow at Camp 1, which will be exciting. We have a couple of members who are fighting a bit of cold and flu but they are still remaining optimistic and doing well. Some of our Sherpas will start heading up soon to assist with setting up the ropes. Our plan is tomorrow to stay here in Base Camp and do a review of some rope systems, some movement on rock and snow, and then talk about medical issues.
The day after that we should head up to Advanced Base Camp and yes, heading up the mountain. We're all excited to start heading up and see what it's like up there. We're definitely looking forward to some clear weather that we're seeing today.
SummitClimb Ama Dablam 2006 Autumn: First Dispatch
Hello from Kathmandu! This is the first posting from the Autumn 2006 SummitClimb International Ama Dablam Expedition.
It is a wonderful time to be here as the country celebrates Dasain, one of the high holidays for Nepalis. Throughout the week children have been flying kites and families are sacrificing animals at temples as they make their celebrations and worship the Goddess Durga. Many Nepalis have come from far away to be home at this time, and many who live in the capital of Kathmandu have made long journeys to their villages to be with their families during this time.
Most members have arrived in Kathmandu already with the last 2 arriving today. We are all enjoying meeting one another over these past few days and look forward to having the complete team together shortly.
On October 3rd we will fly to Lukla in the Khumba Valley and begin our approach to Basecamp. Though weather in Kathmandu is terrific, so far we have no reliable reports of conditions in the Khumbu. With the late departure of the Monsoon rains we are all wondering what we will find upon arrival in the mountains.
copyright Dan Mazur