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Ama Dablam Expedition Gear List

Top quality mountaineering clothing and equipment is an investment that will see you through years of adventures. It is wise to choose carefully, and not to skimp on quality. The companies and products you see listed below can serve as starting points of reference for you. Take this list to your local outdoor specialty shop.

Feel free to use this list as a reference as you prepare for your trip, but note that not all brands and models are current.


Running shoes and/or sport sandals: For travel & easy walking.

Lightweight hiking boots: Leather or fabric/leather with sturdy mid-sole and a vibram sole.

Climbing boots: Plastic double boot. Aveolite liners for warmth recommended (Scarpa, La Sportiva).

Down or synthetic camp booties: Any brand with thick foam soles.

Lightweight socks: Two to three pairs Synthetic/Wool Blend (Bridgedale, Patagonia, Smartwool)

Midweight socks: Two to three pairs Synthetic/Wool Blend (Bridgedale, Patagonia, Smartwool)


Lightweight long underwear top: (Patagonia Capilene, REI, Mountain Equipment Co-op)

Midweight long underwear tops: Zip T- neck design is good. Light colors are better for tops because they are cooler when hiking in direct sunlight and just as warm as dark colors when worn underneath other layers. (Patagonia Capilene, North Face, Mountain Hardwear)

Lightweight long underwear bottoms: Patagonia Capilene, REI, Mountain Equipment Co-op.

Midweight underwear bottoms: Dark colors are preferable because they do not show dirt. (Patagonia Capilene, REI, Mountain Equipment Co-op)

Briefs: Four pairs synthetic or cotton. Running shorts also work well for underwear.

Short-sleeved shirts: Two synthetic; most nylon running shirts or athletic shirts work. (North Face, Patagonia, REI)

Jacket synthetic or fleece: Synthetic jackets or pullovers are a great alternative to fleece because they are lighter and more compressible. Primaloft type fill or Polartec 100 or 200 fleece is recommended. (Wild Things Primaloft, Patagonia Puff Jacket)

Synthetic insulated pants: Primaloft or Polarguard 3D. Full side zips are recommended. Mountain Hardwear Chugach 3D pants are an example. An acceptable alternative are fleece pants Polartec 100 or 200, but they are bulky, heavier and less versatile.

Down insulated jacket, expedition weight w/ hood: (Mountain Hardwear, Marmot, North Face).

Down pants: Expedition quality, (Mountain Hardwear)

Waterproo /breathable jacket & pants: Jacket must have hood, pants must have full-length side zips (Mountain Hardwear, North Face).

Head & Hand Gear

Liner gloves: Lightweight Synthetic (Patagonia Capilene or any brand of PowerStretch)

Windstopper fleece gloves: (any brand of Windstopper fleece)

Insulated climbing gloves: such as Black Diamond Guide

Gore-Tex mittens w/ liners: Expedition Weight, (Outdoor Research)


Bandanna: Three or four traditional cotton style

Sun hat: Any lightweight hat with a good brim or visor.

Wool or fleece hat: Any brand of warm hat that can go over ears.

Balaclava: At least one. Some people layer a very thin Capilene Balaclava under a thicker fleece one.


Sunglasses #1: One pair high quality 100% UV 100%IR, for travel and lower elevations.

Sunglasses #2: For high altitude. One pair of high quality 100%UV and 100%IR with a minimum of 80% light reduction sunglasses. Side shields such as those found on “glacier glasses” are not required, but size and shape of lens should offer maximum coverage of the eyes to protect them from bright light on snow. (Julbo)

Ski goggles: (Bolle, Smith)

Gaiters w/ reinforced lowers: (Outdoor Research)

Headlamp w/ spare bulb: (Petzl or Black Diamond)

Spare batteries: For headlamp and other gadgets you bring.

Climbing Equipment

Ice axe: General mountaineering axe. 60 cm length is good for most people. Shaft should be straight, not curved. (Grivel or Black Diamond) You will need a leash to attach your axe to you harness as well as a “wrist loop”. Bring a commercial leash designed for glacier travel or 6 ft of 9 / 16 inch webbing and your guide will help you construct one.

Extra ice tool: Short technical tool is OK, hammer head is preferable.

