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Dhaulagiri: Only one option... Up again!
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May 17, 2005 08: 29 EST
“What else can we do but to try again?” Romano Benet asked. And so off they go again. After Mario Cedolin, Roberto Alloi, Cesar Giuliani and Klemen Gricar abandoned the mountain, the seven remaining climbers of the international team currently on Dhaulagiri are ready for their third (or fourth) summit attempt, depending on the climber.

Off again

Romano Benet, Luca Vuerich, Nives Meroi, Inaki Ochoa, Ivan Vallejo and Christian Stangl left BC earlier today, while Leila Meroi stays behind. The plan is to make it up to C2 today, C3 tomorrow, and the summit on Thursday, May 19th, weather and conditions permitting. They hope that the fierce wind has swept away some of the fresh snow covering the mountain and therefore improved the climbing conditions.

“We read the forecast as if it was a horoscope,” Leila told Planet Mountain. “Moreover, I have come to believe that our possibilities of reaching the summit are an astral question, depending on the stars.”

High voltage risk

The team experienced the scariest possible weather conditions during their last attempt: Dhaulagiri charged against them not just with wind and snow, but also with an electrical storm, bringing plenty of thunder and lightning.

Apparently, there have been several reports from expeditions and trekking groups about lightning storms in the Himalaya this spring. And the Dhaulagiri team can’t help but remember Hans Kammerlander’s tragic attempt on Manaslu in 1991, when his climbing mates Karl Grossrubatscher and Friedl Mutschlechner died after being struck by lighting.

Italians Romano Benet, Nives Meroi, Luca Vuerich, Austrian Christan Stangl, Spaniard Inaki Ochoa, and Ecuadorian Ivan Vallejo are currently climbing Dhaulagiri. Most of them will head for Annapurna immediately afterwards.

Mario Cedolin, Erri De Luca, Cesare Giuliani, and Roberto Allo; Slovenian Klemen Gricar,also part of the international team, have abandoned the mountain.

Image of the Italian climbers in the storm during their latest summit attempt, courtesy of Leila Meroi, Universita degli studie di Udine.

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