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Asia, Nepal, Langtang Lirung Attempt

Langtang Lirung Attempt. Our expedition consisted of Mike Stead, Nick Groves, John Marjot, Dr. Neil Harding-Roberts, Rod Mackenzie and me, British, Shana Parent, Canadian, and Sarki Tsering, Sherpa. We had hoped to do the second ascent of Langtang Lirung (23,770 feet, 7245 meters) via the unclimbed south face, alpine-style. On April 7 we established Base Camp at only 11,500 feet above Langtang village. Steep rock walls rose directly above and it was impossible to get laden porters higher. After reconnaissance, we climbed the rock wall by a relatively easy gully system and established Camp I at 15,000 feet. The 12,000-foot face and its logistical problems made an alpine-style ascent impossible. We then intended to establish three camps, the highest at 19,000 feet, and to climb the top 5000 feet alpine-style. Above Camp I a series of snow and ice gullies led to the south rib at 17,500 feet, where we had an excellent site for Camp II. Unfortunately the weather was bad throughout April. Most of us at some stage climbed the airy, solid rock buttresses above Camp II to the steep ice arête that led to the summit ridge 3000 feet above. Above Camp II, there was nowhere to pitch a tent. The ice arête, which was the only route up, was also threatened by avalanches from a line of séracs on a hanging glacier. On May 3 we abandoned the climb, retrieving our few fixed ropes.

Michael Searle, England