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Antarctica, Antarctic Peninsula, Belgian Second Ascents, Spanish First Ascent

Belgian second ascents, Spanish first ascent. An international team sailed aboard the yacht Euronav Belgica to visit the Peninsula for the 110th anniversary of the Belgian Antarctic Expedition 1897-99. Fittingly, one of the peaks they climbed this season, Mt. Alio (285m) on Liege Island, had been discovered and named by that expedition. Despite encountering difficult sea-ice and weather conditions, they also made the second ascent of Celsus Peak (1,375m) on Brabant Island, and the second ascent of the prominent Mt. Banck (675m) above Argentino Channel, near Paradise Harbor.

The Spanish brothers Eneko and Iker Pou visited Cape Renard at the northern end of the scenic Lemaire Channel. The Cape is better known as the location of Cape Renard Tower—or “Una’s Tits”—a dual summited spire, one of the steepest mountain features on the Peninsula. However just south of the Tower is another steep massif with three peaks. The Spanish referred to these as “The Three Pigs” but named the one they summited Zerua Peak (Sky Peak). Their route Azken Paradisua (600m, 5.11 M6) is certainly one of the most technically difficult that has been climbed on the Antarctic Peninsula. See their report, below.

Damien Gildea, Australia