Ama Dablam Base Camp via Kongma La Pass trek is a strenuous yet rewarding trek in the Everest region. This less crowded trek route serves beautifully for adventure enthusiasts as the trail passes through steep rocky slopes, often covered by snow and ice. You will also pass through several small traditional villages inhabited by ethnic groups- including Sherpas.
Your journey to Ama Dablam starts with a 40-minute flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. From Lukla, we head off to Phakding (2,650m). You will be walking past the dense forest - full of pine trees, rhododendron flowers, and plenty of wildlife - inside Sagarmatha National Park to reach Namche Bazaar.
We will be acclimatizing for a day at Namche Bazaar (3,440m) to adjust to the thin air. Namche Bazaar, the gateway to Everest, is often full of trekkers worldwide, mainly during trek seasons. So, Namche has modern cafes, restaurants, bars, souvenir shops, and even bakeries.
From Namche, we head to Deboche, passing through Tengboche Monastery, also called the "monastery on the top of the hill." The next day we leave Deboche for Dingboche (4,360m). The trails take you through many small villages past Stupas and mani walls.
Our journey then takes us from Dingboche to Chhukung (4,730m). We will be spending a day at Chhukung to acclimatize to the altitude. Chhukung is a pretty village that allows you to enjoy spectacular views of rivers, glaciers, and snowy mountains. We encourage you to hike to Chukung Ri so that you can enjoy exceptional views of Mount Lhotse (8,516m), Island Peak (6,189m), Ama Dablam(6,812m), and Makalu(8,463m).
From Chhukung, we head to Lobuche crossing the most famous pass in the Everest region - Kogma La Pass (5,535m/18,159ft). It is a strenuous trail but extremely rewarding with views of glaciers, lakes, and the outstanding Himalayas.
The next day's trek takes us from Lobuche to Pangboche (3,985m). The trails are more accessible - compared to last day's hike. You might even see yaks grazing on the meadows by your route.
The tenth day is your big day as you will reach Ama Dablam Base Camp. Gathering our bodily strength, we leave Pangboche and ascend towards Ama Dablam (4,600m/15,091ft). From the base camp, you can enjoy remarkable panoramic mountain views of some of the highest snow-caps - including Mt Lhotse (8,416m), Ama Dablam (6,812m), Island Peak (6,189m), Lhotse (8,400m), Pumori (7,165m), Lobuche Peak (6,135m), Thamserku (6,618m), Kongde Peak (4,618m), Tawoche Peak (6,542m) and much more. After enjoying the Ama Dablam Base Camp to our heart's content, we return to Pangboche.
The return begins. From Pangboche, we head back to Namche Bazaar and spend the night there. The following day, we leave Namche and trek to Lukla. You will be spending one last night in the trek region at Lukla. The following day, you will take a flight from Lukla back to Kathmandu, where we conclude our trek to Ama Dablam.
This thrill-filled trek is for adventurous trekkers in good physical health, with enough time to acclimatize to high altitudes.
Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu (1330m).
You will be met by a representative of Peregrine Treks and transferred to the Ramada Encore, Thamel. The remainder of the afternoon at leisure. A pre-trek briefing will be given around 4.30-5 pm, where arrangements will be made to distribute your kit bag, sleeping bag, and down/fiberfill jacket. This evening we will head out for dinner; this is an excellent opportunity to get acquainted with your fellow group members. Overnight: Ramada Encore, Thamel, Kathmandu
Day 2: Fly Lukla (2800m) and trek to Ghat (2600m). Walk approx 2 hrs.
We have an early start with a short flight to STOL airstrip at Lukla. Sir Edmund Hillary established the Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla to help access the Everest region and the Sherpa people. It is a scenic flight with marvelous views of the Eastern Himalayas. Once at Lukla, we are immediately presented with views of massive peaks surrounding the village, offering a glimpse of what is to come. Our crew assembles, and we head downhill towards the Dudh Kosi, a raging river that flows from the highest peaks. The broad and well-marked trail meanders around fields of potatoes and buckwheat, passing through small villages and rows of dahlia trees to our first overnight private eco campsite at Ghat.
