Dhaulagiri, Cho Oyu, Everest
On 09/04/07 Renzo Benedetti climbed to C1 on Dhaulagiri as did Mario Merelli and Mario Panzeri. Silvio Mondinelli, Marco Confortola and Alberto Maglianohave reached Kathmandu and are heading for Cho Oyu. Nives Meroi and Romano Benet are heading the Everest north side.
First spring steps for many Himalayan expeditions. Yesterday we received a phone call from Renzo Benedetti who, after having reached Dhaulagiri base camp on 7 April, had already climbed to Camp 1 ay 5850m to start acclimatisation. Benedetti is an extremely experienced Himalayan climber and this time he will attempt to climb the mountain alone, even though he pointed out that circa 20 other climbers will attempt the 7th highest mountain in the world. These include Mario Merelli and Mario Panzeri and co (who have reached Camp 1 as well), and a Spanish expedition including Iñaki Ochoa. The weather is typical spring conditions: good in the morning and snow in the afternoon. But the game has only just begun...
Silvio “Gnaro” Mondinelli has only just begun his game too, having arrived at Kathmandu together with Marco Confortola and Alberto Magliano. The Italian ironman's sights are set on Cho Oyu from the Tibetan side: Mondinelli has already climbed these 8201m in 1997, but he will now use this ascent to acclimatise for Broad Peak in June. This latter mountain is of particular relevance, seeing that it is the last of 8000m peak which Mondinelli needs to compete his collection... In the meantime his "one step at at a time" tactic means that all his thoughts are on Cho Oyu, and only in due time will he shift to thinking about his 14th stage of this personal (and beautiful) 20 year himalayan tour.
Talking about true Himalayan mountaineers - Nives Meroi and Romano Benet are currently completing their acclimatisation in the green and relaxing Valle del Khumbu. When they reach Everest base camp they will immediatly return, since their aim is to climb this mountain from the north. From Kathmandu they will therefore travel to Tibet to start on 18 April. At present they are enjoying the famous pilgrimage towards Kala Pattar and Chomolungma. This could be their 10th 8000m peak, a record not only for the tireless couple but also for Nives. They have always reached their summits together, and this is what they have promised to do here too.
The spring season has only just begun. And as we've learnt over time, nothing can be taken for granted on these Himalayan giants, especially if the ascents are carried out without oxygen and high altitude porters. The road is long and arduous, but all know this is a part of this beautiful and serious game.