Dhaulagiri, Nepal


Altitude Junkies offer one of the most cost-effective full-service expeditions on Dhaulagiri.

We don't advertise an expedition price and then ask for additional payments at the conclusion of the expedition such as Sherpa summit bonus and kitchen staff gratuities as some of the other operators do. The price you pay the Junkies is the final price.

Our expedition is limited to eight climbers and one expedition leader with a 1:1 Sherpa to climber ratio. Some of the other operators have as many as twenty climbers on one expedition and we feel a smaller team makes for a more intimate and satisfying experience for a climber on Dhaulagiri.

The single leader/expedition manager offers similar expertise as a fully guided climb with a 4:1 climber to guide ratio. Having a 1:1 climbing Sherpa to climber ratio allows each climber a flexible schedule to travel with their own personal Sherpa during acclimatization rotations.

 

Leadership


Himalayan veteran expedition organizer Phil Crampton who has multiple summits on 8,000-meter peaks will lead the 2016 expedition and this will be his forty plus 8,000-meter expedition.

In addition to an experienced leader, the teams head climbing Sherpa Sirdar will be Pasang Ongcho Sherpa who holds the coveted UIAGM guide certification. Pasang has vast experience being a Sirdar on Everest, Lhotse and Manaslu and will be directing our climbing Sherpas who have all summitted 8,000-meter peaks before, some multiple times, and their knowledge of the mountains of Nepal is unrivaled.

 

Trek to Base Camp


Our expedition will meet in the capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu where we will stay in the beautiful Hotel Tibet located in a quiet area of the Lazimpat district of Kathmandu close to the tourist district of Thamel. After a few days in Kathmandu we fly to Pokhara and then drive to Darbang where we spend the evening. From Darbang we make the eight day trek to base camp with an additional night at the Italian Camp for acclimatization. At the conclusion of the expedition we trek to Marpha where we spend the night and the following day take private jeeps to Pokhara where we will board a fixed wing flight to take us back to Kathmandu.

 

Base Camp


Our base camp is as luxurious, if not more so than some of the other more expensive operators operating in Nepal and the food prepared by our highly experienced cooks is considered some of the best available in the Himalayas.

Each climber is provided with a personal Mountain Hardwear 3-person tent at base camp, which is insulated with a foam floor covering and complimented with an extra thick foam mattress.

For group occasions we provide a Mountain Hardwear dome both for dining and another as our recreation dome. The dining dome has large padded chairs and is spacious, carpeted, heated and lit by solar electricity. Our recreation dome has the same facilities as our dining dome but with the addition of computers and satellite internet modems, satellite phones, a wet bar and library with comfortable seating.

We provide a carpeted, heated and solar-lit toilet and shower tent with flushable toilets, stainless steel wash sinks and hot water on demand propane heated showers. We make it a policy at Altitude Junkies to remove all human waste from base camp and have porters carry our toilet drums to a lower village where it can be disposed of properly.

 

The Kitchen


The head and assistant cooks have all been trained by western chefs in food preparation and strict hygiene standards and produce a varied and nutritious western menu throughout the expedition. They prepare three delicious hot meals a day as well as preparing an amazing array of appetizers for our customary early evening cocktail hour during rest days at base camp. We use local fresh produce and meats and these are complimented by a huge selection of imported foods and snacks.

 

Climb Strategy


We follow a cautious acclimatization schedule at base camp spending two to four nights there before taking our first trip onto the glacier. We plan only to climb on the glacier a maximum of three or four times and this includes the summit push. Our schedule usually sees us make our first climb from base camp to camp one to drop off loads and then returning to base camp the same day.

After more acclimatization and the progress of the fixed ropes being placed up to camp two, we climb to camp one, spending the evening and then explore the route to camp two, spending the evening if possible before returning to base camp the following day. We continue our acclimatization schedule with another night at camp one and camp two before tagging camp three or sleeping there if conditions allow, then descending to base camp.

The summit push will see us make our final climb on the glacier and climb to camp one, two, and three respectively before leaving for the summit from the high camp in early hours of the morning.

 

The Route


From base camp to camp one the route crosses the glacier towards the base of the North Face, which is referred to as "The Eiger", and below the Dhaulagiri Icefall. The route avoids the steepest part of the icefall by following a steep gully. From the top of the gully, we cross a few avalanche cones to arrive on a plateau and gentler slopes, which then lead to the col.

