Simone Moro reports:
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.
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...
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.
Moro, Denis Urubko. Doublet: Baruntse North Face&Annapurna.
Here we are at last at the final stages of this latest human
climbing adventure which began over a month ago on March 28th,
2004. The past two months have been filled with so many beautiful
things and such intensity! And everything went well-lor almost
everything…This word “almost” is obviously referring to the
last attempt to climb Annapurna where the cold and other factors
decided for me that this time, even so close to the peak as
I was, would not be THE time.
The facts: Everything went fine until the night of May 29th.
Denis and I had been working intensively for weeks to fix
the ropes, establish the camps and become familiar with various
stretches of the way up. We also tested ourselves with climbing
up in only five hours from base camp to camp 2 (nearly 2000m
of height difference). Our friends and companions Gerlinde,
Ralf, Hirotaka and Boris appreciated our work and enthusiastically
prepared themselves to walk on Annapurna as well.
Unfortunately, all of us, although at different times, were
stopped by dysentery. Because of this I didn’t give in to
the temptation of climbing the new route, weakened as I was.
Along the French way up, everything seemed to work out…fine
weather, good physical condition and definitely high enthusiasm.
The night of May 29th, the eve of my and Denis’ attempt
to reach the peak, we were informed by Ralf that Boris Korshunov
had not yet come back to camp 2. His missing and the dark
led us to consider an accident that could have happened on
the way back from the peak on the dangerous crevice between
6900m and 6000m. At that moment, after this news, Denis and
I decided to prepare for an emergency and to forget about
our own ascent to the peak. Quickly, we got ready in our small
tent in camp 4, studying a way to go look for our friend and
companion everywhere possible.
Upon leaving the tent, good news arrived. Boris was live!!
He had returned a few minutes before to camp 2. He had lost
his sunglasses and orientation due to the glare coming from
the surrounding walls of snow and chunks of ice. As we were
already ready to act, Denis and I decided to try to make the
peak then, instead of waiting for the early morning hours.
The cold was piercing me, and knowing the sun wouldn’t come
until the next day only aggravated the situation. At 7600m
I started to feel cold in my stomach and moments after I began
vomiting. After a few heaves and more and more frequent shaking
I felt my energy waning. We were still walking very fast (it
took Denis 4hours and 20 minutes to get from camp 4 to the
peak) but I felt my condition getting worse, and my feet and
hands were losing feeling.
By the light of the moon I was able to see the trapezoid form
of the last stretch of the way up and the peak, but my stomach
was giving out on me. Contortions and vomiting.
In was in that moment that I decided not to be a hero, blind
and insensitive, guided only by ambition. I told Denis that
I would go back because of the way I was feeling. I told him
to continue without me. I would have waited for him awake
in our little tent with a light as the dark would have prevented
our camp from easily being found. That’s how it went. Denis
Urubko on the peak in the middle of the night, 8091m!
The whole team of my expedition made it to the peak without
I was happy for getting sincere compliments from everyone
for the work I had done and for the decision I had made. I
saw the huge disappointment in everyone’s eyes and a kind
of surprise at my not having made it to the top after everything
Denis and I had shown ourselves capable of. But life is not
always a victory and success and surprises like aches and
pains come indiscriminately to the strong and the weak, the
rich and poor and to the ugly and the beautiful. Everyone
of us has a unique way to follow, a future which is probably
already written down somewhere, unbeknownst to us. Written
down for May 29th, for Simone Moro, was everything I have
just shared with you, and I have accepted this page in my
life with serenity and am enthusiastically getting ready for
my next adventure.
But before, I want to experience life’s other peaks, those
in places beyond this world. I want to spend time with my
daughter Martina and my wife Barbara, my mother and brothers,
my friends, my faith, the taste of clean water, the warmth
of fire, and the consciousness of being one like many others!
I thank you now for having followed and supported me along
the way. You all have been an affectionate presence in my
life, and I hope that I have given you at least something
of what you have expected from me. I gave my all, and please
excuse this latest defeat. I want to say hello to those who
followed me on the web, though for other, more sinister reasons,
wanting something to go wrong… There will be those who will
be glad that what has happened happened. Climbing doesn’t
make a difference in the rest of the world.
See you on the next adventure which is now forming, floating
around in my head. Soon, on this web site, I will let you
know what it will be. I hope you will return as numerously
and affectionately as before!
Ciao, Simone Moro
News from 26.05.04
Today is the second and last day of rest and wait here in
base camp. Tomorrow at 4:30 Denis and I will start and go
directly to camp 2 at 6000 meters.
