The short of the story was that, it was a TOUGH mountain requiring more rests and acclimatization trips to high camps. As we're not yet well-acclimatized (slower than most), we estimated a 22h+ summit day due to C2 overcrowding (i.e. we have to take off from C2, summit and back all the way to C1), but given exhaustion when we arrived in C2 - we decided against it. I think at least 3 more days could have allowed us to tackle the last 700m (from C2).
Well, the mountain will always be there - we can always go back... =)
Why we climbed Ama Dablam?
My personal intent was to promote a more technical version of climbing with the hope of inspiring (thru video/ photos/ stories) the next generation to climb more difficult, "walled" peaks. The hope was that, Filipinos would soon start the "K2 project". K2 (Godwin-Austen peak) is the 2nd highest peak, but more difficult and dangerous than Everest. I believe that the next worthwhile project by Philippine mountaineering groups is a climb on K2. We're done with Everest, with 7 Summits, and the way to climb the 14 peaks of 8000m family is to target the most difficult of them all -- K2!
With Ama Dablam as a 'primer' and a known training mountain for such, we hope to show what high-altitude technical climbing is about, and hopefully, lure our more 'extreme' climbers to climb such peaks.
Get on it, climb on!
Pictures may tell you a thousand words... so here are some..
|Mt Ama Dablam from a distance, approach to BC|
|BC as seen from upper hills|
|resting at lower C1 (aka "Yak camp"), we stayed here on our 1st carry up|
|looking down at climbers going to C1|
|at C1, it was a long, hard day...|
|Steep on some sections, but unlike big walls like Carstensz, this mountain is significantly high making one's technical climbing skills severely hampered by thin air endurance.|
|Walls, cliffs, knife ridges...|
|C1 at night... it didn't seem like this tent was dangerously perched on a pile of rocks...|
|climbers traversing a wall below 'upper Camp1'|
|No Easy Day - steep going at ANY part of the higher slopes|
|myself at C2, the peak "seems near" :)|
|the route to C2 were all along the steep knife ridge - falling not allowed!|
|high above C2, climbers (lower left) can be seen tackling the section before C3.|
|resting at C2, you could see the other tents were pitched dangerously on the ridge (no choice really)|
|C2 and Peak at night... (well, just after last light and my cam has no night shot capability)|
|the last 700m is not a easy climb... C3 (below the ice fall) is a dangerous place, and all approach are vertical. There's always a NEXT TIME!!|