Day 3: To Monjo (2850m). Walk approx 4-5 hrs.
Today we cross and re-cross the thundering glacial river, named "Dudh" (milk) Kosi (river) because of its color. Sections of today's walk are through pine forest and cleared areas to reveal terraced fields and various crops. We pass small groups of donkeys, yaks, and dzopko carrying trading goods and trekking gear along the trail. A dzopko is a yak-cow crossbreed, while a yak is a full-blood long-haired male, more commonly found at higher altitudes. Spectacular mountain peaks unfold above us and hover above the tree line as they rise above the deep river valley. Shortly after leaving camp, we cross the Kusum Khola, a tributary stream to the Dudh Kosi, and the peak of Kusum Kanguru (6369 m) can be seen to the East, at the head of the valley.
Further along the trail, across the valley to the North-West, Nupla (5885 m) and Kongde Ri (6093 m) rise above the forested ridges. Thamserku (6808 m) rises majestically at a turn of the trail, seemingly from the river floor. We will see our first Mani walls today. These stone structures are a compilation of many stone tablets, each with the inscription 'Om Mani Padme Hum,' which translates to 'Hail to the jewel in the lotus, and is a mantra (chant) venerated by Buddhists and Brahmans alike. Buddhists will walk to the left of these Mani Walls and chortens, but you may notice that people of the lowlands who do not know about Buddhism do not follow this practice. The allure of the mountains is hard to resist. Still, we must be patient, as it is essential to acclimatize slowly and fully appreciate our time at a higher altitude. Today's walk is not long, and you will be eager to press on. Slow down, and enjoy every step of the way. Our camp tonight is at our private eco campsite located above Monjo.
Day 4: To Namche Bazaar (3440m). Walk approx 4-5 hrs.
This morning we cross the green/aqua waters of the Dudh Kosi and pass through the gates of the Sagamartha National Park. The establishment of this national park is a significant attempt to stem the use of firewood in the area. Self-contained trek groups must use only kerosene fuels for cooking, a philosophy we follow everywhere in Nepal, whether in a national park or not. Tea houses and lodges are encouraged to use kerosene, yak dung, or electricity. Unfortunately, they mostly use firewood for cooking, heating, and hot water for trekker's showers. This practice continues to deplete the forests. We follow the river course to the confluence of the Dudh Kosi and the Bhote Kosi and cross a spectacular high bridge before commencing our ascent to the village of Namche Bazaar, the Sherpa "capital" of Nepal. It is a tough climb as the trail passes through a pine forest to a vantage point that provides our first view of Mt Everest. The trail continues to climb and meander to Namche, and the sight of this prosperous village spread within a horse-shoe-shaped valley opposite the beautiful peak of Kongde Ri is worth every step. After lunch, you may wish to peruse the Tibetan trader's stalls or the Sherpa shops in search of a bargain. Overnight: eco-lodge
Day 5: To Kyangjuma (3550m) via Khumjung, Walk approx 3-4 hours.
Our trek will start with an incline to Syangboche airstrip and towards Everest View Hotel along the ridgeline. We are welcomed with magnificent views of the surrounding mountains, including Everest, Lhotse, Thamserku, Khangtega, Ama Dablam, etc. After a quick break, we continue towards Khumjung and visit Sir Edmond Hillary’s famous “Schoolhouse in the clouds.”This school was the first in the entire Khumbu region to be built in 1961 with the help of Sir Edmund Hillary and the Himalayan Trust. The school initially opened with only two classrooms but has since expanded to cater to over 350 students. We descend and follow the trail for approx 25 minutes to our new exclusive campsite at Kyangjuma. Those who feel the early effects of altitude can opt for a shorter acclimatization walk of around 2 hours directly from Namche to Kyangjuma. Overnight: Private eco-campsite
Day 6: To Pangboche (3930m) via Thyangboche. Walk approx 5 hrs.
