Ama Dablam October 2005

Ama Dablam October 2005

News of Our Recent expedition: Ama Dablam October 2005
1 October to 1 November, 2005


Dispatch One: Hi Everyone!

This is Jay Reilly writing to you from very hot and sticky Kathmandu! I arrived today - quite possibly in my finest style yet. I was upgraded to Business Class on the flight between Bangkok and Kathmandu! Not only that, but I had the seat next to me empty....... Now THAT'S the way to travel!!

I love Kathmandu. It's a vibrant place, full of action and complete mayhem. No matter how much I return here, I so enjoy the noise, the pollution, the fact that our taxi driver has to slam on the brakes to avoid a head-on collision with a cow.

Cows have it pretty good over here, with the majority of the population being Hindu - in which cows are sacred animals and cannot be harmed. So if you're a cow, you get pretty much complete right-of-way on the streets, festivals in your honour, lots of statues and carvings in your likeness, and total immunity from ever being eaten. Not a bad gig, huh?

I also love Nepali barber shops. They ARE the last great vestige of man. You can get a straight razor shave, haircut and in-chair massage for a little under $10!

OK - so admittedly, the massage leaves a bit to be desired and it's highly questionable whether the giver of said massage has had ANY sort of formal training - or understanding of the human skeletal structure for that matter.......

But the haircut and shave...... That's GOLD!!! There's something quite primal about being shaven with a bare blade beside your throat - something that says "Wrestle that lion? You betcha! I've just been shaved...." And so on....... (there are no lions in Nepal - just thought I'd clear that up)

And I love all the goop they put in your hair:- peppermint smelling stuff mixed with some strage oil, stuff that comes out of a jar that looks at least a hundred years old..... It's GREAT!!

So I guess by now it's pretty obvious what I've been up to all afternoon, but in fact - apart from enjoying the delights of Kathmandu, I am here to prepare for our planned expedition to Ama Dablam.

Some other members arrived today -

Mr Doug Sandok from the USA (Leader-in-Training)

Mr Tuomas Sovijarvi from Finland

Mr Samuli Mansikka from Finland

Mr Misheal Rosenthal from Israel

Mr Mor Doron from Israel

Ms Elsilien Te Hennepe from Holland (Trekking Leader)

Mr Neil Charlwood (Trekking Member)

We welcome you all to Nepal!!

More news tomorrow.... Jay Reilly


Dispatch Two:

I hope you are all well and are getting as excited as we are about our upcoming climb! No doubt you are the friends and family of the fantastic members of this Expedition. Your loved ones are in very good hands, with not only the expertise of Daniel Mazur and myself, but also with our fine Leaders in Training, Doug Sandok and Phil Austin.

Doug hails from Colorado, USA and has summited Aconcagua. He works full time as a Program Director for the internationally acclaimed organization, Outward Bound, and has run programs all over the world. He is a friendly, well organized, highly experienced person and a pleasure to work alongside.

Phil is from Kent in the UK, and has visited Nepal many times. He has climbed on both Pumori and Everest. Phil's Leadership background stems from service in the military. He is very strong and fit and an expert climber. Phil is a valuable asset to our team.

No new arrivals today, but our day has been very busy nonetheless. We went through our food lists, equipment lists, briefed the staff, and completed the necessary paperwork for our Climbing Permit.

A high altitude climbing expedition is a mammoth exercise in logistics. For example, we need to feed and house 30+ people for 30 days. Not to mention climbing gear, and transport.....Easy to do in a city - not so easy in a remote location, so part of our gear list looks something like this -

Food - 1.5 tons (yes tons!)

Tents - 75

Rope - 3.4 kilometers

Gas - 168 canisters

Stoves - 20

Kerosene - 800 liters

Then each member and staff has 2 duffle bags full of equipment that weigh 30kg each, so right about now our total weight of goods is bordering around 5 tons.......

Try checking THAT in at the airport!!! But - when it comes to transport - that's exactly what we do. A line of trolleys about 300m long snakes it's way right out the door and down the carpark on check-in morning. Lost bags anyone???

An enormous train of about 100 grudge bearing yaks then carry our food and equipment for the 5 day trek to Basecamp. THEY are another series of stories within themselves!! Counting yaks..., chasing runaway yaks...., arguing with yaks....,preventing yaks from eating our potatoes...., wrestling yaks with baskets stuck on their horns as a direct result of eating our potatoes.....

We have some more arrivals tomorrow, here at the Nepa Hotel, Kathmandu, so until then........

