It’s time to wrap up the reports from this season’s exceptionally successful climb of Ama Dablam, by Bishop, Burger, Porter, Frost, Gardner and Berg - the BAI 2002 Ama Dablam team.

The photos posted recently show some of the breathtaking quality of the climbing on our route, the Southwest Ridge. But it’s harder to convey the friendship, challenge, learning and effort that we were blessed with every day of our month in Nepal on this expedition.

It is rare to find such a solid team, always supportive of one another. We were rarely without laughter and each day we were filled with wonder at the mountains and the people of Nepal. The privilege of pushing our bodies and spirits to new frontiers in such a spectacular and awe-inspiring location was never taken for granted by this team.

As is always the case with a true adventure, this climb and the experiences it generated were bigger than any of us could have known before we began. Our ascent of Loboche Peak on November 1 was an acclimatization strategy, but it was also a great climb in its own right.

From left to right: Ryland Gardner, Garry Porter, Doug Frost, Dave Burger, Brent Bishop, Nima TashiAnd even though we all had high expectations, the Southwest Ridge of Ama Dablam proved to be more aesthetic and challenging than we could have known before we began our ascent.

After my last dispatch to you describing the slippery descent back through Camp One and Advanced Base Camp, we worked our way back through Pangboche, to Namche Bazaar, where we spent two nights at the Panaroma Lodge. Being welcomed by Sherpa Jonbu and his wife, Lakpa Doma made everyone feel at home and relaxed.

On the morning of November 17, after being presented farewell Khatas in Namche, the team left for the long one-day trek to Lukla. Lukla, on the evening of the Nov. 17, was the scene of Pasang, our Sherpa cook’s, farewell dinner - fried chicken and all the trimmings. On Nov. 18, the Yeti Airlines Twin Otter flight returned us to Kathamandu. Upon driving up to the Yak and Yeti Hotel, we were delighted to see a huge banner proclaiming “HEARTY CONGRATULATIONS TO Berg Adventures International Ama Dablam Team for their complete success!”

That evening, we visited the bustling streets of Thamel, the trekking district of Kathmandu, which was full of tourists and trekkers from every part of the world. We went back to the Rum Doodle Bar, where Brent had signed his name in the original case of Everest summiter’s signatures next to his father Barry’s signature before we went to Ama Dablam. This time, the BAI Ama Dablam team made our own commemorative “Yeti Foot” sign to record our ascent of Ama Dablam. Our foot now hangs prominently on the wall of the Rum Doodle. Brent painted red toe nails on it, so when you visit the Rum Doodle it will be easy to spot.

Now, we’re all anxious to get home and celebrate our successes with our friends and family.

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Ama Dablam 2002
BAI team:

Wally Berg,
Canmore, Alberta
Brent Bishop,
Bozeman, Montana
David Burger,
Boulder, Colorado
Garry Porter
Olalla, Washington
Ryland Gardner
Edwards, Colorado
Doug Frost
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Our objective:

22,494 feet
6857 meters

First Ascent:

March 13, 1961
Barry Bishop
Wally Ramanes
Mike Gill
Mike Ward