Attempt at Daulhagiri II
Fall 2022 - Tiphaine Dupérier and Boris Langenstein
We attempted Daulhagiri II (7850m). It is a summit located in the Dolpo massif in western Nepal, which has seen few summiters. The main objective was to ski its North East face. An exceptional five-day trek leads to the village of Mukot, the expedition's base camp.
After some scouting, we spent 6 days in the mountains, making a loop to check all possible access. It was also an effective way to acclimatize. After passing a pass at 5780m, the possibility of summiting at 6600m is on our left. A line of 1200m difference in altitude is drawn between seracs and cliff. Given the snow conditions, this seems the safest and least exposed to us.
The skiing on this descent is exceptional and offers an atmosphere well beyond our expectations. Bad weather forces us to turn around around 6400m.
The access identified at the beginning serves as an exit for our loop. We pass at the foot of Daulhagiri II, the summit revealing itself from time to time between the clouds...
Our weather router (Vincent Oliva) predicts 7 days of bad weather with significant snow accumulations above 5000m. Everything is confirmed quite quickly and the possibility of making an attempt disappears. Going back down to the valley also becomes an inevitable choice. A departure is organized despite the reluctance of the inhabitants. Only one person offers his services and we have to divide the team in two: he cannot lower all the equipment with only two horses.
Landslides mark the return and most trekking groups are evacuated by helicopter. Back to Dunai (dolpo capital) it is possible to take a plane, but flights are full for the next few days.
So we continue walking, to find the jeeps further down in the valley.
Failure on this mountain was a fundamental experience for my life as a mountaineer. The scale and complexity of the face make it a very high level objective. Perfect snow conditions are necessary to consider an ascent. The place is magical and the face is grandiose. And I can't wait to go back!
Text: Tiphaine Dupérier
Photos: Boris Langenstein