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Ama Dablam and Kyajo Ri Expedition

Chopicalqui and Yanapaccha Expedition
March 4, 2020
Mount Kenya Expedition
March 5, 2020

Guided Climb of Ama Dablam

Ama Dablam at 6,812m, is arguably the most aesthetic mountain in the Everest Valley, within the Nepali Himalaya. Meaning “Mother’s Necklace”, Ama Dablam extends its SW and NW Ridges over the Khumbu Valley as the arms of a mother embracing her child. The Dablam glacier, hanging from the steep W. Face half way up the summit pyramid, resembles her necklace; a jewelry piece usually carved out of Turquoise stone that is present in nearly every Sherpa in the valley.

The SW ridge provides outstanding rock, snow, and ice climbing to its summit via the Dablam glacier. An alpine style climb of nearby Kyajo Ri ensures optimal acclimatization and preparation for Ama Dablam

Our Ama Dablam expedition provides avid climbers with experience on steep mixed terrain the opportunity to summit two Himalayan peaks. A single push summit strategy is facilitated by a previous acclimatization trek over Renjo La pass, foregoing the need for multiple acclimatization rotations and the help of extensive sherpa support.

Expedition Support:

Our trip is fully supported with porters allowing us to limit pack weights on the trekk and approaches to the peaks, to help ease the adjustment to the altitude, and give us a greater chance for success on the climb. Additionally, we stay in the famous Himalayan “Tea Houses”; these are Sherpa Homes transformed into lodges, where we can sleep in a bed, eat warm food every meal, shower regularly, and why not, stay connected. and cooks to ensure your nutrition and body’s well being. Additionally we’ll have a local guide who will make sure that the cultural and environmental components of this trip are a memorable addition to your climbing experience.

2023 Dates

October 28 – November 24


For complete expedition: $19,500 per person (minimum of 3 clients)
For only Trek + Kyajo Ri: $15,900 per person
For only Gokyo Trek: $7,500 per person

rexerNo Hidden Fees



  • Guiding, trip leadership, and logistical organization by one of our tenured Himalayan guides
  • Ground Transportation in Kathmandu
  • Helicopter in/out of the mountains
  • 2 nights in Kathmandu and all the lodging in the mountains
  • Breakfasts and Dinners in the mountains
  • Park Entrance Fees and trekking/climbing permits
  • Expedition support with porters; we make sure our local staff is insured and accredited

Ama Dablam Expedition Itinerary

The itinerary has been developed over years of experience and by trying the different options that the fantastic local logistics have to offer. Elias de Andres, our lead guide for Nepal trips, has carefully taken into account the many variables to ensure that the time is best spent while in the mountains, maximizing your chances for success, and leaving behind standard “side add-ons” that many outfitters offer, unnecessarily delaying and lengthening your trip. We have decided to forego the famous “Flight to Lukla,” as these airplanes no longer fly from Kathmandu in the climbing season, forcing climbers to take a dangerous full-day jeep ride to Ramechhap, a town with no infrastructure, and that provides very little comfort in case of a likely weather delay of a day or two. A chopper ride directly into Namche buys us some time and allows us to avoid logistical issues characteristic of an underdeveloped country.

A fall trek through the Khumbu Valley provides a tranquil alternative to the hustle and bustle of the busy spring season in the Everest region. The cool, crisp air and changing colors of the forested hillsides delight the senses during a time of year when trekkers can typically enjoy long stretches of clear days. We take a less travelled route, hiking up and over Renjo La Pass to drop down into the serene alpine village of Gokyo. After relaxing for an evening along the shores of Dudh Pokhari Lake, where yaks and wetland birds wander about, we venture further up valley exploring the series of glacial lakes that lead us to the base of Cho Oyu’s South Face. On our return from Cho Oyu Base Camp, we descend through the Gokyo Valley, giving us the chance to experience a different collection of Sherpa-run lodges.

Kyajo Ri stands at 20,295′, above the Gokyo Valley. The climbing consists of a few pitches of moderate rock climbing, followed by 10 pitches of up to 60degrees ice climbing to an airy summit. Climbing this peak in an alpine style assures optimal preparation for Ama Dablam.