Thank you very much for following our expedition,

From Jay Reilly and all of us at


Dispatch Three:

Three more arrivals today. Our Expedition Team is growing - albeit slowly at this point, however we expect the bulk of our arrivals tomorrow, including Daniel Mazur.

We welcome to Kathmandu,

Phil Austin, Leader-in-Training from the UK.

Paul Roose from the UK.

Erich Bonfert from Germany.

Paul and Erich are choosing to spend some time relaxing in Kathmandu before the expedition - but not so for Phil!! We've had a busy day, along with Doug Sandok, our other Leader-in-Training, working with the Sherpa staff organising and packing our climbing and medical equipment.

The Leader-in Training Program offers the chance for people with Leadership Qualifications and mountain climbing experience, to train as a High Altitude Mountain Guide. This program offers an exclusive opportunity to see "behind the scenes" of a climbing expedition and a chance to act in a limited Leadership capacity whilst on the mountain. We believe it is the only program of it's type in the world, and many of our current Leaders started their careers in this fashion.

I hope you are enjoying reading our dispatches. We will try very hard to post each day, however when we are on the trek to Basecamp, this may not be possible. Whilst in Basecamp and on the mountain, our dispatch postings may be as many as 5 days apart. We may even be able to send direct voice dispatches live from the mountain! Stay tuned - more news tomorrow!

From Jay Reilly, and all of us at Summitclimb


Dispatch Four: Dear Readers, Firstly we'd like to thank all the hard work done by the staff at .... They are the ones responsible for turning the emails we send into readable dispatches, like the one you're reading right now. Thanks Guys!!!!!

We've had an exciting day of arrivals today, and we welcome our new members to the team.

The flight into Kathmandu is quite astounding! A little geography:- Kathmandu itself sits in a valley - aptly named the "Kathmandu Valley" - at an altitude of 1300-ish meters. Mt Everest is situated to the north and east of Kathmandu. In order to land in Kathmandu, the flights usually approach from a general south-westerly direction.

OK - now for the astounding bit..... If you're lucky enough to be sitting on the right-hand side of the plane, you're treated with the view of Mt Everest as you fly not over the top, but directly PAST THE WINDOW!! It's only then that you realize just how big these mountains really are. In fact, commercial airlines rarely fly over the top of the Himalaya, because if in the event of a loss of pressure in the plane, it would not be able to descend low enough, fast enough.

So the people who arrived today have certainly experienced something special......

We welcome -

Kurt Blair - USA

Larry Boersma - USA

Rick Coleman - Canada

Daniel Mazur - UK and USA

Colby Vandenburg - USA

Florine Grama - Romania

Coco Galescu - Romania

They join the other members already here in enjoying the balmy warmth, sights, sounds, smells and cultural delights of Kathmandu.

More news tomorrow...

Thank you very much for following the news of our expedition.

From Jay Reiily and all of us at


Dispatch Five: Dear Readers,

The last of our arrivals today with:-


John Nicholson - USA

Chuck Claude - USA

Andrew McDonald - Australia


Our complete team roster now looks like this:-


Daniel Mazur - UK and USA - Expedition Manager

Jay Reilly - Australia - Expedition Leader

Doug Sandok - USA - Leader in Training

Phil Austin - UK - Leader in Training

Samuli Mansikka - Finland

Tuomas Sovijarvi - Finland

Mishael Rosenthal - Israel

Mor Doron - Israel

Paul Roose - UK

Erich Bonfert - Germany

Stuart Smith- USA

Colby Vandenburg - USA

Kurt Blair - USA

Larry Boersma - USA

Chuck Claude - USA

John Nicholson - USA

Rick Coleman - Canada

Andrew McDonald - Australia

Florine Grama - Romania

Coco Galescu - Romania


Thank you following our expedition news. More tomorrow.


From Jay Reilly and all of us at



Dispatch Six: Dear Readers,

I’m writing to you from Namche Bazar at 3400m. Yep! We are on the trail! Everybody is safe and well. We’re very sorry for the lack of communication the past few days. We do understand that this may be your only source of news about your loved ones, and rest assured that we will endeavour to post dispatches as frequently as possible.

It can be a difficult task, high in the Khumbu. We rely on satellite communications that don’t come with many guarantees – particularly in Nepal! Right now, due to a satellite problem, I’m typing this on a laptop in the office of – ironically enough – a communications shop. The owner, and our long time assistant with all things technical, Santosh is kind enough to let me do this in order to bring you the news.

So we’ve had a VERY hectic last few days preparing for our expedition. The Leaders gave a full day or briefing on Oct 2nd, while we were up at 2am on the 3rd to make our flight to Lukla. Flights to Lukla at 2800m are very weather dependant, because the small planes used are not equipped with any sort of instruments that allow them to fly in bad weather. It’s sight only!

