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Thread: Is Around Dhaulagiri dangerous for a person with no mountaineering experience?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    England
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    1,285

    Default Re: Is Around Dhaulagiri dangerous for a person with no mountaineering experience?

    Why don't you do Mera or Island Peak or another trekking peak? Neither of them are difficult technically. You just need stamina and determination but only for a few days not weeks. Plenty of people get their first taste of crampons and ropes on one of those trips. The standard "Nepali" style for climbing trekking peaks is the guide will fix a rope and you will just jumar up. It isn't at all technical just hard work and gets you up somewhere high and you are involved in an "expedition" of sorts. The views from the top of Island Peak are sensational (I've not climbed Mera).

    I am not too keen on jumaring routes on fixed ropes, I would thoroughly recommend getting some of your own experience with axe and crampons and then Island Peak is reasonable prospect for someone to climb under their steam (i.e. climb the mountain yourself and not pull on rope put there by someone else), it is much more satisfying that way. Still plenty of people do it the Nepali way with or without their own climbing experience.

    Disclaimer: despite my description above these are high mountains that are dangerous in bad weather and conditions. They are "easy" climbs in good conditions but what can change has to be borne in mind. This is why I think it is better to have your own experience. If things get hairy it is much better to have the nouse to get yourself down the mountain rather than rely on others to save your skin. That said Island Peak is very accessible and only takes a couple of days away from the main trails to climb it.

    If you haven't been to the Khumbu and loved the AC then there is plenty enough action just hiking in the Everest region. There are plenty of scrambles, little climbs and viewpoints that are great for the adventurous. Plus you can do the Cho La, Kongma La and Renjo La. Thorung La although as high is easy in comparison with some of those. I think you have a case of reading the guidebooks at home and having big plans! The so called "basic" treks are world class just like the AC and all are well worth doing. You can make a trek in the Khumbu as adventurous as you want without being lead by the hand by a Sherpa.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Escher

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    32

    Default Re: Is Around Dhaulagiri dangerous for a person with no mountaineering experience?

    Thank Echer. I clearly totally underestimated what was required! Guess I'll put Dhaulagiri on the back burner for a while

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    32

    Default Re: Is Around Dhaulagiri dangerous for a person with no mountaineering experience?

    Escher if you don't mind me asking where are you from? I'd certainly love to get a bit of experience with the ol' ice axe and crampons but unfortunately I live in Ireland where the highest mountain only just qualifies as a mountain! Maybe I could head off to Scotland for a bit.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    England
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    1,285

    Default Re: Is Around Dhaulagiri dangerous for a person with no mountaineering experience?

    I live in Lancashire. I got my first experience with snow and ice in the Alps, but also in Cumbria, Scotland, Nepal and Peru. The alps are as easy and as cheap to get to as Scotland really. You could get the experience you need there without too much trouble. Plenty of snow right now in Scotland so you might have a month or so before the winter is over. Look into winter skills courses in Scotland (for next year now really), or in the Alps (jagged globe, adventure consultants, icicle mountaineering - loads of companies do it as well as trips to Nepal). Or you could hire a guide for one-on-one tuition in the alps. Lots of possibilities. Or hook up with a likeminded friend aget out for some winter walking. The Irish mountains might be small in stature but don't they ever get winter conditions?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Escher

  5. #15

    Default Re: Is Around Dhaulagiri dangerous for a person with no mountaineering experience?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doppelwhipper
    As per title. I've been reading a bit about this trek recently and would absolutely love to give it a go at some point.
    I have not done the complete circuit, but we went up and camped for a while in the Hidden Valley and got as far as the French Col. We have mounted a trek report and a FAQ on http://www.lowdin.nu/Treks/Hiddenval...sPass.html#FAQ

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    2

    Default Re: Is Around Dhaulagiri dangerous for a person with no mountaineering experience?

    I have found another article that you might be interested reading, it has more up to date information on the Dhaulagiri Circuit from a guy who has recently done it. It discusses the challenges of the trek as well as making reference to McGuiness's articles.

