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Italian climber tries first winter ascent of Nanga Parbat

World's 9th-highest peak never been conquered in wintry weather

07 February, 14:52
Italian climber tries first winter ascent of Nanga Parbat (ANSA) - Aosta, February 7 - Italian mountain climber Simone Moro and his German colleague David Gottler are gearing for the first-ever winter ascent of Himalayan giant Nana Parbat, the world's ninth-highest peak.

"Simone and David are at Campo 1, where it's very cold and windy at the moment," expedition member Emilio Previtali said Friday.

"They'll get the weather forecast in the next few hours and try to measure how big a time window they'll have," he added.

The pair have said they plan to launch the attack on the 8,126-metre-high mountain either Monday or Tuesday.

Moro is making a second bid after bad weather forced him and Kazakh Denis Urubko to abandon an attempt a year ago.

Four years ago Moro and Urubo made the first-ever out-of-season ascent of Makalu, the world's fifth-highest peak, battling gale-force winds.

Mountaineers had been trying to make a winter ascent of the 8,462-metre Makalu for 30 years, but the peak known as The Big Black had foiled some of the world's best climbers.

Among those who it defeated were Italian great Reinhold Messner, who tried the climb twice, and French mountaineer Jean-Christophe Lafaille, who disappeared during a solo attempt in 2006.

Bergamo-born Moro, 45, was the first man in the world to climb another 8,000-metre Himalayan peak, Shisha Pangma, during winter.

Moro says he is determined to carry out winter ascents of the peaks on the Pakistani side of the Himalayas - like Nanga Parbat.

Another Pakistani giant, the world's second-highest mountain K2, has never been climbed out of season.

photo: Simone Moro.