Dhaulagiri Expedition | Beautiful Expedition Nepal
What we all know is that Nepal is the country of Mount Everest. However, what most people do not know that Everest is just the tip of the iceberg of the mountains and mountaineering in Nepal. It is a fact that Everest is the epitome of mountaineering as it is the highest peak in the world. Every mountaineer dream to one day to conquer Everest.
This is true but in case of Nepal it is something like a partial truth. The country has beside Everest has enormous number of high mountains and thrilling mountaineering experiences which gives Everest expedition run for its money. Dhaulagiri Expedition Nepal is one of those thrilling experiences among many which is the choice of the best mountaineers in the world.
Nepal is a beautiful country located in the southern Asia. The country boarders India and China. India envelops the country in East, West and South while China stands in the North. The country is exceedingly minor compared to its neighbors and has no direct access to the sea. Having no direct access to the sea have its fair share of disadvantages in economic perception as well as the tourism perception. Sea gives lot to the country who have direct access to them or are surrounded by them.
However, what it lacks in sea, nature has given other things which takes it back to the game which gives other serious competition. The country has one of the most mesmerizing mountain ranges in the world. As a matter of fact, eight of the top ten tallest mountains are in Nepal and all of them are higher than 8000m. Beside the mountains the country is also known for its natural beauty, forests, bio diversity, amazing topography, and peak of cultural harmony.
Dhaulagiri is the seventh highest mountain in the world. Dhaulagiri is made from two Sanskrit words Dhaula and Giri. Dhaula means beautiful white and Giri means mountain. Collectively Dhaulagiri means beautiful white mountain. The giant mountain stands at the elevation of 8,167m from the sea level. Due to this elevation from the sea level many mountaineers dream to conquer it and some of the best climbers complete Dhaulagiri expedition Nepal. Many people may not know that Dhaulagiri is not one peak but is composed of multiple peaks. There are five peaks that share the same name in that region.
Dhaulagiri I is the highest peak around the other Dhaulagiri and has the above 8000m height. Similarly, Dhaulagiri II stands at the height of 7,751m, Dhaulagiri III stands at 7,715m, Dhaulagiri IV stands at 7,661m and Dhaulagiri V stands at 7,618m.
Dhaulagiri expedition was first time completed in 1960AD by Swiss-Australian team and with two Sherpas in them. There was total 16 members in the crew who took this journey and completed the Dhaulagiri expedition Nepal. The mountain before that was thought to be unclimbable due to its exceedingly difficult topography, concluded by the French expeditions. Max Eiselein a Swiss climber researched about the possibility to climb the mountain for some time and found a way through which the so claimed unclimbable mountain could be conquered.
The mountaineer spent some time in getting the required permit and other things. In 1960 he got all the required permits and the daring crew, who were willing to take the risk. On 13may 1960 history was made by the Swiss/Australian/Nepali mountaineers and the unclimbable mountain was climbed. They became the first one to complete the Dhaulagiri expedition Nepal.
After the discovery of Dhaulagiri in 1808, it was thought as the tallest mountain in the world. For 30 years it was believed to be so, until in 1838 Kanchenjunga got the title of tallest in the world. However, that mountain also had to lose its title when in 1852 Everest was found to be the tallest in the world. Which till today it holds the title of tallest in the world. Another amazing fact about Dhaulagiri is that, the mountain that rises from the deepest gorge in the world. The kali Gandaki gorge is the deepest gorge in the world.
Dhaulagiri expedition Nepal Itinerary
Day 1 Arrival to Kathmandu
The first day of trekking begins with the arrival in Kathmandu. Arrival at Kathmandu marks the beginning of our journey to the mountains officially and the unique adventure that is about to begin. The traveler will get off through Tribhuvan International Airport. TIA is also the only international airport in Nepal. So, for that matter also trekkers first need to get to Kathmandu. There are airports near some mountains or cities extremely near to it.
However, they are all national level, so Kathmandu becomes the first destination of travelers. After Landing in Kathmandu however, they can go to the other airports through TIA on local flights. Travelers mostly do not immediately go to the mountains immediately and spend some days in Kathmandu. May it be for the purpose of shopping, contacting their travel agents, arranging the trips, enjoying the warm welcome of Kathmandu, or exploring Kathmandu. The visitors have two or three days or even more they like before heading to the mountains. Many UNESCO world heritage sites are sight to be seen when visiting Nepal and Kathmandu.
Day 2 Kathmandu to Pokhara
For Dhaulagiri expedition Nepal the travelers need to go to Pokhara from Kathmandu. The travelers will reach Pokhara within 25 to 30 minutes after taking the flight from Kathmandu. The rest of the days can be spent traveling and visiting the sites around Pokhara city. Pokhara is known for its beauty and various tourist attractions around natural and manmade.
Day 3 Pokhara to Marpha
The third day of Dhaulagiri expedition the travelers drive to Marpha. The drive is about 2 to 3 hour’s drive from Pokhara. The night is spent at hotels in Marpha.
Trek to Yak kharka. On the fourth day of the Dhaulagiri expedition, the travelers will trek from Marpha to Yak kharka and stay for the night there.
Trek to Kalopani from Yak kharka. On the fifth day of the Dhaulagiri expedition Nepal, the travelers will trek from Yak Kharka to kalopani and stay for the night there.
