After his ascent of Lhotse Denis Urubko is now set to complete the traverse and climb Everest. His partner Simone Moro has descended to Base Camp exhausted after rescuing a young British mountaineer
The latest reports concerning the 'The Lhotse Everest Traverse Expedition 2001' place Denis Urubko at the South Col, ready to make his Everest summit bid after having climbed Lhotse yesterday, with the aim of completing the traverse between the highest and fourth highest mountain in the world. And Simone Moro? Simone is currently at Base Camp after having failed to reach the summit of Lhotse: a solitary night-time rescue of a nineteen-year old British mountaineer who had fallen on the South Face of Lhoste left Simone without the energy reserves needed to complete his ascent. This is (another) story worth recounting, and Simones thoughts in their entirety are published below.
""I preferred to put man ahead of the mountaineer..."
"Two days ago Denis and I climbed directly from Camp 2 to 8000m. We were in our tent in the middle of the night when a British mountaineer asked us to rescue his partner whod fallen down Lhotses South Face. He was in shock and explained very roughly where his partner lay and that he no longer moved. The other mountaineers and I exchanged long, silent glances.
It was night-time and bloody cold, the place where the mountaineer lay seemed really terrible, difficult to reach and somewhere where you dont want to stay for even a second. I couldnt stand the idea of leaving someone to die without even trying, even if in vain, to save his life. So I told Dennis to watch out for me and that I was going out to try and rescue him. When I found him I immediately realised that it was going to be nasty. He was in an avalanche prone area, without gloves, headtorch and, even worse, crampons.
He told me to go away and leave him to die. In Italian dialect I told him that after having made such an effort to reach him, Id even carry him piggy-back. And thats what I did. He was without crampons and in a bad way, so I had no alternative but to drag and piggyback him away from there. I carried him back to my tent without using oxygen, and to avoid a dangerous section prone to avalanches I had to ascend 200m. It was a tremendous effort.
Once in the tent Denis and I gave him our bivvy bag to keep him warm, so throughout the night I really felt the freezing cold. Denis and I left for Lhotse this morning but at 8300m I was far too tired, I had used up too much of my reserves. I wouldnt have been able to complete the traverse with an acceptable margin of safety, so I told Denis to carry on alone. He wanted to descend with me, but I convinced him to continue, there were other people in the gully heading for the summit, at least nine. So while I descended to Base Camp, he ascended to the summit of Lhotse "
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