Hamor, Meroi, and Benet Back to Kangchenjunga

Old rockers never die, they say, and veteran alpinists never stop looking for difficult routes. Peter Hamor of Slovakia is again joining Italian couple Nives Meroi and Romano Benet to try the unclimbed south face of Kangbachen (7,902m). It is the westernmost point of the Kangchenjunga massif.

Meroi and Benet first attempted the huge rock-and-ice face back in 2019, reaching 6,300m.

Peter Hamor plans to trek for a couple of weeks with his wife, then join the Italians for the climb. They will acclimatize on lesser peaks in the Lhumba Shumba Himal area, before climbing Kangbachen in a light style, without sherpas or supplementary oxygen.

Close shot of Hamor sitting in the open, wearing a polar fleece.

Peter Hamor of Slovakia. Photo: Peter Hamor/Facebook

Same old music

The three old friends proved last year that they still work great as a team, despite not climbing together for years. There’s also a language barrier. They don’t speak each other’s language and no one is fluent in English.

“At least we like listening to the same oldies, as we’re the same age,” Meroi joked in a talk with ExplorersWeb. Meroi is 62, Benet is 61, and Hamor is 59.

Their new route last year on Kabru South, also close to Kangchenjunga, was one of ExplorersWeb’s best expeditions of 2023.

The clibmers stand in a town, in front of a truck carrying their duffel bags on the roof.

Left to right, Peter Hamor, Romano Benet, Nives Meroi, and Bojan Yan last year in Nepal, before climbing Kabru South. Photo: Meroi/Benet


All three developed most of their Himalayan skills doing the 14×8,000’ers without oxygen or personal sherpa support. This was the norm at the turn of the 21st century.

None of them is willing to join the crowds on the normal 8,000m routes. When Hamor joined Horia Colibasanu on a no-O2 Kangchenjunga climb in 2022, he was aghast at a mountain he couldn’t recognize because of the long lines, the massive use of O2, and the skies buzzing with helicopters. Nives and Romano have considered returning to Manaslu because years before, they stopped slightly short of the highest point.

For now, the three alpinists want to continue enjoying the wild and lonely Himalaya that they remember.

Almost 8,000m

The entire Kangchenjunga area, showing Kangbachen to the west of Kangchenjunga, with the Kabru massif (where Hamor, Meroi and Benet opened a route last year) in front and Jannu East on the left. Check here to see the entire photo. Image: Himalaya-info.org


Kangbachen is both the westernmost and the lowest of Kangchenjunga’s five points. It is the only one that does not reach 8,000m. It lies completely in Nepal, surrounded by the Kangchenjunga Glacier to the north, the Ramtang Glacier to the northwest, and the Yalung Glacier to the south. After several failed attempts, it was first climbed via the southwest ridge by a Polish expedition in 1974. No one has summited the peak from its south face.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.