Simone Moro to put up a surprise on Mt Manaslu this winter

KATHMANDU: It’s no longer a secret. Simone Moro, the winter maestro from Italy, has returned to the world’s eighth highest mountain to attempt to climb the 8,163-metre peak in the winter season, sources revealed today.

Simone, who made a failed winter attempt on Mt Manaslu in February 2015, will attempt to climb the mountain this season without using supplemental oxygen. “Simone will be climbing Mt Manaslu via normal route in an alpine style.”

The wiry Italian climber, who arrived here yesterday, is scheduled to fly for Mt Everest region tomorrow and he will attempt to climb Mera peak. “Simone has chosen Mera peak for acclimatization.”

After returning from Khumbu region, Simone along with his small team, if weather allows, will leave for Mt Manaslu base camp on January 10. Simone, the renowned Himalayan alpinist, will be accompanied by Pemba Gyalje Sherpa, a national mountain guide, sources added. “There will be at least two kitchen staff in his team.”

Last February, along with his partner Tamara Lunger, Simone made the first ever winter ascent of Pik Pobeda (3,003 m), the highest mountain in Siberia, documenting a film in one of the coldest places on the planet.

The 51-year-old Italian alpinist had already made successful winter ascents of Mt Shishapangma in 2005, Mt Makalu in 2009, Gasherbrum ll in 2011 and Nanga Parbat in 2016, becoming the first and only climber to have made the first winter ascent of four 8,000ers.

According to climbing records, less than 30 climbers have stood on the summit of an 8,000-meter peak in winter season till date.

Meanwhile, legendary mountaineers Reinhold Messner and Hans Kammerlander will be also embarking on a trek to Mt Everest region this winter. “The climbing legends are here to explore Khumbu area this winter,” Industry sources said.