Camp one sits on this broad col at 5,900 meters. From this camp the route begins to follow the Northeast Spur. The spur is broad and climbed at a reasonably gentle angle to start with and becomes steeper as height is gained.

Camp two is situated on the eastern aspect of the spur at 6,400 meters. The spur above camp two is steeper than the climb to camp two with a few sections up to 45 degrees in angle where it leads us to camp three at 7,400 meters.

Summit day will start late evening or early morning depending on the conditions with climbing on steeper mixed steps which lead to a traverse across a broad, exposed gully. The start of the traverse continues to be rocky and narrow, but widens out into a big gully. On the far side of this gully, the top of a giant hanging serac is gained. From here the angle eases and the next 400 meters is up relatively gentle slopes, following a line just to the right hand side of the ridge. This leads on to 25 degree slopes heading towards the summit rock band. Splitting the rock band is a narrow, 45 degree, 100 meter high couloir, which leads to the summit plateau. Once on the plateau, a short climb to the left over a few steps leads to the summit of Dhaulagiri.

 

High Altitude Camps


Black Diamond 3-person tents will be used at high camps and these will be occupied by two persons up to the highest camp where we usually place three persons per tent for warmth. All high altitude food, stoves and cooking gas will be in place and members are only required to carry their own personal gear during the expedition.

 

Health


We provide medical oxygen, portable altitude chambers and comprehensive medical chests at base camp. The higher camps also have medical kits and we also ask that all climbers carry individual micro high altitude medical kits at all times above base camp as the Sherpas and leader does. All climbing members and climbing Sherpas wear a personal avalanche beacon above base camp.

 

Communications


For constant communication we have all climbing members, climbing Sherpas and guides have their own personal two-way radio at all times on the mountain. We also have base station radios at base camp and have these active at all times when members and Sherpas are on the mountain.

Our satellite phones and satellite internet modems are available for our team members to use at base camp at actual cost price as we feel charging an outrageous amount to phone or email family is unfair during such a long expedition.

 

Weather Forecasts


To ensure the safety of all our climbers we subscribe to a professional weather forecast service for the duration of the season and have access to this information at all the respective base and high camps and receive constant updates during our summit push.

 

Guided versus Non-Guided Expeditions


8,000-meter peaks are a serious undertaking and climbers need to be aware there are certain risks that are out of the control of Altitude Junkies. We prefer to describe our Dhaulagiri expedition as professionally managed rather than guided. A true guided expedition is only where the guides have UIAGM certification, which is the only internationally recognized qualification for mountain guides and there is a 3:1 or smaller guide to climber ratio

Climbers on our Dhaulagiri expedition need to have previously climbed on a 7,000-meter or 8,000-meter Himalayan peak to qualify for our expedition. We do not consider a climb of Aconcagua by its normal route or false traverse as suitable experience to climb Dhaulagiri with the Junkies.

If you need to be guided, look for guides with full UIAGM certification.

Altitude Junkies does not allow any solo climbing above base camp on any of our expeditions.

Photo credits: Expedition Himalaya

The expedition cost includes:
· Single accommodation with breakfast in Kathmandu as itinerary
· All transportation and meals in Nepal as itinerary
· Porters for 45kg personal gear to base camp and return
· All meals at base camp
· Group Nepal climbing Sherpas
· Group Nepal cooks at base camp
· Expedition permit, peak fee and conservation fees
· Liaison Officer expenses
· Garbage Deposit
· Base camp and high camp tents
· Group climbing equipment, stoves and fuel
· Two-way radios
· Medical kits, portable altitude chamber and medical oxygen
· Supplementary climbing oxygen, mask and regulator
· High altitude freeze-dried meals
· Climbing Sherpa summit bonus and carry bonus
· Kitchen Sherpa staff gratuities
· Kathmandu to Pokhara round trip flight
· Helicopter flight from base camp to Pokhara
· Satellite phone and satellite internet use at cost price
The expedition cost does not include:
· Airfare to and from Nepal
· Meals and drinks in Kathmandu
· Alcoholic beverages in Kathmandu
· Bottled beverages, showers and snack food on trek
· Nepal visa costs
· Evacuation costs, medical and rescue insurance
· Personal climbing clothing and equipment
· Personal Puja contribution

Contact us: info@altitudejunkies.com