Himalaya Fall 2019: Summits on Dhaulagiri as Weather Window Opens

The news from the Himalaya continues to roll in this week as we have news of successful summits on Dhaulagiri. Throughout the autumn climbing season weather conditions on that mountain have been less than favorable, but over the past few days things have improved somewhat and a weather window has opened at last. This has allowed some of the climbers reach the top, while a few others now wait in the wings.

The biggest news from Dhaulagiri is that Spanish climber Sergi Mingote has summited the mountain without the use of supplemental oxygen. That makes this his seventh 8000-meter peak in 444 days, all of which have been climbed without bottled O’s. Mingote recently revealed that he hopes to complete his quest to climb all of the eight-thousanders without oxygen in less than 1000 days. So far, in addition to Dhaulagiri, he as also climbed K2, Broad Peak, Manaslu, Lhotse, Nanga Parbat and Gasherbrum II.

Meanwhile, The Himalayan Times is also reporting a major milestone for Sanu Sherpa, who also successfully summited Dhaulagiri today. In doing so, Sanu has now become just the third Sherpa ever to climb all 14 8000-meter peaks and the 42nd person overall. This feat was made possible after he climbed Gasherbrum I and II in August.

The summits aren’t over on Dhaulagiri just yet, as another team is in Base Camp and preparing to launch their summit bid shortly. The group, which is led by French climber Sophie Marie Therese Jeanne, has just wrapped up its final acclimatization rotation and is looking to launch its final summit bid on October 6. Amongst these climbers is none other than Carlos Soria, who is making his 10th attempt on the mountain at the age of 80.

The push to the top won’t be an easy one. Australian climber Chris Jensen Burke indicated that there is very deep snow heading up the mountain, making it tough going for most of the way. She says that her and her team pushed through thigh- and waist-deep snow on their way up Dhaulagiri, only to find that it was too unstable and difficult to continue. The squad returned to BC and Jensen Burke and others have now left for home. She says that the number of climbers in Base Camp has dropped off some, although others are arriving for a late season attempt. For Chris, time simply ran out and she has to head home. But, she also says there is hope for a successful window from October 7-9. Perhaps some of the remaining climbers can take advantage of that time.

That’s all from the Himalaya today. Considering how quickly things are developing and unfolding, more updates will likely soon follow.