After climbing Kyajo Ri, we merge into the classic Everest path towards the base of Ama Dablam, going through Tengboche where the largest Buddhist monastery of the Khumbu Valley is located. Well acclimatized and technically ready for our summit bid on Ama Dablam, our single push strategy on this majestic peak provides an opportunity to move quickly through the challenging terrain and to enjoy a lighter and faster way of tackling this sought-after summit.

The SJMG Difference

SJMG has been dedicated to train and guide climbers on technical alpine terrain for decades. Our expertise in leading small expeditions worldwide by some of the best guides in the field is unmatched. Combining these two elements allows us to offer you an exotic yet challenging expedition to put your technical abilities to the test, while enjoying a worry-free leisurely expedition through the Himalaya. Our Himalayan expeditions will be led by our senior guide Elias de Andres, who has a decade of experience in the Nepali Himalaya and has a long relationship with our local outfitter. Elias will guarantee the best odds for your success.

Days 1-2:


Day 3: Reception in Kathmandu International Airpirt (KTM)

We arrive at the Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM) in Kathmandu and transfer to our hotel for some rest and recovery. Overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 4: Fly to Namche 3,444M

We take a helicopter flight to historic Namche Bazaar, the gateway to the high Himalayas and the Sherpa Region of the Khumbu. Namche served as a trading market between the Sherpa people and nomad Tibetans headed south through the mountains

Day 5: Acclimatization in Namche 3,444M

We start building upon our acclimatization by going for a short hike around town, glimpsing the imposing peaks higher up the valley.

Days 6-8: Trek to Gokyo 4,040M – 4,410M – 4,790M

We start our hike up the Ngozumba Valley, shaped by the longest glacier in the Khumbu, going over the Mong La Pass, and up valley under magnificent Cholatse Peak. Spending nights at Dhole (4,040m) and Machhermo (4,410m) on the way, we assure proper acclimatization.

Day 9: Acclimatization in Gokyo 4,790M

We spend the day in the Gokyo area continuing to acclimatize. We’ll take a day stroll to Cho Oyo. Base camp at 5,400m on easy trails to gain some altitude and enjoy some of the best views in the Himalayas.

Day 10: Trek to Thame 3,819M

On the biggest day of the trek, we’ll climb over Renjo Pass at 5,388m and descendto Thame. We’ll have circumnavigated Kyajo Ri, and the views of it on our way to Thame are astonishing, including our climbing route.

Day 11: trek to Khumjung 3,780M

A very short day takes us to the village of Khumjung, where we’ll settle to rest and prepare for the climb. Unlike Namche, Khumjung is a quieter town, with a true local feel compared to busy Namche.

Day 12: in Khumjung 3,780M

Rest and prepare for the climb of Kyajo Ri.

Day 13-15: Climbing Kyajo Ri 6,186M

We start our climb, heading to base camp on steep hills above town, changing gears towards our climbing mission. Establishing intermediate C1 (5,200M) and C2 (5,700M), Kyajo Ri provides a secluded and demanding yet rewarding climb.

Day 16: Contingency day

Day 17: Rest day in Khumjung

We take the time to rest, recover, laundry and get ready for Ama.

Day 18: Hike to Pangboche

From Khumjung, we start towards Ama Dablam, going to Tengboche, the highest monastery in the Khumbu, and continuing through Pangboche, site of the oldest Monastery in the Khumbu, where we’ll get a “puja” ceremony as a blessing for our climb.

Day 19: Hike To Base Camp 4400m

After a blessing from the pangboche Lama, and a hearty breakfast, we cover the short distance to Base Camp.

Day 20: Move to Camp 1

The day starts early, as the journey to Camp 1 is long. An easy trail for the 1st half of the day rapidly transforms into a boulder field, and then into the first rock slabs of the route to be climbed. Camp 1 is perched already on the SW Ridge, and the evening views above the clouds over the Khumbu are nothing but spectacular.

