ON 18 OCTOBER, 1982 we successfully reached the top of Dhaulagiri I using the Pear Route on the north face. After 29 years, since a Swiss expedition first attempted this route, we were finally able to conquer this mountain. Furthermore, we feel happy that all the* expedition members returned home safely.

Dhaulagiri Himal

The Dhaulagiri range is located almost in the centre of Nepal with Dhaulagiri I (8167 m) as its highest point. Including Tukuche (6920 m), there are ten peaks in the range, nine of which are over 7000 m. Dhaulagiri is a huge mountain range facing Annapurna with the Kali Gandaki river in between.

In the spring of 1950, Nepal having brought its isolation policy to an end, a French group led by Maurice Herzog was the first expedition to attempt Dhaulagiri.

Their recce proved Dhaulagiri to be impossible to climb and led to their choice of Annapurna. The first peak to be reached in the Dhaulagiri range was Putha Hiunchuli in autumn of 1954 and the last peak to be conquered was Dhaulagiri IV. In the spring of 1975, two members of the expedition group from Osaka Mountaineering Federation reached the peak of Dhaulagiri IV but fell on the way down and were killed. In the autumn of that year 11 members of Kamoshika Dojin Alpine Club climbed Dhaulagiri IV.

The French group published their report on Dhaulagiri I recommending that the Pear Route on the north face of the upper part of Mayagdi khola on the west face of Dhaulagiri I should be the first route to be tried. Five groups tried and failed in using this route but in the spring of 1960 a Swiss expedition found a route along the northeast ridge and reached the summit of Dhaulagiri I which had beaten off 8 expedition groups in the 10 years since Herzog's group had made their first attempt.

The second group to reach Dhaulagiri I using the northeast ridge was Doshisha University in the autumn of 1970. In the spring of 1978, Tokyo Himalaya Mountaineering group tried the difficult south ridge route and reached the summit. In the autumn of that year the southeast ridge route which had defeated the French group in 1950 and two American groups since then, was finally climbed by the Japan Gumma Himalaya Expedition.

In the autumn of 1980, after having acclimatized themselves to> the height on the northeast ridge, four members of a joint Polish, British and Italian team climbed the east face in Alpine style and in the spring of 1981 a Japanese climber, Hirondbu Kamuro made an eight day solo climb of Dhaulagiri I using the northeast ridge route, which has brought a new era to Dhaulagiri.

Chronicle of Dhaulagiri-I
Api, the route of British attempt, 1982.

14. Api, the route of British attempt, 1982. Article 11


1. 1953(S) SWISS Until 7,500m
2. 1954(S) ARGENTINE Until 7,950m
3. 1955(S) GERMANY, SWISS Until 7,400m
4. 1956(S) ARGENTINE Until 7,600m
5. 1958(S) SWISS Until 7,550m
6. 1976(S) ITALY Changed to North East Ridge
7. 1979(S) POLAND Until 7,800m
8. 1980(S) U.S.A Until 7,200m
9. 1981(S) ARGENTINE Until 7,800m


NOTE: ONumber of circle mean death.
*Changed route to North East Ridge


Outline of Activities

27 August : The caravan started from Pokhara.
3 September : Arrived at Tukuche.
21 September : The days of building base camp formally.
26 September : While making a route to Camp 2, Yagihara, Miyazaki and Murakami were carried away about 150 m by avalanche but stopped owing to a fixed rope. Yagihara had his right hand lacerated and damaged his right leg. Miyazaki burnt his right arm and under the arm. They were taken to base camp.
2 October : Built Camp 3 at 6700 m at the end of the right side of Pear. There were several things here have been left by the people of the previous expedition.
7 October : Built Camp 4 at the top of Pear at 7200 m. Used oxygen for sleeping.
9 October : Yamada and Saito got to the northwest ridge, which is 7550 high.
11 October : Built Camp 5 on the northwest ridge at 7550 high.
14 October : The members of the first summit party were Takahashi, Matsunaga and Murakami, of the second were Yamada, Komatsu and Saito, the third were Ishikawa, Miyazaki, Suzuki and two Sherpas. The first party was supposed to build Camp 6 and attack the summit the next day.
15 October : Finished making a route between Camp 5 and Camp 6 on the northwest ridge, which was the most difficult point of Pear Route. We couldn't find anything left by the parties of other countries.
16 October : Built Camp 6 at 7750 m. It was a big event of this expedition to build Camp 6 right after we got through the most difficult rocky part of this main route.
17 October : The first party got to the point of 7950 m but gave up and descended. The second party left Camp 4 got to Camp 6 skipping Camp 5-They used oxygen while moving.


Dhaulagiri I, Pear Roue, the Japanese ascent, 1982.

Dhaulagiri I, Pear Roue, the Japanese ascent, 1982.

18 October : It was snowing, but at 11.20 a.m. Yamada, Komatsu and Saito succeeded in getting to the summit using an oxygen cylinder. The third party gave up climb because Miyazaki was in bad condition, Suzuki had a trouble with his eyes, Sherpas didn't feel inclined to climb, and the bad weather.
19 October : The successful party came back to base camp.
10 November : Arrived at Kathmandu.


Ascent (by Kozo Komatsu)

It was 2.20 a.m. by my watch. It was still dark and cold outside. It was snowing and the wind was blowing over the northwest ridge. While Yamada, Saito and I were cooking breakfast with an EPI gas stove, which I kept in a sleeping-. bag,we prepared for bivouac in case we might not be able to come back. We had to attack the peak on that day.

Dhaulagiri I, the apanese ascent pear Route (N face), 1982.

Dhaulagiri I, the apanese ascent pear Route (N face), 1982.

It was a little past 7 a.m. when we started in the snow which had been falling. My sun-glasses collected moisture when I put on oxygen mask. Though I wiped them very often, they were no good at all. So I decided to go without sun-glasses. At the place one pitch away from Camp 6, where the rope was fixed, Yamada and Saito were waiting for me. Because of the delay in our departure, we decided to go without tying a rope. We continued climbing up the snow-wall on the north side which reached down Mayagdi khola, making sure of the route. In the snow and wind, we got to the place where the rope had been fixed by the first party the previous day. We were very thirsty. Maybe it was because of breathing the oxygen. The snow-wall on the north looked like as if it stretched up all the way to the top.

We continued going up heading for a rock pinnacle which looked like a gate. The rock-wall around this gate was slightly covered with unstable snow.

Going through the gate, we could come out underneath a cornice. We got over the cornice and reached the snow-ridge which led us to the south ridge. It was the main ridge to lead to the top.

At 11.20 a.m. we, three members, finally got to the summit, 8167 m.

As for myself, by the success of climbing this peak, peak I, I could accomplish standing on five peaks of Dhaulagiri. Peak IV in 1975, peaks II, III and VI in 1979. After fifty minutes stay on the top, we started to go down without being able to send our greetings to base camp by a transceiver. The snow had already stopped and we were impressed by the colour of the blue sky.


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