Felix Berg, Adam Bielecki, Mariusz Hatala to attempt new route on Annapurna

Adam Bielecki from Poland and Felix Berg from Germany are preparing for a new attempt on the difficult NW Face of Annapurna (8091m). Already attempted in 2017, the two intend to establish a new route alpine-style route on the NW face of the tenth highest mountain in the world. They will be joined by Mariusz Hatala from Poland.
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The immense NW Face of Annapurna I
Adam Bielecki

Establish a new route on the northwest face of Annapurna, the first 8000er to be climbed, back in 1950 by France's Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal. Adam Bielecki and Felix Berg have had this plan in mind for several years now. They even attempted it, in 2017, with Rick Allen from Scotland; the trio managed to climb halfway up the face, before deciding to bail due to worsening weather conditions. Berg and Bielecki and now gearing up for a new spring attempt, this time together with Mariusz Hatala.

Surprisingly little is known about the northwest face the tenth highest mountain, despite the fact that over the last forty years it has seen off a dozen or so attempts by some of the best climbers in the world. At present, the only route that ascends all the way to the summit is the one forged by Reinhold Messner and Hans Kammerlander in 1985. The two took five days to climb the entire face, reaching the summit on 24 April before starting their epic descent down through a storm.

To the left of the South Tyrolean line, Jean Troillet and Pierre-Alain Steiner from Switzerland attempted to establish a route in 1984. Troillet returned in 2011 with Jean-Yves Fredriksen, but was forced back at around 6000m due to sickness. In 1986 France's Patrick Gabarrou, together with Pemba Norbu Sherpa reached an altitude of 7900 metres, just shy of the summit therefore, but strong winds forced them to abandon their attempt. In 1991 Slovenia's Slavc Svetičič had this face in mind. While Piotr Morawski, Piotr Pustelnik and Darek Zaluski from Poland teamed up with Peter Hamor from Slovakian in 2008.

As mentioned, in 2017 Allen, Berg and Bielecki attempted the face in alpine style, without the use of supplementary oxygen and without high altitude porters. This style had been adopted by many of the previous expeditions. The route climbs the central section of the face and on their first attempt the trio managed to climb just above 6700 meters. They endured a terrible bivouac and storm before turning back.

Berg and Bielecki are now preparing a new attempt, together with Mariusz Hatala. Hatala is a strong Himalayan mountaineer, a member of the Polish national mountaineering team. His resume includes Broad Peak and K2, climbed over a period of just 9 days in 2022.

At present there aren't many other details about the expedition that will set off this spring. The only things that are certain are the ambitious goal and the lightweight style.

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