Following Swiss historic footsteps on the “White Mountain”
The «White Mountain» was first climbed by a Swiss-led expedition in 1960.
The trek through the barren Kali Gandaki Valley and the wild Myangdi Valley offers scenic highlights.
With its impressive south face, Dhaulagiri I is one of the most prominent and beautiful 8,000m peaks.
An expedition to such a classic 8,000m peak is something very special.
Quality bonus: 1 high-altitude Sherpa per 4 members.
Up-to-date weather forecast from Switzerland.
Standing proud and tall, Dhaulagiri I was only gazed at from afar until the 1950ies when many expeditions tried their luck on the ‘White Mountain’. However, it was not until 13 May 1960 that a Swiss expedition led by Max Eiselin reached the summit. This made Dhaulagiri I the penultimate 8,000m peak to be scaled.
This expedition was also the first expedition to use a small plane to take equipment as well as a few expedition members to Camp 2 at 5,700m.
The Genevan Michel Caucher, a member of this expedition, wrote the following about the summit success: “Three breaths, one step, three breaths, one step, another step ... The thought about the summit pushes us, and at 2pm we reach the summit ridge. Only 400 metres to go ...”. At 6.30pm, they finally did it - they had reached the summit.
Day 1: Flight to Kathmandu
Day 2: Arrival in Kathmandu
After we have checked into the Shangri La hotel and recovered from our flight in the beautiful garden, we visit Boudnath, the religious centre of the Tibetans living in Nepal. Just like the worshippers, we will circumvent the largest stupa in Nepal clockwise, which is called a ‘Kora’. The 40-metre-high stupa is surrounded by Buddha statues, prayers mills and monastery complexes which gives this area a very unique atmosphere. We have a peek at the decorated gompa west of the stupa where we see a larger than life-sized statue of “the Buddha of the future”. Hotel accommodation.
Day 3: Kathmandu - Pokhara:
Early in the morning, we take the half-hour flight to Pokhara from where we immediately start our drive across the Khare Pass through the valley of the Mohi Kola to Beni (850 m). From here, it’s only another 3 hours to Darbang in the Myangdi Khola Valley. Travel time: 6 hours. Tent accommodation.
Day 4: Darbang - Dharapani - Sibang
We hike along the Myangdi Khola until we reach Phedi, from where we start the rather steep ascent to Dharapani (1,550 m). We arrive at Dharapani after about 2 1/2 hours. In clear weather, we can already see Dhaulagiri 1 towering above us. After another two hours, we reach the schoolyard in Sibang village which is inhabited by Thakali and Gurung (1,780 m). We pitch our tents in the schoolyard.
Walking time: approx. 4 ½ hours. Ascent: 650 m. Descent: 100 m. Tent accommodation.
Day 5: Sibang - Muri
Today we are in for some stunning views! We hike through Phalaigaon, descend to the tributary valley of the Dhara Khola and ascend again on the other side to reach the Magar village of Muri (1,770 m).
Walking time: approx. 3 1/2 hours. Ascent: 550 m. Descent: 480 m. Tent accommodation
Day 6: Muri - Naura - Boghara
Every night, we sleep a few hundred metres higher up on the mountains even though the route takes us up and down continuously. We first descend to the Myangdi Khola at 1,450m and continue on the right side of the valley. Behind the village of Naura, we start a steep ascent to a crest at about 2,300 m. We slowly descend to Boghara at 2,100 m. At this Magar village, we use another schoolyard as our campsite (donations to the schools are very welcome!).
Walking time: approximately 6 hours. Ascent: 1,100 m. Descent: 1,000 m. Tent accommodation.
Day 7: Boghara - Lipche - Dobang
We will soon enter the mountain jungle, which can sometimes be tricky to get through. Via the village of Lipche (2,060 m) and the alp of Lapche Kharka, we reach Dobang (2,500 m) where we pitch our tents on a clearing.
Walking time: approx. 6 hours. Ascent: 950 m. Descent: 550m. Tent accommodation.
Day 8: Dobang - Pakhaban
We walk on challenging trails and cross the Myangdi Khola over interesting bridges several times. Through wonderful rhododendron forests and light conifer forest we hike to the clearing of Pakhaban, where we camp at 3,050 m.
