Himalaya: Mondinelli, Corona, Casarotto summit Lhotse
At 10.00 am on 19/05/2006 Silvio 'Gnaro' Mondinelli, Giampaolo Corona and Giampaolo Casarotto reached the summit of Lhotse.
At 10.00 am local time Silvio 'Gnaro' Mondinelli, Giampaolo Corona and Giampaolo Casarotto creached the summit of Lhotse. From the top, as usual, Mondinelli phoned his wife Idel with the following message "It was hard. we climbed through high winds and a snowstorm, and we succeeded because we all helped one another. We were a true team! Now we'll descend immediately, it's really cold and I can't stand it any longer." The three immediately descended to Camp 4 at circa 8000m on the South Col which they had left at 2.00 am. In Camp 4 they joined up with Cristina Castagna and Marco Confortola who ahd abandoned their attempt due to the prohibitive conditions.
Lhotse is Mondinelli's twelfth 8000m peak, naturally without supplementary oxygen. The summit was reached in record time after the successful ascent of Shisha Pangma on 8 May, together with Michele Enzio, Marco Confortola and Cristian Gobbi. After the Shisha summit Mondinelli descended, packed up camp, stopped off in Kathmandu and on 16 May he reached Everest and Lhotse base camp. On 17 May he ascended up to Camp 2, on 18 May he continued up to Camp 4 on the South Col. And this morning he summited. Perfect, quick, safe: difficult to hope for something better because up until now the Himalayan season has been extremely difficult with sudden storms.
Lhotse is a sort of deja vu for Mondinelli who, in 1994 together with Simone Moro, got to within 30m of the summit. Mondinelli can now definitely regard the 8516m high summit as his own, while for Casarotto Lhotse is the third successful 8000m, after Manaslu and Cho Oyu.
Talking of Simone Moro and South Col: at present the Italian mountaineer is on the South Col poised for his summit bid of Everest, as his prime objective, a new route along the Lhotse crest, is impossible due to the snow conditions. And the Italians Nives Meroi and Romano Benet have just reached Annapurna's Base Camp after their successful ascent of Dhaulagiri which Meroi described as "one of the hardest ascents to date, but also one of the most beautiful." Should weather conditions continue to be favourable there may well be more summits in store.... including Bernasconi, Panzeri and Co. on Makalu. Good luck to all of them.
Silvio 'Gnaro' Mondinelli's 8000m peaks
Lhotse, Manaslu, Cho Oyu, Everest, GI, GII, Dhaulagiri, Makalu, Kangchenjunga, K2, Nanga Parbat, Shisha Pangma's (main and central summit).
Photo Lhotse (8516m) - arch. Silvio Mondinelli