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Asia, Nepal, Dhaulagiri Winter Ascent

Dhaulagiri Winter Ascent. Our Slovene expedition consisted of Dr. Iztok Tomazin, Marjan Kregar, Pavel Kozjek and me as leader. We established Base Camp at Hiangdi Chuli at 4100 meters on November 27. We planned to climb the mountain by a combination of routes, the east face to the northeast ridge at 6000 meters. Snow on the mountain had melted abnormally in three weeks of sunny weather, which caused us difficulty in the rocky bottom part of 1800 meters. The snow conditions on the upper 2300 meters above the plateau were reasonably good. Our main difficulty was the lack of acclimatization. On December 1, we began the ascent at eight A.M. By eleven A.M. we crossed a dangerous icefall and got to 5600 meters to bivouac. We were on the east face on the route Kregar and I already knew. On December 2, I descended to 5100 meters to get some pitons and a hammer we had left there. I climbed back up to the bivouac and we four continued up the very rotten rock and then up the tongue of a hanging glacier to a plateau at 5860 meters. By evening we had crossed the plateau and bivouacked in a big crevasse at the foot of the northeast ridge. On December 3, we climbed solid snow in high winds to 6600 meters, where we set up our tent at three P.M. That night, just before midnight, Kozjek, Kregar and Tomazin set out; I followed at two A.M. We climbed for the whole of the next day and night. Tomazin reached the summit at five P.M. and Kregar at 5:20 in winds so strong that they could not stand upright. Because of the conditions, Kozjek and I returned from 8050 meters. The latter bivouacked at 8000 meters without bivouac gear. I waited for Tomazin at 7100 meters in a snow hole for nine hours. On December 5, Tomazin and I reached the tent in the crevasse at 6400 meters at 3:30 A.M. Kregar returned at 8:30 and Kozjek at five P.M. We all bivouacked together. Kregar and Tomazin descended during the next two days. Meanwhile, Kozjek and I set out for another summit attempt. We began at nine P.M. and by dawn were at 7450 meters. The wind was strengthening and Kozjek was showing signs of pulmonary edema. By night we had descended to 5100 meters and continued to Base Camp on December 8.

Stane Belak, Planinska Zveza Slovenije, Yugoslavia