Himalaya Fall 2018: David Lama Completes First Ascent of Lunag Ri

Despite the fact that the major commercial teams have already headed home a few weeks ago, the fall climbing season in the Himalaya continues to unfold with some top climbers still in the region. The weather throughout Nepal and Tibet remains stable, and although it is starting to get colder there, the true bit of the impending winter remains a few weeks away. This has allowed some smaller teams on non-8000-meter peaks to focus on some impressive objectives as well, with one climber in particular putting up a solo first ascent of a mountain that has remained elusive for decades.

ExWeb is reporting that Austrian climber David Lama has become the first person to summit Lunag Ri, a 6807-meter (22,660 ft.) peak located along the border between Nepal and Tibet. News of the successful climb came yesterday via Conrad Anker’s Instagram, as Anker was Lama’s partner on two previous expeditions to the mountain. In the message posted to the social media network, Anker simply said “Congratulations @davidlama_official on your successful solo ascent and descent of LunagRi. Happy to hear of your success on this peak. Third time is a charm!”

Lama and Anker first attempted the mountain together back in 2015 but were turned back due to poor weather conditions and extremely difficult terrain on the upper flanks just below the summit. They returned in 2016, which was when Anker suffered his heart attack, forcing him to be evacuated back to Kathmandu. Lama continued climbing on his own and scouted the route nicely, but was unable to finish the climb. He returned a few weeks backs to finish what he started however and has now put up the first ascent of Lunag Ri, doing so in solo fashion.

According to ExWeb, the mountain’s southeast summit was climbed once before by a French team back in 2010, but its main summit has remained untouched until now. Congratulations to David Lama on this successful climb. I know that it took a lot to get there and we salute your dedication, stamina, and strength.

Kraig Becker