Theyve done it! Silvio Mondinelli and Mario Merelli, from N. Italy reached the summit of Mount Everest on 23/05/2001 and are now safely back in Base Camp. Mondinelli and Merelli set out from the South Col at 8000m for the final summit push at 0.30 two days ago and reached the summit at 11.30 without the use of supplementary oxygen. They then descended quickly to Base Camp. Everest is Mondinellis fifth 8000m peak after Manaslu ('93), Lhotse ('94), Shisa Pangma ('96) and Cho Oyu ('97), and this latest success finally caps years of effort and dreaming, for this was Mondinellis third consecutive attempt at Everest. In June he will head for Gasherbrum II as part of the Appennino 8000 expedition.
Simone Moro has now been joined at Base Camp by Denis Urubko. "Were a team, well try again together is what Denis told Simone. And so their dream of completing the Lhotse-Everest traverse disappears for a second year running. Simone will certainly think about the other day, when he decided to rescue the young Englishman Tom Moores. He definitely knew that hed be risking his chances of success at the traverse, a highly demanding undertaking that would have required all his strength and reserves. He made his choice and should be commended for it! Everest and Lhotse are still there, but above all so is Tom Moore.
Further info, in Italian only, at: www.freeridespirit.com
The highly anticipated weather window has resulted in a series of Everest ascents, including that of the Spanish TV expedition led by Juanito Oyarzabal, which reached the summit vie the North.
A Russian expedition has successfully reached the summit of Lhotse Middle 8423m. This peak has only recently been opened to mountaineers by the Nepalese Government.
From left to right: Everest, Lhotse e Makalu - photo F. Tremolada