Mount Everest Foundation
Supporting the exploratory

Link Sar

This international team from New Zealand, the UK and USA travelled to the Kondus Valley with the objective of making the first ascent of Link Sar via the East Face. The team opted to fly initially from Islamabad to Skardu before taking vehicles to their basecamp in the Kaberi Valley. From here they established a further advanced basecamp at the top of the valley’s steep slopes. Conditions were favourable and the team began acclimatising. They began the route on the 31st July, climbing the first section early in the morning to reach a camp at 5,100m and making further ground in the early evening. They continued throughout the night due to the temperature drop and made a bivy spot at 5,900m the next morning. From here they encountered a serious serac barrier which had not been present when the team were last in the area in 2017. They negotiated this round its right-hand side on good ice and found a higher bivy at 6,200m. After enduring a period of poor weather, they made an attempt to continue in less favourable conditions but were forced to dig in and wait for further improvement. After the weather cleared, they made good progress on the upper section of the route that gave way to challenging snow, ice and mixed climbing at the top. The final pitches gave difficult climbing on unconsolidated snow, which was negotiated to gain the summit at sunset. From here the team descended over three days and arrived back at advanced basecamp nine days after first heading out.

July - August 2019
Graham Zimmerman, Chris Wright, Steven Swenson and Mark Richey

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