Autumn 2019 Himalayan Season: Dhaulagiri Summits!


Extremely determined Dhaulagiri climbers made the summit this morning. No movement on Everest and climbs have ended on Manaslu, Cho Oyu.

Dhaulagiri – Summits!!

Sergi Mingote summited in tough conditions. This summit takes him halfway through his program to summit all the 8000ers in 1,000 days. Now he has seven including K2, Broad Peak, Manaslu, Lhotse, Nanga Parbat, and Gasherbrum II. Sergi posted this today:

I’VE REACHED THE TOP! In only 444 days this is the seventh 8000 m-summit, without the help of artificial oxygen. After Broad Peak, K2, Manaslu, Lhotse, Nanga Parbat and Gasherbrum II, today I’ve already reached Dhaulaguiri, of 8,167 meters! After 13 hours, now the most important thing is the descent

Also, Sanu Sherpa from Makalu, Sankhuwasava, Nepal summited to become the 42nd person and 3rd Nepalese to complete all 14 Peak over 8000 meters.  Bulgarian Atanas Skatov also summited. There were 30 permits issued but no word on who else may have summited with Sergie, Sanu, and Atanas. Juan Pablo Mohr and Moesses Fiamoncini were on the same push but no updates at the moment.

Chris Jensen Burke had to abandon her climb but made some interesting comments today regarding the difficulty of finding the true summit on Dhaulagiri:

DHAULAGIRI EXPEDITION UPDATE: Well, after some weeks of constant and heavy snowfall on the mountain, un-flash weather generally, and everything to suggest that Dhaulagiri has been playing with us all, we started a summit push around 5 days ago. Every day was knee or thigh deep snow. We held up for 2 extra days at C1 to move loads and due to avalanche risk (luckily a route setting team member survived an avalanche above C2), climbers questioned the overall risks at C2 (re deep snow, winds and lack of confirmation on where the summit was – in those conditions) and some of us descended yesterday and the day before when weighing up all the risk factors and saying ‘it is time to call time’.

Yesterday, some climbers also went up for the summit, and Lakpa again questioned whether it could be found with snowfall forecast in the night and ropes not as advanced as all hoped. With the heavy snow, the historical markers to the true summit were covered, we all surmised. This morning at around 8am (local time) Lakpa received a radio call from climbers who had climbed through the night asking where the summit was as climbers has dispersed [at a certain location ] the climber said when the ropes stopped and the correct couloir (to reach the true summit) was not obvious. If you climb too high before finding the correct couloir and don’t ascend the correct couloir, you can’t get to the true summit.

Some climbers who descended in prior days ‘calling time’ have left for home, like me (I left today) – I have run out of time and have to return to Australia. A small number of climbers have flown into base camp today with the late opportunity to come from other mountains since Dhaulagiri is ‘late’. A small number remain at base camp hoping to catch a late window but their forecasts are less than ideal so far – hope remains for 7-9 October.

We may hear that the some summits have occurred today (local time) but confirmation on true summits will need to follow given the confusion that we are told occurred in the night.

Seasoned climbers on Dhaulagiri tell us it has had more snow this season than any other season they have experienced and some have been to Dhaulagiri more than 5 times. I looked at my old 2016 photos and back then it was ‘mostly’ rock. I think I’ll visit Dhaulagiri in the northern spring next time! Very tired and time for a rest!

Best wishes to all finishing their climbing on the 8,000ers in Nepal for this season, as the 6,000ers begin!

Looks like Carlos Soria Fontán at age 80 will make one more summit bid next week on his 10th attempt. He only needs Dhaulagiri and Shishapangma to complete all 14 8000ers.

Climb On!
Memories are Everything

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