Detailed, safe and successful ascent of Ama Dablam 2018
We were on the first expedition to Ama Dablam that Mountain Monarch organized themselves. The company was extremely open and forthright about that fact, and provided plenty of support to ensure a safe and successful summit. They provided all the technical gear except for double boots. This included the harness, helmet, ascender, carabiners, accessory cords, ice axe, sleeping bag, and much more if you need. The acclimatization plan was very thorough and had been explained to us right at the beginning. Before we left Kathmandu, the climbing guides reviewed our gear to make sure we were well equipped for the climb.
Outside of gear, we had plenty of guides to help us along the way. By the time we were ready to summit, we had more than one guide per person. The luxury of this arrangement is that we had individual checks of our safety lines and to give us immediate support if we needed.
The itinerary had built in a lot of acclimatization before reaching Ama Dablam. We trekked through Renjo pass, Chola pass, and climbed Lobuche East (6119 m) as a way to refresh our technical skills. For those who are not familiar with using a jumar/ascender, we spent a rest day reviewing gear and training on a large boulder. We were all very comfortable with elevation by the time we reached Ama Dablam basecamp. On top of that, the climbing schedule for Ama Dablam is extremely thorough. If you are worried about rushing up the mountain, there is absolutely no reason to be. On the contrary, we ended up spending a lot of time exposed to the elements as a result, so it’s important to stay warm and healthy.
In general, the plan had a week of contingency in case of bad weather. During this trek, we were hit with a spell of high winds during our summit window. Mountain Monarch gave us the option to descend to Pengboche to wait for the weather to clear. This was an extra cost to them that was not passed down to us!
At basecamp, we were equipped with a group dining tent, personal sleeping tents (with a down exped mattress), outhouse, and an altar for the puja ceremony. Having our own personal tent to rest in was a comfort I never expected to have. Another luxury was the charging station that would kick on every night during dinner service. We had about 3 hours to charge our phones and battery packs in the dining tent. Breakfast, lunch and dinner was provided and served with a smile. When we returned from our successful summit, they even made us a cake to celebrate!
Overall, I felt a lot of attention was given to us to ensure our safety and comfort. The plan was thorough and well executed by all of the guides and sirdar. We even had a helicopter take us back to Lukla in order to catch a flight out to Kathmandu on the same day! All 4 of us who left the the base camp for the summit bid climbed the Amadablam peak together – great achievement. I’m very happy I picked Mountain Monarch to go up Ama Dablam.
Chin Ling Wong
4 weeks trip with 23 days of trek and climb from Lukla to Mera (6419) and Island Peak (6189m) via Amphu Laptsa Pass (5845m). Amphu Laptsa Pass is graded ‘D’ and is the second hardest pass in the Himalaya region. It was an amazing experience to land and take off on the world most dangerous airport. The feeling is indescribable until you experience it. 12 of us in the group plus 5 guides, 12 porters and 7 kitchen crew throughout the hike. We stayed in tent for 20 days and the last three days in the local tea houses. One of the highlights of our trip is no shower for 23 days and the toilets are very basics. The higher the altitude, the more basic the toilet will be. We were amazed that we survived without any problem 🙂 The weather is extremely cold and the daily temperature is below zero degree Celsius. Waking up daily with snow/ice on the tent, sleeping bag and beanie is no joke. Hail and snow is common during our hiking period. 23 days without connecting to the outside world is another good experience for us as well. No electricity available and I charged my watch and camera with solar charger. Thank you Mountain Monarch and the team for this memorable trip.
Absolutely fantastic trip to the summit of Mera Central. All credit to the handsome Nima and his brilliant team of guides, cooks and porters. Support from arrival to departure was superb. Highly recommended and hope to visit and climb again.
As always, MMA delivered on a great trek. If you are viewing this review, there is no need to heap further accolades on MMA. They are one of the best guide services and their one porter;one trekker policy is highly commendable.
The Everest Circuit trek is a highly recommended alternative to the traditional EBC trek, if you have the few extra days. You get to go up the less crowded Gokyo valley and return on the more crowded EBC route (in just two days). Going up gives you tremendous views of Cho Oyo and the 180 panorama of Cho Oyo/Everest/Lhotse/Makalu from the top of Gokyo Ri. Crossing Cho La pass can be work but is an incredible experience crossing the pass and glacier. The balance of the trip is the classic EBC route. If you have the few extra days, this trek is well worth it!
Lakpa, our guide, took great care of us and was a great guide. He seemed to know every other person we passed on the trek! Another trip of a lifetime with MMA!
