Simone Moro solo for WINTER Broad Peak - and K2?
(K2Climb.net) The only non-Polish climber to have bagged a virgin winter 8000+ summit; Simone Moro wants more. And with permits virtually free for Karakorum winter climbs - that's where Simone is headed, alone.
After making the first winter summit of Shisha Pangma in January 2005 with Polish Piotr Morawski, Simone can pick and choose his peak in Pakistan - where all 8000ers wait for a first winter climb.
Broad Peak - and then maybe K2
“Due the low price of winter permit and due the location of the base camp, I decided to buy 2 permits: For Broad Peak (or K3) and K2,” Simone told ExplorersWeb. “The first and main project will be Broad peak; only after climbing Broad will I decide whether to attempt K2 or not.”
Simone already summited Broad Peak in summer, 2003 - in a speedy 24 hour push. "The experience confirmed to me I can climb fast, and knowing the route will also help me in my winter attempt," Simone says.
As for K2, Moro considers it "the dream of all climbers [...], difficult and beautiful at the same time."
Simone attempted K2 right after Broad in 2003, but bad weather and snow forced him back at 7600m. Simone believes the previous attempt on K2 will prove another valuable experience for his upcoming winter attempt. But he also knows the Karakorum giants look different during winter. Most of all, as he is facing them alone.
Porter turned back
“I know the difficulties, the risk, and the effort I’m up against,” Simone states. “I invited Denis [Urubko], Piotr Morawski and Sergey Samoilov to join me - but for different reason they can’t come. So I will be alone.”
“I’m organizing a small base camp team comprising 1 cook, 1 sirdar/laison officier, 1 photographer/cameraman and probably 1 Pakistani climber.” Simone won't use supplementary O2 on any of the climbs.
“I called Ashraf Aman from ATP (Adventure Tour Pakistan) yesterday and he said that there is already a lot of snow on the Baltoro glacier. A porter we had sent to BC with gear had to turn back in Urdukas. Just getting to BC will be a challenge.”
The expedition will start on December 24, well in winter time. The astronomical calendar shows that the beginning of winter 2006 is marked by the winter solstice, which will take place at 0:22 am on December 22 (check calendar on the left).
In addition to Simone's, three other teams are attempting winter 8000ers this year. A Polish team led by Krzysztof Wielicki will climb Nanga Parbat in winter via the Schell route on the Rupal face. In Nepal, a Japanese team from JAC Tokai Section will attempt the south face of Lhotse - and a Korean team (not confirmed yet) could share the same goal.
North Face athlete Simone Moro, 38, has summited Mount Everest (three times), Broad Peak, Cho Oyu, Shisha Pangma (winter), Lhotse (twice) and 5 peaks over 7000 meters. He has the first winter climb of Marble Wall 6400m (Tien Shan), a 24-hour climb on Fitz Roy’s West Face (Patagonia), and many other climbs around the world. Simone and Piotr Morawski summited Shisha Pangma Friday January 14, 2005 at 1:15 pm (local) after a fast 5 hour climb in very strong winds. It was the first (real) winter ascent on a 8000er since 1988, and the first winter climb on Shisha Pangma.
The Shisha winter summit was in fact Simone’s fifth winter climb: To the tragic December attempt on Annapurna in 1997 when Boukreev died, Simone had successful climbs on Aconcagua and Cerro Mirador (new route in alpine style in 1993), and on Marble Wall - the northernmost and coldest 6000er in Central Asia - with Denis Urubko in 2001.
“There are too many people at 8000 meters, and it seems like all of them are trying to complete their collection of the 14, 8000 meter peaks,” he told ExplorersWeb in a previous interview. “Even for those climbers who aren’t collecting summits, 95% of the time they’re just climbing the ‘normal’ route - the same route someone took half a century ago. I feel like real alpinism takes other paths towards a sense of vertical adventure."
"Therefore, I started attempting winter ascents, new routes, traverses, speedy ascents, etc. I tried to create my own alpinism, not to clone what had been done so well in the past.”
In Nepal, only Makalu still remains unclimbed in the coldest season. In Pakistan however, none of the 8000ers (K2, Nanga Parbat, Broad Peak, GI, and GII) have been summited in winter.
Broad Peak has been previously attempted in winter twice: First in 1996 by a Polish team, and then in 2002 by a Spanish expedition.
Krzysztof Wielicki will lead the Fifth Polish expedition to winter Nanga Parbat. The team members add up not only many years of experience - but also an amazing number of 8000ers summited - including winter first ascents:
Wielicki was the fifth climber to summit all 14 8000ers. Among his climbs; the first winter ascents of Everest, Lhotse and Kangchenjunga. Artur Hajzer, has 4, 8000ers summited and the first winter climb of Annapurna. Dariusz Zaluski, has 4, 8000ers summited and winter attempts on K2, Makalu, Nanga and Shisha. Jan Szulc led the team who first climbed Shisha Pangma in winter, and has a K2 winter attempt.
Krzysztof Tarasewicz, is summiteer on 3 8000ers; Jacek Jawien has been a member in K2 and Shisha winter expeditions. Only Przemyslaw Lozinski will experience an 8000+ meter peak for the first time.
Further information at: http://www.mounteverest.net/news.php?news=15309