With the holidays now behind us and 2019 officially here, the winter climbing season is about to truly get underway, with expeditions set to begin on K2, Nanga Parbat, and several other major peaks. We’ll have an update on those attempts tomorrow, but while we were off the past two weeks winter climbing specialist Simone Moro also announced his plans for the long, cold months ahead, turning his attention to Manaslu in Nepal.
Moro, who is no stranger to climbing some of the highest peaks in the world during the winter, arrived in Kathmandu back on December 29. He wasted no time in the Nepali capital however, immediately flying out to the Khumbu region on December 31. Upon arrival, he began setting up his Base Camp on Mera Peak, where he’ll spend some time acclimatizing prior to traveling to Manaslu itself. He is expected to spend about 10 days on Mera first.
Once acclimatized, the plan is for Moro to attempt Manaslu in alpine style. That is to say, he’ll go light and fast, carrying all of the gear he needs for the ascent with him as he climbs. He’ll also make the attempt without the use of supplemental oxygen as well. It appears Simone will be making the ascent in a solo fashion, with only a small support team to assist him in BC.
The Italian climber is one of the most decorated and experienced winter mountaineers of all time. With four winter first ascents of 8000-meter peaks under his belt, few climbers have as much experience as Moro. Those first ascents include Shishapangma, Makalu, Gasherbrum II, and Nanga Parbat. Last year, he and climbing partner Tamara Lunger also made the first ascent of Pik Pobeda a 3003 meter (9852 ft.) peak that is the highest mountain in Siberia and one of the coldest places on the planet.
We’ll be following Simone’s progress closely in the days ahead, just as we will the other major winter expeditions. It looks like it is going to be a very busy and interesting year for these cold weather climbs, with lots of updates to follow.
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