Born in Bonate di Sotto (BG) in 1961, she started climbing mountains at 15 years old, and at 19 years old she met Romano, who became her regular climbing companion and later her life partner.
Together they have climbed the great classics of the Alps and carried out expeditions to South America, the Himalayas, and Karakorum. Their love of mountains has driven them to explore ever more distant horizons, where the air is rarefied and, as Nives says, “every step becomes an effort of will.” Theirs is a light and clean mountaineering: without the aid of oxygen tanks, climbing sherpas or pre-established camps.
A path of great achievements: in 2003 they ascended three eight-thousanders in just twenty days (Gasherbrum II, Gasherbrum I, Broad Peak), the second rope team in the world to accomplish this feat and Nives, the first woman ever. Then their “K in 2,” climbed and descended in five days in total solitude. And then to Everest, to the Roof of the World, to Lhotse, Kangchenjunga, the summit of Makalu on May 12, 2016 and Annapurna on May 11, 2017. There are 14 Giants of the Earth, and Nives and Romano are the first team in the world to have climbed them all. One step after another, with their own strength and lungs. In the laboratory of high altitude, their being two was almost an experiment: duality taken to the edge of the Earth, to experience the energy that comes from forming an alliance. This is the novelty of their venture, the formula of Nives and Romano: a new way of climbing as old as the world, together. These are the stories Nives likes to tell.
Her expertise as a mountaineer inspired Erri De Luca’s book Sulla traccia di Nives [On Nives’s Tracks] (2005), and she has published several books such as Non ti faro aspettare. Tre volte sul Kangchendzonga, la storia di noi due raccontata da me [I Won’t Make You Wait: Three Times on Kangchendzonga, The History of Us Told by Me] (Rizzoli, 2015) and Il volo del corvo timido. L’Annapurna e una scalata d’altri tempi [The Face of the Shy Crow: Annapurna and a Climb from Another Age (Rizzoli, 2020).