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Item #: OP520AB-3342
THE ASCENT OF DHAULAGIRI. Max Eiselin 1961 1st edition DJ Fine SIGNED by Kurt Diemberger 2 copies available
By Eiselin, Max
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SIGNED and inscribed by Kurt Diemberger

London, 1961, 1st edition. 159 pp, 38 ills. First ascent of this 8000m peak by a Swiss expedition that included the Austrian Kurt Diemberger. Hardcover is Fine and DJ is Near Fine with a chip on top of spine. 

Dhaulagiri is the seventh highest mountain in the world and is located in the Dhaulagiri mountain range of the Himalaya of north central Nepal. Dhaulagiri means 'White Mountain'.

After its discovery in 1808 by the western world, Dhaulagiri became known as the highest mountain in the world. This lasted for 30 years before being usurped by Kangchenjunga.

Dhaulagiri was first climbed on May 13, 1960 by Kurt Diemberger, Peter Diener, Ernst Forrer, Albin Schelbert, Nyima Dorji and Nawang Dorji of a Swiss/Austrian expedition. This was also the first Himalayan climb supported by an airplane. The airplane, a Pilatus PC-6, crashed during the approach and was later abandoned on the mountain.

Dhaulagiri was for a time in the early 19th century considered to be the world's highest peak. However it was Everest and Nanga Parbat that first attracted the attention of the early Himalayan explorers. Dhaulagiri remained largely ignored until the early 1950s.

The French Annapurna expedition led by Maurice Herzog was the first to get near Dhaulagiri in 1950. However, having surveyed it they decided it was not climbable and Herzog took the expedition 30 kilometres eastward, to Annapurna, and made history by climbing it and the first mountain over 8000m. In 1954 an Argentine team, tried again but had to turn back only 170 m away from the summit because of the horrendous weather. Finally in 1960 a Swiss expedition led by Max Eiselin succeeded where others had failed and climbed Dhaulagiri. The story of that expedition is the book being offered.

It is also a significant mountain because the legendary Kurt Diemberger was part of the successful summit team and along with Buhl he is the only person to have two first ascents to his name of the 8000 metre plus peaks. Diemberger’s other first ascent was Broad Peak. This was also the first Himalayan climb supported by an airplane. The airplane however crashed during the approach and was later abandoned on the mountain. It was also remarkable in that Eiselin managed to put 6 men on the summit and he was clearly a man who never gave up. His success followed 7 unsuccessful expeditions. It was also a privately funded expedition with no government support.

Nevertheless even after the successful expedition Dhaulagiri, though only the sixth (or seventh-take your pick) highest mountain over 8000m high still proved to be hard to climb. In 1969, an American expedition lost seven people at the south-east side. Japanese alpinists were able to master the route over the northern face only in 1982, 20 years after the first attempt to climb this route. Between 1980 & 1988 47 expeditions attempted Dhaulagiri and only 21 succeeded. It still continues to take its toll of famous and accomplished climbers. In 1999 Chantal Mauduit and Ginette Harrison both died, at different times, in an avalanche while attempting Dhaulagiri.

Kurt Diemberger (born 1932 in Austria), is the only remaining person alive that has made the first ascents on two mountains over 8,000 metres. In 1957, he made the first ascent of Broad Peak and in 1960, the first ascent of Dhaulagiri. Diemberger was also the last person to see Hermann Buhl alive before he fell through a cornice on Chogolisa. Diemberger was one of only two survivors in the 1986 K2 Disaster. On August 4, 1986, Diemberger and Julie Tullis reached the summit of K2 very late in the day.

Shortly after starting their descent, Julie fell -- dragging Diemberger with her. Fortunately, they somehow stopped from going over the edge and spent the night above 8,000 metres. They managed to reach Camp IV the next day, where they were forced to share a tent with six other climbers after their tent had collapsed from hurricane force winds. Unfortunately, Julie died later that night, possibly from HACE, and only one other of climbers survived the descent with Diemberger. Diemberger is still active in the mountaineering world and works on film projects with his daughter.

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