Simone Moro. As a veteran climber who has put up first winter ascents on three Himalayan peaks, it is not unusual for Moro to be planning a big climb during the coldest, harshest season of the year. But this year Simone is keeping his cards close to the vest, and has not yet revealed his plans. We do know however, that he does not intend to attempt Nanga Parbat or K2, the only two remaining 8000 meter peaks to be climbed in winter. Recently, ExWeb caught up with Moro, as he shared some thoughts on the expeditions that will be taking place beginning in just a few weeks.
In the interview, Simone talks about the re-emergence of winter expeditions on the big peaks, and the Polish squads returning to prominence in that area. ExWeb credits Moro for reinvigorating winter climbs, but as you would expect, Simone says that he is happy to see others join him on the big mountain quests. He also reminds the interviewer that while he isn't going to K2 or Nanga Parbat, he still has some big plans for the winter ahead.
One of Simone's favorite climbing partners is Denis Urubko, who will be focused on K2 this winter. When asked why Moro did not join his old friend, he reiterated the now often-shared story about his wife having a bad dream about him dying on K2. She asked him not to climb that mountain in the winter, and he agreed. So it would seem that if K2 is to be summited during the harshest season of all, it will be by someone other than Simone.
Other topics that are discussed in the interview include Moro's thoughts on competition in high altitude mountaineering, what approach he would take to climbing K2 in the winter, his ideal team size for winter expedition, and some of the logistical differences between climbing in the winter vs. the summer. He also shares some thoughts on avoiding frostbite at high altitude, the chances of future shutdowns like the one on Everest this past spring, and much more.
If you're interested in high altitude mountaineering, particularly in the winter, than this is a good interview from a man who is extremely experienced in both areas. Simone is one of the best mountaineers in the business, and it will be interesting to hear about his winter plans this season. He says those plans remain confidential, so for now we'll jus have to wait. I expect we'll hear something definitive in the next few weeks, and then we'll be following Moro's efforts throughout the expedition, no matter where it takes him.