Two of the four summits achieved on Dhaula this year were Nives' and Romano's. Image of Nives on the summit with the sponsor's flag (click to enlarge).
Romano and Nives avoid using supplementary O2 or high altitude porters when climbing on 8000ers. K2 will be no exception. In the image, Nives (or Romano) on Dhaula's summit ridge. All images by Nives Meroi, Romano Benet, Lucha Vuerich, Klemen Gricar, courtesy of Nives' website (click to enlarge).
Together or bust: following this rule Nives and Romano have already summited 11 big ones. Kangchenjunga could be next.
Nives Meroi: The (not so) desperate house wife between Dhaulagiri and K2

Posted: Jun 09, 2006 04:21 am EDT
(K2Climb.net) We just got back home - the washing machine is working full throttle - on June 15th we'll hit the road again, reports Italian female ace climber Nives Meroi. The Italian desperate housewife just spent two months fighting not her neighbor cats but storms and deep snow on the tricky Dhaulagiri. This usually results not only in frost nip but also a big load of dirty down and fleece.

But Nives and husband Romano Benet got more than that this time: Such as cool views from the summit. Except for the bold Kazakhs Maxut and Vassiliy who forced their way to the summit in a 21 hour push in full storm, Nives and Romano were the only climbers this season to summit Dhaula.

To be sure to really have reached the summit after a near top experience last year on the peak, this time the two traversed the entire summit ridge. The couple had hoped to head straight to Annapurna after, but by the time they were done with Dhaula they were exhausted, the season was over - and their bags were full of dirty laundry.

K2 - great to be back

In an interview with ExplorersWeb, Nives said she was aching to climb K2 again, after an attempt in 2004 from the north side. A new try in 2005 was scrubbed due to lack of funds but now a new sponsor has provided the couple with a second shot at the Mountaineer's mountain.

It is not yet clear which route they will try their luck on, but this time the Benet-Meroi team will definitely forget about China and try their luck from the southern, Pakistan side of the mountain. If they make it, K2 will be the 8th 8000er summited for them both (plus Shisha Central).

Climbing sharp and light

As always, we will climb sharp and light, reports Nives. We will use no supplementary O2, neither high altitude porters. As for the rest of the team, names are yet to be confirmed, but their regular climbing mate Luca Vuerich, as well as Fabio Agostinis and Mario Cedolin originally planned to join the couple on K2.

Nives Meroi and Romano Benet summited Dhaulagiri on May 17 at 1:40 pm. Previously the pair reached the false summit where they had turned back last year. Not being sure of which was the real summit, they crossed the entire summit ridge, they reported.

Nives Meroi was born in Bergamo in September, 1961. She has summited Nanga Parbat, Cho Oyu, GII, GI, Broad Peak, Lhotse, and now Dhaulagiri. She also reached Shisha Pangmas Central Summit. 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. He is an Alpine Guide and has summited seven 8,000ers, plus Shishas 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 in 20 days. Only the Swiss Erhard Loretan and Marcel Ruedi (15 days) and Jean-Claude Sonnenwyl (17 days) achieved it in less time.

The trio summited Lhotse and attempted K2s North ridge in 2004. In 2005 they attempted Dhaulagiri, and had planned to give Annapurna a try right afterwards, but bad conditions got them stuck on Dhaula until their climbing permit expired.

Fabio Agostinis has summited many alpine peaks, as well as Pik Comunism, plus attempted Cho Oyu, GII, and K2 (the latter three times).

Mario Cedolin is an Alpine Mountain Guide. His first extra-European expedition was the attempt on Dhaula with Nives and Romano last year.


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