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  Simone Moro: Annapurna 2004 The expedition report

Hello everyone! 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 evening 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. MISTAKE…(for me)!

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 a problem.

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 I will let you know what it will be. I hope you will return as numerously and affectionately as before! Ciao,  Simone Moro


Simone Moro Everest 2002

Simone Moro and company: Winter Shishapangma

Simone Moro received the David A Sowles award 2/2002

Simone Moro attempts Nanga Parbat (8125 meters), K2 (8611 meters) ...

Simone Moro Everest/Cho Oyu 2002 Expedition




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