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Asia, Nepal, Dhaulagiri, North Face, Pear Route Attempt

Dhaulagiri, North Face (“Pear” Route) Attempt. Our expedition consisted of climbers Mark Hesse, Del Pletcher, Todd Bibler, Catherine Freer and me and support personnel Julie Hesse and Johnna Pletcher. We left Pokhara on March 9 via the Myangdi Khola and arrived at Base Camp on April 5 with a general feeling that, for many reasons, this approach to routes on the north side of the mountain should be avoided. Over the next 37 days the expedition managed to reach an altitude of approximately 7000 meters on the “Pear” route on the north face without the use of high-altitude porters, fixed ropes or oxygen. Deep snow, traditionally poor Dhaulagiri weather, and illness made further progress impossible. Most significant was the performance of Del Pletcher, who recovered from a total hip dislocation and fractured wrist suffered on the fifth day of the approach, to reach the expedition’s high point, along with Catherine Freer, on April 24, in thigh-deep snow.

Robert Harwood