Conrad Anker and Simone Moro at London for the TNF Speaker Series 2012
The final stage of the The North Face Speaker Series 2012 took place in London on 20/11/2012 with two great alpinists: America's Conrad Anker and Italy's Simone Moro. The themes couldn't have been any others than alpinism and the Himalaya, from Meru to Gasherbrum II.
2011 was a stellar year for Himalayan mountaineering and the highlights incude two beautiful ascents: the historic first winter ascent of Gasherbrum II by Simone Moro, Denis Urubko and Cory Richards, and the first ascent of Meru's Shark's Fin by the Americans Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk. Two extremely difficult climbs, highly sought after and truly great. Just to get things straight: the enormous pillar up the NW Face of Meru had been attempted by circa 30 expeditions prior to the American success and Anker himself had been forced to abandon two previous attempts: the first in 2003, the second in 2008 a mere 100 metres shy of the summit. A setback which would have been difficult to come to terms with for most, but not for the ace American who, deservedly, is considered one of the world's foremost alpinists. His first ascents take in the entire alphabet of mountains, from Alaska (NW Face of Mount Hunter) to Zion (Rodeo Queen), touching on Antarctica (Vinson East Face), Baffin, Karakorum (SW Face of Latok I), Patagonia (Badlands on Torre Egger)...
The list is nigh endless, just like that of another tireless, highly talented alpinist, Simone Moro. After having been one of Italy's top sport climbers - redpointing 8b+ when this was practically the era's limit - Moro decided to take to the mountains and now, 20 years later, he has been on more than 40 expeditions to the Greater Ranges and highlights include the historic first winter ascent of three Himalayan 8000ers, Shisha Pangma, Makalu and Gasherbrum II. This is of course an absolute record, one which he shares with another all-time great, Krzysztof Wielicki. It's worth underlining that these top performances aside, the list of great ascents could continue. And it's also worth noting that Moro's knowledge of the world's mountains, in particular the Himalaya, is second-to-none and that he is also one of the most able communicators that alpinism has ever seen. It's clear therefore that with this Moro - Anker duo, the London stage of the The North Face Speaker Series 2012 was an absolute, top event.