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Slovenian-British team ascends Latok 1 to capture holy grail of climbing

Islamabad, 14 August - A Slovenian-British expedition featuring Aleš Česen, Luka Stražar and Tom Livingston has become the first to conquer the north face of Latok I (7,145 meters), possibly the most coveted outstanding prize in high-altitude climbing until now.

China
The Himalayas.
Photo: Xinhua/STA

"The three of us, Aleš, Tom and Luka, returned to base camp a few hours ago. We climbed a new route in the north face and summited Latok 1. Up next ... sleep," the climbers, who needed seven days for the feat, announced on the website of the Slovenian Mountaineering Association on Saturday.

The top of Latok I, part of the central Karakoram mountain range in Pakistan, had been reached only once before, by a Japanese team climbing the south face in 1979. The north ridge had however eluded dozens top tier teams since 1978.

The Rock and Ice climbing magazine labelled the north ridge of Latok I "arguably the the biggest outstanding prize in high-altitude climbing".

"Probably premature to start picking favourites for next year's Piolets d'Or, but let's just say if we were betting folks we'd have our money on these guys," Rock and Ice wrote about its projections for what are seen as the Oscars of mountaineering.

More details are expected after the climbers' return to Slovenia, scheduled at the end of this week.

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© STA, 2018