Simone Moro on T-19 countdown for Karakorum's bitter winter
(K2Climb.net) “I’m in Mexico, on the beach…for the annual North Face Global team meeting,” Simone told ExplorersWeb yesterday. “I'm actually surfing right now, but in 19 days I'll be in a completely different place and temperature. My expedition is starting on December 24. I'll celebrate Christmas on the plane.”
A lonely camp in a wintery Karakorum offers nothing but bitter cold, danger and solitude. Simone will have to fend for himself on Broad Peak and (possibly) K2. “I will stay there until end of February; and I didn’t find any photographer or cameraman to come with me. So I will have to do all by myself.”
Only Pakistani climber Shaeed (who has climbed all 5, 8000ers in Pakistan) will keep Simone company. It is unclear though whether Shaeed will also climb to higher camps, or remain in BC.
The only non-Polish climber to have bagged a virgin winter 8000+ summit (Shisha Pangma in January 2005 with Polish Piotr Morawski), Italian Simone Moro is back for more.
He will attempt Broad Peak this winter, alone. The North Face Baltoro Winter Expedition will start on December 24, well in winter time. Simone has also applied for a permit to climb K2 - but he will hold his final decision until he is done with Broad.
Simone already summited Broad Peak in summer, 2003 - in a speedy 24 hour push. Back then he attempted K2 right after Broad, but bad weather and snow forced him back at 7600m.
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.
Also this winter 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.
Further information at: http://www.mounteverest.net/news.php?news=15360