This week our president Matthew Bush will be returning to the Himalayas, this time to the beautiful and awe-inspiring Ama Dablam for a self-guided expedition.
Nestled in the Himalayas in eastern Nepal, Ama Dablam's main peak is elevated at just over 22,000 ft. and is the third most popular for permitted expeditions. Referred to as "Mother's Necklace"; the long ridges on each side are 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 (http://bit.ly/2yTGRtG).
The real reason behind the trip is to gear test our new high-altitude backpack, the Alpine Pace. This 65L backpack is tough and meant to bag peak after peak. With ice and rock climbing specific features like extra large side pockets to stash your tools and multiple access points to the main compartment, the Alpine Pace might give you the confidence you need to climb that mountain.
In the months leading up to the expedition, Matthew trained hard to be in his best shape to summit Ama Dablam. However, training to climb mountains in the Ozarks can be tricky. Since we don't have any snowy peaks, Matthew had to come up with a training program that would hit all the right muscles with limited resources to train. His solution? The Bush Push and Pack Rat.
The Bush Push is a short but steep mountain biking trail in Slaughter Pen Hollow that is relatively close to our office. To stimulate elevation training, Matthew climbed up and down the trail forty-two times to reach a total of 3,000 vertical feet ascended. Each time, carrying the with Alpine Pace with 55lbs loaded.Pack Rat is a locally-renowned outdoors store that has a 30 ft. ice and rock wall which is free to climb for the public. Rick, the wall's builder, belayed Matthew while he climbed up each side 3-4 times, again carrying the 55lbs loaded into the Alpine Pace.
Matthew is currently in Kathmandu, the next step is to fly to a town called Lukla then make the trek to a very small village called Phakding. Keep watching for more updates about the Roamm Ama Dablam Expedition! Happy Trails!