Dhaulagiri expedition is suitable for experienced, self- sufficient mountaineers. To join us on Dhaulagiri, you should have completed Alpine climbs and have prior altitude experience of around 8,000m. Climbers who have achieved ascents of mountains such as Cho Oyu, Everest, Manaslu, Shishapangma or Gasherbrum II could consider Dhaulagiri.
All team members therefore need to be in excellent physical condition if they are to have a realistic chance of staying strong right up to the summit. The 1,000m summit day from the top camp will be a tough test of endurance; both physical and psychological, so you need to make sure that you are prepared for the effort required to sustain the duration of the expedition, and then to be able to perform on summit day. Exceptionally, we will consider climbers without 8,000m experience who have experience on technical 7,000m climbs.
Dhaulagiri Expedition normally sets up four camps. Advance base camp will be set up at 5,300m, which is used for depositing the stuff and not for camping due to avalanche danger. If we could not approach the summit from Camp IV due to bad weather or other reasons, we will have to fix bivouac at 7,900m and next day try to push to the summit. Dhaulagiri (8167 m) is the seventh highest mountain on Earth, first sighted by the British India Survey team but unknown virtually till 1960. The Swiss team made first successful climbing to Dhaulagiri by K. Diemberger and friends.
Dhaulagiri Base Camp is normally sited on moraine on the right bank of the glacier, which leads towards French Col (which the Dhaulagiri Circuit trekking route crosses). The climbing route from Base Camp to Camp 1 crosses the glacier towards the base of the obvious part of the North Face, which is referred to as The Eiger, and below the Dhaulagiri Icefall. The route avoids the steep part of the icefall by following a steep gully. From the top of the gully the route crosses a few avalanche cones to arrive on a plateau and gentler slopes, which then lead to the col. Camp 1 is sited on this broad col at 5,850m.
From Camp 1, the route begins to follow the North East Spur. To begin with, the spur is broad and climbed at a reasonably gentle angle, with it becoming steeper as height is gained. Camp 2 is sited on the eastern aspect of the spur at 6,400m.
The spur above Camp 2 is steeper still, with a few sections being up to 45 degrees in places. The route at this point resembles the Arête Royale on Mont Blanc. It is sometimes possible to put a camp in at 7,150m, where there are a few steps in the ridge and this is where the original Camp 3 was situated. However, these days Camp 3 is normally sited higher at 7,400m.
Summit day begins with climbing on steeper mixed step which lead to the beginning of a big traverse across a broad, exposed gully. The beginning of the traverse continues to be rocky, narrow and exposed, but it soon widens out into a big gully. On the far side of this, the top of a giant hanging serac is gained. The angle eases here and the following 400 metres of climbing is up relatively gentle slopes, following a line just to the right hand side of the ridge. This leads on to 20 - 25 degree slopes heading towards the summit rock band. Splitting the rock band is a narrow, 45 degrees, 100 metre high couloir, which leads to the summit plateau. Once on the plateau, a short climb to the left over a few steps leads to the summit of Dhaulagiri.
The aim of our expedition will be to get as many team members as possible to the summit. Safety will govern all decisions made on the mountain and will be based on the sound and highly experienced judgment of our leader. To support our leader on the mountain, we will plan the expedition as thoroughly and carefully as possible. We will ensure that safety remains the prime consideration. However, absolute safety cannot be provided, and you must be prepared to accept this if you are to take part.
The high mountains of the Himalaya are there for us to climb and to enjoy. Our priority will be to enable all team members to fulfil their potential on the mountain and to come home safely having had a life enhancing experience. Whether or not expedition members reach the top, the expedition should be an enjoyable and rewarding achievement that will form the basis of many long cherished memories and friendships.
All mountaineering equipment, including ropes, fixing gear, tents, stoves and fuel are brought from your country. Climbers need to provide their own personal equipment, including: Ice axe (no longer than 65cm); Crampons; Five season sleeping bag (x 2);Harness; Helmet; Ascender; 3 x tape slings; 4 x screw gate karabiners; Figure 8 Descender; Prussik loops; Down suit or duvet/salopette combination; Double HA Mountaineering Boots (La Sportive Olympus Mons, Millet Everest or Scarpa Phantom 8000)
We can provide assistance with obtaining equipment not normally stocked by retail outlets. Some items of equipment are available for hire at Kathmandu but, for this expedition, we strongly recommend that you purchase your own personal equipment and test it before departure. A complete climbing equipment and clothing list is included in the expedition list, which is sent to you on booking along with details of equipment lists.
Below is our Dhaulagiri Expedition itinerary, and talk to a team of professional expedition guide and leader for more Dhaulagiri expedition travel guide, customized expedition itinerary, and the best cost deal to Dhaulagiri Expedition. We are very happy to see you soon with answer of your entire query.
Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu.
You will meet and greet at Kathmandu airport and taken to Hotel. We are waiting you at Kathmandu airport with your name. For those joining the expedition in Kathmandu, all team members should aim to meet at the hotel on this day.
Day 2: In Kathmandu.
There will be time for us to explore the bazaars, shops and monasteries of this fascinating city. The expedition leader will also examine everyone climbing equipment so that any shortfalls can be purchased in Kathmandu prior to flying to Pokhara.
Day 3: Fly Pokhara
Our adventure begins with a flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara, where we spend overnight in a nice lodge.
Day 4: Drive to Darbang
From here we drive to Darbang via Beni. The road from Pokhara is a rough track and from Beni to Darbang is little more than a scar scratched through the valley, which barely permits the passage of motor vehicles. However, the driving it is less unpleasant than walking amongst the traffic and dust and saves a day and a half walking. We camp at Darbang at an altitude of 1,180m.
