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Nives Meroi on Dhaulagiri: "Ooops - wrong summit!"
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May 18, 2005 18: 55 EST
Previously published May 9, 2005 11: 05 EST

Nives Meroi reported to Italian PlanetMountain that they made a summit push on Dhaula - but mistook the fore summit for the true summit! "The slope was very loaded with snow and most dangerous to cross," they told the website over sat phone.

May 7, Nives reported: "Ooops - wrong summit! We arrived at 7300 meters around 3 p.m. and decided to rest for the night. We woke at midnight and got ready, and ventured out in a sea of clouds and thunder sounding at distance. The snow was deep and dangerous, under my feet I could feel the vibrations of Luca's steps. We climbed above a void of 3000 meters, when finally, the day broke."

"We followed the vague traces of the Koreans, when finally they stopped - but the crest continued... We continued a hundred of meters, along the crest of rock and snow, until a top, where someone had planted a small aluminum pole."

"We took the photos, and some video, and hurried down. On our way down, we met with Inaki Ochoa, who tried another attempt - non-stop. We told him of our climb when he said: 'That's not the summit. The true summit is 30 meters higher up!'

"We were dumbfounded. A return was unthinkable. We decided to come down all together, wait for a new weather window - and head back up again: For the real summit, this time."

Nives Meroi was born in Bergamo in September, 1961. She has summited Nanga Parbat, Shisha Pangma (Central Summit), Cho Oyu, G II, G I, Broad Peak and Lhotse. Nives has attempted K2 twice (1994 and 2003) through the north side and Everest in 1999. She typically travels light, climbing alpine-style, without oxygen or high-altitude porters.

Romano Benet was born in Tarvisio in April, 1962. Alpine guide and, he has 6 8,000ers, plus Shisha’s central summit, and has attempted K2 three times. He has opened many difficult routes in the Alps and a new line on Bhagirathi II (6,450 m), Garwahl Himalaya.

Luca Vuerich was born in Gemona del Friuli in December, 1975. In 2003, the trio summited GI, GII and 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.

Last year they summited Lhotse and attempted K2’s North ridge.

Images of the trio courtesy of Nives Meroi.

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