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Barbara moro

All rights reserved. Barbara Moro, a high-school phys-ed teacher in Bergamo, Italy, came home from work one day and mentioned to her husband, Simone Moro , the renowned Himalayan alpinist, that one of her students showed quite a bit of promise and interest in becoming a high-altitude mountaineer. For one, the student had the gift of endurance, but she was also respectful, mature. She absolutely loved mountains. The student, Tamara Lunger , grew up skiing and climbing in the Dolomites surrounding her home, the town of Bolzano, in South Tyrol. Her father, Hansjorg Lunger, was a local ski mountaineering legend and her first teacher. Their objective was 8,meters 26,foot Cho Oyu, the sixth highest mountain in the world. But that year China closed the border between Tibet and Nepal, and they never got to climb. Tamara returned the following year, alone, and soloed Cho Oyu to 7, meters before turning around. But the recognition that Tamara deserved for making it that far was overshadowed by a tragedy.
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All rights reserved. Barbara Moro, a high-school phys-ed teacher in Bergamo, Italy, came home from work one day and mentioned to her husband, Simone Moro , the renowned Himalayan alpinist, that one of her students showed quite a bit of promise and interest in becoming a high-altitude mountaineer.

For one, the student had the gift of endurance, but she was also respectful, mature. She absolutely loved mountains. The student, Tamara Lunger , grew up skiing and climbing in the Dolomites surrounding her home, the town of Bolzano, in South Tyrol. Her father, Hansjorg Lunger, was a local ski mountaineering legend and her first teacher. Their objective was 8,meters 26,foot Cho Oyu, the sixth highest mountain in the world.

But that year China closed the border between Tibet and Nepal, and they never got to climb. Tamara returned the following year, alone, and soloed Cho Oyu to 7, meters before turning around.

But the recognition that Tamara deserved for making it that far was overshadowed by a tragedy. Fast forward to mid-morning, Pakistan time, on February 26, Tamara Lunger and Simone Moro, now 29 and 48 years old, respectively, find themselves a few hundred meters below the summit of Nanga Parbat. All four climbers are moving independently. No one is carrying even a rope. About meters feet below the summit, Tamara confesses to Simone that she might not be able to make it down on her own.

The night before, the foursome had shared a tent on the shoulder of the Himalayan giant, at 7, meters. By normal Himalayan climbing standards, none of the four climbers were appropriately acclimatized due to the general nature of winter climbing in the Himalaya, when seasonal monsoon jet streams ravage the mountains and keep climbers mostly tent-bound.

Indeed, this is one of the many reasons that Nanga Parbat, despite more than 30 attempts over the past three decades, had remained unclimbed in winter: The windows of good weather, if they ever come, are way too short to allow for proper acclimatization, much less a summit bid.

Summit day dawned. They made the decision to leave at 6 a. Tamara woke up depleted. She vomited up her breakfast. The altitude was taking its toll. Still, she climbed alongside her mentor and two newfound friends. If Tamara could make it to the summit, she would become the first woman to achieve a first winter ascent of an 8,meter peak. In fact, only 27 people have ever stood atop an 8,meter peak in winter, and only one of those people is a woman.

At p. This was his also his fourth time at the summit of Nanga Parbat, a record. Meanwhile, just 70 meters below them, Tamara had stopped. The climbers were close enough to wave to each other. But she was just completely without power. She was dehydrated, and she knew climbing higher might put us in danger too.

Because we were also exhausted. The men spent less than a few minutes on the summit. Only Simone took a photo. Meanwhile, Tamara turned around and descended alone, independently. But she was thinking about us. The four climbers made it back to Camp 4 that evening, and they were all back at base camp the following day.

A professional climber and a high-altitude helicopter pilot who is pioneering new means to perform extremely dangerous, risky, and controversial rescues of climbers at altitude, Simone spoke to us after he and Tamara reached Islamabad, where both were given medical treatment for their toes—frostbitten but intact and expected to fully recover.

How does it feel to have completed the first winter ascent of Nanga Parbat? Honestly, Alex, Ali, and I all have difficulties not considering Tamara a summitter, like us. We were percent sure she was coming to the summit, because the distance where she stopped and turned back was just so close. She was only 70 meters below us. We could wave to her.

But she really was completely exhausted, and she had been having stomach problems all morning. She denied herself the summit to avoid putting us in danger. It would be like you are close to winning an Olympic medal, and two meters before the finish line, you stop, turn around, and help someone in trouble. It was really incredible to witness. First, we were not properly acclimatized when we decided to grab the good weather window and go for the summit. We had spent only one night at Camp 2, at 6, meters. Usually, this is not enough to climb an 8,meter peak without oxygen.

So this was the first big question mark: Are we able to go for the summit with only one night at 6,? The second major difficulty was the weather and wind. We moved quite fast at the beginning, but I remember, the last meters to the summit, it was really a pure mental game. You and Tamara were originally going for the Messner route, but you switched to join Ali and Txikon on the Kinshofer route.

Why did you switch objectives? I had already tried the Messner route in winter in with Denis Urbuko, and I realized it was a perfect route to reach the summit of Nanga Parbat without any fixed ropes. This year, there was another team Tomasz Mackiewicz of Poland, and Elisabeth Revol, of France who were trying the route.

They alerted me to the fact that this particular season, there were a lot of crevasses and falling seracs, so it was quite dangerous. I understood that the Kinshofer route was the only realistic way to go this year. So Alex made the invitation? Also, this meant using fixed ropes to reach the top, correct? He invited me at the beginning of the expedition. But when I realized it was too dangerous, I joined him, and I thanked him. Alex and Ali did 70 percent of the work by fixing the ropes.

So we had the benefit to join them and take advantage of the fantastic work that they did. You know better than me that, if you want to show everyone in the world that you are a very good high-altitude mountaineer, you have to climb all 14 8,meter peaks. Now, there are nearly 40 people in the world who have done this.

But, for sure, climbing the 14 ers is no longer a kind of exploration. Instead of chasing the 14, I discovered that climbing 8,meter peaks in winter is a real, pure, absolute exploration.

You have a 15 percent rate of success. But I do it because the sense of exploration is so high. You are escaping the trap of success, and you just embrace the beauty of the big question mark.

And when you go in winter, even while remaining in base camp for three months waiting for the good weather, you really feel like a pioneer. Like an explorer of another time.

Will you do the other 10? Absolutely not! But for sure, there will be someone, sooner or later, who will bring a different way of collecting the ers.

Instead of being number 41 or 42 to do all 14, they could be the first to do them in winter. It will happen. And in that dream I was dying during a winter ascent of K2. But let me ask you just one single thing. There is a big Polish expedition currently organizing for K2 in winter. It would be great, a happy ending, because the Polish were the inventors of this game of winter alpinism. They were the first to climb an er in winter with Everest in , and it would be nice for them to conclude this period as well.

But I will stop climbing ers in winter. I would like to change something and return to technical alpinism. Read Caption. By Andrew Bisharat. Barbara Moro had been right. Tamara clearly had what it took to be an alpinist. Soon, Simone Moro and Alex Txikon joined him. What were the difficulties that you faced on this climb? Why have you been drawn to climbing 8,meter peaks in winter?

What about K2, the last remaining er without a winter ascent? Continue Reading.



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