The Proud Dhaulagiri Mountain

The Dhaulagiri Mountain is located in the eastern region of Nepal, at the Tibet Border. It was discovered in 1808, and up until that time the Chimborazo Mountain in Ecuador held the position as the world’s highest mountain. Dhaulagiri changed all that, with a summit of 8,201 meters and it is today the 7th highest peak in the world. For thirty years, it was believed that Dhaulagiri was the highest summit in the world, but the discovery of other mountains across the world set new challenges and dangers for mountain climbers to conquer.

The mountain's glaciers, ice-falls and challenging ridges were first explored in 1960 by an Austrian and Swiss expedition group. It would become the world's first climb that was to be assisted by a plane. Unfortunately, the plane crashed into the mountain and they were forced to leave it behind in its icy grave.

The closest airport to Dhaulagiri is Kathmandu. Climbing this formidable mountain is suggested during the months of April, May, September and October. The mountain range has fifteen peaks, which are all 7,000 meters in height, and the terrain is harsh and unforgiving. Hiking and mountaineering experience is definitely needed for the Dhaulagiri Mountain and the region surrounding the mountain is just as spectacular. It is home to the world’s deepest gorge, the Gandaki Gorge. The panoramic views and magnificent sights makes the Dhaulagiri climb worth every effort. It is recommended that climbers join a team or climbing outfit to ensure their safety and a carefree climb.

Amidst all the beauty it is easy to forget that the mountain is still dangerous. Altitude sickness, avalanches and injuries are part and parcel of the thrill in conquering mountains. But, in some cases, the thrill becomes all too real. In 1969, Dhaulagiri took the lives of Boyd N Everett Jr and his expedition. Only two members of the original party survived that avalanche, as Louis Reichardt was fortunate not to have been in the path of the avalanche and William Read was evacuated the day before due to pulmonary edema. Viewed as the worst disaster in the mountaineering history of Nepal, none of the bodies were ever recovered. The world was reminded yet again of the dangers of the mountain in 1998. Chantal Mauduit and her Sherpa companion, Tshering, were both killed in their tents by a small avalanche. Mauduit was a well-liked and popular French Alpinist and her tragic death reminded everyone with a love for the mountains never to lose respect for the silent giants of the planet.

 



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