Hansjorg Auer Begins Solo of Lupghar Sar

Hansjorg Auer. Photo: Damiano Levati.

Austrian mountaineer Hansjörg Auer has begun his solo climb of 7,181m Lupghar Sar West. At last word, he had headed up to 5,200m to acclimatize. He reported unstable weather, with fresh snow every day and winds ripping off the Lupghar Sar summits.

Lupghar Sar West is not a common climber’s objective — there has been no recorded activity on the mountain since 2000 — and when Auer arrived in Karimabad a week ago, he first had to discuss with veteran porters and officials even where base camp was. Eventually, some remembered a route via the Baltbar Glacier. With rough directions in hand, Auer set out for the mountain last week with 25 porters.

On social media, he summarized the trek into Base Camp as “pretty epic”,  due to the wrangy weather, no real trail and occasionally, very steep terrain. At one point, a porter dropped an important equipment drum over 150 meters down an overhang and into the river below. This drum held gas, high altitude food and ropes, and so could impact the later stages of his expedition.

Lupghar Sar Base Camp. Photo: Hansjorg Auer

The group finally reached Base Camp at the end of last week and pitched their tents on a side moraine of the Baltbar glacier at around 4,500 meters, with wild views all around. Wasting little time, Auer then began his acclimatization mini-ascents.

Auer acclimatizing for the night at 5,200 meters on Lupghar Sar. Photo: Hansjorg Auer

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