Our team luckily made it…… We approached the airstrip, then the clouds came in and the pilot turned away at the last second – apparently heading back to Kathmandu. He then looked out the window, saw the strip and DOVE the plane through the clouds in order to make the landing. It was certainly one of the most – er – exciting landings I’ve ever experienced in Lukla! Other teams weren’t so lucky, with many planes returning to Kathmandu after clouds made it impossible to land.

We’ve since spent the last 2 days on our trek towards Ama Dablam Basecamp at 4600m. The Khumbu Valley is beautiful right now after the monsoon – very green and lush, with many spectacular waterfalls cascading right beside the trail.

Tomorrow we’ll be taking a rest day here in Namche, so more news will come then!

Thank you very much for following our expedition.

From all of us at


Dispatch Seven: This is Phil Austin, Leader in Training, writing today's dispatch from Namche Bazaar. Namche Bazaar is the capital of the Solu Khumbu region of Nepal and is at an altitude of 3500m. It is set in a dramatic natural amphitheatre with all the buildings forming a horseshoe, it is a truly beautiful place.

On the way up there have been several bouts of "dodgy tummies", but all are making quick recoveries and are marching onward and upward with no problems. Everyone is in high spirits and there is a good sense of humor amongst everyone and we're all mixing well.



Mor and Mishael have informed us that it is Jewish new year of 5766, we will all be taking a drink with them tonight to celebrate. Today we had a rest day and wandered around Namche at our leisure drinking hot lemon tea and eating cinnamon rolls (mmmmm). This rest day is essential in our acclimatization process; go up too fast and the chance of acute mountain sickness becomes more common. So its a good excuse to chill out.


We all want to say a special hello to all our loved ones and to tell them are thoughts are always with them.



So this is Phil signing off and saying farewell for now "Namaste" and best wishes from all of us on the 2005 Ama Dablam climb and trek.



Ps. Team member Andrew McDonald here. Thought I would make mention of one of the interesting moments from Monday. Having sat around at Kathmandu airport for quite a few hours I was somewhat relieved by gaining a last minute seat on our second flight out. The flight was going smoothly until we crossed the ridge that leads to the Lukla airfield, after that the normally dramatic approach was complicated by heavy cloud cover, in Nepal the clouds often have rocks in them! This first approach was aborted and the pilot made a steep, stomach churning, climb within the valley. The second approach was where the excitement really began with the pilot seemingly deciding in an instant to dive down to the airfield through a break in the cloud. When I say an airfield, it's really a patch of asphalt that seems to have dripped down the side of a hill. As we plunged from the sky I told myself to enjoy the experience rather than scream in terror. My emotions were well placed as before I knew it we had touched down and an enthusiastic round of applause echoed through the plane. Hopefully our luck will be equally as good during the days ahead!



We plan to trek to the village of Pangboche tomorrow at 4100m:- the day after - Basecamp! We will send another dispatch from there.



Thank you for following the news of our expedition.




Dispatch Eight: Summitclimb International Ama Dablam Expedition 2005 Dispatch 7/Oct/05

Dear Readers, We're writing to you from the village of Pangboche at 4000m. We've just returned from our Puja Ceremony at the Lama's house. I like the Lama. He's a very old, wise man who exudes power and spirituality. It's very difficult to come away from him and not feel moved in some way. I love the Buddhist religion. It's so dynamic, smoky and noisy! The Lama chants, rings a bell, beats on a big drum, and throws rice around the room - all the while a large rock of incense smolders in a bucket of coals. It certainly is a fantastic experience!



We are planning to make our way to Basecamp, some 600 vertical meters above us, later today. Right now, we are relaxing in the Sonam Lodge teahouse while our staff go ahead and set up Basecamp for us. If we were to arrive first, it would be a long, cold wait until our warm gear and tents show up. -Jay Reilly



Doug Sandok writing this next update.


Yesterday we traveled from Namche Bazaar up about 450 meters to Pangboche. We had a beautiful sunny morning and caught our first views of the high mountains of the Khumbu: Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Kusum Kangru...The trail was enjoyed by all with many nice tea stops and sunny rests until we reached Tengboche. The clouds came in for the afternoon, but cleared later on. We had a little fun in the evening with some music (Funky Town- Lipps, Inc) and even a bit of dance courtesy of Kongle, one of the Sherpas on the team, who played a mean harmonica later on.



