Weekend Warm-Up: Link Sar

Climbing Mountain
The summit of Link Sar West. Photo: Jon Griffith

Last week, an American team made the first ascent of Link Sar — at 7,042m, one of the world’s highest unclimbed peaks. The sought-after prize lies in a remote corner of northern Pakistan, south of K2.

The victorious climbers included 65-year-old Steve Swenson. After 40 years in the Karakorum, 2019 was his third attempt on the mountain, after 2000 and 2017.

The Link Sar massif has seen a number of bold expeditions, including the first ascent of Link Sar West (6,938m), by Brits Jon Griffith and Andy Houseman. It was Griffith’s fourth attempt on the mountain. Clearly, none of those peaks yield their summits easily.

Link Sar became an obsession for Griffith. “I can’t keep myself away from it,” he said before summiting in 2015.

Griffith describes the mountain as complicated and well-guarded. “Flanked by seracs, cornices and with no obvious line, you have to go in blind and rely on your own instincts that the line you’re following is actually going to work.”

The beautiful short video below showcases Griffith’s previous attempt on Link Sar’s Northwest Face in 2014 with Kevin Mahoney, and the 2015 West summit climb itself.

About the Author

Ash Routen

Ash Routen

Ash is an outdoor and adventure writer from the UK. He juggles a day job as a public health scientist with a second career in outdoor writing.

His words have featured in national newspapers, international magazines, and various websites. Bylines include Financial Times, Daily Telegraph, Outside Magazine, Rock and Ice, and Red Bull.

Read more at www.ashrouten.com

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2 Comments on "Weekend Warm-Up: Link Sar"

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Doctor E

Wouldn’t mind trying this mtn…hopefully Seven Summit Treks can start guiding Link Sar one day.


Excellent short video featuring dramatic spacing of scenes of grit and sweat, with just some hard ass climbing sequences that clearly exemplify why this half of the summit hasn’t been done until now!