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Meroi and Benet complete their fourteen 8000ers

Nives Meroi and Romano Benet

They did it. Nives Meroi and Romano Benet have climbed their 14th eight-thousander. The Italian couple belonged to a group of six climbers who reached the summit of the Annapurna today at 10.30 a.m. local time. This is reported by the Spanish climber Alberto Zerain, who in his own words was also on top, along with his compatriot Jonatan Garcia. Moreover, two Chileans reached the highest point on 8091 meters, says Alberto. Nives Meroi and Romano Benet, both 55 years old, are the first couple to have reached together the summits of all 14 highest mountains in the world – without the use of bottled oxygen and without sherpa support. It was their third attempt on Annapurna after 2006 and 2009.

Date

11. May 2017 | 10:20

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Nives Meroi: “The arrogance of commercial climbing”

On the way to Makalu

On the way to Makalu

One eight-thousander is still missing. Then Nives Meroi and Romano Benet would be the first couple who would have scaled together the 14 highest mountains in the world – always without bottled oxygen and without Sherpa support. On 12 May, the two 54-year-olds from Italy stood at the top of their eight-thousander No. 13, the 8485-meter-high Makalu in Nepal.
Nives was 19 years old when she met Romano. First he was her climbing partner, then her life partner. They are married for 27 years. In 1998, they scaled Nanga Parbat, it was their first eight-thousander. In 2003, they succeeded in climbing the Karakorum trilogy of Gasherbrum I, II and Broad Peak in just 20 days. In 2007, Meroi was the first Italian woman who climbed Everest without oxygen mask.

Life-threatening disease

But there were also setbacks.  In 2009, Meroi had a good chance to become the first woman on all 14 eight-thousanders. On Kangchenjunga, at 7500 meters, Romano suddenly became increasingly weak. He tried to persuade Nives to climb on alone. But she refused and supported him during the descent. The reason for Benet’s weakness was serious: aplastic anemia. Two bone marrow transplants were necessary to save Romano’s life. They returned to the Himalayas. In 2014, Romano and Nives climbed Kangchenjunga. And now Makalu. Five questions to and five answers by Nives Meroi:

Nives, Romano and you have managed to climb Makalu, your 13th eight-thousander. If you compare it with the other twelve, was it rather one of the more difficult or easier ascents?

Date

4. July 2016 | 22:48

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Nives and Romano: Only as a couple

Nives Meroi (l.) and Romano Benet (on Kangchenjunga in 2009)

Nives Meroi (l.) and Romano Benet (on Kangchenjunga in 2009)

Never let it be said that climbing was not for romantics. The Italian couple Nives Meroi and Romano Benet prove the contrary. For them, it is out of the question to climb an eight-thousander without the partner. Last Saturday, Nives and Romano reached the 8586-meter-high summit of Kangchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world. As always together, as always without using bottled oxygen, as always in a clean style. “Our achievements are defined by a smooth alpine style: simple and genuine, we remain true to ourselves at all the times and in harmony with the mountains”, Nives once said. Kangchenjunga is the eight-thousander number twelve for Meroi and Benet. Now only Annapurna and Makalu are still missing in their collection.

Date

20. May 2014 | 23:13

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