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A cultural introduction to trekking via Ama Dablam
This 12-day trip is nothing short of a thrilling introduction to trekking in Nepal. While here, you will have the chance to soak in the Buddhist, Sherpa culture, aside from trekking into a mountain scenery that will take your breath away. Often hailed as the Jewel of the Khumbu and one of the most elegant peaks in the world, Ama Dablam is a sight to behold. The trek to Ama Dablam base camp follows the unconventional and unestablished trail, taking you to the foot of this magnificent peak. From the vantage point of the peak, you will get to experience the incredible spectacle of Himalayan giants.
Arriving at Kathmandu
On your arrival at Kathmandu airport, your guide will welcome you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel.
Spend your time shopping for the essentials for your Ama Dablam base camp trek like equipment, snacks, etc.
You will receive a brief about the trek in the evening along with the information on acclimatization, areas of visit, and culture of the region.
Alternatively, you can, like some, choose to fly in a day earlier to cope with their long-haul flights or spend an extra day exploring Kathmandu before setting off to Ama Dablam base camp.
Overnight stay at Kathmandu.
Dudh Kosi Valley
Today, fly out to Lukla via a mountain flight in a twin otter plane, which journeys up the Kathmandu valley. Following a landing into the heart of the Himalayas, the airstrip in Lukla, you will begin your trek to Toc Toc.
During the trek towards the impressive Dudh Kosi Valley, you will pass the boulders with the inscription of Buddhist prayers, mani walls, prayer flags, prayer wheels, yak trains, and traditional villages with terraced fields. You will also meet Khumbu locals, the Sherpas, who call these mountains home after migrating from Tibet over 500 years ago.
Overnight stay at Toc Toc.
Reaching Namche Bazaar
The spectacular Thamserku views will start your day today as you head north into the Sagarmatha National Park. You will pass three hair-raising suspension bridges above the Dudh Kosi, after which, you will make a steep climb up to Namche Hill. As you continue ascending, surrounded by fir, magnolia, and rhododendron forests, you will catch your first glimpse of Mt. Everest.
At the end of the ascent, you will have reached the de facto capital of the Khumbu, Namche Bazaar with its bowl-shaped terraced valley. With Thamserku, Kongde, and Kangtega peaks on the flank, you will feel as though you are in the high Himalayas. Enjoy today evening exploring the town. Overnight stay at Namche Bazaar.
Acclimatisation at Namche Bazaar
Day 4 will be spent acclimatizing with a half-day hike.
You will either hike up Khunde and Khumjung's traditional Sherpa villages, situated beneath the holy mountain of Khumbila or make your way to the Sherpa cultural museum. Here, you will spend some time taking in the advantages of climbing to an elevated altitude.
Today evening, you will have the chance to meet Kancha Sherpa, the last surviving member of the first Mt. Everest expedition in 1953. Spend some time listening to his fascinating tails of ascending the world's highest mountain.
Overnight will be at Namche Bazaar.
Today, as we leave Namche Bazaar and the trail shapes around a ridge, you will get great views of Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Everest, and Lhotse. We descend via a forest of rhododendrons to the Dudh Kosi, crossing it once more over a suspension bridge before climbing over a winding, dusty trail. As you climb, enjoy the great sights of the Kangtega peak, which holds the shape of a horse saddle.
You will then make your way to the spiritual center of the Khumbu, Tengboche monastery. The stunning vistas and spirituality of the monastery are as impressive as the mountains surrounding it. After spending a considerable amount of time here, you will descend to the small Deboche settlement, where you will stay for the night.
Short trek to Pangboche
The short hike to Pangboche is visually astounding. Today, as you journey up the Imja Khola valley, you will receive the uninterrupted views of the exalted Ama Dablam peak with Everest to your north and Taboche to the west.
Once at Pangboche, check in to the lodge and head out for a hike to acclimatize to the surroundings. Your target for the day is the yak pasture at the foot of Taboche, a sacred mountain. From here, you will get a clear view of Ama Dablam and Mingbo Valley peaks. Today evening you will spend some time exploring the less-explored Pangboche monastery and village.
Tonight you will stay at Pangboche, readying yourself for your journey to the Ama Dablam base camp.
Reaching the base camp of Ama Dablam
For the best weather, we will set off early today morning. We will descend to a bridge across the Imja Khola, following which, we will climb to the Ama Dablam base camp. The base, set in a yak pasture, has the west face of the peak above it, giving you a closer look at one of the aesthetic mountain faces in the region. You will also get a bird's eye view of the Kangtega, Taboche, and Thamserku peaks from this vantage point.
Since your visit is during the climbing season, you will be able to interact with fellow climbers on your way. Overnight stay at Pangboche.
Today, you have the option to catch a helicopter ride down to Kathmandu or Lulka to catch a flight to Kathmandu after visiting the Ama Dablam base camp. This option reduces the trip by 2 days and allows you to avoid trekking back down. However, helicopter prices are subjected to change throughout the year.
Overnight stay at Kathmandu.
Descent to Namche
After the excitement of Day 7, you will spend the first half of today descending to Namche Bazaar. You will make your way to the suspension bridge across Dudh Kosi.
Following lunch, you will climb to a barren ridge, bringing you to Namche. At Namche, enjoy the material comforts and enjoy the mountain views before making your way out of the Khumbu. Overnight stay at Namche.
On your last day in the mountains, you have the option of taking a short helicopter ride to Kongde, which offers you the best views in all of Khumbu. Drink in the panorama of Himalayan peaks (including the 4 of the world's 10 tallest mountains) and the Kongde lake during your lunch at boutique Yeti Mountain Home lodge. Afterward, the helicopter will take you to Lukla, from where you can catch your flight to Kathmandu next morning. Choosing this option means you don't have to walk down to Lukla. However, keep in mind that helicopter ride prices are subjected to vary throughout the year.
Descent to Lukla
Today's activities will be hard on the knees for, you will be descending to Lukla. As you make your way down Namche hill, you will pass all the villages you crossed on your way up aside from re-passing the suspension bridges above Dudh Koshi.
By evening, you should have reached Lulka to enjoy one last night in the mountains before returning to civilization. It is a norm here to treat your porters for a meal-- a farewell dinner. This gives you a great opportunity to learn more about their lives.
Overnight stay at Lukla.
Bidding adieu to the Himalayas
Day 10 marks the official end of your Ama Dablam base camp trek. You will leave the Himalayas behind as you board a flight back to Kathmandu, where you can relax after the long trek.
You will spend the night and the next few days until your departure at Kathmandu.
Free day in Kathmandu
Today is a free day. You can relax in Kathmandu or use this opportunity to explore the city. A one-day sightseeing tour can be arranged for today if you so wish.
Alternatively, today can be a buffer day to reach Kathmandu should the flights out of Lukla were canceled the previous day. You will spend the night in Kathmandu.
Today, you will fly back home or to your next destination. Depending on your schedule, you will be transferred to the international airport.
Should you travel via road, you will be taken to the bus stop.