Walking time: approx. 5 hours. Ascent: 740 m. Descent: 150 m. Tent accommodation.
Day 9: Pakhaban - Italian Base Camp
After about 2 1/2 hours, we get above the treeline and soon reach Italian Base Camp at 3,600, which is also known as “Puchhar”. This base camp is in a very scenic location on the west ridge of Dhaulagiri 1. We should try and save our energy as we sleep at a higher altitude every night, which strains our bodies more than usual.
Walking time approx. 3 hours. Ascent: 580 m. Descent: 80 m. Tent accommodation.
Day 10: Italian Base Camp - Glacier Camp
After about 1 ½ hours, we walk through a narrow valley to reach the headwater region of the Myangdi Khola. From here, the route widens and continues through the high mountain valley and over a side moraine of the Chonbaron Glacier, where we establish an intermediate camp on a suitable flat location at approximately 4,200 m.
Walking time: approximately 5 hours. Ascent: 750 m. Descent: 150 m. Tent accommodation.
Day 11: Glacier Camp - Dhaulagiri Base Camp
We walk up the glacier which can be covered in rubble, ice or fresh snow until we reach Dhaulagiri base camp at approximately 4,650 m after about four hours. In the afternoon, we have time to marvel at the gigantic glaciers around us and refuel our energy for the coming days.
Walking time: 4 hours. Ascent: 500 m. Descent: 50 m. Tent accommodation
Days 12 to 40: Ascent of Dhaulagiri 1 (8,167 m)
A time frame of 29 days should be more than sufficient to climb Dhaulagiri 1. With the help of our amazing Sherpa team, we establish and maintain three high camps.
For our climb to Camp I, we cross the Myangdi Glacier which is still pretty harmless down here. We continue our traverse underneath the so-called “Eiger” to reach an icefall. We reach the so-called second glacier field above the icefall. Our Camp I will be underneath the northeastern saddle. Broad and usually not very craggy glacier slopes take us up to the foot of the northeast ridge, where we establish Camp II. In order to reach Camp III, which is at 7,350m, we ascend the northeast ridge, which is known as the Himalaya’s “stairway to heaven”. At the foot of a small rock, we establish Camp III. The last section that separates us from the summit takes us over a seemingly never-ending snow flank until we reach a height of approximately 8,000 metres, where the summit ridge begins. Here we have to negotiate a few climbing sections to before we reach the real summit from where we have an absolutely fantastic view that reaches from Manaslu to the east all the way to the Annapurnas. After having taken in this amazing panorama we begin our descent as our high camp is a long way down.
Day 41: Dhaulagiri - Base Camp Marpha
After 29 days on the mountain, it is time to go home. We start early in the morning and hike up to the French Col (5,360 m). From the top of the pass we have a wonderful view of the mountain we have just climbed. We continue through the upper Hidden Valley over to the Dhampus Pass, before we finally start the long descent to Marpha where the Tibetan influence is still clearly visible. Now we find ourselves in the deep gorge of the Kali Gandaki between Dhaulagiri 1 and Annapurna 1.
Day 42: Marpha - Kathmandu
Drive to Jomsom airport and flight to Kathmandu via Pokhara.
Day 43: Kathmandu (Spare Day)
This day is at your free disposal. We recommend the following optional sightseeing spots: the Hindu Pashupatinath temple at the Bagmati River is the holiest place in Nepal. Believers pilgrim to this holy site of Shiva, who is revered here in his incarnation as the lord of the animal world, from far away. Some people come all the way from India to worship this God. The main temple is only accessible to Hindus, however, there are observation terraces offering a view of the entire area with all of its temples, shrines, burning sites and hostels at the shores of the Bagmati, where pilgrims perform their rituals. In the evening, we board our plane that will bring us back home.
Day 44: Flight and arrival back home
The Profilecheck is a fixed part of the detailed travel programme. Please read it thoroughly and assess your skill and physical condition. Due to the score required for this expedition, your score will indicate whether or not your skills, fitness and mountaineering experience are sufficient to join this expedition. Your registration is a testimony of your physical and technical abilities to participate in this expedition.
Please take note of the following points concerning procedure of this expedition:
- The expedition is demanding and exhausting.The high altitude alone entails several risks.
