This article first appeared on http://explorersweb.com. The original can be read here.
By Angela Benavides
Mountaineering heavyweight Simone Moro has announced his winter 8,000m plans. In mid-December, he and partner Tamara Lunger will return to the Karakorum to climb Gasherbrum I, also known as Hidden Peak. From the summit, they will descend to the Gasherbrum La, a col at approximately 6,500m leading to Gasherbrum II. If conditions permit, they will then go for the double-header.
Simone Moro and Tamara Lunger announce their upcoming winter traverse of Gasherbrum. Photo: Simone Moro
Gasherbrum II was first climbed in winter by Moro himself in February, 2011, together with Denis Urubko and Cory Richards. Adam Bieleki and Janusz Golab of Poland bagged Gasherbrum I a year later, on March 8.
Notching both at the same time, in winter, would be a remarkable feat. In 1984, one of the most powerful teams in Himalayan history, Reinhold Messner and Hans Kammerlander, did this double-header in summer. It was the first-ever traverse between two 8,000ers (without returning to Base Camp) and has never been never repeated in any season, until now.
“Thirty-five years later, Tamara Lunger and I want to repeat the feat, but in winter,” said Moro.
Moro and Lunger in their hyperbaric chamber. Photo: Simone Moro
Instead of traditional acclimatization, Moro and Lunger are using a hyperbaric chamber installed in the Eurac research centre in their hometown of Bolzano, Italy. Thus pre-acclimatized, they can begin climbing as soon as they reach Base Camp. Physiologists are monitoring the experiment and will also test how long the acclimatization lasts after the climbers return from Pakistan. They have already been sleeping in the chamber for two weeks, and as of today, they’ll remain inside 24/7, training on a treadmill,
Montagna.tv reported. But the ultimate arbiter of the success of the experiment will be the Karakorum.