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What’s Great About the “End of Summer” in Tahoe?

It’s that peculiar time in Tahoe past Labor Day when everyone seems to be worried about the “end of summer.” There’s a frenzy to squeeze in one more beach day at Donner Lake or one more mountain bike ride on the Flume Trail. But here at Alpenglow, we’re kind of wondering what everyone is getting so worked up about. After all, autumn is tied with spring and summer as our second favorite season (of course, winter is our first love!) September and October are prime for a good time: the Tahoe crowds dwindle, temps are pleasant, and…

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A Photo Journey to the Summit of Ama Dablam

The experience of climbing Ama Dablam, considered by many to be the most beautiful mountain on the planet, is as visually spectacular as it is physically challenging. From the trek through the lush Khumbu Valley all the way to the icy summit, climbers travel through distinct ecological zones.

After traveling from Kathmandu, the trek begins in Namche Bazaar. Over the course of 2 days, the team works their way through tea houses and beautiful meadows capped by stunning peaks as they travel up the Khumbu Valley towards Ama Dablam’s Base Camp.

Once the climbers reach base camp, the climbing demands…

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Ama Dablam 2018 Wrap Up

Words and photos by lead guide Chad Peele

Arriving in the Chaos of Kathmandu

It’s been two years since I was last in Nepal. Arriving at the Kathmandu airport was the same uncontrolled chaos as always. Confusion surrounded us with hoards of people trying to locate bags so they could get out as fast as possible. This time luck was on my side and my bags popped up quickly, promoting a speedy exit!

Over the next several days, I worked on recovering from my jet lag and prepping for our upcoming adventure into the mountains. This year we had three…

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Ama Dablam & Everest Base Camp Trek Update

Lunch spot across River in Phakding

We’re back to the Himalaya this week with two separate teams accomplishing different objectives in the Khumbu Valley. Our guides are joined by a team of trekkers heading to Everest Base Camp and another team setting their sights on Ama Dablam.

Touch down in Lukla with fabulous weather!

Team moving around a Moni Stone

Everest Base Camp Trek
This isn’t just any EBC trek. The team connects with our Ama climbing team in Kathmandu and tags along with the working climbing team until the…

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The jewel of the Khumbu

 

My original reason for climbing Ama Dablam was very simple: It was the most beautiful mountain I had ever laid eyes on. From the first moment I saw a photo of the peak I was hooked. The way she rises from the valley, its snowcapped flanks glimmer like a jewel high above the Khumbu valley. The name Ama Dablam actually means “mother’s necklace”.  The two main ridges visible from the valley resemble outstretched arms of a mother (Ama), and the iconic hanging glacier (the Dablam) is named for the traditional pendant worn by Sherpa women. The journey to…

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Ama Dablam Expedition Update

Photos: Chad Peele

 

 

 

 

 

 

All is good! Our Ama Dablam expedition team is currently at Camp 1  (18,370′ / 5600m), they will touch Camp 2 (19,350′ / 5900m) tomorrow and sleep at Camp 1 (C1) again tomorrow night. And then back to base camp on Tuesday. They’ve had a good couple of days!

Weather forecast looks good. Also they said the route looks great and is in incredible shape. Lead guide, Chad Peele, said it’s the best he’s seen it…including the anchors, ropes and snow/rock conditions.

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Successful Ama Dablam Summit Expedition

Text and photos: Chad Peele

“Omg!..we had an amazing summit push with incredible weather! In clear sunny skies we moved thru 90% of the technical terrain climbing thru rock snow and ice. With the help of our talented sherpa climbing team we established high camp at 2.7 and had a well deserved rest.

In the cold darkness the following morning, we downed some coffee and a quick hot breakfast and suited up for our final push to the summit. The route was challenging with several vertical snow and ice pitches but things eased off as we approached the final snow headwall.…

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What is a Puja Ceremony?

Puja Ceremony on Ama Dablam

“A puja is a ceremony in which meditational prayers are offered to the Buddhas and holy beings to request their blessings or help. Traditionally in a monastery monks and nuns perform prayers for the long life, health and success of their teachers, friends, benefactors, all living beings, and for world peace. Pujas are performed to avert or clear three kinds of obstacles: worldly, inner and secret obstacles; conditions which prevent us from achieving our worldly and spiritual goals.” [1]

Shown here, the Alpenglow team celebrating yesterday on Ama Dablam and also last month on…

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Ama Dablam Expedition Team in Base Camp

Text and photos: Chad Peele

 

Day 10: “Team hiked up to Yak Camp (17,000′ / 5182m) today depositing a small amount of high camp/summit gear. While hiking up in the sunshine we got word that the ropes had been finally fixed to the summit! This is great news and perfect timing for our group as there are quite a few teams that have been sitting and waiting for the route to be completed.

Basically, I’m all about letting the masses move forward, clear the ropes and clean the route! The weather pattern has been glorious in the mornings…

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Weekend Update From Expedition Team in Nepal

Text and photos: Chad Peele

Day 6: “Today we woke to our first blue bird day and saw the full majesty of this valley for the first time. After apple pancakes (it’s become a team favorite!) and French pressed coffee we stripped down to shorts and a single layer on top and began our sunny trek into the valley. Right out of the gate, the views were stunning and nonstop as we traversed a rolling trail to Mong-La for a break, photos and tea.

After this well-deserved break we dropped a lot of elevation only to hike back up into Phortse…yeah,…

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