Asia, Nepal, Dhaulagiri, West Face and Southwest Buttress Attempts

Publication Year: 1986.

Dhaulagiri, West Face and Southwest Buttress Attempts. Our Czechoslovakian expedition had two objectives: to climb a new route on the extremely difficult right side of the west face in expedition style without porters or artificial oxygen and to complete the route on the southwest buttress attempted by the French in 1980 in alpine style. We were Dr. Pavel Cicvárek, Karel Benedikt, Peter Božík, Zdislav Drlík, Lívia Klembárová, Zoltán Demján, František Korl, Anton and Jaroslav Krížo, Ladislav Kyrc, Antonín Procházka, Josef Rakoncaj, Josef Rybycka, Miroslav Štepánek, Josef Nežerka, Ervín Velic, Italian Rolando Nicco and I as leader. After setting up Base Camp at 3700 meters on September 8, it began to rain and snow. The autumn good weather did not come in 1985. This influenced us. On September 24 our alpine-style team members, Rakoncaj, Božík and Demján, fell 400 meters in a windslab avalanche but luckily were not completely buried. That same day Anton Krížo fell 50 meters on the steep pillar between Camps I and II. All helped to carry out his three-day rescue. Three lovely days in early October raised hopes. The alpine-style team advanced to 6700 meters and the face climbers set up Camps II and III at 5900 and 6300 meters before the weather turned bad. Though food and time were running low, when the weather improved on October 14, we kept on with ten climbers on the face route. Drlík, Božík and Rakoncaj established Camp IV on the steep snowfield at 6900 meters. The greatest difficulties were below us. On October 25 Nežerka and Nicco climbed to 7250 meters and returned to Camp IV. That night Božík and Rakoncaj bivouacked in a snow cave at 7100 meters. The latter two climbed on the 26th to 7250 meters but furious winds drove them back. The same wind destroyed the tents in all the camps. All had to descend to survive. On the rock pillar between Camps I and II there were six rope-lengths of UIAA Grade V to VI + ; between Camps II and III there were eight rope-lengths between V and VI + ; and between Camps III and IV there were 14 rope-lengths between IV and VI + and two of VII and ice up to 90°.

Jiri Novák, Ceskoslovensky Horolezecky Svaz