The day after we will start to open our new route on the rock
bastion and the days after directly to the summit through
Today Gerlinde, Ralf, Hirotaka and Boris did start at 6:30
a.m. to reach camp 3 at 7000 meters on the normal route. Tomorrow
they will try the summit push.
The clouds are already in the sky but the visibility at present
(9:50 a.m.) is still good. Tomorrow should start the 3-4 days
good weather and we hope that the forecast will be without
Tomorrow they would like to reach C3 at
7000 meters. From there they will try summit. We had been sorry
to left C2 without helping our friends in fixing work but we
were worry for avalanche danger and Denis physical problem.
We still want to open a new route and we need energy and good
weather as much as possible.
News from 25.05.04
Trusting in the weather forecast and in our instinct we
decided to return in base camp today and here we are now.
We will remain only 48 hours. We will recover our energy and
Denis will resolve his problem with "diarrhoea" Gerlinde,
Ralf, Hirotaka and Boris remained at C2 and today they will
work in fixing rope in the last part of the ice fall.
Our friends understood our position and they had been friendly
with us when we left them this morning at 5:30 a.m.
Ciao Simone & C.
News from 24.05.04
Phonecall from camp II:
"Today we stayed here in camp II and the weather is really
bad. The last 3 hours it has been snowing. Today also Ralf,
Gerlinde, Boris and Hirotaka reached camp II. Ralf and Hirotaka
today feel better.
Boris forgot the tent poles in BC and so last night he slept
in a tent pitched by bamboo…. Fortunately we did have one
more tent here in camp II, so we have 3 tents…!
Tomorrow Ralf, Gerlinde, Boris and Hirotaka want to reach
camp III, while Denis and I go to the rocky pillar. Today
we will receive weather forecast from Innsbruck and hope in
good news, because only last night I counted more than 30
Bye till tomorrow
Simone and Co"
Simone via satphone :
"Hello. We did start only today from BC, because the weather
was so bad. Denis and I did start at 3 a.m. from BC at
4200 meters and reached after 10 hours fighting camp II at
6000 meters. We had snow till our knees and so we have to
make all the track. Finally we risked to not find the camp,
because there was so many fog.. Ralf,
Gerlinde, Hirotaka and Boris did stop at camp I, because Ralf
has been hid by one stone on his leg and Hirotaka has problems
with his stomach. So they will decide tomorrow morning if
to continue or not.
Also Denis has some problem with his stomach, but not so bad.
Tomorrow morning Denis and I will decide if continue to 7000
meters, where begins the rocky part or if stay one more day
in camp II for rest after this hard work in the snow.
Bye till tomorrow Simone"
Via Satphone 18.05:
"Hello. Today we got up at 5 a.m. and we did start at 7 a.m.
We reached 6250 meters, but we finished our fixing ropes and
ice screws on the last serac. We needed other 200 meters,
not so important for going up, but for the descending.
We will spend one more night here, so also Boris can acclimatise.
Then we go to base camp and take 3 days rest.
Denis and I have to give up our project to open a new route,
because nobody else from our expedition reached the base camp
and we can not leave Boris alone on the French route..
Bye till tomorrow with new pictures
Call from 17.05.04
"We are in camp II at 5900 m. We settled our tend 100 more
down than usually, because here is more safe. Today it was
incredible hot. We are all ok and tomorrow we will climb to
camp III. We are happy to here from the success from our friends:
Nives, Romano and Luca (Lhotse), Inaki Ochoa, Joby Ogwyn and
Alex (Makalu) and Ed Viesturs (Everest).
Bye till tomorrow
Simone & Co.
16.05.2004 We start!!
Today I, Denis and Boris will start for 4 days on the mountain.
Our objective is to reach 7000/7100 meters and set camp 3.
Than we will come back to base camp for a 2 days rest and
then the summit attempt.
We will see if is possible to find a new line for a new route
or if the danger advise us to follow the french or duch route.
Today we arrived to Annapurna Base Camp flying by helicopter
The altitude of BC is 4150 mt and the summit is...4000
meters upper.. The mountain is beautiful and it loog big an
dengerous.Fortunatly there is not so much snow.... The helicopter
we used had been paied from Franco Acerbis, one of my sponsor,
and he also came here with us this morning. Now he went back
to Kathmandu and he will go to Everest region to get acclimatisation
than he will return here and will stay till the end of expedition.
Yesterday one hotel in Pokhara had been bombing from Maoist
and we was only 300 meters far.....
Tomorrow I, Denis and Boris we will climb up as much as we
can to establish our camps.....
The second adventure is begining Simone Moro
Here again after 10 days silence.
During this time we went back to Lukla and than to Kathmandu.