It is good to be back in the Khumbu. I notice change and development every time I come. There are even a couple of Graduate students from Kathmandu doing research on tourism in the Sagarmatha National Park. We all filled in some questionnaires this morning after the Puja in order to give feedback and help them with their research. Some of the development is unquestionably good for the locals and for tourism, other forms seem very suspect. As far as tourists go, there seems to be a healthy start to the fall season here in the Khumbu.



The group seems to be in great sprits this morning with most members sleeping well last night.


The trekking group will split off from today heading higher up into the Khumbu and to Base Camp. Elselien, Patty, Rob, Frank and David are eager to go up to Dingboche today in the hope we'll have clear views of Island Peak, Nuptse and Lhotse Shar in the morning. We'll then continue up the valley to Lobuche and Gorak shep from where we hope to visit Everest Base Camp and Kala Pattar which will then be our own summit at 5545m! So far all the members have been doing great, making good trekking times having no signs of altitude sickness. I'm sure we'll have a great trek without the Ama Dablam guys, but we'll miss them anyway! We hope they will be safe and succesful up there! Hopefully we can send our own trekking dispatch from higher up the valley, otherwise it'll be not until Namche on the 15th that we can get back to




Thanx for following our trip!


Elselien te Hennepe.



The Ama Dablam team is packing up and hydrating as we move up to Basecamp. The mist has closed into the valley already and as the members head off into the distance we have the feeling that a new part of the adventure is about to begin - a counsciousness shift and the beginning of a much anticipated and prepared for physical and emotional journey.



Love to all our family and friends.


Thank you very much for following our expedition.


From all of us at Summitclimb.



ps. attached photo showing Ama Dablam leader Jay Reilly receiving a

specially blessed prayer scarf from the Panboche Lama during our Puja prayer ceremony.




Dispatch Nine:

Dear Readers, This is Jay Reilly writing to you from Ama Dablam Basecamp at 4600m! We had a nice walk up from Pangboche yesterday - albeit in the snow and rain. Hmmmmm - the weather hasn't quite been up to scratch yet, but we hope for nicer days ahead. Right now, the sun is shining and the solar panels are charging the big car batteries used for this computer system.



Everyone is happy and healthy here in Basecamp, and at the moment are under the close supervision of our fantastic Leaders in Training, Phil Austin and Doug Sandok, about 100m above Basecamp, practicing climbing on some fixed lines which our Sherpa Staff set up earlier today. Being able to climb on fixed rope correctly and safely is crucial on Ama Dablam. The route is very steep in parts, and there are some narrow ridges. We ensure all the ropes on the mountain are safe and securely fixed, and members are sure of their climbing technique before we begin the ascent.



Tomorrow, some members will plan to carry equipment to Advanced Basecamp at 5300m, while others will choose to stay and relax in Basecamp. We plan to write dispatches up until the 16th of October. From then we will be posting direct live voice dispatches! Kind of like a high altitude Big Brother!


More news soon.



From Jay Reilly and all of us


ps. Photocaption. We are just setting up our basecamp at 4600 metres.




Dispatch Ten: Dear Readers. Doug Sandok writing to you from Basecamp at 4600m.

Yesterday we had a beautiful morning with our first up close views of the route on Ama Dablam. Chuck, Kurt, Colby, Stuart, Eric, Mor, Mishael, Paul, Phil and I decided to take a load up to Advance Base Camp (ABC) at 5350m. The Romanians, Florin and Coco had taken a load up to Camp 1 the day before and headed down to Pangboche for a couple nights of low altitude rest. John, Rick, Larry, and Andrew decided to stay at Basecamp with Jay for the day enjoying the weather, the tea, and the rest. High up the ridge we had a very enjoyable walk to ABC. The weather held out until the descent and the trail was quite good. We deposited some gear and set up tents and headed back down. Kurt, Chuck and I pulled out the topo maps on the way down and tried to pick out some of the major features of the valley. We had an enjoyable evening with the Peak Freaks team. It seems that the Russians have pushed the route through to Camp 2 and are today on the way to Camp 3, but there is a fair amount of fresh snow on the route still making it quite difficult. This morning Andrew, Rick and John made preparations to take a load up to ABC as the Sherpas were busy getting everything ready for another puja ceremony at the large boulder just outside of camp. Around 10 am we all gathered at the large Boulder (Jangbu's Rock) and the Lama began the ceremony to make a prayer for our success. There was lots of Chang (rice beer) and burning juniper...the scent and the smoke swirling and blowing in the breeze. We sat in a semicircle with Ama Dablam's summit looming 2.2 vertical kilometers above us. We all have the feeling the weather has changed for the better and the monsoon has receded. Although we have some thin blowing clouds at the moment it felt very auspicious to have the weather on our side as we made the puja. The puja ended with much chang all around, and throwing of rice and tsampa wheat. Then the fruit, sweets, breads and whiskey came out...our climbing gear was blessed and the Sherpas hung long strands of prayer flags from the rock in all directions. After all this the ABC crew headed up the mountain and the rest of us headed into the tent to eat and hydrate. Tomorrow it is likely that some of the team will head up to ABC for a few days and to start setting higher camps. Others will stay at Basecamp and follow shortly after. It has been a great day at 4600m, chang and all. Spirits are high and we are all feeling well acclimatized so far.


