Simone Moro, recently returned from his aborted attempt to do the first ascent of Nanga Parbat in winter, has done an interesting interview with National Geographic.
Two quotes caught my attention:
Simone Moro has a simple answer for anyone who feels that Mount Everest and the rest of the 8,000-meter peaks are too crowded these days: go in winter.
On Everest there are so many new routes to climb, still, and there is still the winter climb from the North side, the East Face – Fantasy Ridge… The normal routes from the south and north in April and May is not the terrain of adventure, of exploration.
Too many people now believe that all climbing equals the heavily commercialised routes on a few key 8000-metre peaks, most notably on Everest. Too many people have an image in their minds of climbers queued up on the knife-edge summit ridge of Everest, waiting their turn to take a summit photo.
As Simone says, such things are no longer the the terrain of adventure, of exploration. But that does not mean that such terrain does not exist. There is so much still to do in the high Himalaya, so many challenges where one small team will be all on their own, laying their lives on the line in pursuit of a challenge that has never yet been achieved.
Go in winter. Or go onto a new route. There aren’t going to be any queues on the Mazeno Ridge!