François Damilano, Peak Hawley and Aiguille Josephine
On 07/05/2008 François Damilano carried out the first ascent of Peak Hawley and the traverse to Aiguille Josephine in the Dhaulagiri Group, Nepal.
Returning from his ascent of Putha Hiunchli (Dhaulagiri VII, 7242m), on 07 May François Damilano carried out a solo first ascent of an unnamed mountain in the vicinity. He named the peak in honour of the extraordinary Miss Elzabeth Hawley who has dedicated over 30 years to documenting ascents in the Himalaya.
Damilano described the mountain as being beautiful and ideal for acclimatising prior to climbing Putha Hiunchuli, using Camp 1. The route offers superb views onto the other peaks in this fabulous glacial cirque, in particular onto Kang Tokal and Churen Himal. François compared the traverse across to Punta Josephine to the Bionassay ridge on Mont Blanc, but situated at 6000m.
Damilano described his ascsent as follows:
On 07 May 2008 I was making my return from Punta Hiunchuli, also called Dhalaugiri VII 7242m (the summit was reached by the entire team). I climbed up onto the ridge of Putha Himal (high mountain located between Putha Hiunchuli and Churen Himal) and I reached base camp at 4915m. The next day I set off at 04.30 am and climbed the glacier and the great NW Face to reach the presummit at 5906m.
From here a thin chiselled crest leads to a first summit (Aiguille Josephine 6156m) before reaching the main summit (Peak Hawley) at 6182m. The descent was carried out down the NE face past rocky barriers and steep slopes. I reached base camp 12 hours later.
Mountain: Peak Hawley
Name: traversée Peak Hawley, Aiguille Joséphine
Grade: III/AD neige (Himalaya grade).
F.A. François Damilano, 9 May 2008
Getting there: from Dunaï and Kakot
Base Camp: identical to that for Putha Hiunchuli
No high altitude camp: if necessary, Camp 1 can be established on the foot of the Chandeu glacier while Camp 2 can be established at the Col beneath Pointe Joséphine.
Maps: CHHEDHUL GUMBA, 2883-01 au 1/50 000