Khumbu Valley, Nepal – On November 7, 2019, AMO Environmental Scientist James Bedison reached the summit of Ama Dablam (22,494’ / 6856m), which is located in the Mt. Everest Region of the Himalayan Range. Following years of preparation, months of training, and weeks of acclimatization, James and an international team of climbers and Sherpa safely summited and descended this iconic Himalayan peak. For James, this was the culmination of a decade’s-long goal to test his mettle on the steep, difficult, and exposed Southwest Ridge route (Grade VI, Alpine 6, 5.8). “I’ve been looking at this peak for a long time and never thought I would have the opportunity to climb it. To find myself on the summit surrounded by the tallest mountains in the world and a great team of climbers was truly an inspiring experience,” said James.
Joining an expedition to climb high-altitude peaks in the Himalaya requires a strong personal commitment to training and preparation, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of friends, family, and coworkers. “The encouragement I received along the way was such an important part of making this climb possible for me. I’m extremely grateful to everyone who helped me accomplish this goal.” As for climbing Ama Dablam, James described it as one of the hardest things he’s ever done. He credits the strength and kindness of the Sherpa on the team along with his previous experience on mountains like Mt. Rainier, Mt. McKinley (Denali), and Huayna Potosí for his success on the mountain. “It was an amazing experience and I’m looking forward to new adventures in the mountains soon.”