Website- Peak Freak Expeditions

Monday, 3 November 2014

Sorrow in the Mountains- Ama Dablam death

Sad news came to Tim when he learned of three deaths on Ama Dablam today. One Sherpa climber was killed and three foreigners were injured when the looming serac (aka ticking time-bomb) on the route to the summit let go of a chunk of ice or possible rock, the details are not out yet.  Tim knew the Sherpa well, his name is Dendi Sherpa. Tim said he'll miss bumping into his smiling face in the valley. The foreigners names he did not know. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families during this difficult time.

Sorrow in the mountains is inevitable these days with warming temperatures and especially when climbing under ice that"will" come off at some point. We feel the best thing you can do if you're not willing to take those risk is to avoid them altogether.
Triple Crown climber Dekel Berenson photo of Ama Dablam 2014'

We quit climbing Ama Dablam over 10 or 12 years ago when this particular serac started to calve back then. To us it just wasn't worth the risk. The situation here is like what happened on Everest this year when 16 Sherpa climbers lost their lives due to ice-fall and not a traditional snow avalanche as many may have thought by the way the media quoted the incident. The event in the Annapurnas was avalanche related deaths by snow loads coming down, Everest was ice-fall.

On Ama Dablam like Everest, you have no choice but to climb underneath it.  Climbers need to know those risks and not take their safety for granted. Tim decided those risks are not acceptable for a training climb or a group of climbers out for a good time and with
no pressure and not influenced by an outside agenda to succeed at all costs -  the kind of applicants we want.

We used to use Camp 3 on Ama Dablam but now it's in direct line of this problematic area where potential for calving ice and rock is considered active.  Once the ice is gone then there will be rock fall to contend with. We came close to having an incident back in the day so we left and never returned. There are other peaks to climb, it's beauty and prestige is not worth the risk when you're guiding.  Independent teams- okay. The situation there now is that Camp 3 can't be used so all climbers must have the stamina and ability to climb swiftly, all while putting in a long day from Camp 2 to the summit and back. It's not for everyone and certainly not for a novice climber.

We have photos coming out now of our safe and successful "Triple Crown Expedition" I'll be posting them to Tim;s Facebook, if you're not already, be a follower...

Peak Freaks are in Namche Bazaar tonight.


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