|The South and North Faces of Dhaulagiri blazed at sunrise from the camp|
Dhaulagiri is Earth's seventh highest mountain at 8,167 metres (26,795 ft); one of fourteen over eight thousand metres. Dhaulagiri was first climbed May 13, 1960 by a Swiss/Austrian expedition.
The mountain's name is dhaulāgirī or dhawalāgirī in Hindi and Nepali. This comes from Sanskrit where dhawala means dazzling, white, beautiful and giri means mountain. It is often called Dhaulagiri I, denoting the highest summit in its massif called Dhaulagiri Range (Nepali: shrinkhalā), Dhaulagiri Himāl or The Dhaulagiris. This massif extends 120 km from the Kali Gandaki River west to the Bheri. Dhaulagiri I is the easternmost high peak.
|Dhaulagiri view from Ranipauwa.|
Annapurna I (8,091m/26,545ft) is only 34 km. east of Dhaulagiri I. The Kaligandaki River flows between through its notable gorge, said to be the world's deepest. The town Pokhara is south of the Annapurnas, an important regional center and the gateway for climbers and trekkers visiting both ranges as well as a tourist destination in its own right.
|Dhaulagiri Range looking west from Poon Hill|
Looking north from the plains of India, most 8,000 metre peaks are obscured by nearer mountains, but in clear weather Dhaulagiri is conspicuous from northern Bihar and as far south as Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. In 1808 A.D. survey computations showed it to be the highest mountain yet surveyed. This lasted until 1838 when Kangchenjunga took its place, followed by Mount Everest in 1858.
Dhaulagiri's sudden rise from lower terrain is almost unequaled. It rises 7,000 metres from the Kali Gandaki River 30 km to the southeast. The South and West faces rise precipitously over 4000 metres. The south face of Gurja Himal in the same massif is also notably immense.
|Dhaulagiri I in October 2002. Northeast Ridge is the right skyline.|