Dhaulagiri (8167m.) was first climbed by the Swiss in 1960. Its name is derived from Sanskrit "dhavala means" means "White" and girl is "Mountain" The mountain was sighted by British surveyors in India in the early 1800s and was mapped by one of the secret Indian surveyors, the pundits, in 1873, but the region remained largely unknown until a Swiss aerial survey in 1949.
The French Annapurna expedition in 1950 had permission to climb either Annapurna or Dhaulagiri but decided on Annapurna after a reconnaissance of Dhaulagiri . A Swiss party failed in 1953 as did an Argentine group one year later.
After four more expeditions had failed, eight members of a Swiss expedition reached the summit in 1960. The climb followed a circuitous route around the mountain from Tukuche, over Dhampus pass as French Col, to approach the summit from the North-East Col. The expedition was supplied by a Swiss Pilatus Porter aircraft, the "Yeti" which landed on the North-East Col at 5977m. Near the end of the expedition the plane crashed near Dhampus pass and the pilots, including the famous Emil Wick, walked down the mountain to Tukuche.
Tragedy struck in 1969 when an avalanche killed seven members of a US expedition on the East Dhaulagiri Glacier. The peak was climbed by the Japanese in 1970s, the Americans in 1973 and the Italians in 1976. Captain Emil Wick airdropped supplies to the US expedition from a Pilatus Porter aircrafts. Among the delicacies he dropped were two bottles of wine and a live chicken. The Sherpas would not allow the chicken to be killed on the mountain, so it became the expedition pet. It was carried, snow-blind and crippled with frostbitten feet, to Marpha, where it finally ended up in the cooking pot.