Italian, Pole scale Shisha Pangma

Rajan Pokhrel

Barabise, January 26:

Braving the winter, when most of the climbers do not even want to think of embarking on expeditions, two members of the Winter Expedition-2005, Italian national Simone Moro and Polish national Piotr Morawski, created history by scaling the 8027-m Shisha Pangma mountain last week. The peak lies in Tibet.

On Thursday, the Chinese Tibet Mountaineering Association (CTMA) certificated their feat as the “first winter summit expedition to Shisha Pangma.” Other members of the team, Jan Szulc, Dariusz Zaluski and Jacek Jawein, however, called off their climb from 7000 metres. Moro, 27, who was returning to Kathmandu from Tibet via Barabise with Morawski on Monday, said, “The temperature was -40 degree Celsius but our hard work paid.”

He added they had begun the expedition one month back.

The period between December 22 and March 22 is taken as off-season for mountaineering expeditions. “Climbing in winter is very difficult and different, sadly out of fashion and truly above the normal limit of one’s ability to support discomfort,” Moro said. According to Moro, the trend of winter expeditions began in 1988 when a Polish team scaled the 8,516-metre Mt Lhotse. “Without too much emphasis or false modesty, I can claim to have lived a remarkable alpine experience in the cold, and to have had both defeats and victories,” Moro said. Though Poles have been successful in climbing mountains during the winter, Moro is the first Italian to climb a mountain during the season.

Celebrating their success amid strong gusts of wind, Moro and Moraswki hugged each other and took photos on January 14. “Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Cho Oyu, Langtang and thousands of mountains were around us,” they said, recalling their experience atop the mountain. According to the climbers, only seven mountains, Makalu of Nepal, Shisha Pangma and five mountains of Pakistan, are open for winter expedition.

The expedition was organised by Cho-yu Trekking Pvt Ltd of Kathmandu. Managing director of the Trekking, Nimanuru Sherpa, said it was the first successful winter expedition by Cho-oyu Trekking.