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Asia, Nepal, Dhaulagiri

Dhaulagiri. Our expedition was originally to attempt the southwest pillar but without enough tested Himalayan climbers living in Canada, we changed to the first-ascent route. We were Jon Jones, leader, Dr. Chuck Masters, Jim Elzinga, Don Gardner, my brother Alan and I. We arrived at the first Base Camp at 12,000 feet after 14 days of walking. We eventually established our upper Base Camp at 15,300 feet on April 7. The camps above were mostly at standard places. An intermediate Camp I at 17,000 feet, used only during the first week, was on the way to Advance Base at 18,300 feet. From this camp on the northeast col, the northeast ridge really begins. There were three camps above at 21,000, 23,000 and 24,400 feet. Rope was fixed between 21,500 feet and the last camp so that the less experienced members could move freely between camps. Actually, partly due to sickness, only Alan Burgess, Elzinga and I reached 23,000 feet, supported to 21,000 feet by Masters and Gardner. Shortly after, Elzinga left the expedition when altitude sickness meant he could no longer hope to attempt the summit. The summit was reached by Alan and me on May 17 after a 12-hour day beginning at 24,400 feet.

Adrian Burgess, Alpine Climbing Group