We meet Miss Hawley the famous journalist 80 years old, who
was very excited and interested in our climb. She tol us that
she is tire to make standard report abaut so many expedition
on normal route of 8000 or classic 6000 meters. We did these
kind of climb but we also became tired abaut that style and
since 2 yers we started our difficult but exciting way and
style of climbs....
Today we are in pokhara and tomorrow we will fly by russian
helicopter MI17 to Base camp of Annapurna north side.
The cptain of the helicopter Alexander became imediately friendly
with us and tomorrow at 6:00 a.m. we will start...
Two days ago arrived from Italy my friend and Sponsor Franco
Acerbis (www.acerbis.com) who gave us the possibility to have
the helicopter togo up and back at the end of expedition.
Big Luck....!!!! He will goto Khumbu valley tohave acclimatisation
and than he will come back to base camp to follow the last
days of our climb. So be ready!
The adventure is starting again....
Ciao Simone & C.
New route on "KHALI HIMAL or BARUNTSE NORD" 7066 m
It had been very difficult, very... but at the end using all
our capacities and resistance we reached our objective. The
north face of Khali Himal or Baruntse north is really big,
vertical, dangerous, impressive. It was virgin and unclimbed
and only the ices of the trekkers and climber had been dreamed
a climb on that wall after looking the mountain. We knew that
we have to use all our capacities and strengths to have success
on that face. And it happened...
We struggled four days and nights
again wind, could, mix climb, ice and rock. We had bivvy 4
days in three people in a tend of two... We never found place
to set it good and only our legs hanging in devoid. Ice crew,
rock pitons, ice axes, friends and nuts had been used to climb
the complicate wall, but the real struggle had been against
the wind and cold. We get 35 m/sec (120 Km/h) wind during
all the ascent and also on the summit!!!
had been very happy to reach the summit through this new and
first route and we spend 12 hours to come down from the mountain
rappelling on a single ice crew for 20 times...
The name of the route is "Ciao
Patrick" because we dedicated the climb to Patrick Berhault
recently dead. It was our friend and mythus.
The specification of our new
route you can see below. Now we will have a rest and then
we will fly to Annapurna I 8091 m for a new challenge.
Thank you to follow us
Khali Himal or Baruntse North 7066 m,
May, 4, 2004,
Moro Simone G.A, Tassi Bruno "Camos" G.A, Urubko Denis
Height of the wall 2550m, including the last 1350 m climbed
in alpine style.
Category of complexity: mixed climbing M6 often on the destroyed
breed, rocks 5 +/6, ice 70 ° and 90 ° with interspersed granite
Exposition: North - West
Biwy on the wall: 4
Descent: 12 hours for twenty times.
Last call from Simone was very short, because his batterie
" We are down, everything ok. hear us tomorrow for details
thank you for follow us...
Hello (first call via satphone)
Denis and I arrived just now in camp 1 at 6200 meter. We prepared
the tent which Denis and Boris took down for avoid to be destroyed
by the wind and the snow. Today all the fixropes were covered
from half-meter snow, only the fixropes in the rocky part
were free. Now
Denis and I will try to continue a little more on the difficult
rocky part and reach the snow part.
(second call) Hello, here we are again. Now we tree stay in
tend, preparing food. Denis and I climbed 20 meters more and
I think there are 20 meters more of very difficult climb for
arriving on snow, but now there is storm. Tomorrow, if the
weather want, we will continue.
Follow us Simone & Co
This night we slept very badly, because the 2 men tend is
really too small for tree people. This morning Denis and Camos
started to resolve the last difficult part. After very delicate
rocky and mixed climbing now they are in snow at 6300 meters
and Denis is crossing from left to right side. The wind is
not so strong than yesterday, but it persist to blow. Tomorrow
we want to start definitely to summit, but we are worried
about the wind. Also we can't stay to long here in tend, because
our gas is near to finish…
Ciao till tomorrow Simone Co.
we are again. Today it was a incredible hard day. We get up
at 2 o’clock in the night and started with tend and everything
at 3 o’clock, and only now, at 7 o’clock p.m. we arrived at
the ridge. We climbed all the day, we never stopped, not for
drinking, not for eating…. The face was very steap and we
the climbing was very difficult and mostly in rocky and icy
part. All the day there was strong wind and so it was very
cold also if there was shining the sun. Some friends called
us from the other base camps, because they were afraid about
us. But everything is ok now.
Tomorrow we want to go to the north summit, the Khali Himal
(black summit) and than we will decide if continue to Baruntse
main summit or if go back. It depend from the weather and
how long we take to Khali Himal.
Follow us also tomorrow Ciao Simone, Denis and Camos (via
SMS at 1:45 Italian time: “We are
starting now. There is sun and the wind is acceptable.”
at 7 a.m. Italian time: “I’ on the summit. I reached just
now the north summit of Baruntse, the Khalima at 7041 m. Denis
is coming soon and also Camos will reach the summit.