Crampons: 12 point step-in (Grivel or Black Diamond)

Harness: Alpine style, you should not have to step through leg loops to put it on and off, lightweight, fully adjustable. (Black Diamond)

Carabiners: Two large locking “pear” shaped, 6 regular mountaineering carabiners (avoid small gate specialized sport climbing ‘biners)

Perlon cord: Also known as accessory cord in some gear shops. 20 feet of 6mm.

Ascenders: One Pair (Petzl)

Rappel device: Figure 8, ATC or Trango Pyramid

Climbing helmet

Camping Gear

Backpack: 5000 cubic inches or more, internal frame. Top opening mountaineer’s Rucksack style is best. Avoid large zipper openings and excessive outside pockets. Larger packs are better than smaller, because they are easier to pack with cold hands and they distribute loads more effectively. (North Face, Wildthings, Osprey)

Small day pack: Optional, should be small and simple, can double as stuff sack or organizer, useful for airline carry-on and while touring in cities. (Lowe Alpine Attack Summit)

Pack cover: Recommended. To protect your gear on rainy or snowy days (REI, MEC, Osprey, Gregory).

Sleeping bag: Expedition Quality rated to at least minus 20 F. (North Face, Mountain Hardwear) Second Sleeping Bag: Once high camps are established you will not want to carry your sleeping bag back and forth. Base camp bag does not need to be a warm as your expedition bag rating.

Sleeping pad: Inflating, full-length (Therm-a-rest)

Foam pad: (Ridgerest)

Water bottles: Two 1-quart, leak-proof wide-mouth (Nalgene Poly or Lexan bottles)

Lightweight steel thermal bottle: One liter size. (Nissan, Outdoor Research)

Pee bottle: One 1 quart, leak-proof wide-mouth (Nalgene Poly or Lexan bottles)

Pee funnel for women: (Freshette)

Pack towel: Small or Medium size (PackTowl). Do not bring “terrycloth”, Bandanas work in a pinch.

Trekking poles: (Leki, Black Diamond,) Make sure they are adjustable and can extend or shorten.

Swiss army knife: Remember not to leave in carry-on bags for any international or domestic flight.

Large mug, plastic bowl, Lexan fork and spoon: Lightweight metal is O.K.

Medical & Personal

Sunscreen: SPF 30 or higher, non-oily (L’Oreal)

Lipscreen: SPF 30 or higher, any brand

Toiletry kit: Toothbrush, toothpaste, skin lotion, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, soap, comb/brush, shave kit, (bring travel size bottles to keep your kit small).

First-aid kit: Ibuprofen/Aspirin, assorted band-aids, moleskin, Neosporin-type suave, small gauze pad, roll of adhesive tape, tweezers, safety pins. Include any prescription travel meds that might be prescribed by your doctor (antibiotics, Diamox, sleep aids).

Zip-loc bags: Always useful.

Baby wipes

Ear plugs: Very useful in noisy lodges and tents. Available in most hardware stores.

Travel Items

Expedition duffel bag: 8000+ cubic inches. Light colors are better for labeling with your name. Buy something well built with large, strong zippers. These bags are strapped to Yaks! (North Face, Patagonia “Black Hole”, Wild Things “Burro Bag”).

Travel bags: Extra duffel bags are useful for storing things in Kathmandu, in Namche and at Base Camp. Most soft sided “carry on’ type bags work well. (Camp Trails “Packable”, Wild Things “Carry On”) You might also use extra large stuff sacks. Plan to fly to Nepal with two large duffels, and some smaller bags for organizing inside.

Nylon stuff sacks: Several different sizes, light colors preferable for labeling.

Lightweight long sleeve shirt: Cotton, comfortable.

Hiking shorts and/or skirt/sarong: One pair

Lightweight pants: One pair

City clothes for Kathmandu and Bangkok: Casual, one or two changes. Kathmandu is warm in the daytime, cool in the evenings. If you fly through Bangkok, it is hot and tropical.

Passport belt/pouch

Small padlocks: For locking duffel bag(s).



Camera / video camera w/ extra batteries: We suggest plenty of non - rechargeable power, such as lithium batteries. Cold weather is hard on ni-cad and regular alkaline batteries and solar recharging is not always an option.

Memory cards and / or Film: Bring plenty, it is expensive in Nepal. You will take lots of photos!