Hiking the Ama Dablam Base Camp Trek of Sagarmatha National Park

by Nov 21, 2020Blog, Nepal, Nepal Blog

When exploring the Everest region, one of the top hikes to add to your trip is the Ama Dablam Base Camp trek. While climbing Ama Dablam is for professional mountaineers, the everyday trekker can head to the base camp of the mountain to see the peak from up close. This guide will walk you through how to add on Ama Dablam Base Camp to your itinerary and what to expect along the way.

Ama Dablam Base Camp Trek

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1) Ama Dablam Base Camp Trek Overview

Most people who are visiting Ama Dablam Base Camp (ADBC) are doing so as part of their longer Everest Base Camp trek itinerary. It can be done by adding an additional day your overall trip or by having a couple days of hiking extended by several hours. I will speak about both those options soon.

The closest main village to Ama Dablam Base Camp is Pangboche, which is located right in between Tengboche and Dingboche. The info below is based on a round trip hike from Pangboche:

 

Starting & Ending Point: Pangboche

Mid Point: Ama Dablam Base Camp

Distance: 5.8 miles / 9.4 km (round trip)

Pangboche Elevation: 13,074 feet / 3,985 meters

Ama Dablam Base Camp Elevation: 14,859 feet / 4,529 meters

Elevation Gain*: 2,533 feet / 772 meters

Duration: 5 Hours (round trip)

* The elevation gain accounts for all round trip inclines on the trek. It is not just simply the difference in altitude between Pangboche and ADBC.

 

Trekking to Ama Dablam

2) Ama Dablam Base Camp Trek Map

As you can see on the map below, you will begin the trek in the village of Pangboche, which is on the left hand side (western side) of the Dudh Kosi River. Right as you are leaving town, you will see signs pointing you to Ama Dablam to the right, where you will then make your way across the bridge over the river. From there you will follow your way to the east as you make the steep ascent towards base camp.

Pangboche to Ama Dablam Base Camp Map

3) Ama Dablam Base Camp Trek Elevation Gain

The trek to Ama Dablam Base Camp is not an easy one. You will be gaining a couple thousand feet of elevation over the course of 2.9 miles / 4.7 km. There will be some steeper sections coupled with flatter sections as well during the round trip trek.

And remember, since this is a round trip hike, you will need to head back down the incline on the way back to Pangboche.

Pangboche to Ama Dablam Base Camp Elevation Profile

4) How to Add ADBC to Your Trek

As I mentioned before, there are two main ways to add Ama Dablam Base Camo to your trek – either by adding an additional day or by having a couple days of trekking just be much longer. Below are the two main options:

» Be sure to click the links to learn more about each of one these trekking days in more detail

Option 1

Day 1 – Lukla to Phakding

Day 2 – Phakding to Namche Bazaar

Day 3 – Namche Bazaar Acclimatization

Day 4 – Namche Bazaar to Pangboche

Day 5 – Pangboche to ADBC round trip | Pangboche to Dingboche

Day 6 – Dingboche Acclimatization

Day 7 – Dingboche to Lobuche

Day 8 – Lobuche to Gorak Shep | Round trip to Everest Base Camp

Day 9 – Kalapatthar | Gorak Shep to Pheriche

Day 10 – Pheriche to Namche Bazaar

Day 11 – Namche Bazaar to Lukla

 

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Option 2

Day 1 – Lukla to Phakding

Day 2 – Phakding to Namche Bazaar

Day 3 – Namche Bazaar Acclimatization

Day 4 – Namche Bazaar to Tengboche

Day 5 – Tengboche to Pangboche | ADBC Round trip

Day 6 – Pangboche to Dingboche

Day 7 – Dingboche Acclimatization

Day 8 – Dingboche to Lobuche

Day 9 – Lobuche to Gorak Shep | Round trip to Everest Base Camp

Day 10 – Kalapatthar | Gorak Shep to Pheriche

Day 11 – Pheriche to Namche Bazaar

Day 12 – Namche Bazaar to Lukla

 

Remember that these are just a couple of options. There are some other ways to move around the itinerary if need be. And of course, if doing a longer trek like the Three Passes, then this itinerary would expand even longer (although the first several days should be the same).

 

5) Pangboche to Ama Dablam Base Camp Trek

No matter which itinerary you choose, you should be able to just leave your bag at your Pangboche teahouse and be on your way with a daypack. You will begin heading out of the village, and you will soon see signs pointing you to Ama Dablam Base Camp on your right hand side.

The turnoff is right next to the last couple teahouses in the village – Sonam Lodge and Wind Horse Lodge. Once you make the turnoff from the main path, you will begin walking closer down by the river, where you will soon cross over the small suspension bridge.

Dhudh Kosi River Pangboche NepalDhudh Kosi River Pangboche

Once across the bridge you will begin the uphill climb towards Ama Dablam Base Camp. The path will begin to take you higher above the river and behind you will be views of Pangboche. As you continue along you will have the peak of Ama Dablam right in front of you with the Everest Mountain Range further out in the distance to the left.

Things then start to get steeper as you make your way up the uneven dirt and rocky terrain higher and higher up. As you gain elevation here, the views behind you will get even better as you see Pangboche down below with several mountains further out in the distance.

Pangboche Village NepalAma Dablam Nepal HikeAma Dablam Elevation Gain

Just before the half way mark, the terrain will begin to flatten out a bit as you get a break from the uphill climb. You will begin to get vaster views of Ama Dablam out in front of you as well as the Everest Mountain Range. The path here is a mix of dirt and grass as you follow along and into the next portion of trail.

Everest Mountain Range PangbocheAma Dablam Hike

The trail will then begin to pick up elevation at a steadier pace as you inch your way closer to base camp. Ama Dablam will continue to become more and more prominent as you make your way along the trail and you begin to see the entirety of the mountain.

Surrounding Ama Dablam you will also get some great views of other Himalayan mountains and maybe you will even be joined by one of the local dogs to show you the way (see below!).

Ama Dablam Trek PangbocheAma Dablam TrekHimalayas Nepal DogAma Dablam Base Camp Hiking

It is then just a bit farther along until you reach Ama Dablam Base Camp at the base of the mountain. Climbing to the summit is usually done in the spring months of April/May and in the fall months of October/November so that is when to expect activity happening at base camp. Below are some shots I took while exploring ADBC and wandering all around the area:

Ama Dablam Base CampAma Dablam SummitSherpa Flags Ama Dablam

During my trek in November, the base camp was very active with a ton of different teams either at base camp or on the mountain. I would have to say the highlight of my time at Ama Dablam Base Camp was chatting up a couple of brothers who were about to make their summit push – the brothers happened to be George and Alex Hillary – the grandchildren of Sir Edmund Hillary. It was quite the experience getting to hear their story and talking to them about the region.

Ama Dablam Mountaineers

After enough time enjoying base camp, it is right back down the same way you came. It should be much quicker this time around as you won’t be gaining elevation and will be easier on your body.

You should get some great views of the surrounding valleys, rivers and mountains on your way down as well as views of Pangboche once you get lower down on the path. It is then across the bridge once more and back to your teahouse to rest up and enjoy a nice meal.

Depending on your itinerary of choice, this could be the end of your day or you will continue on in the afternoon towards Dingboche.

Ama Dablam Base Camp TerrainSagarmatha National Park PangbochePangboche Village Himalayas

That about wraps up a guide to the Ama Dablam Base Camp trek. If you do have any questions or comments about the day, feel free to write them in below. Also be sure to check out the whole collection of Nepal itineraries and guides up on the site.

Have fun out there and safe travels!

 

Base Camp Ama Dablam Nepal

 

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