Another great trek with MMA! Our guide (Lakpa) was exceptional. His knowledge of the region was amazing and he seemed to know every other guide passing in the other direction. This itinerary is highly recommended. You go up the lesser traveled Gokyo valley, highlighted by great views of Cho Oyo and from the summit of Gokyo Ri. You then travel over Cho La pass and enter the EBC side. EBC and Kala Pattar were two more exceptional highlights. This route means you only spend two days on the EBC “highway”, on the way down. Note: Lukla is notorius for flight delays. When our return flights were canceled at 1 PM, Lakpa found us a helo as well as 4 other trekkers willing to share the cost! This ensured us getting back to Kathmandu, where we had prepaid a luxury hotel.
“What an experience – it was my life-long dream to one day go to Everest Base Camp, and I can honestly say that were it not for the excellent services of Pradip, the owner of Mountain Monarch and it’s very professional and expert staff, I would never have made it. I am 73 years old, so I needed a lot of help in preparing for the trip, and also help along the difficult trail for a guy my age, but Netra, our guide and the rest of the porter team and Mountain Monarch made it happen for me, for which I will be ever grateful. Their constant words of encouragement, wise advice and expert guidance during the whole trek was invaluable. The trek itself was beautiful, and Netra and his team made it very enjoyable. Mountain Monarch gave me the best value for the price, which was already competitive, because a lot of things were included, such as transfer to and from the airport to the hotel, a half day tour of Kathmandu, duffle bag, warm parka, sleeping bag with liner, and all meals. When you add up all these extras, the cost savings can be hundreds of dollars. I would have no hesitation in recommending Mountain Monarch to my family and close friends, and indeed, everyone.”
Just returned from climbing Mera Peak, what a fantastic trip with our guide Ngima and the other excellent supporting guides and sherpa’s. Accommodation was mainly in tents with some nights in tea houses and I have to say that it was a wonderful experience.
The trip from start to finish was outstanding and I have come away with many great pictures of five of the worlds 8000m peaks and memories that will last for a very long time.
The whole group also became friends very quickly and supported each other in such a way that we will stay very close for many years.
Mountain Monarch took care of everything from meeting everyone at Kathmandu Airport, transportation to and from the hotels, internal flights and generally making sure the whole trip was well organised and safe, this provided the opportunity for everyone to climb their mountain.
Thank you and hope to see you again very soon.
Once again let me express our gratitude for the wonderful service and personal attention given to our recent JEEP TOUR of Upper Mustang. It was a difficult and stressful trip weather, road conditions and flight cancellations but made so much easier by the handling of you and your staff. I “thank” our stars that when choosing a tour company that we chose MOUNTAIN MONARCH, a local company with hands on for every delay or problem. Mustang had been on my radar for many years and I was not disappointed. If anyone is searching for a tour company I would highly recommend Mountain Monarch and give them a 5-star rating. You will leave Nepal feeling like a member of an extended family.
An absolutely fantastic trek. This combines both the Circuit with the Sanctuary. These two treks complement each other perfectly. The Circuit is a complete immersion into Nepalese culture and the environment starting in the lowland valleys and culminating with the high altitude crossing at Thorung La Pass. The Sanctuary is the the perfect climax for this trek, with unbelievable close-up vistas and panoramas. Mountain Monarch did a fantastic job of guiding. Their policy of one trekker:one porter is to be commended. During our trek, we saw many instances of porters carrying excessive weight (double duffels!). By reducing loads and creating additional jobs, MM is doing a great thing. Keep up the great work, Pradip!
When we got sick in Manang, our guide (Yam) adjusted our itinerary (we skipped Tilicho Lake) to allow us to get better. This then allowed us to break up the long day & climb from Tatopani to Ghorepani into two days. This change in itinerary worked wonderfully.
At every meal, our guide produced a bottle of antiseptic hand wash prior to being served. A very simple but nice touch.
As we approached high altitude, Yam pulled out an blood oxygen saturation meter to measure our blood oxygen levels at every dinner. This is the same meter used by the HRA clinic in Manang. The meter gave us objective data to reinforce the fact that we felt no ill effects from the altitude. A very reassuring thing. This was so unusual that other trekkers around us asked to try it out!
We give our highest recommendation to MM and the combined Annapurna Circuit and Sanctuary trek. We plan to return in a few years to do Everest with MM!
Had the best day hike with MM in 2017, highly recommend. The guide was humorous and kind – sights made my trip!