AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

Asia, Nepal, Dhaulagiri, South Buttress Attempt

Dhaulagiri, South Buttress Attempt. Our expedition of guide-teachers of the ENSA was composed of Anselme Baud, Pierre Blanc, Jean Cou- dray, Maurice Cretton, Charles Daubas, Yvon Masino, Georges Payot, Raymond Renaud, Jean-Paul Vion and me as leader. We attempted the south buttress of Dhaulagiri. The 7600-foot-high buttress lies to the west of the south ridge climbed by the Japanese in the spring of 1978. It rises from a snow plateau at 17,000 feet which forms the South Col up to the height of 24,600 feet where it meets the southwest low-point of the summit snow slopes. The buttress has four distinct sections. From 17,000 to 18,700 feet it resembles the Hörnli Ridge on the Matterhorn. From 18,700 to 20,000 feet it is mixed climbing like certain Alpine north faces. From 20,000 to 22,650 feet it is a long snow ridge cut by vertical rock steps and ending in three rock towers of severe difficulty. The fourth section, from 22,650 to 24,600 feet, was essentially a rock buttress of extreme difficulty. We left Pokhara on September 8 and took two weeks to get to Base Camp at 12,000 feet, at times under torrential late monsoon rains. After reconnaissance and fixing 1300 feet of rope, on September 25 we established Camp I on the South Col plateau at 17,000 feet. Camp II at 18,500 feet and Camp III at 20,000 feet were established on October 9 and 20. Camp IV was established on October 29 at the foot of the final buttress. Before November 4 several attempts were made on the buttress, but the conditions had become wintry after October 20 and the attempt had to be given up. A high point of 23,625 feet had been reached.

Yves Pollet-Villard, Ecole Nationale de Ski et d’Alpinisme