Mondinelli & Confortola: Cho Oyu training done Broad peak comes next

Posted: May 02, 2007 03:45 pm EDT

( Silvio Gnaro Mondinelli and Marco Confortola summited Tibetan Cho Oyu earlier today. Currently back in BC, their minds are already set on their next goal: Broad Peak.

Preparing for the last of the 14

The climb on Cho Oyu, which Silvio had already summited some years ago, was in fact a preparation for Broad - the last stage on Mondinellis quest for the 14, 8000ers.

ExplorersWeb Pakistan has confirmed Silvio and Marco will team up again to attempt the Karakorums peak. The two of them have proven to work well together not only on Cho Oyu, but also last year on Annapurna and Shisha Pangma Main, which they both summited, and on Lhotse, where Silvio topped-out in spite of the bitter cold that forced Marco back.

Roberto Manni: Lhotse with Fausto, Broad with Silvio

Roberto Manni, also a member in Mondinellis Broad Peak expedition, is currently preparing in the Himalayas. Roberto is climbing Lhotse, teaming up with no other than Mondinellis closest rival to become the next climber with all 14, 8000ers summited: fellow Italian Sergio de Estefani.

Otherwise Mondinellis team will be completed with Alberto Magliano, Luca Poggiani, and Giuliano Radici.

At this point only 12 men and no women have summited all 14 8000ers in the world. Italian Reinhold Messner was first in 1986; the latest was American Ed Viesturs two years back on Annapurna. In addition, only 5 men made it without O2: Messner; Viesturs; Swiss Erhard Loretan; and Spaniards Juan Oiarzabal and Alberto Iñurategi. The question is now, wholl be the lucky thirteenth 14x8000er summiteer?

Seven climbers are on peak number 13. Among them are Swiss mountain guide Norbert Joos with only Everest left to go; Silvio Mondinelli, who still needs to summit Broad Peak; Polish Piotr Pustelnik, who only has Annapurna left; Italian Abele Blanc, also with a pending appointment with Annapurna.

Piotr Pustelnik however announced his retirement from high altitude climbing last year and it's unclear if Italian Abele Blanc will ever return to Annapurna. The peak was the last on the list also for his best friend Italian Christian Kuntner, when it took his life in 2005.

Also with 13 confirmed 8,000ers are Italian Fausto de Stefani and British Alan Hinkes. Both claim theyre already done; the climbing community however doesnt accept some of their reported summits. According to AdventureStats, Fausto didnt step on the true summit of Lhotse, and Hinkes never reached the highest point on Cho Oyus plateau. While Hinkes has made no movements towards repeating Cho Oyu, Fausto is currently on Lhotse, decided to put an end to the controversy by climbing the peak again.

Silvio Mondinelli was born in Gardone (Italy) in 1958. A devoted climber since the age of 18, he has been a member of several major expeditions all over the world, including 13 main 8000ers: Manaslu, Cho Oyu (twice), Everest, GI, GII, Dhaulagiri, Makalu, Kangchenjunga, K2, Nanga Parbat, Shisha Pangma's main summit, and Annapurna, plus Shisha Pangmas central summit (twice).

2006 was a great year for Gnaro, who bagged the summit of 3, 8000ers: Shisha Pangma main, Lhotse and Annapurna. Marco Confortola accompanied Silvio on all three expeditions, summiting Shisha and Anna. Marco was born in May, 1971. He works as mountain guide and ski coach.


Italian Silvio Gnaro Mondinelli reached Lhotse's summit today at 10:00 am, local time. File image of Gnaro, courtesy of Mondinelli.

Marco Confortola has teamed up with Mondinelli on Shisha Pangma, Lhotse and Annapurna in 2006, and on Cho Oyu this spring. They'll climb together on Broad Peak as well. Image of Marco courtesy of his website (click to enlarge).

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