Day 21: Move to Camp 3

The climb to Camp 3 is the most technical of the climb up on Ama Dablam. Protected with fixed rope, moderate 5th class terrain on the exposed ridge brings us to the famous Yellow Tower, site for Camp 2. While very aesthetic, this camp is small, dangerous and a short way from Camp 1. In effort to have a shorter summit day and to beat the crowds, we continue on to Camp 3, leaving the rock and moving on steep snow and ice. Expect the best sunset of your life!!!

Day 22: Summit day, descend to BC.

Well situated for the summit push, we can reach the top by sunrise and be back down to Camp 3 for a second breakfast. The steep final slopes to the summit are equally equipped with fixed rope offering a smooth climb and descent. Now it’s all downwards to the lower camps, and eventually, an evening arrival to Base Camp for a well deserved dinner.

Days 23-26: 4 extra contingency days (weather, etc.)

Day 27: Fly to KTM

With the job done, we take a helicopter ride back to Kathmandu. We celebrate with a well earned dinner.

Day 28: Fly home

Ama Dablam and Kyajo Ri Expedition Equipment List

Duffel BagDescriptionGuide's Pick
1 - 2 Large, durable bags for oragnizing and transporting your gear during airline travel etc.
BackpackDescriptionGuide's Pick
Osprey’s Variant 52 is the ultimate pack for expedition and high alpine climbers. Designed to carry specialized mountain gear such as skis, wands, ice protection, and ice tools, this pack can be easily stripped down to minimize weight for a summit push.
ThermosDescriptionGuide's Pick
Coffee is the lifeblood of champions. We highly encourage the consumption of coffee on our programs. The darker the better.
Water BottlesDescriptionGuide's Pick
We recommend wide mouth Nalgene (or similar) water bottles for the majority of our programs. Two 1 liter bottles is the standard for days in the mountains.
Bottle InsulatorsDescriptionGuide's Pick
Insulating water bottle parkas are recommended in the winter months, for ice climbing or cold weather alpine trips.
Stuff SacksDescriptionGuide's Pick
Stuff sacks are a great way to organize your gear in your pack and help to keep things tidy in a variety of ways. A great addition to any of our programs.
Personal FoodDescriptionGuide's Pick
Lunch begins when breakfast ends and ends when dinner begins. Bring what you like to eat and consider the length, relative difficulty, weight, and other factors when deciding what to bring in the mountains with you. A variety is always best. Don't be afraid of Mr. T.
SunglassesDescriptionGuide's Pick
A good pair of wrap around sunglasses are an essential item for all of our trips. When the sun shines brightly on fresh snow in the mountains your eyes will thank you for a quality pair of shades. Looking good is important too.
SunscreenDescriptionGuide's Pick
Essential for all of our programs. SPF 30 would be our minimum recommendation. Typically a 4 oz. bottle will suffice but consider trip length when deciding how much to pack.
Lip BalmDescriptionGuide's Pick
Lip balm is important to bring on all trips. SPF 15 or higher is recommended.
HeadlampDescriptionGuide's Pick
A headlamp is recommended for all of our programs and is an essential piece of equipment you will use in a variety of circumstances. Most LED type headlamps will do but we recommend the Black Diamond Storm for its versatility.
First Aid KitDescriptionGuide's Pick
An excellent investment for all of our programs. Our guides always carry a comprehensive medical kit but it's nice to have your own as well.
Small KnifeDescriptionGuide's Pick
A small knife is an indispensable tool to carry with you in the mountains. We like the Spatha knife for its size, weight, versatility, and ability to clip onto a harness.
Digital CameraDescriptionGuide's Pick
While phones these days offer excellent quality, nothing beats the reliability of a dedicated digital camera. You'll be glad you brought it and your guide will make sure to help capture the moment of you being awesome.
Hand WarmersDescriptionGuide's Pick
An optional item, but nice to have on cold weather climbs and courses. Consider having a few stowed away in your pack and you can break them out if you feel you need them.
Ski GogglesDescriptionGuide's Pick
From the sweeping peripheral in the Optimum lens, to the horizon-inspired frame structure, FARGO proves sometimes a quick stop in a small place leads to more than you would have ever expected. Goggles are mandatory on all ski programs and cold weather alpine objectives.
SocksDescriptionGuide's Pick
Synthetic socks area must for all outdoor activities. Select a pair that fits well, is warm, and is comfortable. Bring 2-3 pairs depending on the type of trip.
