Simone has a passion to explore, a passion which has led him from his home and playground in the Italian Dolomites to the very highest places on our earth. He is world renowned for his all around prowess as an alpinist - on rock, on ice, mixed and at altitude.
In February 2009 he made the first winter ascent of Makalu (8463m) with his teammate Denis Urubko in true alpine style - fast and light, without oxygen or high altitude Sherpa. Their achievement touched the limits of human endurance and ushered in a new era by their success on one of the remaining high-altitude challenges. Simone is a veteran of 10 winter expeditions, including in two attempts on Broad Peak (8051m) in the winters of 2007 and 2008. Reaching the summit of Shish Pangma (8027m), together with his Polish teammate Piotr Morawski, he made the first winter ascent of the 14th highest mountain in the world.
Since his first expedition Simone has be drawn back time again to Everest. In 2006 he made the first solo traverse south/north. One of his remaining dreams is to return to make the Everest-Lhotse traverse via the south peak bridging the two mountains. His first attempt in spring 2001 was curtailed with the successful rescue of a young British climber on Lhotse. This ‘exemplary spirit of solidarity’, which underpins Simone’s philosophy in every sphere of his life, was rewarded by numerous awards including the Fair Play award from UNESCO.
Simone has two published books. ‘Cometa Sull’Annapurna’ narrates the story of his 1997 winter expedition to Annapurna during which his companion Anatoli Bukreev died. In ‘8000m to Live For’ Simone describes all the routes on the fourteen 8000m mountains.
Home: Bergamo, Italy
Favorite Destination: Winter Expeditions
Favorite Mountain: Any
Favorite The North Face Product: Assault 23 and Himalayan Suit
Favorite Food: Anything cooked by my wife
How I Relax: Running in the forest, driving in the night, adventuring on winter expeditions
Proudest Moment: Seeing my daughter born; and standing on the summits of Shisha Pangma and Makalu.
Favorite Moment in Your Sport’s History: Reinhold Messner summiting Everest solo and without oxygen in 1980.
Most Recent Epic: First winter ascent of Makalu, 8,485 m
Most Humbling Moment: Tragedy on Annapurna in 1997
Items I Always Pack: Running shoes, head lamp and mp3 music
Philosophy: Never stop dreaming and attempting what is considered “impossible”
Inspiration Within the Sport: The curiosity to explore the unclimbed and unknown mountains/faces
Words to Live By: Humility and happiness!
- First winter ascent of Gasherbrum 2 8035 m, 2011
- First winter ascent of Makalu, 2009.
- First ascent in alpine style of Beak Brakai Chhok (6940m), 2008.
- First south/north traverse of Everest (8850m), 2006 (summit/BCin 4 hrs 30 mins).
- FOUR times Everest summiter (8850m), 2000, 2002, 2006, 2010.
- Winter climb of Shish Pangma (8029m), 2005.
- Opened a new 2100m route on Nanga Parbat, June 2004.
- Speed ascent of Broad Peak (8047m), in 29 hours, July 15th 2004.
- First ascent of North Face of Baruntse (7066m), 2004.
- Speed ascent of Mount Elbrus (5642m, in 3 hrs 40 mins, September 2004.
- Speed ascent of Cho Oyu (8021m), in 11 hours, May 2002.
- First winter ascent of Marble Wall 6400 m in Tien Shan
- Shish Pangma (8008m) and descent on ski from 7200m.
- Speed ascent of Lhotse (8516m), in 17 hours, 1994.
- Winter speed ascents of Aconcagua (6962m) and Cerro Mirador (6047m).
- Speed ascent of Fitz Roy (3441m), ‘Supercanalata’ route, ascent/descent in 24hrs.
- Summited Pik Lenin (7134m), Pik Kommunism (7495m), Pik Korjenevskoy (7105m) and Pik Khan Tengri (7010m) within 37 days.
- 43 worldwide climbing expeditions during last 18 years (10 in winter season).
- Commercial Helicopter Pilot License with permission to operate in Nepal. 2010.
- European Adventurer of the Year 2010
- Premio Paolo Consiglio 2009 and 2005 (mountaineering award of Italian Alpine Club) and Premio Dalla Longa 2009 and 2008.
- Eiger Award 2009.
- Nominated for the Karl Unterkircher Award 2009.
- European Explorer of the Year 2009, Stockholm.
- Russian Championship of Alpinism in 2004
- Pierre de Coubertin International Fair Play Trophy, Paris. 2003.
- Gold Medal for Civic Value, Italy. 2003.
- David A. Sowles memorial Award, American Alpine Club. 2002.