American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Dhaulagiri III

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1974

Dhaulagiri III. Our expedition climbed Dhaulagiri III (25,271 feet), the highest unclimbed peak in the group. The party was made up of Gerhard Haberl, Hans Saler, Klaus Süssmilch, Peter von Gizycki, Konrad Hiller, Bernd Schreckenbach and me as leader. We started from Pokhara on September 9 with 61 porters, reaching Jomsom on the 16th, where we changed to mules and yaks. We established Base Camp below Mukut (13,125 feet) north of the Dhaula Himal on September 21, after crossing the Sangda-la (16,750 feet) and the Mu-la (19,000 feet). On September 24 we established Camp I at 16,400 feet north of the Chorten Ridge. We climbed 2500 feet of steep grassy slopes and then made a rock traverse to the right with some fixed ropes. Only in the first week was there no snow below Camp I. After October 10 deep snow made it difficult and dangerous. On September 27 we established Camp II south of the Chorten Ridge at 17,400 feet. The route led up steep rock and ice couloirs over a 18,500-foot col in the ridge and down 1000 feet in a couloir. We fixed ropes. From September 30 to October 9 Haberl, Saler and I were trapped by avalanche danger in Camp II. On the 12th we three established Camp III, digging an ice cave at 19,200 feet. The route descended to 16,750 feet, then made a long and ice-avalanche-threatened traverse at the base of Dhaulagiri II and III before ascending the huge buttress. On October 17 Saler, Hiller and sirdar Dawa Norbu Chaukmaka established Camp IV at 22,800 feet in a snow cave after a bivouac. On October 20 Haberl, Saler and I left Camp IV at seven A.M. and reached the summit at 12:50. From Camp IV we went straight up a glacial basin at 23,500 feet. Because of strong winds we had to climb the southwest face directly on snow and rock instead of the planned west ridge. The sky was blue, but we could hardly stand on top because of the wind. We three descended to Camp II the next day. On the 23rd Süssmilch, von Gizycki, Hiller and sirdar Norbu reached the summit via the west ridge in windless weather under a cloudless sky. All camps were struck by November 1.

Klaus Schreckenbach, Deutscher Alpenverein

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