American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Climbed by Tibetans

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1994

Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Climbed by Tibetans. On standard routes were the first Tibetans and first of any Chinese, on a climbing venture outside China. Their team, called the “China Tibetan Expedition to the 14 Mountains above 8000 Meters in the World,” commenced its program to put Tibetans on the summits of all the 8000ers by the year 2002 by going first to Annapurna and then to nearby Dhaulagiri. Led from Base Camp by a 1975 Everest summiter, Samdrup, the nine climbers, several of whom had already been successful on Cho Oyu and Shisha Pangma as well as on Everest in 1975 and 1990, climbed both peaks. On April 26, Tshering Dorjee, Ren Na, Pemba Tashi and Akebu completed the ascent of Annapurna. On the last two days of May, all nine climbers ascended Dhaulagiri: on May 30, Tshering Dorjee, Pemba Tashi, Akebu and Dachung and on May 31, Da Chimyi, Gyalbu, Lodue, Ren Na and Wangyal. Samdrup said that they found Annapurna technically more difficult than Everest from the north, and they fixed 4000 meters of rope on the unusually long line they picked on the north face. Nonetheless, the four summiters managed an ascent all the way from their last camp at only 6700 meters, 1400 vertical meters, to the summit and a safe return to camp late the same night, a round-trip of 2l½ hours. Because of the meager supply of oxygen at the camp when they set out at three A.M., only two men climbed on oxygen during the ascent and even they had none left for the descent. Dhaulagiri via the northeast ridge was found by the Tibetans technically easier than Annapurna and Everest but harder than their own 8000er, Shisha Pangma. The second group had such perfect weather at the top that they didn’t want to come down and while they lingered there for an hour and 11 minutes, they burned incense, an activity not routinely performed on an 8000-meter summit in Nepal.

Elizabeth Hawley

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