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Dhaulagiri mountain.jpg
A picture of the summit
Highest point
Elevation 8,167 m (26,795 ft)
Ranked 7th
Prominence 3,357 m (11,014 ft) [1]
Ranked 55th
Parent peak K2 [2]
Isolation 318 km (198 mi)  OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
Listing Eight-thousander
Coordinates 28°41′54″N83°29′15″E / 28.69833°N 83.48750°E / 28.69833; 83.48750 Coordinates: 28°41′54″N83°29′15″E / 28.69833°N 83.48750°E / 28.69833; 83.48750
Nepal rel location map.svg
Red triangle with thick white border.svg
Parent range Dhaulagiri Himal
First ascent 13 May 1960 by Kurt Diemberger, A. Schelbert, E. Forrer, Nawang Dorje, Nyima Dorje
(First winter ascent 21 January 1985 Jerzy Kukuczka and Andrzej Czok)
Easiest route Northeast ridge
Dhaulagiri as seen from Poonhill Mt. Dhaulagiri.jpg
Dhaulagiri as seen from Poonhill

The Dhaulagiri massif in Nepal extends 120 km (70 mi) from the Kaligandaki River west to the Bheri. This massif is bounded on the north and southwest by tributaries of the Bheri River and on the southeast by the Myagdi Khola. Dhaulagiri is the seventh highest mountain in the world at 8,167 metres (26,795 ft) above sea level, and the highest mountain within the borders of a single country (Nepal). It was first climbed on 13 May 1960 by a Swiss/Austrian/Nepali expedition.


धौलागिरी (dhaulāgirī) is the Nepali name for the mountain which comes from Sanskrit where धवल (dhawala) means dazzling, white, beautiful [3] and गिरि (giri) means mountain. [4] Dhaulagiri I is also the highest point of the Gandaki river basin.

Annapurna I (8,091 m (26,545 ft)) is 34 km (21 mi) east of Dhaulagiri. The Kali Gandaki River flows between the two in the Kaligandaki Gorge, said to be the world's deepest.[ citation needed ] The town of Pokhara is south of the Annapurnas, an important regional center and the gateway for climbers and trekkers visiting both ranges as well as a tourist destination in its own right.


Looking north from the plains of India, most 8,000-metre peaks are obscured by nearer mountains, but in clear weather Dhaulagiri is conspicuous from northern Bihar [5] and as far south as Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. In 1808, survey computations showed it to be the highest mountain yet surveyed. [6] [7] This lasted until 1838 when Kangchenjunga took its place, followed by Mount Everest in 1858.

Dhaulagiri I's sudden rise from lower terrain is almost unequaled. It rises 7,000 m (22,970 ft) from the Kali Gandaki River 30 km to the southeast. The south and west faces rise precipitously over 4,000 m (13,120 ft). The south face of Gurja Himal in the same massif is also notably immense.

Dhaulagiri I climbing history

Dhaulagiri I in October 2002. The northeast ridge is the left skyline. Dhaulagiri I.jpg
Dhaulagiri I in October 2002. The northeast ridge is the left skyline.

Most ascents have followed the northeast ridge route of the first ascent, but climbs have been made from most directions. As of 2007 there had been 358 successful ascents and 58 fatalities, which is a summit to fatality rate of 16.2%. [8] Between 1950 and 2006, 2.88% of 2,016 expedition members and staff going above base camp on Dhaulagiri I died. On all 8,000 metre peaks in Nepal the death rate was 1.63%, ranging from 0.65% on Cho Oyu to 4.04% on Annapurna I and 3.05% on Manaslu. [9]

Partial timeline

Other peaks in the Dhaulagiri Himalaya

MountainHeight (m)Height (ft)Coordinates Prominence (m)First ascent
30Dhaulagiri II7,75125,430 28°45′50″N83°23′15″E / 28.76389°N 83.38750°E / 28.76389; 83.38750 (Dhaulagiri II) 2,3911971
 Dhaulagiri III7,71525,311 28°45′17″N83°22′37″E / 28.75472°N 83.37694°E / 28.75472; 83.37694 (Dhaulagiri III) 1351973
 Dhaulagiri IV7,66125,135 28°44′12″N83°18′52″E / 28.73667°N 83.31444°E / 28.73667; 83.31444 (Dhaulagiri IV) 4691969
 Dhaulagiri V7,61824,992 28°44′05″N83°21′41″E / 28.73472°N 83.36139°E / 28.73472; 83.36139 (Dhaulagiri V) 3401975
72Churen Himal (Main)7,38524,229 28°44′06″N83°12′58″E / 28.73500°N 83.21611°E / 28.73500; 83.21611 (Churen Himal (Main)) 6001970
 Churen Himal (East)7,37124,183 28°44′33″N83°13′51″E / 28.74250°N 83.23083°E / 28.74250; 83.23083 (Churen Himal (East)) 1501970
 Churen Himal (West)7,37124,183 28°43′55″N83°12′45″E / 28.73194°N 83.21250°E / 28.73194; 83.21250 (Churen Himal (West)) 701970
 Dhaulagiri VI7,26823,845 28°42′30″N83°16′32″E / 28.70833°N 83.27556°E / 28.70833; 83.27556 (Dhaulagiri VI) 4531970
95 Putha Hiunchuli (Dh VII)7,24623,773 28°44′50″N83°08′55″E / 28.74722°N 83.14861°E / 28.74722; 83.14861 (Putha Hiunchuli) 1,1511954
 Gurja Himal7,19323,599 28°40′26″N83°16′37″E / 28.67389°N 83.27694°E / 28.67389; 83.27694 (Gurja Himal) 5001969
 False Junction Peak7,15023,458 28°43′00″N83°16′38″E / 28.71667°N 83.27722°E / 28.71667; 83.27722 (False Junction Peak) 4001970
 Junction Peak7,10823,320 28°43′19″N83°16′38″E / 28.72194°N 83.27722°E / 28.72194; 83.27722 (Junction Peak) 201972
 Peak Hawley6,18220,282 28°46′33″N83°11′45″E / 28.77583°N 83.19583°E / 28.77583; 83.19583 (Peak Hawley) 3502008
 Hiunchuli Patan5,91119,185 28°49′39″N82°37′1″E / 28.82750°N 82.61694°E / 28.82750; 82.61694 (Hiunchuli Patan) 13102013