Base Layer TopDescriptionGuide's Pick
Choosing the right base layer really makes a difference in comfort, moisture-wicking, and the balance between cool and warm at the right time and in the right places. The Outdoor Research Echo Hoody also offers good sun protection.
Base Layer BottomDescriptionGuide's Pick
Similar to the base layer top. These are wear all the time in all conditions base layer pants. A must have for alpine and ice climbing trips and objectives.
Mid Weight TopDescriptionGuide's Pick
A midlayer for anything from ski tours to alpine ascents, the CoEfficient Hoody features Polartec Power Dry High Efficiency fleece with a gridded interior for increased wicking performance and added breathability. The under-the-helmet hood and full-length zipper let you regulate temperature on the go, so you don’t find yourself overheating a half hour into the day. A slim cut helps the CoEfficient Hoody fit comfortably under your shell, and with a redsigned, trim fit, this layer takes up little space in your pack.
Soft Shell JacketDescriptionGuide's Pick
Designed specifically with Ice and Alpine Climbers in mind, the Outdoor Research Iceline Jacket will foot the bill for your workhorse soft-shell jacket of choice in the mountains. Feature rich and detail oriented, our guides love to work and climb in this jacket.
Soft Shell PantsDescriptionGuide's Pick
The Cirque Pants are a durable, heavy-weight technical soft shell pant built for high-energy climbing, mountaineering and ice climbing. The highly breathable, wind and weather-resistant double-weave stretch fabric excels in high-mountain conditions. The zippered thigh pocket ensures energy bars and maps remain easily accessible.
Insulated ParkaDescriptionGuide's Pick
Ice climbers know a thing or two about staying warm in all those long, stationary stretches when their partner is leading a pitch. We made the Perch Belay Parka for them (and for anyone who wants water-resistant warmth while, say, grilling burgers in a ski resort parking lot in February).
Insulated VestDescriptionGuide's Pick
Same spirit, same guts, and same award-winning hybrid-mapped design of the Cathode Hooded Jacket, minus the sleeves and hood. An insulated vest is an optional item on our programs but we do think vests offer excellent flexible layering options in a variety of circumstances, weather conditions, and trip types.
Shell JacketDescriptionGuide's Pick
Our Outside Magazine and Men’s Journal “Gear of the Year” award-winning storm shell is engineered for fast-and-light alpine climbs and all-day backcountry tours. You need at minimum either a soft shell jacket or hard shell jacket for local Ouray based winter courses and programs.
Shell PantsDescriptionGuide's Pick
Waterproof, breathable and lightweight, the GORE-TEX® Foray Pants provide dependable rain protection and shrug off the wear-and-tear of the trail and cityscape alike.
Warm HatDescriptionGuide's Pick
The Booster’s reversible design lets you choose. The soft yarn blend will provide a cozy sanctuary throughout winter’s chill.
Baseball CapDescriptionGuide's Pick
A required item on the majority of our programs, a baseball cap helps to keep harmful sun off your face. The Radar Pocket cap is packable, durable, and looks great!
Lightweight GlovesDescriptionGuide's Pick
Updated for touchscreen compatibility, the StormTracker Sensor Gloves are equally at home alpine climbing, ski touring or ice climbing. Low-profile GORE® WINDSTOPPER®. Soft Shell fabric deflects biting gusts, and a tricot lining retains valuable heat.
Midweight GlovesDescriptionGuide's Pick
Built to handle cold mornings on the up-track and powder turns all the way back down, these versatile gloves feature a new stretch nylon shell outer, a goat leather palm with textured fingertips, and a warm, quick-drying wool blend lining.
Heavy GlovesDescriptionGuide's Pick
Our pinnacle technical alpine climbing glove was inspired by the design of medieval gauntlets and built for elite climbers. These breathable three-in-one gloves—built with a GORE® WINDSTOPPER® soft shell outer and warm, removable, quick-drying wool blend liners—are perfect for multi-day endeavors.
Mountaineering AxeDescriptionGuide's Pick
A modern version of Chouinard's original curved-pick mountain axe, the Black Diamond Raven Ice Axe is our classic mountaineer's piolet that has been used on classic climbs the world over for decades. The Raven's durable aircraft aluminum shaft and investment-cast stainless steel pick are engineered for secure self-arresting.
Belay DeviceDescriptionGuide's Pick
A belay device is a required item on any of our technical climbing or mountaineering courses. While not necessary to have the Guide ATC specifically, we think owning one of these offers additional versatility as you progress and gain additional knowledge about the various levels of functionality provided by a device of this type.