- The members should have a solid amount of high altitude mountaineering experience and have to be able to move securely and independently through very rough terrain (snow, ice, rock, etc.). You have to independently rope up with a group. Active participation on the mountain, camaraderie and tolerance are an essential part of this expedition and we count on you to be able to provide this.
- You have to be able to recognise your own limits on the mountain and be prepared to, if necessary, abandon the attempt and turn back. You join this expedition at your own responsibility.
- The leader of the expedition is responsible for the management of the entire group, and personal support is not one of his/her responsibilities. Nevertheless, every member has to prepared to follow the decisions made by the leader. The decisions are always made in the group’s interest.
- Depending on the circumstances and conditions on the mountain, improvisations and changes to the itinerary might be necessary.
- Kobler & Partner do not take any liability for accidents, damages or loss of equipment.
Organisation of the entire expedition
Domestic flights Kathmandu - Pokhara and Jomsom - Pokhara - Kathmandu
All transfers, bus- and jeep rides
Expedition briefing at Bächli Bergsport in Bern including a 10%-voucher for equipment purchase
Half board in Kathmandu
Full board during the trel as well as the ascent
Beverages during the trek and the climb at group meals (except for alcoholic beverages)
Number of hotel nights in double rooms (look at itinerary)
Gear transport to and from base (pack animals / porters)
1 tent per member at base camp
1 tent per 2 members during the trek and at the high camps
Foam mattress at base camp
Fixed ropes, climbing ropes, snow stakes, ice screws, etc.
High altitude stove (gas) and cookware
Communication, radios (12 volts), at base camp
Radios: 1 radio (9 volts) per 2 members
Satellite phone, exclusive call charges
Internet and e-mail access at base camp (exclusive charges)
Weather forecast from Meteotest Switzerland
Solar power for lighting the mess tent
Power at base camp for charging (availability subject to weather!)
Rescue sledge for emergencies
Medicinal oxygen for emergencies
Large medical kit with pulse oximeter at base camp
Medical kits at the high camps
Medical kit for summit bid
Kitchen: chef and kitchen helpers
1 high-altitude Sherpa per 3 members, including insurance, supplies, salary and good equipment provided by Kobler & Partner
Obligatory liaison officer
Nationally certified and experienced mountain guide
- International Flights to/from Kathmandu
- Individual beverages
- Individual, performance based tips
- In case no roommate can be found for a booked double room, we charge half of the single room surcharge (look at Additional Costs)
- Visa for Nepal
- Personal medication
- Additional costs that may arise due to necessary changes being made to the itinerary
With more than 100 successful ascents, Kobler & Partner has extensive experience in using bottled oxygen on Mt. Everest, and we would like to share this knowledge with you. The use of bottled oxygen significantly reduces the risk of frostbite, loss of concentration as well as poor performance, however, it increases your chances of reaching the summit in good time.
For this reason, we recommend the use of bottled oxygen for climbing an 8,000m peak. Using bottled oxygen is optional on our expeditions and the amount needed depends on every individual. This is why bottled oxygen is not included in the overall expedition price.
Checked and filled oxygen bottles have to be purchased a long time before the start of an expedition. Hence, the rental of an oxygen set has to be paid prior to the expedition. The rental price for one set includes one oxygen bottle, mask, regulator as well as transport to the high camps and back.
In case of damage or loss of the equipment, the cost for repairs or replacement has to be covered by the person who rented the equipment. If the rented equipment is not used, the rental costs cannot be refunded.
Personal High-Altitude Sherpa
On this expedition, you have the option to hire a personal Sherpa. This individual support will make your experience much more comfortable. A personal Sherpa carries part of your personal gear (around 10 kg) to the high camps and supports you on your climb. Using a personal Sherpa adds manpower to our trip and increases the safety of the entire expedition.
1 Sherpa per 3 members
Kobler & Partner have organised more than 5 successful expeditions on the Dhaulagiri.
The experience of more than ten expeditions on the Dhaulagiri show that a time frame of 29 days from/to the Base Camp is usually enough to ascend the Dhaulagiri.
Part of an ascent of an 8,000er are several ascents and descents between the Base Camp and the many different high camps, which furthers the acclimatisation. In case the first summit ascent does not succeed there should be enough time for a second attempt.
