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                                 British Services Dhaulagiri Medical Research Expedition 2016
“Endurance Builds Character”
The Joint Services’ Mountaineering Committee (JSMC) sponsors a quadrennial programme of expeditions to the Greater Ranges, with the aim of developing personnel mentally and physically by operating at the extremes of physical possibility, in the most austere of environments. The last quadrennial expedition took place in 2012 to Antarctica and 2008’s expedition made a successful ascent of Makalu, the World’s 5th highest mountain. This year’s instalment, the British Services Dhaulagiri Medical Research Expedition 2016 (BSDMRE16) was a Royal Navy lead and aimed to:
1. Develop individual courage and leadership skills through controlled exposure to risk, in a challenging outdoor environment, in order to enhance Operational Capability.
2. Develop future military mountaineers with an ascent of Tukuche peak 6900m.
3. Develop experienced military mountaineers with an ascent of the NE ridge of Dhaulagiri (8167m), the World’s 7th highest mountain, in a lightweight style, without supplementary oxygen.
4. Enable academics within the MoD and in collaboration with civilian universities to investigate the effects of high altitude through medical research.
5. Inspire the uptake of AT across the military.
The expedition would see a total of 123 British service personnel conduct some sort of adventurous activity in the Nepali Himalayas. 24 of those made up the High Altitude Development Team (HADT) and the Main Team (MT), collectively known as the climbing teams, would venture from the relative comfort and safety of Kathmandu, via the towns of Beni and Marpha, to the Dhaulagiri massif where the aims became more mountain focussed:
1. For the MT to climb Dhaulagiri (8167m), without supplemen- tary oxygen and in a lightweight style.
2. For the HADT and MT to acclimatise by climbing Dhampus Peak (6035m) and then to climb Tukuche Peak (6900m) from a base camp in the Hidden Valley.
3. To complete the trek of the Dhaulagiri circuit with a number of independent trekking teams.
This article will be in two parts. The first is written from the perspective of a member of the HADT, the second is the author’s account as a member of the MT. In Sanskrit, Dhaulagiri translates from Dhavali giri, meaning “White Mountain.” Dhaulagiri is the highest mountain that lies entirely within Nepal.

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