† Only peaks above 7,200 m with more than 500 m (1,640.4 ft) of topographic prominence are ranked.
‡ The status of Churen Himal's three peaks is unclear and sources differ on their heights. [28] [29] [30] The coordinates, heights and prominence values above are derived from the Finnmap. [30] The first ascent data is from Neate, [28] but it is unclear if the first ascent of Churen Himal East was actually an ascent of the highest of the three peaks, as Neate lists Churen Himal Central as a 7,320 m subpeak of Churen Himal East.

Most of the named 7,000 metre peaks are on a ridge extending WNW, separated from Dhaulagiri I by 5,355m French Pass at 28°46'55"N, 83°31'54"E. [31] In order they are Dhaulagiri II, III, V, IV, Junction Peak, Churens East, Central and West, Putha Hiunchuli and Hiunchuli Patan. False Junction Peak, Dhaulagiri VI and Gurja are on a ridge extending south from Junction Peak. [32] The British Alpine Club's [33] Himalayan Index lists 37 more peaks over 6,000 m. [34]

6,182m Pota Himal (FinnMap sheet 2883-01 "Chhedhul Gumba") stands north of the main ridge between Churen and Putha Hiunchuli. Pota has been informally renamed Peak Hawley after Elizabeth Hawley, a notable expedition chronicler and Kathmandu-based reporter.

Hiunchuli Patan (5,911m) Mt Sisne, Rukum.JPG
Hiunchuli Patan (5,911m)

Hiunchuli Patan at the western end nearest the Bheri River is locally called Sisne or Murkatta Himal. It was an iconic landmark to insurgents based in Rukum and Rolpa districts during the 1996–2006 Nepal Civil War.

Climbing history

  1. Pre-monsoon [37] and post-monsoon [38] reconnaissances of Dh.II by Japanese expeditions.
  2. Hangde 6556m in Mukut section attempted. [39]
  1. Churen attempt from north by Japanese Nihon University expedition. Climbed Hangde (~6600m), Tongu (~6250m), P6265 during approach/acclimation through Hidden Valley; also Kantokal (~6500m) north of Putha Hiunchili. [40]
  2. Churen and Dh.VI attempt from south by J. O. M. Roberts, thinking he was on Dh.IV due to inaccurate maps. Climbed a lower peak (6,529m) near Gurja, naming it Ghustang after the stream draining the cirque they climbed in. [41]
  1. Dh.II attempt by Austrian expedition, reaching 7,000m [42]
  2. Dh.III attempt [43]
  1. Japanese expedition to Dh.II delayed two months by heavy snow in approach passes. Lost two porters to avalanche, then another porter was injured in a fall and needed evacuation. This left too little food to continue. [44]
  2. J. O. M. Roberts leads British R.A.F. expedition to Dh.VI, still believing it was Dh.IV. Defeated by late monsoon, then early winter storms creating excessive avalanche risk. [45]
  1. Dh.IV attempt by Austrian Alpine Club. Five Austrians and one Nepali disappear, may have summited. [46]
  2. Gurja climbed by Japanese expedition. [47]
  3. First authorized ascents of Tukuche 6920m and Tukuche West 6800m. [48]
  1. Japan's Kansai Mountaineering Club unsuccessful on Dh.IV in April but climbed Dh.VI [49] and False Junction Peak. [50]
  2. Korean expedition claims they summited Churen East on 29 April. Questioned by same year Japanese expedition, see next.
  3. Japanese expedition climbs Churen Central and Churen West on 24 October. [51]
  1. First ascent of Dh.II on 18 May by German expedition. [52]
  2. Dh.IV attempt [53]
  3. Dh.V attempted by pre- and post-monsoon Japanese expeditions. Both ended by fatal accidents. [54]
  1. first ascent of Dh.III on 20 October by German expedition. [56]
  2. Dh.IV attempted by Austrians who reached 7250m on N face, then by British who quit after two deaths. [57]
  1. Dh.IV attempt by British R.A.F. expedition abandoned after three Sherpas killed by falling ice. [58]
  2. In Mukut section: ascents of Parbat Rinchen 6200m, Parbat Talpari 6248m, West Himparkhal 6248m, East Himparkhal 6227m, Tashi Kang III 6157m [59]
  1. Dh.IV climbed 9 May by S. Kawazu and E. Yusuda, who died on descent, bringing death toll on Dh.IV to 14. (Compared with 13 deaths on Mount Everest before it was successfully climbed in 1953.) Another Japanese expedition in October puts ten on summit without loss of life. [60]
  2. Dh.V climbed by M. Morioka and Pembu Tsering Sherpa on Japanese expedition. [61]

See also

Related Research Articles

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