David Lama, Conrad Anker walk the line on Lunag Ri
The documentary Walk the Line featuring David Lama and Conrad Anker, their attempts to climb Lunag Ri (6888m) and Anker's drammatic heart attack in November 2016.
In November 2015 Austria’s David Lama and America’s Conrad Anker attempted Lunag Ri, a splendid mountain on the border between Nepal and Tibet. Its 6812m southeast summit had been climbed by a French team comprised of Max Belleville, Mathieu Detrie, Mathieu Maynadier and Seb Ratel in 2010, but the 6907m high main summit was still untouched. After three days of climbing up the complex west ridge the two were forced to descend from just 300 meters below the summit.
The following November the two returned to the Khumbu to complete their line but, completely unexpectedly, at 5800 meters 54-year-old Anker suffered a heart attack. He was immediately airlifted to safety and flown to Kathmandu where he successfully received emergency surgery. Before the helicopter arrived, Anker told Lama that he would not return to Lunag Ri, leaving the 26-year-old with the option to try it on his own.
After three days of pondering Lama set off on his solo attempt, climbing a more direct line and reaching, after two bivouacs, a highpoint circa 250 meters shy of the summit. "I knew that going further would deplete too much of my reserves to descend safely. After a second night on the mountain, I had to gather all my remaining strength to undertake the descent."
So, after rappelling into the darkness and an unnerving wait in the sun while the face was too dangerous to climb, as night fell and the cold arrived Lama safely returned to base camp.
"I look back at this as one of my most intense mountain experiences yet, not only because of the climb but also because of everything else that happened. Fortunately, Conrad has recovered well. He told me that he thinks Lunag Ri was his last expedition of that type, but he is climbing again and doing what we both love, being in the mountains" concluded Lama.