Weekend Warm-Up: Link Sar

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.