KATHMANDU: An Italian couple today climbed Mt Annapurna (8,091 m) becoming the first couple to successfully summit all 14 peaks above 8,000m.
Romano Benet and Nives Meroi successfully climbed Mt Annapurna, their final 8000er, without using the bottled oxygen, according to the expedition organiser. Romano (55) and his wife Meroi (56) stood atop the world’s 10th highest peak on Thursday morning, Beni Hyoju, Senior Manager at Cho Oyu Treks, quoted the climbers as saying from the mountain.
Meroi also became the second woman climber to complete all 14 peaks above 8,000 m without oxygen support, she said. According to the official data, Austrian climber Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner climbed all 14 of the world’s 8,000-meter peaks without supplemental oxygen in 2011 becoming the first woman climber to do so in the history of mountain climbing.
“At least six persons including Spanish climbers Alberto Zerain and Johnatan Garcia also successfully climbed the peak,” she said adding that all descended safely back to base camp by this evening.
Only a handful of alpinists climbed all 14 of the world’s 8,000-meter peaks without supplemental oxygen after legendary climber Reinhold Messner first completed his last 8,000-meter peak in 1986.
The list of alpinists includes a few names such as Erhard Loretan, Juan E Oiarzabal, Alberto Inurrategi, Ed Viesturs, Silvio Mondinelli, Ivan Vallejo, Denis Urubko, Veikka Gustafsson, Joao Garcia, Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, Maksut Zhumayev, Mario L Panzeri, Chang-ho Kim and Radek Jaroš who had climbed all 14 peaks without supplemental oxygen.
COUPLES’ SUMMIT RECORD
Nanga Parbat (1998)
Shisha Pangma (1999)
Cho Oyu (2003)
Broad Peak (2003)
Gasherbrum II (2003)
Gasherbrum I (2003)
Mt K2 (2006)
Mt Everest (2007)
– By Rajan Pokharel for THT