From the Abode of Snow - Doug.



Phil Austin - Hi All, To continue from Doug, Two days ago Doug and I ran a training day consisting of a morning of fixed rope ascending and descending. I went up the hill with 3 sherpas and set up the ropes while Doug inspected all the members climbing hardware. All went well and everyone enjoyed themselves, In the afternoon Jay and Doug went through the first aid box and instruction in the use of the Gamow / P.A.C. bag.


Yesterday myself and Stuart went up to ABC, the walk up was wonderful and we got into a great rhythm and felt great. We deposited all our loads and ran down for lunch which we missed by an hour. So we had to drink lots of soup and tea instead.



All is well and our affections go out to all our families and friends.


Take care from the lush green base camp of Ama Dablam. Attached photo of Advance Base Camp (ABC) at 5400 metres, with Lakpa Sherpa, 4 time Ama Dablam summitter and one of our top sherpas, of which we have nine on this expedition!




Photo 17 Puja blessing ceremony in basecamp at 4600m. In this photo, Jangbu Sherpa is arranging our iceaxes for blesing by the Lama, who walked all of the way up here for the ceremony from the village of Pangboche.

Dan just called in the sat phone, good weather and they are at camp one! More soon!

Photo 15 Group going though basecamp training in the use of Portable altitude chamber to treat HAPE / HACE.



This is Dan Mazur calling in the dispatch for the International Ama Dablam Expedition. We’re away from our email for a few days, so I thought I would call in this dispatch. I’m calling from Camp One on Ama Dablam. That’s about 5700 meters or about 17000 feet. The Weather’s perfect this morning, very sunny, no clouds, no wind. The route is in great shape. Our team is feeling very well and healthy. We’ve been getting acclimatized to the altitude going up and down the mountain, carrying loads and preparing our camps. Our Sherpas have been working high above us, led by Jangbu Sherpa and Tenzing Sherpa and Konglay Sherpa, they’ve been fixing rope and today they are planning to fix the famous Mushroom Ridge, and then come down for a rest. In fact all of us should be down at Base Camp for a rest tomorrow. So things are going really well up here, we’ve been working well with the other teams and everyone’s contributing rope and seems like all of us are getting along well. We’d just like to thank everyone at for letting us send in this dispatch and for letting us keep our friends and loved ones back at home apprised of the situation and we will be sending in regular dispatches. All the best for now...


Hello to everyone. This is Daniel Mazur calling with a dispatch for the 14th of October 2005 from the SummitClimb International Ama Dablam Expedition. I’m calling you at about 9:30 in the morning. We’re up here at 6000 meters which is about 20000 feet at Camp 2 on Ama Dablam. It’s a beautiful morning. There are really no clouds to speak of, and no wind, it’s very sunny and warm. We’re up here camped on some rock ledges, so we have some really stunning views of the surrounding countryside and the Himalaya. We can see Cho Oyu from here, and many other famous mountains.

Our Sherpa team of rope fixers made it to about 6260 meters yesterday. They’ve been fixing rope for three days straight. They’re putting good quality nylon climbing rope on the route which is a bit heavier. They’ve been working really hard and they’re tired so they decided to go down this morning back to Base Camp and rest. All of the members are down in Base Camp resting and everyone is well and feeling healthy. They’re just taking an acclimatization break before they come back up the mountain. I climbed up here yesterday with Lakpa Konglay, one of our very experienced Sherpas, and the rock climbing conditions were excellent. We fine tuned some of the fixed rope on the way up. Jay Reilly, our expedition leader, is following today and he is going to fix and replace an additional 450 meters of nylon climbing rope on the route below Camp 2. We’re going to make sure that everything is in really top-notch condition and in perfect shape for our members as well as for the other teams on the mountain who we’re sharing the route with and who we try to get along with very well and have good cooperation so everyone can have a good time and climb in safety. I think our plan today is to move on up to Camp 3 perhaps if we feel well enough and inspect the route up there and see how things are looking. I will keep you informed by calling again tomorrow. Thanks again to everyone at for this opportunity.



