Good bye from Shisha Pangma
21:42 p.m. EST Jan 18, 2004
Simone and Piotr have aborted their summit attempt. It was the brutal cold that finally put an end to the expedition. Simone reports -52C at 7100 meters in the second night. The summit night had been equally cold. At one point, the climbers had to turn back to camp and reheat their feet by a stove before continuing back up.
It is the exceptional cold that makes Himalayan winter expeditions such rare occasions. Here are Simone's own, final words:
Here we are back again in Base camp at 5300m. Today was another difficult and extremely hard day. After the summit attempt yesterday I stopped at 7100m for another night. I hoped to make an immediate second push, but the night was extremely cold; -52°C in the night...!
So this morning I climbed back from C2 to C1, ABC and Base Camp with a heavy pack (35 kg).
I attach the photos of our attempt on the Figueras Route opened by a Spanish team in 1995 and never repeated... (click to Simone's website for additional pics).
We stopped at 7700m because it was 3 p.m. and the shadow came upon us. Our feet started to freeze again.
Had we continued to climb I'm sure we would have reached the summit. But we would have had to make a bivy in extreme conditions, risking to die or to lose our feet and hands. The decision to stop so close to the summit, with the route looking so easy ahead, has been a very difficult and extreme experience...
We are the first men in history to climb the South Face of Shisha Pangma in winter and to do the first repetition of the Figueras route. But WE DIDN'T summit and we are so sad for that.
I thank you for following us in the past 50 days and I hope it brought you some good feelings. In any case I'm really satisfied with the climb - because we climbed and fixed rope always only the two of us; Piotr and I. Two other people who helped out were Darek (Cameraman and climber) and Jan (leader and a very positive climber).
Keep in touch and I hope to have you back in my next expedition...
Simone Moro, 36, has summited Mount Everest, Broad Peak, Cho Oyu, Lhotse. This past summer, he also opened a new partial route on the Diamir face of Nanga Parbat, though he did not reach the summit. In 1996, Simone attained the N. Summit of Shisha Pangma. He now attempted to make the first successful winter ascent of the peak, climbing via the South Face.
The expedition climbed Shisha Pangma’s South Face without the use of Sherpa support or supplementary oxygen. Originally, Krzysztof Wielicki was planning to be a part of the expedition, but bowed out recently due to family matters.
On the expedition is Italian climber Simone Moro, Polish climbers Piotr Morawski, Jacek Jawien and Darek Zaluski and Pierre Bergeron and Yvon Latreille, both from Quebec, Canada. Jas Szulc (POL) accompanied the team as the base camp manager.
Image of Piotr in Camp 2, courtesy of Simone Moro