The walk to Pangboche is one of Nepal's most spectacular trekking days. The trail meanders easily around the ridges, and Everest can be seen on the horizon ahead before we descend through splendid rhododendron forests for lunch. After lunch, we cross the Dudh Kosi and begin the ascent to the top of a long ridge that flows from the summit of Kantega. Our trail takes us through pine and rhododendron forest, and, as this is a devout Buddhist region, the wildlife is unharmed and not too shy. As a result, there is a possibility that we may see Himalayan Thar, Musked Deer, or pheasants in the forest and around our campsite. As we approach the ridgeline, we pass through a traditional gateway and around a chorten before cresting the ridge onto a vast grassy meadow at the monastery village of Thyangboche. The monastery was rebuilt with the assistance of Sir Edmund Hillary after it was destroyed by fire in 1989. The views of the Everest massif and all the other major peaks of the area are astounding. After a rest and visiting the monastery, we head downhill to our private eco campsite at Pangboche.
Day 7: To Chulungche/Mingbo (4530m). Walk approx. 5 hrs
Leaving the main trail in favor of isolated trails, we trek above Thyangboche and into the conifer forest. The views back to the monastery with Taboche rising beyond are excellent. We follow paths through the forest that lead above the tree line to summer yak pastures and contour around the ridge lines of Kantega. Settlements that are a hive of activity in the wet summer months are deserted, and we have these paths to ourselves, enjoying the solitude of the walk. We pass through the small settlement of Omega and travel onto Mingbo, high above the valley floor. At this altitude, with the clear air, we can look across the highest peaks, at their level and only a few kilometers distant—overnight eco-lodge.
Day 8: Day trip to Ama Dablam Base Camp (4800m) and return to Pangboche. Walk approx 6 hrs.
Today we make our way up the ridge high in a sheltered valley. We may see climbing expeditions on our arrival at the base camp as Ama Dablam is one of the world’s most beautiful mountains. It means “Mother’s necklace”; the long ridges on each side like the arms of a mother (ama) protecting her child, and the hanging glacier thought of as the Dablam, the traditional double-pendant containing pictures of the gods, worn by Sherpa women. We have lunch in the Base camp and walk back to Pangboche along the main trail in the afternoon. There is a lot of up and down in this section, with another crossing of the Imja Khola on a steel suspension bridge. Overnight private eco campsite in Pangboche.
Day 9: To Phortse Tenga (3600m). Walk approx 5 hrs.
If clear, the mountain views from Thyangboche monastery on our way through are outstanding. Everest, Lhotse, and Nuptse are at the head of the valley, their line of sight flanked by Taweche on one side and Ama Dablam on the other. Almost directly above us are Kantega and Thamserku. Completing a 360-degree panorama of mountains are Khumblia, and Kongde Ri encircles us from across the valley. It is a comfortable day’s walk, with time to explore these unique and more traditional villages. As we near the villages, we pass through terraced fields home to a brightly colored pheasant, the Daphne Pheasant, the national bird of Nepal. Overnight private eco campsite at Portes Tenga.
Day 10: To Namche (3780m). Walk approx 6 hrs.
We slowly return to civilization as we venture down the valley and return to Namche Bazaar. Remember to turn around and enamor at the snow-capped peaks for one of the last times as we leave the heart of the Everest Region. Overnight: eco-lodge
Day 11: To Lukla (2800m). Walk approx 7-8 hrs
Leaving Namche, we descend through the forest towards the Dudh Kosi and continue our return journey, crossing and re-crossing the river. It will seem like a long time since we ascended through the villages on our first days of the trek, as we have witnessed many stunning views on our trek into the highest mountain range in the world. Retracing our steps along the valley, we pass through various settlements and forests before a gentle climb to Lukla. We savor our final mountain sunsets of the trek as we complete this exhilarating journey. Our last evening of the trek is a perfect time to celebrate a successful journey and thank the team, especially the porters who will return to their villages from here—overnight lodge.
Day 12: Fly to Kathmandu
We start the day with a stunning morning flight directly over forests and villages to Kathmandu. Upon arrival, you will be transferred back to the Ramada Encore, Kathmandu, and have the remainder of the afternoon free. There will be plenty of time to relax or do last-minute shopping/sightseeing. Overnight: Ramada Encore
Day 13: The trip concludes in Kathmandu
After breakfast, arrangements cease unless further ones have been made. Those people departing by aircraft will be transferred to the airport and assisted with check-in procedures.