HarnessDescriptionGuide's Pick
The BD Aspect Harness is a great all around performer for all types of climbing - ice, rock, alpine etc. The adjustable leg loops and integrated ice clipper loops make this a solid investment as your do-all harness.
Locking CarabinersDescriptionGuide's Pick
We recommend at minimum 2 - 3 personal locking carabiners on our climbing courses and any technical private guided program. We prefer classic screw gate carabiners over other types of locking mechanisms.
Climbing HelmetDescriptionGuide's Pick
A versatile, hybrid-shell helmet for lightweight protection in any discipline, the Vector features excellent ventilation and a ratcheting adjuster.
Balaclava or BuffDescriptionGuide's Pick
Simple, effective and infinitely adaptable, Original BUFF® headwear is the product that started the multifunctional headwear revolution. At its core is a moisture-managing microfiber fabric that is wind resistant and able to control odor. We recommend the BUFF for all of our programs as a multi-purpose insulation piece and trendy headgear!
Non Locking CarabinersDescriptionGuide's Pick
A selection of non-locking carabiners is recommended on all of our technical climbing programs. Consider at least 4 - 6 and we prefer wire gate carabiners over more traditional gate carabiners. Many options exist so just consider a variety when putting your carabiner rack together!
Climbing BootsDescriptionGuide's Pick
The Batura 2.0 GTX uses cutting edge proprietary two layer Gore® technology to create a boot that is warmer and more breathable for technical routes in the mountains. An integrated external gaiter with an asymmetrical zipper uses stretch Gore® technology to keep you dry while the inner boot uses another Gore® layer to allow moisture transport to the outer layer creating the ideal climate for your feet in cold conditions.
Adjustable Trekking PolesDescriptionGuide's Pick
This is an optional item on our programs. However, a good pair of trekking poles is a worthy piece of gear to have with you for long approaches or treks through the mountains. There are many added benefits to trekking poles. The new BD Distance series poles are light, collapsible, and adjustable.
CordelletesDescriptionGuide's Pick
Accessory cord or cordelette material is essential equipment that offer great versatility in use and application. Consider getting a few for your climbing rack.
SlingsDescriptionGuide's Pick
Climbing slings or runners are an excellent compliment to your climbing gear. Versatile in their use and applicability, consider having a few of each length on your rack.
Avalanche ShovelDescriptionGuide's Pick
With a redesigned blade construction for cleaner snow study and easier stomping through hard avy debris, the Transfer is our workhorse shovel with a removable, extendable shaft for working in deep pits.
Avalanche ProbeDescriptionGuide's Pick
Built for daily snow study, snow professionals and deeper snowpacks, the Tour Probe 320 features a durable, all-aluminum construction.
Sleeping PadDescriptionGuide's Pick
The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir All Season mattress is lightweight, durable, extremely warm, and the ultimate solution to year-round backcountry comfort. Stable construction and 2.5-inch thickness offer greater comfort for a full night of sleep, so you won't feel the uneven, rough terrain beneath you.
Winter Sleeping BagDescriptionGuide's Pick
The Western Mountaineering Lynx MF -10 Degree Sleeping Bag is a down sleeping bag for cold weather in the backcountry. Venture into the outdoors in the early spring, on foot or searching for the best ski spots before the snow melts and this medium sized cat will take care of the warmth. Filled with 32oz of 850+ fill power down, you're getting a 9" loft to surround your whole body with warmth as you sleep.
Mountain CramponsDescriptionGuide's Pick
A classic 10-point crampon for mountaineering and glacier travel, the Contact features a durable stainless steel construction and a stable, lightweight design. Available in a Strap or Clip version.
SnowshoesDescriptionGuide's Pick
The MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoes are lightweight and aggressive to take you onward and upward through all types of terrain. The advanced 360° traction frames provide grippy traction beneath while surrounding a lightweight ballistic decking to keep you up on top instead of postholing your way through the snowfield. The frame and deck combination is super durable and ready to take on all types of snow through changing terrain.

