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Adventure Sports

with Stefan Nestler

Annapurna Northwest Face instead of Cho Oyu North Face

Annapurna Northwest Face

Time for plan B. Since China has not issued visa for Tibet this spring for climbers who have been staying in Pakistan for more than a month at a time during the past three years, the Canadian Louis Rousseau, the Briton Rick Allen, the Pole Adam Bielecki and the German Felix Berg had to re-plan. The team was surprised by the new Chinese regulation in Kathmandu. In 2015/16 Bielecki had tried unsuccessfully a winter ascent of Nanga Parbat, Felix Berg had climbed Mustagh Tower in the Karakoram in summer 2016. So the previous plan to open a new route through the North Face of Cho Oyu, located in Tibet, became impossible. The quartet was looking for an alternative destination in Nepal and found it.

Direct route to the summit

Rousseau and Co. opted for an attempt in the rarely climbed Northwest Face of the 8091-meter-high Annapurna. In 1985, Reinhold Messner and Hans Kammerlander had climbed through a large part of the wall, but had taken in the upper section the Northwest Ridge up to the summit. The upper triangle has also remained unexplored in later attempts to climb directly through the wall. “Now let’s go to the summit,” says Felix Berg.

“Perfect team spirit”

Tilicho Peak for acclimatization

The days of uncertainty were hard, the 36-year-old German writes to me: “As soon as the decision was made, everything happened very quickly. The wall is impressive, probably higher than the North Face of Cho Oyu, and the Annapurna is legendary – so the motivation comes quickly by itself.” All team members are “very enthusiastic”. This is confirmed by Louis Rousseau. The mood is good, “a lot of jokes”. “We’re really motivated,” writes the 40-year-old. “Perfect spirit in the team. All focus on Annapurna now!” First, Louis, Felix, Rick and Adam want to climb the 7134-meter-high Tilicho Peak in the Annapurna area for acclimatization.


14. April 2017 | 18:40