This is Jay Reilly from SummitClimb, leaving you a dispatch for our expedition, the International Ama Dablam Expedition 2005. The date today is the 16th of October, and right now I am hard at work fixing the route between Camp One and Camp Two, putting in some new ropes. I’m just taking a little break, sitting up here at 5800 meters looking out enjoying the scenery. It’s a gorgeous day. It’s nice and warm here in the sun. Everyone’s doing well. We’ve got a team moving up to Camp One today and a second team moving up to ABC later on this afternoon. Thanks for following our expedition news.



This is Jay Reilly calling here live from Ama Dablam. I’m at Camp One. I took a nice rest day today after fixing almost 500 meters of rope towards Camp Two yesterday. The other things that happened to day we had Phil and John and Rick and Eric and Larry come up from ABC to Camp One. They’re going to spend the night here and climb towards Camp Two tomorrow. And Doug, Paul and Stewart just got back from Camp Two today. And they had a great time, the climbing was really nice they said the route was really good so I must’ve done a good job yesterday fixing the rope, eh? They had a lot of fun and they said it was fantastic. So really up here right now in our little group we’re all up here except for Andrew, who has a bit of a cold and is spending another couple of days down at Base Camp trying to recover a little, so we hope he feels better really soon. Some Russians tried to go to the Summit today, but I think they got about three quarters of the way there and they turned around. Nobody really knows why they turned around. There are rumors that the snow was too deep, there’re rumors that one of them slipped and scared themselves so they had to turn around. Rumors are pretty rife on this mountain. Anyway, I hope that’s a good dispatch, and I hope I mentioned everyone’s names there. Everyone’s feeling very good and we’re having a great time here and we wish you all well. And I’ll call in another dispatch tomorrow. Goodbye.


Hi there, it’s Jay from SummitClimb calling in with another dispatch for the International Ama Dablam Expedition. I’m sitting up here at 6000 meters in Camp Two, it’s a gorgeous afternoon. Up here in Camp Two with me is Fury Sherpa and Mala Sherpa and some of the Croatian Team that are here on the mountain also, and a couple of the Russian team members that are here on the mountain. Some of those guys actually summitted today. We’re not too sure why they turned back yesterday, we haven’t been able to establish that, but they did summit today. So there have been some summits on Ama Dablam this season. The rest of the team is doing really well. Phil and Eric and John and Rick came up here for a climb to Camp Two today and really thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Stewart and Paul and Doug went back down to Base Camp and Larry’s taking a rest day down at Base Camp as well. Andrew should be in Camp One or very close to Camp One as I’m leaving this message. So I hope everything’s good back home, things are fantastic here on the mountain. Everyone’s well and healthy and missing their loved ones. I’ll send more news tomorrow. Goodbye.


Good Morning, it’s Jay Reilly calling from SummitClimb calling in with another exciting and invigorating dispatch from our expedition. I think it’s a nice day outside. I haven’t really got out of the tent to have a look yet. Everything’s nice and bright and there’s no wind or anything so, I’m putting two and two together and saying it’s a nice day. Hang on, I’ll have a look—tent zips—Yep, it’s a gorgeous day outside, beautiful blue sky, not a cloud to speak of. Here’s an update on our independent members who are climbing with us. We’re sad to say that we’ve actually had to say goodbye to two of them. Misheal, from Israel, left just a couple of days ago, he had to go home for personal reasons. Chuck from the USA left us yesterday, he also had to go home for personal family reasons. We’ll miss those guys, they were a lot of fun. Everyone else is doing really good. Kurt and Koby from Colorado are coming up here to Camp Two today, they’re going to spend the night. Mor, the other guy from Israel, is at the moment taking a rest day down at Base Camp and will be coming back up to Camp One tomorrow. I hope everyone’s well, and I’ll send in more news very shortly. Bye bye.


Hi this is Jay Reilly calling from SummitClimb to update you on our expedition, the 2005 International Ama Dablam Expedition. Right now I’m at Camp Three at 6,300 meters, it’s a beautiful afternoon, very windy as it usually is at Camp Three. Here with me at Camp Three I have Curt and Koby from Colorado, and I also have Tuomas and Samuli from Finland. I forgot to mention those guys the other day when I was giving a report on the independent climbers. I’m so bad. So today Doug, Paul and Stewart would have moved up to Camp One to meet up with Andrew and Rick, while Phil, John and Eric have been down resting at Base Camp. Anyway that’s it. We’re going to go up to the Summit tomorrow and hopefully we come back with good news. So for now, good bye, and I’ll call back tomorrow.


