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Manaslu (8163m, Nepal, Himalaya)
Photo by www.nives.alpinizem.net
Climbing up to Camp 2 on Manaslu.
Photo by arch. Meroi-Benet
Nives Meroi and Romano Benet
Photo by arch. Meroi-Benet
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Manaslu summit for Nives Meroi, Romano Benet and Luca Vuerich


Interview with Nives Meroi after the summit of Manaslu 8156 m (Himalaya, Nepal) reached at 10.00 am Nepalese time on 04/10 together with Romano Benet and Luca Vuerich.

This is the 11th 8000m peak for Nives Meroi and Roman Benet, and the 5th for Luca Vuerich. They themselves didn't dare dream of being so quick. But yesterday, a mere 13 days after reaching base camp, the trio reached the summit of Manaslu, the 8th highest mountain in the world.

This summit is without a doubt an important ascent for the three climbers from Italy's Tarvisio and a "special" summit for Nives Meroi. Not only because it brings Meroi's tally of 8000m peaks without supplementary oxygen to 11 (and therefore on a par with Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner from Austria and Edurne Pasaban from Spain who topped out on Manaslu yesterday as well), but above all because the summit success comes after last autumn'saccident on Makalu which resulted in a broken leg and a long and painful road to recovery.

Nive Meroi stresses the happy return to "her" great mountains and underlines the style of ascent which has always characterised her climbs together with life and climbing companion Romano Benet. 

by Vinicio Stefanello (5/10/2008 - Manaslu Base Camp - satellite call)

Hi Nives, tell us how it went on Manaslu?
Well, I'd say that we were unexpectedly fast. A true raid. We reached Base Camp on 21 September, on the 27th we climbed up to C1, on the 28th we continued up to 6300m where we installed a deposit camp and spent the night. Then yesterday (4 October, editor's note) with Romano and Luca we reached the summit.

And now you're back in Base Camp
Yes, at 8 pm yesterday we were already returning to Base Camp. And now we're in our "palace": this year we've got a magnificent tent.

Talking of which, what's the atmosphere like in Base Camp. We heard it was pretty crowdy...
The atmosphere is like on Everest: if you close your eyes, with all there people and the noises here in BC it seems as if you're a Lignano, at the seaside in Italy. It really is a completely different world compared to the solitude we experienced on Makalu last autumn.

Let's go back a step. Can you give us more details about the ascent?
We left Base Camp on 2 October and we spent the night in our deposit camp at 6300m- The next day we continued and intended to reach Camp 4 at 7500m. But shortly above Camp 3 we were exhausted so we stopped at 6900m. At 2.00am on 4 October we set off again. At 5.00am we reached Camp 4 and crossed a met a line mountaineers climbing upwards - many of them with supplementary oxygen. At 10.00 we reached the summit: myself, Romano and Luca pushed on upwards to the "true" summit, a 30m high hillock beyond the fixed ropes. Then the descent: we packed up Camp at 6900m and continued directly down to Base Camp. 

There was lots of snow and to be honest I have to admit that if it hadn't been for the Sherpas working for the commercial expeditions, it would have been harder... But nevertheless we were on form and I didn't have any physical problems. A weather window was forecast, we tried to pull it off and we were lucky. And we were fast. 

An adventure almost to quick to think about?
I had meditated beforehand, in base camp. And now I'd like to thank Manaslu, she was generous!

What had you asked of here?
I had asked the mountain to experience something very personal. I need to live out my own experience, and I also needed confirmation after the accident on Makalu. My prayers were answered: we managed to move "delicately". Fast, light and without too big an impact on the mountain. On Manaslu we managed to live out "our" experience, too. I'm truly satisfied.

Could we dare describe this as "happiness"?
Yes, in truth I'm happy. But I'm always happy. I'm happy because I respected what is in my nature, my way of being. Everything about this adventure on Manaslu corresponds to how we are. To our world, mine and that of Luca and Romano, to our way of living these mountains. 

Talking about Romano Benet. What did your husband say this time after the summit?
Just a couple of words. Like: "good, down in Base Camp I want a Coke". You know what the mountain bears are like ;-)

Yes, I've come to know him... Manaslu was another step along the path you're both taking. Where will this take you?
I don't really know. One can't be certain about anything. I'm not presumptuous enough to say: I want this or that. What I know is that I have the will and desire to continue to take one step after the next with all my commitment, passion and experience. What happens after that no one knows... We can only wish Inshallà.





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