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Nives summits Lhotse and her 6th 8000er
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May 18, 2004 16: 50 EST
Italian Nives Meroi picked up her 6th 8,000+ meter giant when she summited Lhotse yesterday. Along with Nives Luca Vuerich and Romano Benet (Nives’ husband) also reached the top.

Last week it was reported that Christine Boskoff was attempting her 7th 8,000 meter summit. Christine, however, is not currently climbing an 8,000er, though her outfit, Mountain Madness did reach the summit this morning.

This means that after Wanda Rutkiewicz (8), who perished in the mountains, Nives, Christine, Edurne Passaban and Chantal Mauduit, each have 6 8,000ers. Chantal perished 6 years ago May 15th.

After Lhotse, Nives is off to K2. That's where Edurne Pasaban is heading too...and maybe a 7th 8000er for them both.

And then there is Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, the Austrian lady climber who is considered by many to be the best female climber in the world right now. She goes after some tough 8,000ers.

Where's SHE now? Gerlinde expects to summit Shisha Pangma, her fifth, by the end of this month!

Her team is doing a tough route on Shisha (the South Face), and then she is off to Annapurna. If she gets both she will have 6 tough 8,000ers under her belt, and could go up to the top of the list with the most difficult mountains already out of the way.

Another female to keep an eye on is the 65 year old Japanese climber, Tamae Watanabe. On Saturday she became the oldest person to summit Lhotse. Tamae is the only still active senior citizen 8000er collector and now has 5.

Bagging six or more eight-thousanders is mostly a guys game; going down the list of names is like reading the roster at a bachelor party. Female climbers with six or more 8,000 meter mountains –Yeah, it’s a short list.

And at the top of that list is Wanda Rutkiewicz followed by Chantal Mauduit; both were taken by the mountains. In fact no K2 female summiteers are alive today.

With 6 8,000ers is Nives Meroi. She has Nanga Parbat, Shisha Pangma(Central Summit), Cho Oyu, G II, G I, Broad Peak and Lhotse. Nives typically travels light, climbing alpine-style, without oxygen or high-altitude porters.

Romano Benet , Nive's husband, has 6 8,000ers and last year the trio summited Broad Peak to complete a hat-trick in 20 days. Only the Swiss Erhard Loretan and Marcel Ruedi (15 days) and Jean-Claude Sonnenwyl (17 days) achieved it in lesser time in 1983.

Christine Boskoff of Mountain Madness. She’s bagged Broad Peak, Cho Oyu, Lhotse, G II, Everest and Shisha Pangma Main.

Mountain Madness is a US commercial outfit returning to the South Side of Everest this year. The Seattle-based company was founded by Scott Fischer in 1984. The company was purchased by Christine and the late Keith Boskoff. Christine continues the operation under the same name providing guided expeditions and climbing instruction.

Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, has Makalu, Manaslu, Nanga Parbat and Cho Oyu. She hopes to summit Shisha Pangma by the end of this month as well and then she is off to Annapurna.

Edurne Pasaban with 6 8,000ers will also be going to K2 this summer and Anna Czerwinska with 5 is taking the season off.

Image of Nives, Romano, and Luca courtesy of Montagna.org.

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