An ascent up 7,318 meters alongside her husband Romano Benet, Slovak climber Peter Hamor and Slovenian climber Jan Bojan, six years after completing the collection of Earth’s 14 “eight-thousanders” in May 2017.
This is how Nives Meroi, among the top women mountaineers in the world, describes her latest feat: “The emotions were intense, but very beautiful. It helped me reconcile with the Himalayan mountains, which have been under a siege of high-altitude tourism in recent years.”
The team reached the summit of Kabru IV, on the Nepal-Sikkim border, by climbing an unexplored route in the only favorable window after several days of attempts blocked by bad weather.
As a result, they opened a new route named “Diamonds on the soles of her shoes,” inspired by a Paul Simon song and referring to a bivouac through a cave filled with glimmering ice crystals along the route. “We stopped for a few hours in this cave which, illuminated by the light of the headlamps, really seemed made of diamonds. It was a very nice experience, because it was the essence of mountaineering: facing a new mountain, finding a route, and climbing it with your own legs and lungs.”
Without the assistance of oxygen tanks, or fixed ropes or water carriers, “we ventured up a wall we had never climbed before from the Nepalese side. We opened this new route while above us there was the constant traffic of helicopters acting as cabs for climbers going to the Kanchenjunga base camp.”