First Ascent of Link Sar by Steve Swenson and Team

The first ascent of Link Sar (7,041m) in the Eastern Karakoram in Pakistan has been made by a group of four American mountaineers: Steve Swenson, Graham Zimmerman, Chris Wright and Mark Richey. The team are still in Pakistan with no further details of their climb as yet.

Link Sar (7,041m)  © Steve Swenson
Link Sar (7,041m)
© Steve Swenson

According to a report on Rock and Ice, the team notified family members last Tuesday that they had summitted, reached below Camp 3 and were continuing to descend.

This was Swenson's third attempt at Link Sar, which until now had remained one of the last great unclimbed problems in mountaineering. Swenson, Zimmerman and Wright last attempted the line in 2017. On their return, Swenson wrote on Instagram: 'It's a complex and dangerous mountain, and we didn't reach the top. But we made a significant effort to find a safe route that avoids the objective hazards. We plan to return so we can finish what we started.' In the same season, Tom Ballard and Daniele Nardi - who died while attempting to climb Nanga Parbat earlier this year (UKC news) - reached 6,100m climbing via the northeast face before turning back.

Link Sar is situated in the Charakusa Valley between K6 and K7. Its name literally means 'linking' peak between these two mountains. Compared to its neighbouring peaks it has seen very little attention – mainly due to the fact that it is hard to even see in its entirety, let alone approach.

In July 2015, British alpinists Jon Griffith and Andy Houseman made the first ascent of the West summit of Link Sar, 6,938m, climbing the Northwest Face via a route they named 'Fever Pitch' (UKC news). Watch a film about their expedition below.

More information to follow.


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