American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Dhaulagiri, West Face

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1985

Dhaulagiri, West Face. Our aim was to make the first ascent of the giant, 14,750-foot-high, west face of Dhaulagiri. We were 15 Czechoslovak climbers and the Italian Gian Luigi Visintin. We used no oxygen equipment and had no high-altitude porters. We got to Base Camp at 3700 meters on August 27. After placing Camp I at 4600 meters on September 3, we could not climb for eight days because of rain and snow. Camp II was established on October 16 at 5600 meters on the prominent rock buttress in the center of the face. The most difficult part lay between Camps II and III, rock of UIAA difficulty IV and ice of 80°. Camp III was placed at 6300 meters on September 22. Camp IV was made on October 1 at 6700 meters above séracs on snow. Camp V at 7600 meters was placed on the northwest ridge, where our route met the 1982 Japanese route on the Pear on the north face. Although Camp V was fully established on October 6, we had to descend four times from there because of bad weather. Finally Jan Šimon, Karel Jakeš and Jaromír Stejskal got to Camp V under good conditions. Since it was only noon, they continued on and bivouacked in a snow cave at 7900 meters. On October 23 Simon got to the top at 10:30 and the other two at eleven A.M. Tragically Šimon fell to his death during the descent.

Jiri Novák, Czechoslovakia

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