The wind is very strong. The ridge to the main summit seems
not difficult, but the wind is so strong, we risk to be blow
away…. Today is the birthday from Camos. I’m very satisfied
We hear us again, when I’m back in the tend. Ciao”
we are again. It start again to snow and this time more than
the other days. This morning we decided to prepare our
equipment because tomorrow we would like to make our summit
attempt but the weather "heard" our plans and it start to
As you see from the photo I just made (at 4:00 p.m.) we are
again in a bad situation and we have only to choice to wait,wait,wait.
The weather forecast said that till 1st May the conditions
will not change and so we are ready to continue our boring
wait. I think tomorrow and after we will remain here because
the avalanche danger is higher in this days on the wall. We
will inform you tomorrow what we will do....
Hello Friends. I'm here again for the
daily appointment with you.
Today is the eight day of bad weather. It continue to be
cloudy and sometimes it start to snow. Now we are tired to
continue to get rest and hope in some change. But we have
no choice. We have to wait the blue sky and the sun, because
all the mountain are covered of fresh snow and Baruntse too...
The section we have to climb before to touch the summit,
are 3 big plate of ice covered from dangerous snow. We don't
want to increase the danger of our climb and die for it. The
heroes are only in TV and in the book and our icy face and
life has to remain in the realty and not in a epic tragic
story... So we have to be patient and wait for the good weather.
I and Denis today came back to base camp after 2 days spent
in Chukhung at 4700 meter. Camos and Boris will come tomorrow
here after the last day in a warm and clean lodge.
Hello friends. Boris and Denis came back this morning in base
camp while the weather was again bad... As you can see from
photo attach, Boris and Denis fixed other 100 meters rope
on the difficult part.Now should remain 60 meters before the
icy section of the upper part of the face (should be more
easy...). Now all the team will rest 3 days and than I, Camos
and Denis will start for the summit attempt. Boris
is not included in the permit because he apply too late and
for that reason he will follow us by binocular and partecipate
in the second part of our expedition on Annapurna from north.
Since 3 days is snowing and 3 since days Denis and Boris are
working on the face. Yesterday they fixed 100 meters of rope
in rocky and mix climbing. Today they remained in the tend
at 6100 m all the day and by radio they communicated us that
at 4.p.m. they will start to come down. Now they should be
in ABC and tomorrow here in base camp. In the next report
I will send you the photo of the 3 days in storm....
Bad weather and expecially strong wind didn’t stop our work
on the north face of Baruntse. Yesterday Denis Urubko was
leading the team and he fixed 400 meters rope till 5900 meters
(see photo). The difficulties on Ice and mix had been quite
high. Today we will have rest and tomorrow I and Camos will
start for 2 days climbng and fixing rope on the face till
6300 m. We also want to find place for a high camp. In the
same time Denis will go for acclimatisation on Island Peak.
Our idea is to try the last 700 meters of face in alpine style
(me, Denis and Camos) next week.
Report of 17/4:
Hello friends Also today the weather is not good. Clouds
and fog are in the sky. I and my friend Camos will start after
few hours to go to ABC and for the next 2 days we will work
on the face. We continue to wach by binocular the portion
of face we have to climb and it looks terribly difficult.
We will have to rock climb and dry tooling... In any case
we want to have success on those difficulties...
Hello! This is the first report from Baruntse base camp.
We started from Italy the 28th March and after two days in
kathmandu we began the trekking to approach the mountain.
We decided to go to Everest Base Camp and climb Khala Patar
5600 m to have a better acclimatisation and than to come here
in front of Baruntse Face and establish our base camp at 5100
meter. Yesterday and the day before we already established
our ABC at 5250 meter few meters near "our" unclimbed face.
Tomorrow we will climb the north ridge of Baruntse and spend
two night there to get best acclimatisation and observ as
near as we can the terrible north face....
After this acclimatisation step we will take rest and than
start in alpine style to open our route and climb this untouch
huge face of 2000 meter high.
of 14/4 from Baruntse north face:
Hello!! We are back to base camp after first day spent on
the face. We fixed 350 meters of rope in the first complicate
part and we reached 5650 m. We belived it was easy snow slope
but we had to climb on mix part and traverse big crevasses.
We are not yet acclimatised and for that reason we will
continue to fix rope on the face and come back in the evening.
We planned to fix 800-1000 meters of rope and than continue
in alpine style. The weather is cloudy expecially in the second
part of the day.
Follow us. Simone Moro
2004: projects in Nepal Baruntse (7129m) and Annapurna (8091m)
"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