AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

South America, Peru, Cordillera Huayhuash, Trapecio, Southeast Face Direct

Trapecio, Southeast Face Direct. On July 10 Branko Ivanek, Miha Lampreht, and I (all from Slovenia), and Aritza Monasterio (Spanish-Basque, living in Huaraz) completed the central route (800m, ED+ AI6 M5 A2) on the southeast face of Trapecio (5,644 m). We climbed the route in single-push lightweight style, taking 12 hours to the summit and nine hours to descend the north face. The hardest part of the route was climbed by Jeff Lowe in 1985, but he retreated 250m below the top. He graded his 700m climb ED+ and considered it one of his hardest solo climbs.

After acclimatizing on Chopicalqui, we took the fastest approach to Trapecio, starting from the village of Queropalca. In two days we reached base camp at a small lake just below the face. Weather and conditions were good, although there was much less ice on the face than usual (from past photos). On July 10 we started from base camp at 3 a.m., and at about 5 a.m. entered the steep ice gully where the route begins. Overhanging rock soon stopped our rapid progress. We climbed it (M5 A2) before dawn. The rest of the lower part waseasier, although there were further mixed parts before we reached the wide icefield halfway up the face.

The steeper upper part began with an excellent narrow gully (AI5) and continued with mixed climbing (M4-5), until we reached the hanging icefall that opens to the upper icefields. We noticed an old piton (probably Jeff’s) at the base of it. Since the ice looked unstable, we looked around the edge on the right and found a steep overhanging chimney (UIAA 6-), which we climbed in two pitches. From the upper icefields another two steep pitches reached the east ridge, which leads to the top, where we stood at 5 p.m.

We descended the north face, in the night, for nine hours. The main problem was orientation. We found old slings and made four rappels before we got off of rock and ice and reached the grass on the northern slopes.

Pavle Kozjek, Slovenia