    The link is at:
    http://themountaincompany.blogspot.c...rcuit-may.html

    Cheers
    Jim

  7. #17

    Default Re: Is Around Dhaulagiri dangerous for a person with no mountaineering experience?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimBlyth
    I have found another article that you might be interested reading, it has more up to date information on the Dhaulagiri Circuit from a guy who has recently done it. It discusses the challenges of the trek as well as making reference to McGuiness's articles.

    The link is at:
    http://themountaincompany.blogspot.c...rcuit-may.html

    Cheers
    Jim
    Excellent stuff: though I disagree on the seasons, true, the trail below Dhaulagiri BC (or up to it trekking clockwise) is not monsoon proof, on the other hand "French Col.," and Dhapus Pass are much easier to handle during June, July and August, as it is compratively warm then. You not have to hike in snow.



    There is even a yak kharka



    So another way of doing it is of course to hike as far as Dhaulagiri BC from the Marpha side, preferably after an acclimatizing trek along the AC. Doing it that way does not make a complete circuit of Dhaulagiri. On the other hand one can spend some time in the Hidden Valley when it is not arctically cold and the Dhampus Pass is much easier.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Is Around Dhaulagiri dangerous for a person with no mountaineering experience?

    I also have thought about doing the DC before but dismissed it partially because I do not have the required skills and because it is so remote.

    However, still on my list is one day to go up to French Pass and Hidden Valley from Tukuche/Marpha. As the others said, if you do that after the AC you should not have too many problems with the rapid ascent. When I was in Tukuche last October, we stayed in the High Plains Inn. The owner is from Holland and he offers hikes as well as expeditions up to Tukuche and Dhampus Peaks. Maybe you want to check with him. Website:

    http://www.highplainsinn.to/index.html

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Brooklyn
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Is Around Dhaulagiri dangerous for a person with no mountaineering experience?

    Hello--

    just wanted to weigh in on this Dhaualagiri thing. I did this trek in May 08, along with Roland, the author of the superb Mountain Company blog.

    Just about with everything else he has written, I think Roland tells it like it is...the McGuinness article is a must read, it is a bible of sorts, you could even make the argument that as a result every agency worth a damn kits out porters with jackets, crampons, etc...but 12 years have passed since it was written. Think about what's changed in Nepal in the last 12 years, the AC has practically been turned into a road in that time.

    The people of this valley understand what tourism revenue means to the economy of new nepal, and steps have been taken to expedite trekking here. The trail shows signs of maintence and improvement everywhere, from new bridges to detours that bypass massive exposure.

    Yes, parts are still dangerous. My opinion was that the most dangerous part of this trek was the section where one initially enters the Chonbarden Gorge - you are somewhat hemmed in with rockfall smashing down all over the place. Camp right next to the river! We were too close to the walls above and a rock smashed through a tent in the middle of the night. Many people try to push through this part without a midway camp, but that is where you can potentially get altitude problems - skipping camp in the gorge makes a jump from 3500 and 4700m in one day, then you have to stay and sleep above that for about 4 more.

    If anyone is interested, i've put up a page about this trek on summitpost.

    Come check it out, and feel free to hit me with any questions

    Doug

    http://www.summitpost.org/route/4186...giri-Trek.html
    Last edited by dougk; 11th April 2009 at 01:01 PM.

  10. #20

    Default Re: Is Around Dhaulagiri dangerous for a person with no mountaineering experience?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougk
    My opinion was that the most dangerous part of this trek was the section where one initially enters the Chonbarden Gorge - you are somewhat hemmed in with rockfall smashing down all over the place. Camp right next to the river! We were too close to the walls above and a rock smashed through a tent in the middle of the night. Many people try to push through this part without a midway camp, but that is where you can potentially get altitude problems - skipping camp in the gorge makes a jump from 3500 and 4700m in one day, then you have to stay and sleep above that for about 4 more.
    On the other hand that seems to be another good argument for doing the Dhaulagiri anti-clockwise. Descending 1200 m in one day getting to elevations with more oxygene for every step would be doable.

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