Hi this is Jay Reilly calling from SummitClimb. I’ve just returned from the Summit of Ama Dablam along with Curt and Colby from Colorado and Tuomas and Samuli from Finland. We all summitted today around about 11:00. I was going to try to do a dispatch from the summit but it was very cold and very windy. As we were climbing to the summit the weather came in and it started to snow and we didn’t get any views of any other mountains unfortunately, which was a real shame because normally we’d be looking at Everest and Makalu and Kangchenjunga but it was just a total gray cloud surrounding us. But still, we made the summit. Like I said I was going to do a dispatch but it was very cold and very windy. My little wind measurement-temperature thing said that it was -20 degrees Celsius so needless to say not many people spent more than about ten minutes up there. So that’s it, that’s our news. I’m back now safe and sound at Camp Three. That noise you can hear in the background if you can is the wind. It’s very windy up here and it’s snowing so we’re just kind of hunkered down in the tent hoping for better weather tomorrow. Ok. More news soon. Bye.


This is Jay Reilly from SummitClimb, calling with the latest news from the Ama Dablam Expedition 2005. We’ve had some success today again with six members on the summit. Doug, Paul, Stuart, Rick, Andrew and Mor all summitted today around about 11am. Right now, I’ve just spoken to them on the radio and they’re very tired but they’re back in Camp Three safe and sound, tucked into their tents. Meanwhile, waiting to go to the summit tomorrow from Camp Three are Phil, Eric and John. They’ll be heading out tomorrow morning. We’ve had quite good weather today, the little bit of scrappy weather we’ve had over the last couple of days seems to have gone. Fingers crossed that it’s a really nice day for these other guys tomorrow. And that’s all the news so far. We’ll call later, bye.


This is Jay Reilly calling in with the latest news from SummitClimb Ama Dablam Expedition 2005. We’ve had some more summit success today, with Phil, Erich and John reaching the summit. So that means we’ve had 100 percent success rate this year, which is fantastic and that’s two years in a row SummitClimb has had 100 percent success putting people on the summit of Ama Dablam. Just to let you know where people are at right now, those three—Phil, Eric, and John, are safely back in Camp Three resting up from their big summit day. On their way back to Base Camp right now as we speak is Doug, Stuart and Andrew. Paul, Rick and Mor will be spending tonight in Camp One. Down here in Base Camp there is myself, Kurt and Colby, the boys from Colorado resting up down here at Base Camp, also Tuomas and Samuli from Finland, resting up still deciding whether they’re going to go to Cholatse or go to Thailand and lay on the beach for a little while. Also, the Romanians, Coco and Florine, left Base Camp today and they’re headed out back to Katmandu. So that’s a general rundown of where people are, and what’s been happening the last 24 hours. We’ll let you know as soon as everyone is down off the mountain and here in Base Camp. Talk to you soon, bye.


SummitClimb Ama Dablam 2005: Doug reporting in for the team today: This is Doug calling from Ama Dablam Base Camp with SummitClimb International 2005 Ama Dablam Expedition. As of yesterday myself, Stuart, and Andrew were down at Base Camp. As of today, Phil, Paul, Mor and Rick all have made it down to Base Camp. We expect the last two members Erich and John will be back down this afternoon or tomorrow morning. So everyone has summited and is currently on their way back down to Base. Weather’s continually being good, and there will probably be many more summit days in the next week. Thanks, bye bye.


SummitClimb Ama Dablam 2005: Jay reporting in for the team today: Hi, Jay calling from SummitClimb Ama Dablam Expedition 2005. I just wanted to report that everybody is safe and sound back in Base Camp. All the chickens have returned to the troop, so to speak. We’re just down here enjoying Base Camp, enjoying the good food, a moment of rest, and we’re planning to move out down to Pangboche on the 27th of October. So we’ll have more news then. Bye.




Dear all News Readers-

Doug Sandok writing to you from Kathmandu. We arrived back in Kathmandu on October 30th from Lukla in the Khumbu valley. Though flights were slightly delayed we all made it out in good weather and arrived back in Kathmandu by late morning.

As we left the Khumbu valley we passed many groups and individual trekkers on their way up and down. From our observation it seems that the numbers for this season must be quite good. Reportedly many teahouses in the higher Khumbu were difficult to get a room in at times. Its probably because of the cease fire which has now blanketed all of Nepal in relative peacefulness.

All of us spent a good deal of time looking back at Ama Dablam during our trek out of the valley, looking at it from different angles, remembering the various sections, and various challenges of the mountain and remembering our time standing on the summit.

