The Identification of Dhaulagiri
To the Editor,
The Himalayan Journal.
Dear Professor Mason,
I was very interested in your notes on Eastern and Central Nepal in the Himalayan Journal for 1935. I am the culprit responsible for the identifications upon our Christmas card, to which you refer on page 86. I thought perhaps that you would be interested in some further observations made by me at the beginning of this year.
I was lucky enough to spend a night and a day on the Massiang ridge in 1932, the same year that Morris was first there. On that occasion I was accompanied by a most intelligent Gurkha whose home is in Sataun No. 4 West. I did not rely in any way on the statements of the local people around Massiang, and I am quite certain that Macha Puchar has been correctly identified by all of us. At that time I was equally certain that Dhaulagiri and Annapurna were also correctly identified. My Gurkha was responsible for pointing out to me the hills above Baglung on the photograph.
This year I was allowed to cross the frontier slightly east of the head-quarters of the Terai district of Taulihawa. There had been rain on the previous day and I had an excellent view just as the sun rose at about 6.30 a.m. I was amazed to find that I could not identify Dhaulagiri with any certainty. I noted down my observations and checked them with my map and panorama on my return here. I am now quite convinced that the real Dhaulagiri is a larger mass to the west of the mass seen from the Massiang ridge; it cannot be seen from there and is not shown on Morris's panorama, but I saw it perfectly from this, to me, new view-point. I was sufficiently east of the line joining Massiang and Sun Danra to obtain an unrestricted view.
I do not think that Nye's view from Kakani can tell us much. Macha Puchar is barely seen from there and the angle of view with the range is so very acute. But as you say in your note the whole question of identification cannot be finally answered until we have a complete panorama from Sun Danra.
R. A. Briggs.
5th Royal Gurkhas,
22nd August, 1935.