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Check out the previous story on the Mountain.RU:
Simone Moro, Denis Urubko. Doublet: Baruntse North Face&Annapurna.
Simone Moro. Interview for Mountain.RU
Shisha Pangma Winter Expedition

The author:
Simone Moro



Spring 2004: projects in Nepal

Baruntse (7129m) and Annapurna (8091m)

Baruntse, north face

I’ll be returning to Nepal on the 28th of March. I’m going there in order to attempt two prestigious climbing objectives. The first will be the north wall of Baruntse (7129m). This is a “virgin” wall, untouched except by the gaze of thousands of “eye climbers!” This wall is located in front of the south wall of Lhotse (8561m), part of the mountain group between Everest and Makalu which has battled hundreds of trekkers and alpine specialists over the past 30 years. This is going to be an extreme and extremely cold (remember, it’s the north wall!) climb that will test us and our equipment to the limit. The risk is that we’ll have to use portaledge (rigid hammocks) to sleep hanging from the wall. Officially, only the north crest (the left one when facing the wall) was climbed by a French expedition in 1980. All the other ways up the mountain have been made up the opposite side, along the southeast crest. The mountain, as I’ve already said, is situated in the mountain chain that separates the massif of Everest from the Makalu region. It’s known to anyone who’s been to the high basin of Hongu where the upper part of the valley dominates spectacularly; it towers over the Amphu Labsta Pass from where it appears steep and inaccessible. It is also one of the spectacular peaks that can be seen from the summit of Island Peak. You can also see it from the base camp of Makalu. The first climb there was done by Edmund Hillary and a group ? English and New Zealanders in 1954; the year after the first they went up Everest along the southeast crest to reach the east side (Makalu).

The north wall, object of our desire and project, is situated in front of the easy and most climbed summit of Island Peak (6165m). You can see it as well from the village of Dinboche and Chukung, where the most frequented trekking passage in the world passes, that of Everest. In spite of all this vis ibility, no one has ever done it from this northern side, probably because of how imposing it is (more than 200m) and its obvious difficulty. I and my companions are going to try to do it….

Just as in 2002 and 2003 there was a daily direct radio link with “Radio24 Il Sole 24 ore” during the whole climb and from whatever place by means of satellite technology, we’ll be in contact along the way up. We are hoping to send images and video every day by way of a new modem that permits you to sent data at incredibly high speeds—the video should have the quality of television!


Immediately after this first ever attempt, we’re going to try the north wall of Annapurna (8091m—of the 8000m mountains it is the least climbed and the one with the most failures) along the route previously taken by the French. There is also the possibility, not to mention the desire, to try something new on this wall, but first we want to establish ourselves at base camp and carefully observe for ourselves the dangers of this giant that has claimed more lives than it has allowed to reach its summit…

Annapurna was the first of the 8000m group of mountains to be climbed. The historical undertaking was made by two French climbers, Maurice Herzog, who is still alive, and Louis Lachenal, who died in 1955. They were part of an expedition that included Lionel Terray, Gaston Rébuffat, Jean Couzy, Marcel Schatz, Marcel Ichac and the doctor, Jacques Oudot. Herzog and Lachenal reached Annapurna’s summit on June 3rd, 1950 after having undergone, with their companions, a l ong and tiring search for the best way up. After having reached the summit, the two climbers began the descent that became a dramatic ordeal. They had a serious case of frost bite on their hands and feet and some painful amputations were necessary.

My companions on this vertical adventure will be Denis Urbko from Kazakhstan (he has already reached 8 summits of 8000m), who was my companion in 1999, and Bruno Tassi, alpine guide from Bergamo, who will be with us only on Baruntse.

Simone Moro
Bruno Tassi
Denis Urubko

The light style that belongs to few climbers, no oxygen or porters in the high altitudes, represents our way of tackling and respecting the great mountains. We will try to conduct an expedition with the least amount of impact upon the environment, using solar power to run and recharge our electrical equipmen t. During the last expedition there were 110,000 hits on our internet site in only a little more than a month. With this new and double adventure I hope that there will be as many if not more!

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