Ueli Steck is teaming up with Simone Moro and Jonathan Griffith for the NO2 Limits Expedition 2013. The goal is to climb Mount Everest via a different route. The normal Everest route is fixed each year for numerous commercial expeditions. The exact line Steck and Moro will attempt to climb will be decided while they acclimatize. The decision will be based on conditions both on the mountain and within themselves. Jonathan Griffith, a photographer and strong alpinist, will be the cameraman of the team.
Ueli Steck summited Mount Everest on May 18, 2012 without the use of oxygen. He had attempted the climb just a year before with Don Bowie only to turn back when he was about 100 meters away from the top due to numb feet and heels. Just three months after he summited Everest in 2012, Steck successfully linked three classic Swiss mountaineering routes in the Eiger region in less than 15 hours by climbing to the summit and paragliding as close as possible to the beginning of the next climb (para-alpinism). Although Steck didn’t summit Everest in 2011, he soloed the south face of Shisha Pangma (8,027 m) in just 10.5 hours. Steck also climbed the three big North Faces of the Alps in winter (Matterhorn, Eiger and Grand Jorasses) in record time; 7 hours 4 minutes altogether.
Simone Moro is no stranger to Everest as he has summited the “top of the world” four times. He is well known for his winter ascents of 8,000 meter peaks. On February 2, 2011, Moro, Cory Richards and Denis Urubko became the first to climb Gasherbrum II, an 8,000 meter peak in Pakistan, during winter where temperatures plummeted to 30 below and colder with snowstorms raging. The climb nearly killed all three of them. You can see the harrowing journey firsthand in the film “Cold,” which was filmed by Cory Richards and written from his perspective. Other winter ascents Moro has made include Lhotse, Cho Oyu, and first winter ascents on Shisha Pangma and Makalu.
Jonathan Griffith has done numerous ascents of big hard routes in the Mont Blanc Massif. He and Ueli Steck made the first free ascent and first single day winter ascent of the Lesueur Route on the north face of Les Drus. Last month Griffith linked, soloed, in winter, in a day, the north faces of Aiguille Verte, Les Courtes and Les Droites. He down climbed two of the faces and skied off the backside of the third and final climb.
If there’s a team that would be able to pull off a different route on Mount Everest, it’s this team of strong alpinists. Many factors will dictate the optimal route, and the team can only make a decision of what to climb when they’re on the mountain itself. We’ll all be waiting with abated breath to hear of this Everest attempt by Steck, Moro and Griffith as well as the specifics and challenges of how the route treats them. Good luck to the NO2 Limits Expedition 2013 team!
Follow and catch updates on the NO2 Limits Expedition 2013 on Mountain Hardwear’s Facebook page, www.uelisteck.ch or www.simonemoro.com.
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