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Jan 14, 2005 05: 10 EST
For the first time since 1988, an eight-thousander has had it's first winter summit, and for the first time ever - by a non-Polish climber.

Simone Moro (Italy) and Piotr Morawski (Poland) made the summit of Shisha Pangma tonight and have descended safely back to camp 2 (7400 m). The weather was very windy with winds exceeding 30 m/s (hurricane force).

This is a dream come true for Simone and a great victory for Piotr after last year's aborted attempt. The entire team is celebrating on the cold mountain. A full report and images are to follow later today.

Up until now only 8 out of all 14 eight-thousanders have been winter climbed. All first winter accents were made by Polish climbers in Calendar winter, from Everest in 1980 to Lhotse in 1988 - the last time (before tonight) someone set foot on a virgin summit higher than 8000m during the winter.

Simone Moro, Piotr Morawski, Jacek Jawien, Dariusz Zaluski and Jan Szulc repeated their winter attempt of last year.

Simone Moro, 37, was the driving force behind this current expedition. He has earlier summited Mount Everest, Broad Peak, Cho Oyu and Lhotse. In 1996, Simone reached the N. Summit of Shisha Pangma.

Piotr Morawski took part in the 2003 K2 winter expedition, led by Polish Krzysztof Wielicki.

Images courtesy Simone Moro.

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