Trek to hidden valley from Kalopani.
Trek to Dhaulagiri base camp. Dhaulagiri expedition officially begins by reaching the Dhaulagiri base camp. Dhaulagiri base camp is located at the elevation of 4,700m from the sea level.
8th day is the day of Acclimatization of Dhaulagiri expedition Nepal. This day the mountaineers take rest and ready themselves for the climb ahead. The ahead climb is hardest as Dhaulagiri expedition is one of the hardest in the entire world. The climbers need to ready their gears and bodies on the day of acclimatization.
Day 8 to Day 30
On these periods the mountain is climbed and returned to the base camp. Vast number of days are needed as the bodies need to be made ready for Dhaulagiri expedition Nepal. Some days need to be skipped due to severe weather and many more. Dhaulagiri expedition need to be overly cautious as death rate in the mountain is high and chances of the accidents is also high.
Dhaulagiri base camp
Dhaulagiri basecamp I is located at the altitude of 5900m from the sea level. The travelers need to cross glacier and climb high rocks to get to the basecamp I. Camp I is situated at the age of the mountain and is extremely high compared to the basecamp. Dhaulagiri Icefall, NW saddle, need to be crossed to reach the basecamp I.
Camp 1 to Camp 2
The camp 2 of the Dhaulagiri expedition Nepal is located at the elevation of 6600m from the sea level. The mountaineers need to pass through NE ridge to get to camp 2 from camp 1. As the journey continues the landscape becomes increasingly steeply so the mountaineers need to be more cautious.
Camp 2 to Camp 3
Camp3 is located at the elevation of 7300m from the sea level. From camp 2 the altitude further increases and with the increased altitude various complications may occur. There are high chances of avalanches, snow storms and other snow accidents. The mountaineers need to be always at alert as rescue from such high altitudes are next to impossible. The mountaineers need to move along the steep ridge to get to the camp 3. As the way moves forward, there is a point where NE and the E ridge merge.
Camp 3 to the peak of Dhaulagiri
The peak of the Dhaulagiri is located at the elevation of 8167m from the sea level. The journey becomes harder from here. The topography becomes more steeply and the oxygen in the air further decreases. After crossing the 8000m the mountaineers enter the death zone.
The altitude above 8000m is named as the death zone. When a human body crosses the zone, the body start to lose function. Human body is not designed to function well at that high altitude. With the oxygen tanks, with the warmest cloth also it is not suitable to spend much time in this altitude. The climbers need to be efficient and fast, but not so hurried that they may invite the accident.
The summit of Dhaulagiri is one of the most beautiful places in the earth. It provides the spectacular view of the surrounding mountains and the glacier. The hard climb and the risk that had been taken by the fellow climbers further enhances the view from above. The view from top of Dhaulagiri is not for everyone, the climbers who are brave and courageous enough to climb the mountain only deserve to experience the view.
Reaching to the summit if the first half of the Dhaulagiri expedition Nepal. The climbers still need to get down from the mountain. The getting down part may sound easy but it is considered as the hardest by the mountaineers. Most of the mountain tragedy had occurred when the mountaineers are getting down from the mountain.
The mountaineers need to be more alert and cautious. At such environment everything can be dangerous. The risk of avalanches, snow storms everything out of planned can be fatal to the climber and his crew. The oxygen should be used with caution and the climbers should look after one another. The climbers need to follow the same route and return to the base camp.
Return to Kathmandu Day 30 to 39
Just returning from the mountain does not end the Dhaulagiri expedition. There is still long journey before the Dhaulagiri expedition officially ends. There are days of hiking and trekking before the travelers get to Marpha. From Marpha they can get the ride that will take them back to Pokhara. If the travelers desire, they can revitalize and spend some days at Pokhara visiting its night life and tourism. However, they still can return and rest there.
The return to Kathmandu marks the end of Dhaulagiri expedition Nepal. The travelers return to Kathmandu with lots of beautiful memories and adventures embedded in their mind and soul. From Tribhuvan international airport the travelers will departure as they had arrived in the beginning of the journey.
Risk in Dhaulagiri
There is always the risk of some uncertainty and bad situations while climbing the mountains. Even the mild injuries also can be fatal due to topography and severe cold climates. The death number in mountain as of 2015 is 70. The death rate on Mount Dhaulagiri I is 15.7%. Many tragedies have occurred on the mountains; most was due to the avalanches and snow storms. In the 70 years of the first Dhaulagiri expedition many tragedies have occurred so the travelers need to find the best time to climb and be as caution as they could.
Best time for Dhaulagiri expedition Nepal
May to June is considered as the best time for Dhaulagiri expedition. The warm season is best as eases the routes and there is less chances of severe weather and storms. However, the pre-monsoon warm season may be best the monsoon season is not suitable to attempt the climb. Moreover, after the monsoon is over the climb can be attempted before the beginning of the winter season.
Cost of Dhaulagiri expedition
The cost is highly dependent on the types of services that are acquired by the climbers. The cost depends upon themselves, how much they are willing to spend and what services they need to acquire. Saying all this the average cost for the expedition is 10000 USD per person or more. But the price may fluctuate depending the situation, season, and the need of the climbers.