Nives Meroi, the first Italian woman on the top of K2, is on the stage at Courmayeur, for l’Esprit de la Montagne, the cycle of films and conferences supported by the Public Library of Courmayeur and Grivel Mont Blanc.
On the 24th of August at 9.30 p.m. at the Jardin de l’Ange, Nives Meroi, presents her film .
The thin, blue eyed Nives seems to be moved by passion and determination more than by physical strength, but she is also strong and tough, with personal ideas about climbing, as the following one: .
She was born in Bonate Sotto, near Bergamo, in 1961, but she has been living at Fusine near Tarvisio for more than 20 years. With her husband Romano Benet, she has already summited 9 of the 14 8000 metre peaks. After a hard climbing activity on the Alps, especially the Eastern Alps, she started her experience in Karakorum and Himalaya in 1994 with the North – West face of K2, the first woman to attempt the K2 from this side. She had to turn back when she was less than two hundred metres from the summit, just because the buttress she climbed did not reach the principal summit of the mountain. After a failed attempt to Everest, Nives conquered her first 8000 metre peak, the Nanga Parbat, in 1998.
The following year she and Romano succeeded in reaching the top of Shisha Pangma and Cho Oyu. In 2000 she attempted a new route on the Gasherbrum II, but was stopped by bad weather. In 2001, with Romano and their friend Luca Vuerich, she attempted the Mazeno Peak face North (Nanga Parbat massif), a big wall, higher than 3000 metres, probably still unclimbed, but they were forced to renounce because of political situation in Pakistan, after the attacks to the Twin Towers on the 11th September. In 2003 she succeeded in reaching the top of Gasherbrum I and II and Broad Peak, with Romano Benet and Luca Vuerich, in only 20 days. Only Erhard Loretan did better than them, climbing the three peaks in 17 days. In 2004 she conquered the Lhotse and joined the National Everest – K2 CNR Expedition, being part of the team who tried to climb the North buttress.
The worst summer in the last 50 years stopped the success of the team. Nives stood out for her strength and determination. The following year Nives and Romano tried to climb Dhaulagiri and Annapurna, but again they had to give up their efforts because of bad weather and heavy snow fall. They tried again both the mountains last Spring: a great success on the Dhaulagiri, but again they had to come back from Annapurna, after having escaped being killed by a huge sérac falling down between camp 2 and 3. After the death of Khristian Kuntner in a similar situation last year they decided no to risk too much. In July, Nives and Romano left again Italy to go to Pakistan, to K2, and on the 26th they reached the top.
Nives Meroi is the first Italian woman on the top of K2. With this top she has now 9 8000metre peaks in her carnet and is behind only to Gerlinde Kalterbrunner in the 8000 metre peaks list.
The Italian climber and writer Erri de Luca followed her during the first expedition to Dahulagiri and collected her thoughts about life, mountaineering, efforts and challenge. He wrote a book Sulla traccia di Nives (Mondadori) that became a best seller among mountain books in a few weeks.
by Oriana Pecchio