Simone has won several awards and medals for successful rescue efforts
Simone has a passion to explore; a passion that 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 round prowess as an alpinist - on rock, on ice, mixed and at altitude. His drive, his boundless energy, his humility, his happiness and his love for life are inspiration to all of us.
He started to climb at the age of thirteen and it will remain a life long love. He climbs to an incredible standard - 8b+ on rock and M11 mixed, and an equivalent standard on ice. But is as an expedition climber that Simone has become known worldwide. Simone’s first expedition beyond European territory was to Everest (8848m), the highest mountain in the world. On this first expedition he was not destined to reach the summit, but it opened up a new world to him. He has since made a total of 46 expeditions during the last 19 years. To the Himalayas, Karakorum, Tien Shan, Pamir, Andes, Patagonia and Antarctica.
His achievements are legendary. In February 2009 he made the first winter ascent of Makalu (8463m) with his team mate Denis Urubko in true alpine style - fast and light, without oxygen or high altitude Sherpa - just the two of them. They realised the dreams and experience of almost 30 years, from the first winter attempt on Makalu in 1980. Their achievement touched the limits of human endurance and they opened a chapter into a new era by their success on one of the remaining high-altitude challenges. Two years later he repeated together with Denis Urubko and Cory Richards another legendary climb, the first winter ascent of an 8000m peak in the Karakorum, the Gasherbrum II (8035m), making another step in climbing history.
Simone is a veteran of 11 winter expeditions, including in two attempts on Broad Peak (8047m) in the winters of 2007 and 2008. In January 2005 he became the first non-Polish mountaineer to make a winter ascent of an 8000m mountain. Reaching the summit of Shisha Pangma (8027m), together with his Polish team mate 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, and from his own experience shows with imposing photography and words how life is at those altitudes where an icy expanse stretches to the curve of the horizon. One of Simone's latest achievements is to become the first helicopter pilot from the European Community to be qualified and allowed to fly and work in Nepal.
Simone's dreams of the highest mountains go beyond his personal ambitions, but also to commit himself to the safety and wellbeing of others through search and rescue. For Simone, ‘Climbing the world’s mountains is a way of discovering not only one’s own strengths and weaknesses, but also the cultures, peoples and problems of the world’.
Birthdate: 27 October 1967
Home: Bergamo, Italy
Favourite destination: Winter Expeditions
Favourite Mountain: Any
Favourite The North Face® Product: Assault 23 and Himalayan Suit
Favourite food: anything cooked by my wife
How I relax: running in the forest, driving in the night, going in winter in expeditions
Proudest moment: Seeing my son and daughter born; and standing on the summits of Shisha Pangma and Makalu.
Favourite moment in History: Reinhold Messner summiting Everest solo and without oxygen in 1980
Most Recent Epic: First winter ascent of Gasherbrum II 8035m
Most Humbling Moment: Tragedy on Annapurna in 1997
What people should know about me: I'm always happy and in good mood ( and also that I speak five different languages)
What I always pack: Running shoes, headlamp and mp3 music
Philosophy: Never stop dreaming and attempting what is considered "impossible"..
What inspires you? The curiosity to explore the unclimbed and unknown mountains/faces
Words to live by: Humility and happiness!
- First winter ascent of Gasherbrum II (8035m), February 2011.
- Commercial Helicopter Pilot License with permission to operate in Nepal. 2010.
- 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.
- 46 worldwide climbing expeditions during last 18 years (11 in winter season).
- 2 nominations for the Piolet D’Or Asia in 2009 and 2011 for the winter ascents of Makalu and GII
- 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. 200