Top winter mountaineer in the world, Italian Simone Moro has hinted a possible attempt of the last and the most challenging K2. If undertaken successfully, this will be his fifth winter 8000er. Moro was speaking on the book launch “Siberia -71°” which narrates his first winter ascent of 3003m Pik Pobeda, the highest mountain in the Arctic Siberia. Partnering with his trusted companion Tamara Lunger, the duo reached top of the summit on February 12 this year.
Moro’s rigid stance of not attempting K2 in winters is widely known among the climbing circles. In an interview with Pakistan Explorer at the Diamir Base Camp 2016, Moro had categorically rejected any possibility of climbing K2 in winters citing his wife’s dream as the main reason. During the book launching ceremony, however, Moro jokingly said “but even dreams expire”.
Moro has four winter 8000ers to his credit which also holds as the world record. He is closely contested by Polish climbers Kryzsztof Wielecki and Adam Bielecki both having three 8000ers to their accounts. Apart from the statistics and with no fewer than 15 winter expeditions that he has been a part of, Moro is the most experienced winter climber in the world.
The 51-year-old has not yet unveiled any plans of a possible attempt of K2 but if he decides to attempt K2 for the first winter ascent, it can dramatically change the game with multitude of nations vying to be at the top. K2 is also commonly known as the Italian summit more because the first ascent of the mountain was carried out by the Italians.
K2 has seen four strong winter attempts to this date including the pioneering attempt by Polish Andrezja Zawada 1987-88, Winter Expedition 2002-03, Russian National Expedition 2011-12 and the last Polish National K2 Winter Expedition 2017-18. None of the four expeditions were able to cross the 8000m threshold on the Savage Mountain.
Three climbing permits for K2 have been issued by the Pakistani Government for the winter climbing 2018-19. It is yet to be seen which of the three confirmed expeditions make it to the K2 Base Camp.