Since arriving back in Kathmandu we have been busy saying our goodbyes, celebrating our success on Ama Dablam and participating in many, many Tihar (Diwali) celebrations. This is a five day family holiday when people do a lot of praying and spend time with their families. All of Kathmandu has been strung with lights, butter lamps and candles and we have had a number of celebrations with our Sherpas, as well as a feast at the house of our excellent local trekking/expedition agency (Parivar Everest Expeditions) operator, Murari Sharma.

A number of members have made their way out of Nepal already and we are even getting some updates via e-mail from them as they reach their homes and send along news. Today and tomorrow the last few members leave for home as Tihar draws to a close and people go back to their daily lives in Nepal.

We have had much time to talk about the climb, what we are all up to next, future climbing plans and much more. I think everyone felt that we were very lucky to have the people on this trip that we did- all very capable and interesting people who put a lot of thought and energy into making this trip a positive, safe, and memorable experience for all. In our initial briefing Jay Reilly told us that Safety, Having a good time doing it, and making the summit were the priorities- in that order. It is clear that we managed those goals and that may have led to everyone's success. The comradery of the team is evident to anyone who has seen us together and many people have made plans to climb and adventure together in the future already.

The incredible mountains, people and cultures of Nepal, and the beautiful mountain, Ama Dablam have left it's impression on all members, from those who have come for the first time to those who have been here many times.

Thanks to Dan Mazur and Jay Reilly for skillfully organizing the expedition and bringing us to together for this truly memorable adventure. And thanks to the fantastic members and staff of our team who made it all happen!

Namaste from Kathmandu

-Doug Sandok




Many thanks to for providing such an excellent forum for the discussion of Himalayan mountain climbing, trekking, exploration, and service work in aid of the environment and the people who live and work their. Your support is awesome!



Now that we are all returned to the peaceful and sunny city of Kathmandu, I hope you would be so kind as to allow our SummitClimb 2005 International Ama Dablam leader-in-training Mr. Doug Sandok to recap our recent expedition.



Now here is Doug:



For the first week of the expedition beginning October 3rd there were still scattered clouds up high and weather was unstable. After the 10th or 11th the weather cleared noticeably for almost the duration of our climb. With the exception of a couple days of high winds and some snow on the 20th and 21st the weather was ideal.



Throughout the expedition we cooperated well with the other teams in fixing rope from camp 1 to the summit. Thanks to all those who participated and contributed in this arduous task as more than 3000 metres of the best possible new rope (mostly imported European and North American nylon kernmantle UIAA approved climbing rope) were fixed to more than 100 anchors.



Of special note is the fact that on October 21st, SummitClimb team members Cornel Galescu (Coco) and Florin Grama (Mario) became the first Romanians to summit Ama Dablam. We would like to take this opportunity to send them and everyone of Romanian descent a hearty congratulation on a job well done!


Here is the complete record of who on our expedition summited on what day and their country. We congratulate all of them and their families and friends ad sponsors and colleagues on a job very well done!



October 20, 2005:


Jay Reilly, Cairns, Australia (Leader)

Samuli Mansikka, Helsinki, Finland

Tuomas Sovijarvi, Finland

Colby Vandenberg, Colorado

Kurt Blair, Colorado

Jangbu Sherpa, Okhaldunga, Nepal (7 time Ama Dablam and 2 time Everest summitter)

Tenzing Sherpa, Okhaldunga, Nepal (4 time Ama Dablam and 2 time Everest summitter)


October 21, 2005:

Florin Grama, Romania/(residing in Atlanta)

Cornel Galescu, Romania


October 22, 2005:

Douglas Sandok, Colorado and Wisconsin (Leader-in-training)

Paul Roose, Southampton, England

Andrew McDonald, Victoria, Australia

Rick Coleman, Vancouver, Canada

Mor Doron, Israel

Stuart Smith, San Diego and Texas

Phuri Sherpa Okhaldunga, Nepal (3 time Ama Dablam and 1 time Everest Summitter)

Nima Wanchu Sherpa, Ghat, Nepal


October 23, 2005:

Phil Austin, Kent, England (Leader-in-training)

Erich Bonfert, Rheinfelden, Germany

John Nicholson, Illinois, USA

Lakpa Cheri Sherpa, Solu, Nepal (4 time Everest Summiter)

Ang Shera Sherpa, Okhaldunga, Nepal (4 time Ama Dablam Summitter)



Once again, thanks very much and congratulations to all. Yours Sincerely, from Doug Sandok, leader in training, and from everyone on the 2005 International Ama Dablam expedition.


Ps. See you in May and October of 2006 for our next Ama Dablam expeditions. Thanks!