Dhaulagiri Summit Push Tonight

Summit plans are going full speed ahead on Dhaulagiri. Mingma G and his rope-fixing Sherpa team have reached 7,400m, the usual location for the third and last high-altitude camp on the normal route. They will start at night toward the summit.

The rope-fixing team began their push yesterday morning, so they have obviously skipped either Camp 1 or Camp 2, in order to be in place for the final bid tonight.

Mingma G.

Annapurna next?

Everything is also going according to plan on Annapurna, where the rope fixers are working their way to Camp 3.

“Our plan is to fix Camp 3 [by April] 12 and hit the summit after April 15,” Seven Summit Treks reported. While that summit date is possible for the Sherpa guides, most climbers will likely need more time and a Camp 4 before topping out.

This year, Nepal’s Department of Tourism has issued 26 climbing permits for Annapurna. That is a very small number compared to the extraordinary 2021. Last year, nearly 100 climbers (counting local staff and foreign clients) summited during a single, record-breaking summit push.

It all worked out, but many observers pointed out the risks of leading such large number of people up an objectively dangerous peak. Problems also occurred during the summit push. Climbers were closely following the rope-fixing team from Camp 4 when the lead Sherpas ran out of rope. This forced everyone to return to the tents and wait for days, most of them on O2. Eventually, a helicopter brought extra ropes and oxygen directly to that high camp. This time, with the Sherpas working well ahead of the rest, a similar situation should not occur.

Annapurna as seen from Base Camp. Photo: Seven Summit Treks

 

Virtually all climbers on Annapurna have finished their first rotation to Camp 2. They should do one more rotation before attempting the summit, especially if, like Grace Tseng, they intend to go without supplementary O2. However, those aiming for several peaks this spring may not want to miss this summit chance and push ahead anyway.

Senior journalist, published author and communication consultant. Specialized on high-altitude mountaineering, with an interest for everything around the mountains: from economics to geopolitics. After five years exploring distant professional ranges, I returned to ExWeb BC in 2018. Feeling right at home since then!


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