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Everest-Lhotse Traverse 2000
April- May 2000
Everest & Lhotse
Photo: Gleb Sokolov

Members: Simone Moro (Italy) Denis Urubko (Kazakhstan)

Next attempt: Everest - Lhotse Traverse 2001

Goal of the expedition:
The Everest-Lhotse Traverse (8850m and 8516m), without oxygen or sherpas, completely self-sufficient.

Result: both summited Everest, Denis Urubko - without oxygen (it was his first 8000-peak)

Before expedition:
In October 1996 on Shisha Pangma Simone met Anatoly Boukreev, the famous russian climber. Their friendship took off from there and in 1997 they struck on the idea of the Lhotse-Everest traverse.

In December 1997 Bukreev and Moro climbed Annapurna

From Simone Moro article (Planetmountain.com):
"This was obviously the most dramatic experience of my life because I lost two of my companions: Anatolij and the cameraman Dimitri Sobolev. Many people say that we asked for it, but in reality disaster struck on a face that was chosen because it avoided the dangers. We wanted to do the South Face in winter in alpine style. But when we arrived at BC it continued to snow and in the end it was more than four meters deep.

Avalanches kept coming down the South Face and we knew that we’d be risking too much by going up it, so we tried to reach the summit along the unclimbed East Face, which is harder but safer since it’s steeper. Our idea was to climb the face and follow the crest to Annapurna Fang, 7900m and then continue on to the summit. Nothing came down in the one and a half months that we were in BC. So we avoided the risky option and chose a harder but safer project. But it was a decision that backfired because the first and only thing that came down was the avalanche that killed Anatolij and Dimitri, and narrowly missed killing me. I was dragged down 800m. "

In 1999 Simone met Denis Urubko and together they decided to make the program "Snow leopard" ( climb five 7000-peaks on the former USSR territory) in one season. Denis climbed all five and Simone stopped after the fourth because he felt unwell. Chronology of that expedition:
16July 1999 - peak Lenin (7134) Denis Urubko, Simone Moro, Andrey Molotov
27 July 1999- peak Korgenevskaja (7105) Denis Urubko, Simone Moro, Andrey Molotov, Mario Kurnis
7 August 1999 - peak Kommunism (7495) Denis Urubko, Simone Moro, Andrey Molotov, Mario Kurnis
19 August 1999 - peak Khan Tengri (7010) Denis Urubko, Simone Moro, Andrey Molotov, Mario Kurnis, Alexander Gubaev
24 August 1999 - peak Pobeda (7439) Denis Urubko, Andrey Molotov, Alexander Gubaev
Before that event, only once four Kazakhstan alpinists realised such programm - "Snow Leopard" in one summer season. They were: Hrishaty, Suviga, Gritsuk and Ismetov in 1991

From Simone Moro article (Planetmountain.com):
"I wanted to live and mature and discover a world which my friend Anatolij Burkreev had told me about briefly. He was no longer here and I thought that what he’d wanted to say I’d probably be able to discover there, on his homeground. This was more important for me than climbing an 8000er. I received the answers to the questions I was looking for and now I’m restarting the process to understand other things by going to do the Everest-Lhotse traverse."

Moro and Urubko climbed Everest in a light style, with only 2 camps and spending 5 nights at South Col without oxygen.

"The chronological series of events was characterised by a long series of misfortunes and misadventures. Bad weather, avalanches, misfortune and even robbery! We reached the summit of Everest, a much suffered and teeth gritting achievement. The traverse, on the other hand, is still there and waits to be climbed. We didn't do it because of all our misadventures and the almost impossible snow conditions. While Denis Urubko and I were at 7300m searching in vain for our avalanched tent and almost US$ 5000 worth of gear, someone had the bright idea of "visiting" my tent at Base Camp and taking my sleeping bag, a rucksack, a digital camera, a battery for my computer and then kicking my satellite telephone!"

Denis at the top

Denis Urubko on Everest. Photo: Simone Moro's archive

Simone & Denis

Denis Urubko and Simone Moro. Photo: Gleb Sokolov


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