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Austrian climber David Lama completes first solo climb of Lunang Ri

Austrian climber David Lama completes first solo climb of Lunang Ri
Copyright David Lama via Reuters
Copyright David Lama via Reuters
By Thomas Duthois
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Austrian climber David Lama has completed the first solo climb of Lunang Ri in Nepal.


Austrian mountain climber David Lama has become the first person to solo climb to the summit of Nepal’s Lunang Ri.

Lama, 28, climbed to the top of the 6,907 metre mountain — one of the toughest Himalayan summits and until recently one of the unclimbed peaks left in the world.

He battled freezing temperatures of minus 30 degrees and winds of 80km per hour over his three-day climb. This was the fourth time the Austrian attempted to reach the top of Lunang Ri and the second time he attempted it alone.

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From the summit of Lunag Ri.⠀ ⠀ And suddenly it’s just a few more steps. In front of me lies the summit spur of Lunag Ri. I can still remember well how @Conrad_Anker and I sat by our tent at advanced basecamp in 2015. With binoculars in hand, we wondered if this granite tower visible from below was actually the summit. It was just one of the many questions that came up when we first set out to attempt the first ascent. That was four years ago now. A lot has happened since then, and that’s exactly what makes these final steps so special.⠀ ⠀ I traverse the last few metres over wind packed snow that sticks to the granite on the Nepalese side of the mountain. Even though my head is full with the impressions that I absorb every moment up here, my thoughts are somehow empty. The knowledge that I must not make any mistake is constantly present and dominates all other feelings. It results in an intense, almost exhausting concentration – a feeling I know only from other solo ascents in the mountains.⠀ ⠀ Having arrived at the very front of the summit spur, I stand still. It feels strange that suddenly I have no more further to go. I sink down to my knees, tired and happy, even though I wouldn’t be able to express it that way right now. Briefly I think about Conrad. He is the only one I would have liked to share this moment with.⠀ ⠀ Then the short wave of emotions is over, and the knowledge that I should descend the mountain as far as possible today takes hold. I’ve achieved my goal and the descent is upon me – as I’ll have only fully succeeded when I’m back down again.⠀ ⠀ Click my bio link to watch the entire series of videos from Basecamp to Summit.⠀ ⠀ #LunagRi #firstascent #himalayas⠀ ⠀ @Redbull @thenorthface @gloryfy @lasportivagram @kaestleski @Leki.Ski.Outdoor⠀

A post shared by David Lama (@davidlama_official) on

In other failed attempts, Lama was forced to turn back due to exhaustion and when his climbing partner, Conrad Anker, suffered a heart attack at 6,000 metres.

Lama completed the majority of the climb without ropes.

Journalist • Cristina Abellan Matamoros

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