The wolf is back: Gnaro bags Baruntse

Posted: Oct 21, 2008 04:17 pm EDT

( Last year, Silvio 'Gnaro' Mondinelli broke the haunted 13 when he summited the last peak on his list of 14, 8000ers - becoming only the 6th mountaineer in the world to have bagged them all without supplementary oxygen.

"Dismantling BC, I can't help looking back at Broad Peak," he wrote shortly after his ascent. "I was so consumed with summiting the 14 8,000ers. Now, after 14 draining years of sacrifice, and so many moments lost with my family forever - finally, I am done."


After some thought, Gnaro added a final line: "A wolf might lose his hair, but not his call.. I don't like to think this is a goodbye, so let me greet you all with 'till next time'."

Flying low

Well, Sara Sottocornola from just shot over the following heads-up: "Yesterday morning at 8.20 a.m (Nepali hour) Silvio Gnaro Mondinelli summited Baruntse (7,220 m/23,688 ft) after a six hour climb from camp 2 at 6.300 m (obviously without oxygen)."

"He called me from the summit and then from base camp. Soon after, two Sherpas and Italians Marco Mabellini and Alice from Verona summited as well and returned to base camp the same day."

Mondinellis first words to Sara were, How nice to fly so 'low'...the summit offered a stunning panorama. I could see Makalu, Kangchenjunga, Everest and I thought to myself - 'how did I ever manage to climb these giants?'."

Go to Montagna for the full interview (in Italian).

Leaving behind many more failures overcome than triumphs finally gained; and silent echoes of friends lost - Gnaro's 14 years spanned a lifetime. For his feat, Mindinelli was awarded among Best of ExWeb last year. Read his full story here:

Best of ExplorersWeb 2007 Awards: 14 years, 14 summits - Silvio Mondinelli, Himalaya

Silvio was born June 24, 1958, in Gardone (Italy). A devoted climber since the age of 18, at 20 years old he enrolled in the GdF and was transferred to Alagna Valesia, right at the foot of Monte Rosa, one of the biggest peaks in the Italian Alps. After some expeditions in North and South America, Silvio bagged his first 8,000er, Manaslu, in 1993. In 1997, he topped out Cho Oyu.

In 2001 he surprised the Himalayan climbing community by achieving four 8,000ers in only five months: Everest, both Gasherbrums, and Dhaulagiri. Then in 2002, Makalu; in 2003, Kangchenjunga; in 2004, K2; in 2005, Nanga Parbat; in 2006, Shisha Pangma, Lhotse and Annapurna.

On July 12, 2007, he summited Broad Peak, thus becoming the 13th climber to complete the 14x8,000ers quest. He is also the sixth person to summit all the Great 14 without supplementary O2. Also on BP summit was Austrian Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, summiting her tenth 8,000er. Spanish Edurne Pasaban followed close behind, bagging her ninth 8,000m+ summit.

Regular mate Marco Confortola had summited Cho Oyu, Broad Peak, Everest, Shisha Pangma and Annapurna. (Marco later summited K2 this past summer, read his testimony published on today).

Silvio 'Gnaro' Mondinelli works as mountain guide and mountain rescue ranger. He also collaborates with charity projects in Nepal through his NGO "Amici del Monte Rosa."


"A wolf might lose his hair, but not his call.. I don't like to think this is a goodbye, so let me greet you all with 'till next time'." Images courtesy of Silvio Mondinelli's website (click to enlarge).