American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Tibet, Dolmalari

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1988

Dolmalari. While making two pilgrimage circumabulations of unclimbed Kailas in western Tibet, I made an apparent first ascent of a non-technical peak above the Dolma La, a pass shown as 18,600 feet on most maps. Although my altimeter readings were within 100 feet of most ground references, both times I climbed the pass my altimeter indicated about 18,150 feet. Since the peak was an indicated 900 feet above the pass, I have chosen an altitude of 19,050 feet. Since Tibetans are likely to leave evidence of their passage on peaks, with no sign of human presence I assume that it had not previously been ascended. The peak is a mile northwest of the pass and affords a fantastic view of the north face of Kailas as well as of Gurla Mandhata and Nanda Devi in the distance. On the east side of the pass I attempted a spectacular granite spire, locally called “Thari” (“shovel” in Tibetan) because it is shaped like an upside-down shovel. Its narrow spire culminates in a wildly overhanging flake of granite. I got to within 15 vertical feet of the summit but could not solo the exceedingly exposed 5.11 final block. The highest point, however, is behind and to the left of the prominent shovel blade seen from the pass. This I ascended after several tries via 5.9 climbing on the north side. My altimeter read 18,100 feet. Both climbs were on June 16.

Galen Rowell

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