(By Correne Coetzer and ExWeb Polish contributor, Jan Komorowski) It will not be a surprise if this season's first arrivals at Dhaula call Base Camp, home. Bad weather had driven them off the mountain back to BC on every rotation and kept them there for days. Six teams are now waiting for the next weather window, May 18-20..
Latest, on May 8, Paweł Michalski and Simone la Terra started a summit push, but reached 7200m when they were stopped due to blue ice and high winds (80-100 km/h). They had to turn back. Pawel and Simone slept at 7000m, "fighting the wind" and will probably try descended to BC today, May 10. Their second summit attempt will be around May 18.
In the Polish Himalaism team, Marcn Miotk and Jacek Żebrack spent time at Camp 2 on May 7 and 8 to be able to make a summit attack, but decided against it due to too high winds. Other team mates also went up and the Poles still couldn't find their C2, which they pitched in bad weather on the first rotation. On May 10 Agnieszka Bielecka reached 7200 m. J.Natkański, P.Tomala, R.Cholewa, D.Załuski, and T.Styś reached 7000 m. Załuski and Styś sleep at 6900m tonight while the rest returned to BC. The team reported to have completed their acclimatization. They added that all the teams work well together on the mountain
According to the French team, the next weather window will only be on May 20th. They decided to go home.
Pilar Llaves from the Catalan home team sent over news and photos to ExplorersWeb. Climber Manuel Gonzalez (Lolo) reported the following climbers head count at Dhaulagiri BC:
- Poles: 8 climbers and a Sherpa. No O2.
- 2 climbers (one Polish and one Italian). No O2.
- Japanese 1 and 3 Sherpa climbers. With oxygen.
- India: three climbers and 3 Sherpas. With oxygen.
- German: 5 climbers and 3 Sherpas. With oxygen.
- Catalan: 3 climbers and a Sherpa. No O2.
The Polish team arrived first at BC (a month ago) and the Germans last.
The Catalan team has been 16 days at Dhaulagiri. Gonzalez reported in a debrief that they had a difficult time getting to BC due to bad weather and then spent as much time possible on the mountain, acclimatizing and establishing C1 and C2. The route to C1 is dangerous at places and most of this route is roped, he said. Manuel hurt his leg in a hidden crevasse during the first rotation, fortunately not serious.
During their time on Dhaula they have the help of a high altitude porter, Kechap, Gonzalez says. "He is an old acquaintance, from Manaslu. The work of these men is commendable; to move through this area and altitude, with their heavy loads, thus facilitating our work. They also find in us, the technical support that gives them security."
Their C1 is at 5900m and C2 at 6500m, both protected by seracs due to the possibility of avalanches. At C2 they carved a snowcave for their food cache. Manuel says their C2 is about 50 minutes from where the fixed ropes start. The C2 site was not easy to establish as there are many dangerous areas and now the other teams also use their camp area.
After a hard descend to BC and a few days' rest, the Catalans went to C2 again to help with the rope fixing and helped Agna and Jerzy, who couldn't find their cache and camp, providing them with accommodation.
Their spirits are high, says Gonzalez, and they are ready to go up when the weather allows them.
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Expedition links Dhaulagiri 8167m
Paweł Michalski and Simone la Terra:
Paweł Michalski's website
Paweł Michalski on Facebook
Simone la Terra's website
Simone la Terra on Facebook
Polish leader: Jerzy Natkański (58), assistant-leader: Dariusz (Darek) Załuski (53), Piotr Tomala (48), Marcn Miotk (40), Jacek Zyłka-Zebracki (36), Robert Cholewa (48), Agnieszka/Agna Bielecka (34) (Adam Bielecki's sister) and Tamara Stys (34):
Polish on FB
Polish winter climbing news
Catalan: Juanjo Garra, Manuel González and Enrique Osiel:
Juanjo Garra's blog
Juanjo Garra on Facebook
Manuel Gonzalezdiaz (Lolo) on Facebook
French: Claire David, Frédéric Heymes and Arnaud Pasquer:
French team website
French Dhaulagiri on Facebook
Amical team (German):
Amical Alpin Expeditions
ExplorersWeb Expedition List
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