Training & Follow Up Climbs

As always, being in excellent physical shape is an important component of our our programs. A good mixture of cardiovascular fitness, muscular fitness, and especially core strength will help you to maximize the potential rewards that are possible on a great climbing trip.

Before Your Trip

The Ama Dablam and Kyajo Ri Expedition requires our participants to have previous technical climbing experience.  At a minimum, participants should have completed our Alpine Expedition Prep Course and a few days of Private Ice Guiding on ice routes such as Stairway to Heaven and Whorehouse Ice Hose.  Additionally, team members on this expedition should have previous multi-day expedition experience on climbs such as Ecuador’s Volcanoes, Denali’s West Buttress, or similar climbs in Alaska’s Ruth Gorge.

We take the screening for the Ama Dablam climb seriously, so please get in touch with our office if you have any questions about your fitness for the climb.  Team members should engage in a rigorous cardiovascular and upper/lower body training regimen.  The Uphill Athlete as well as Cold Fear have excellent training resources available to aspiring alpinists.

For the Ama Dablam and Kyajo Ri Expedition you should be ready for:

  • Travel in Nepal
  • Climbing 55 – 70 degree neve & ice at altitudes up to 6000 meters
  • 12 – 15 hour summit days and early alpine starts
  • Fickle weather, cold temperatures, warm temperatures, delays, other factors beyond our control

Follow Up Climbs


Lukla Bazaar: Getting There

For the purposes of practicality, all of our Nepal programs begin and end in Kathmandu, Nepal.  However, we spend minimal time in Kathmandu and quickly transfer our program to Lukla Bazaar (11,300′), the  gateway to the Sherpa Region of the Khumbu.  Our itinerary calls for travel to Lukla by helicopter, arranged by San Juan Mountain Guides.

plane-icon We require our participants to fly into Kathmandu, Nepal. The International Airport is a busy hub for airline travel and many options exist. Most flights from the US to Kathmandu originate in New York NY, Washington DC, Los Angeles, CA.  We exit Kathmandu and transfer to Lukla by helicopter


hotel-icon-2 We provide lodging in Nepal for the duration of the program.

Program Policies

Registration & Cancellation

Advance Registration is required for this program.  You have the option to either call our office and register via phone or utilize our secure Online Reservation System.  All participants must read and sign an Assumption of Risks/Liability Waiver and agree to our Reservations and Cancellations Policies.


  • Guiding, trip leadership, and logistical organization by one of our tenured Himalayan guides
  • Ground Transportation in Kathmandu
  • Helicopter in/out of the mountains
  • 2 nights in Kathmandu and all the lodging in the mountains
  • Breakfasts and Dinners in the mountains
  • Park Entrance Fees and trekking/climbing permits
  • Expedition support with porters; we make sure our local staff is insured and accredited


  • Transportation to Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Additional hotel costs before or after the program or those not planned on the itinerary
  • Personal Lunch Food
  • Meals or drinks in towns, cities, and hotels
  • Trip cancellation insurance – recommended
  • Personal alpine climbing clothing
  • Costs associated with early returns, weather delays, or other factors beyond our control
  • Final transfer from Kathmandu hotel to airport
  • Guide gratuity


Book This Trip!

We Offer Online Registration

  1. Click on Book This Trip
  2. Select your Program dates
  3. Enter your Info and Payment


Or, call 800.642.5389 to register