Peruvian Testpiece Completed

By Dougald MacDonald ,

Pavle Kozjek leading on Trapecio’s South Face.Photos courtesy of Pavle Kozjek/

A four-man team has finished off a 20-year-old Jeff Lowe climb in the Cordillera Huayhuash of Peru—a route Lowe called the most difficult solo ice climb of his distinguished career. Branko Ivanek, Pavle Kozjek and Miha Lampreht of Slovenia, along with Aritza Monasterio, a Basque living in Peru, climbed the direct South Face of Trapecio (18,517 feet) in one long day. In these days of global warming, the quartet found much less ice than Lowe did in 1985, and they were forced to bypass the last hard ice pitch that Lowe climbed via an overhanging rock chimney.

Fried by hours of insecure solo climbing, Lowe rappelled his route after the crux pitches, about 750 feet below the top. The Slovenian-Basque team carried on past the upper snowfields and then climbed two more steep ice pitches to reach the summit at 5 p.m., after 12 hours of climbing. They descended the opposite side of the mountain, returning to their base camp around 2:30 a.m.

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The South Face of Trapecio, Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru.Photos courtesy of Pavle Kozjek/

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