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IVAN VALLEJO RICAURTE Dhaulagiri 2005: I SAY GOODBYE TO DHAULAGIRI


Dhaulagiri's Base Camp

May 21, 2005

We have just made our last attempt on Dhaulagiri, we can't do it anymore.  Danger threatens each step and the risk of avalanches, even above 7,000 m is very high.  Modestly, of the ten eight-thousands I have been to, I have never seen such adverse conditions as in this mountain.

According to the weather report, we had clear weather indeed during Wednesday 17, Thursday 18 and Friday 19, but the amount of snow fallen in the two last weeks has been extreme.  A part of the trail between BC and C1, which we covered Wednesday 17, was swept completely by a layer avalanche, whose front had at least 300 m of length.  We could get to C1 in spite of that.

From C1 to C2, on the morning of Thursday 18, we found a cemetery of debris of another layer that had broken at 6,600 m.  Nothing in the path we had covered in previous occasions was standing.  When we got to C2 (6,800 m) the surprise that awaited us was to find our tent completely buried by another avalanche.  It took us three hours to recover part of the equipment we had left there and even so we insist with the hope that the situation improved above 7,000 m; but in the early morning of Friday 19 the deception was total.  On the 7,700 m mark, the condition of the snow was much worse than in inferior camps.

Having the alternative of doing the trail under so much risk, we clearly saw that the hope to get to the summit of Dhaulagiri was over for us.  As if that wasn't enough, on the morning of Thursday 18 while we climbed to C2, an avalanche of large proportions in Annapurna (the mountain that was our next objective), left three Italian climbers injured and killed the South Tyrol climber Christian Kuntner, who was going for his fourteenth eight-thousand.

We leave Dhaulagiri.  From our part we have given all with enthusiasm, dedication and effort, but facing these dangerous conditions, there is little or nothing we can do here, for now.

With the same optimism as always, because I have it clear that those are the rules of this game, I send a big hug from BC in Dhaulagiri.

I promise to write from Katmandu, to share with you my reflections after this experience.

IVAN VALLEJO RICAURTE

Expeditioneer

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

Dispatches

 

Millet One Sport Everest Boot  has made some minor changes by adding more Kevlar. USES Expeditions / High altitude / Mountaineering in extremely cold conditions / Isothermal to -75°F Gore-Tex® Top dry / Evazote Reinforcements with aramid threads. Avg. Weight: 5 lbs 13 oz Sizes: 5 - 14 DESCRIPTION Boot with semi-rigid shell and built-in Gore-Tex® gaiter reinforced by aramid threads, and removable inner slipper Automatic crampon attachment Non-compressive fastening Double zip, so easier to put on Microcellular midsole to increase insulation Removable inner slipper in aluminized alveolate Fiberglass and carbon footbed Cordura + Evazote upper Elasticated collar.

Expedition footwear for mountaineering in conditions of extreme cold.  NOTE US SIZES LISTED. See more here.







 

 

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