Day 5: Trek to Phallya Gaon (1,800m)
In the morning we cross the suspension bridge over the Myagdi Khola, the main valley that we will be following towards Dhaulagiri. We leave the world of motor vehicles. The trail initially follows the west side of the river, before crossing a small bridge over the Dang Khola at Phedi, then climbing steeply up a zig zag path on a spur to reach the village of Dharapani. The trail contours through cultivated and populated hillsides, with a lunch break possibly in Sibang, before we choose our campsite at Phallya Gaon for the night at around 1,800m.
Day 7: Trek to Jugapani (2,000m)
Trek for 6/7 hours on upon and downhill’s passing river, villages and terraced fields with some mountain views like Gurja Himal (7,193m), Konabon (6,570m) and Myagumath (6,273m), Dhaulagiri 1 (8,167m) and Manapati (6,380m) on the way.
Day 8: Trek to Dobang (2,260m)
Trek for 5/6 hours on steep uphill trail crossing small stream and villages. From the camp you could see the east face of Dhaulagiri 4.
Day 9: Trek to Soligari (3,100m)
Today walk continues through the forest, a bit like a gigantic natural Botanical Gardens Walk! First we cross the Konabain Khola, and then cross the Myagdi Khola, both on seasonal wooden bridges (interesting!).The path then stays on the east bank of the main valley, reaching Soligari at 3,100m after a few hours.
Day 10:Trek to Italian Base Camp (3,600m)
Cross the Choriban Khola flowing down from the east. The valley suddenly opens up and we begin to see the huge west face of Dhaulagiri 1 and the peaks towering above the west side of the Myagdi Khola. The forest becomes less dense, with more bamboo and eventually after climbing a steep ridge, we come out of the forest altogether and onto the open hillside under the west face of Dhaulagiri 1. This has become known as the Italian Base Camp and will be home for two nights at an altitude of 3,600m.
Day 11:Acclimatisation at Italian Base Camp (3,600m)
Spend a rest and acclimatization day to give us a chance to catch up with domestic chores and writing up log books. It is not a bad idea to do a little active pottering exploring the area and living in awe of something like 4,500 meters of mountain overhead - we will be up there in a few weeks!
Day 12:Trek to Chhonbardan Glacier Camp (4,200m)
We have to cross a huge breach in the moraine and the frozen debris of a massive avalanche fan that forms at the bottom of the west face. The initial descent down the moraine slope is very step, so the Sherpas will run a rope out as a hand rail, as much for the benefit of the porters as for the group. Climbing the slopes on the other side is straightforward (if steep); this section could present problems if icy, or if covered in fresh snow. Once in the upper valley, we pass the site of a large bivouac cave, and the sites of the American and French Base Camps. The path is now backing on the west side of the river, and soon leads us onto the Chhonbardan Glacier, which is completely moraine-covered in its lower reaches. At around 4,220m there are platforms leveled on the glacier is surface, which can accommodate our camp for the night. This is quite a short day, but it is important not to ascend at this altitude too quickly.
Day 13:Trek to Dhaulagiri Base Camp (4,600m)
Another fairly short day, taking perhaps 4/5 hours to walk up the moraine-covered Chhonbardan Glacier to Dhaulagiri Base Camp at 4,600m. Base Camp is really a huge area of the glacier where expeditions have based themselves over the years. Terraces have been leveled on the stony ground and there is a choice of sites. This will be our home for the next five weeks.
Day 14 /49: Climbing/Expedition Period of Dhaulagiri North East Ridge.
We have 5 weeks to climb the mountain. From base camp, the route to camp 1 follows a gully to the side of the Icefall. This is fixed with rope and is one of the steeper sections of the climb as well as being one of the most dangerous. Camp 1 is situated at the top of the Icefall on a broad col. Camp 2 is on a small, flat area below an ice cliff on the eastern aspect of the NE Spur itself. The route above camp 2 is steep for 500 meters to reach camp 3, which is located on a rocky ledge. Depending on the conditions, either the North East Ridge itself, or moderate snow slopes to the rightly are followed to a steep couloirs that leads to the summit.
Day 50:Cross the French Col (5,400m) into the Hidden Valley
The path from Base Camp goes along the north side of the glacier. It is flat for a while, and then it climbs a steep bank to eventually follow the crest of a massive moraine ridge to wide, open slopes that lead to the crest of French Col/Pass at 5,400m. It should take 4 or 5 hours to get there. Cairns, prayer flags and wonderful views provide distraction for a rest before descending easy slopes into Hidden Valley, where we find a campsite for the night at around 5,050m.
Day 51/52: Descend to Jomsom (3,680m).
From our camp somewhere below Dhampus Pass, we continue along to the west edge of the Kali Gandaki Valley, where we descend to Yak Kharka and then a further 1,000m to the valley floor. It is then an hour walk north east to Jomsom. We then need to make arrangements to fly to Pokhara. In the event of bad weather and there being no flights out of Jomsom, the alternative is to walk, jeep and bus south to Beni. This valley is part of the famous Annapurna Circuit, but a road has been extended to Jomsom, so it is now possible to travel by motor vehicle if uncomfortable.
Day 53:Fly to Kathmandu via Pokhara
A morning flight to Pokhara, then fly to Kathmandu. We can have a celebration meal out together in the evening.
Day 54:Free day in Kathmandu
A final chance to buy souvenirs or perhaps just to relax in hotel.
Day 55: Kathmandu Airport
Final transfers to Kathmandu airport to get flight back to home.
Note: The above itinerary is not a fixed programme but is intended to give an indication of the likely events during the expedition. Please note that because of the nature of mountaineering on 8,000m peaks, it will be necessary to have a flexible plan in order to take the best advantage of situations as they present themselves. Any changes to the itinerary will be made with a view to maximizing the benefit to the team members and of ensuring their eventual success on the mountain.