In the Himalayas two special climate types clash against each other:
The southern downward slope is shaped by a subtropical monsoon climate with precipitation maximum during the summer months. The northern downward slopes on the other hand are mostly shaped by an arid continental climate with warm summers and bitter cold winters. For expeditions in the Himalayas there generally are two time frames at our disposal, one during springtime (pre-monsoon) and one during autumn (post-monsoon). Both have their advantages and disadvantages, that depending on the targeted summit are more or less important.
Generally speaking a pre-monsoon time window is better for an ascent of the Dhaulagiri.
Our crew consists out of Nepalese Sherpas and a Nepalese kitchen team. Kobler & Partner have established an excellent sherpa team over the years. In order to optimise the communication between the locals and our customers the sherpas are required to take part in an English language course by Kobler & Partner during the winter months. The preparations and the recruitment of the local crew for the respective expeditions already start during autumn of the year before the respective expedition.
In Kathmandu we stay at the Hotel Shangri-La (basic double rooms). During the trek, we stay in simple lodges or in tents.
International flights are not included in the expedition price. Over the years, Kobler & Partner has built up a very good reputation that goes beyond Swiss borders and has attracted people from all corners of the world. For this reason, it’s best for everyone to arrange their own flights. On demand, however, we can look after your travel arrangements. For this reason, please check your flight times with our head office in Bern before you book your tickets.
Visas can be obtained when you arrive at Kathmandu airport; they are not included in the price.
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the return date.
Gearlist Expedition Dhaulagiri I
- 2 duffle bags, 110l (water-proof, available from K&P at a
discount for members)
- Down jacket or down suit for expeditions
- Primaloft jacket or light down jacket
- Goretex Jacket
- Softshell Jacket
- Midlayer (fleece sweater or jacket)
- Trekking pants, light and long
- Softshell pants for mountaineering
- Goretex pants
- Expedition down pants or down suit
Baselayers / T-shirts
- Long-sleeved thermal top
- Thermal tights
- Insolated shell gloves
- Expedition down mittens
- Liner gloves, thin, silk or fleece
- Camp boots (non-technical winter boots or trainers)
- Trekking boots
- High-altitude all in-one boots for 8000m
- Trekking Socks
- Heavyweight socks, thick and warm
- -30°C down sleeping bag for base camp (available for rent from K&P)
- -40°C down sleeping bag for high camps
- Insulated inflatable sleeping pad
- Down booties (nice to have!)
- Pillow case (stuffed with your down jacket, it makes a nice
Headgear, face and eye protection
- Glacier goggles (with nose guard, if possible)
- Ski goggles, high UV-protection (also protects from the wind)
- Baseball cap
- Beanie, warm
- Balaclava or face mask (wind-stopper or neoprene)
- Sunscreen, SPF 50
- Lipscreen, SPF 50
- Backpack approximately 60 l
- Raincover for backpack
- Climbing harness, light
- Ice axe, light
- Walking poles
- Crampons with anti-balling plates (customised to fit expedition boots)
- 2 Carabiners (light, wiregate)
- 3 HMS carabiners (light, screwgate)
- Ascender (Jumar)
- Belay device (figure 8 recommended)
- Cord, 5m, 7 mm (for the Jumar system)
- Cord, 5m, 5 mm
- Sling 120 cm / Dyneema
- 1 Ice screw (19 cm)
- Compression bags for down equipment
- Food utensils, light, for high camps (bowl including cutlery)
- Water bottle with large opening (Nalgene)
- Pee bottle / Plastic bags
- Headlamp (including spare batteries) and a small spare headlamp
- Pocket knife or multi-tool/Leatherman
- Hand and toe warmers
- Departure letter from K&P (contains the final information)
- Cash for personal use and tips
- Credit card (MasterCard or Visa)
- Passport copy
- 2 Passport photographs
- Small personal first-aid kit (personal medication / compeed)
- Writing utensils
- Toiletry bag
- Microfibre travel towel
- Hand sanitizer (50 ml)
- Ear plugs
- Tissues, wet wipes
- Photographic equipment
Your K&P mountain guide will provide well-stocked medical kits for base and high camps, radios, GPS, travel books and maps.
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