Dhaulagiri: Multi-Peak Climbers Speed For The Summit

After the first group of around 24 climbers summited Dhaulagiri on April 9, the mountain has been rather quiet. But improved weather has brought a sudden flurry of activity. Kristin Harila and the Taiwanese woman who calls herself Trifish or Fishtri (real name: Chan Chiao-Yu) are both hurrying toward the summit.

Dhaulagiri is “just” one peak in Harila’s ambitious project. Taking her cue from Nirmal Purja, the Norwegian aims to summit them all 14 8,000’ers in six months. After Dhaulagiri, she flies to Kangchenjunga. Harila summited Everest and Lhotse last spring but if she wants to equal Purja’s record, she will need to summit them again and fast.

As for Trifish, she attempted Annapurna without O2 last week but had to turn back. She has previously climbed Everest, Lhotse, Manaslu, and Makalu.

Climbers head up Dhaulagiri between Camp 1 and Camp 2. Photo: Kari Kobler’s Dhaulagiri Expedition 2022

 

“The climbers are already in Camp 2, aiming to reach the summit on May 6,” 8K expedition founder Pemba Sherpa told ExplorersWeb. “It must be the 6th because that’s when the wind is expected to drop to 10-20kph.”

Harila just flew to Dhaulagiri yesterday, so she must have climbed all the (long) way to Camp 2. She and Trifish are supported by Dawa Ongju, Halung Dorchi, and Pasang Dawa.

Uncertain conditions

What stands in the way of their summit may not be the wind, but the conditions on the upper sections.

“The mountain is nowhere close to what Mingma G’s team had [on April 9],” Israeli climber Danny Gordin told ExplorersWeb. “This month, there was constant snow and now the route is much more demanding. Dawa Sherpa, who had summited in the first group, was unable to reach C2 yesterday because of loads of snow.”

While he withdrew from the climb because of an antibiotic-resistant infection that forced him to be evacuated from Base Camp, his two partners Omri and Assaf (no surnames provided) are willing to join a summit push. it is not confirmed whether they will be following the 8K team, though.

Also on the mountain is Swiss outfitter Kari Kobler’s team, plus Carlos Soria and Sito Carcavilla. So far, none have confirmed plans to go for a Friday summit.

Others going later

Kobler’s leader Andreas Neuschmid told ExplorersWeb that they are resting in BC after their latest acclimatization round. Stormy weather made that harder than expected. Likely, the same front that hit Annapurna climbers last Thursday on their summit pushes affected Dhaulagiri.

Carlos Soria (left) and Billi Bierling at Base Camp some days ago. Photo: Sito Carcavilla

 

The trip up started well for Kobler’s group until the third day, as climbers headed for Camp 3.

“When we arrived at about 7,100m — the Sherpas had already reached Camp 3 — the weather changed suddenly,” Billi Bierling reported. “Within minutes, a storm forced us to turn back. Slowly but surely, we descended in a whiteout to Camp 2, arriving a few hours later.”

The storm abated just enough to let them return safely to BC last Friday. They have rested since then.

All Neuschmid’s team is now rested, well-acclimatized, and ready for a summit push. But unless they have changed their minds in the last 24 hours, they were not planning to start up before the weekend.

“The weather looks favorable for a summit attempt toward the weekend or the beginning of next week,” Neuschmid said. Contrary to the Israeli’s comments, he believed that conditions on the mountain will be good.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides is a college-graduated journalist specializing in high-altitude mountaineer and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.