No Go for Bielecki and Berg on Langtang Lirung: “We chose safety”

Between ambition and safety, ambition may take you further, but safety brings you back alive. Adam Bielecki and Felix Berg are in Base Camp after aborting their attempt on Langtang Lirung after three days of climbing.

“On May 11, we left Base Camp before sunrise, to avoid the danger of avalanches in the couloir leading to the ridge,” Bielecki reported. The pair took a day off in C1 to gather energy, then launched an alpine-style push on May 12.

Rough going on Langtang Lirung above Camp 1. Photo: Adam Bielecki

“After eight hours of difficult technical mixed climbing, we reached the exposed snow ridge, where we set C2 (around 5,925m),” said Bielecki. They planned to reach as far as possible on May 13, then attempt the summit the next day, but the weather changed for the worse. At 6,100m, high winds, heavy snowfall and zero visibility engulfed them. To continue would have required crossing a point of no return.

In the end, “we chose safety,” said Bielecki.

The two climbers are currently resting in Base Camp, still hesitant to move on to Annapurna. The clock is ticking, but the climb on Langtang Lirung has proven a tempting challenge of its own rather than a mere acclimatization exercise. For the time being, they are keeping all options open. 

Camp1 and Camp 2 on Langtang Lirung. Image by Adam Bielecki.

Camps 1 and 2 on Langtang Lirung. Photo: Adam Bielecki

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Bielecki and Berg: Last Chance on Langtang Lirung