Simone Moro: The “Coldest Climb of the Coldest Mountain”

Famed alpinist and cold climbing specialist Simone Moro was surprisingly quiet regarding his 2017/2018 winter plans. He finally revealed all in a statement released in late December. As to be expected, he’s going big and cold – real cold.

Simone Moro remained surprisingly quiet regarding his 2017/2018 winter plans, fuelling speculation that he might join his friend Alex Txikon for a winter attempt on Everest.
Instead, Simone has his eyes trained north, on the remote and little-explored peaks of the Chersky Range in Siberia.

The range lies on the boundary between the Eurasion and North American tectonic plates and has several peaks of approximately 3,000m. The areas’ climate is notoriously brutal, with the two major towns of Yakutsk and Oymyacon both vying for the title of coldest city on earth. The average temperature in January hovers at around minus 43oC and the coldest recorded temperature in the region was measured at a quite staggering minus 71.3oC.

Simone’s winter achievements are well documented, with four 8,000m winter ascents and 15 total winter expeditions, so it is perhaps not surprising that what he calls the “coldest climb in history, on the coldest mountain on the planet” would be a particularly alluring challenge. The mountain he is referring to is Peak Pobeda, the highest peak within the range at 3,003m. There has only ever been one attempt on the summit during winter, by a pair of Austrian alpinists in 2016, Matthias Mayr and Matthias Haunholder. They were forced to call off their attempt, instead returning later in the year to summit.

Simone’s expedition team features renowned ski alpinist Tamara Lunger, photographer Matteo Zanga and a local alpinist with experience on the mountain, Oleg Sayfulin. The expedition will begin in Ust-Nera in Siberia after which the team will be driven 13 hours to the closest major village to Peak Pobeda, Sasyr. From Sasyr it’s another 3 hour slog by snowmobile to the final human settlement, a few isolated houses used by reindeer herders. From this point on the team will be on their own, skiing the remaining distance to the foot of Peak Pobeda and looking to set up base camp, probably within a snow cave in order to counter the extreme cold.

The expedition will feature a “human element” alongside the physical challenges posed by the peak and the weather, with Simone and his team keen to meet the semi-nomadic people of the region and learn how they survive year round in such an extreme environment.

ExWeb would like to wish Simone and his team all the best on their expedition and we look forward to reporting back on their progress.

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Interview: Simone Moro on Winter K2

Simone Moro’s Website