"To be the first woman to climb an 8000 meter peak during winter. It was one of my greatest dreams and has stayed that way, even if in the attempt to achieve it… I received a lot more in return."
I reached Base Camp with only one climbing partner, Simone Moro, who is my great friend and an exceptional athlete, but we were immediately joined by two wonderful people: Alex Txikon and Ali Sadpara.
We all got along well straight away. All four of us gave our best to make climbing Nanga a reality!
On our eightieth day of expedition after waiting a long time for favorable weather conditions we set off from Camp 4 with the aim of reaching the summit around noon. It was freezing. A start which right from the beginning proved itself to be very difficult for me: to have reached 6100 meters in only one night with hardly any acclimatization tested me fully. Although I was sick, I chose to tackle this last part of the challenge with determination!
Ready... go! 4 hours of climbing in the shade, with a perceived temperature of -58o. Then up, right up with only 70 meters from the summit, when I had to make one of the most difficult decisions of my life!
One hour of climbing separated me from success, exhausted from suffering, cold and fatigue I chose to give up the summit and go back down on my own, on my own two legs, allowing my three climbing partners to reach the summit, without putting my life and theirs in danger by causing them to slow down too much during the downhill section and return to camp. In the dark we would have risked losing our way and not finding the tents. Even the descent was not easy for me, I fell, and slipped down a long section without knowing how to stop, I really thought I was going to die… But luck, or the great mountain's Spirit, led me safely home!
Only now that the expedition has ended do I realize that all the difficulties we tackled have changed me deeply. I have become a new Tamara, more mature and more courageous. A Tamara who knows she made the right choice by giving up on the summit and thanking God for listening to her voice. A Tamara who looked death in the eye and is still alive, who felt the cold but now knows that she can deal with it… A Tamara who is starting to get to know people and who has understood that the right climbing partners and the support of a good team are fundamental in achieving any huge challenge!
Now I know with certainty, that my real home is not…at home, but there, amidst the highest mountains, in solitude and simplicity. Thanks! To all of those who have encouraged me, thought of me, helped and sponsored me. Maybe you don't know this, but you are helping me become, step by step, a person who is happier and more aware.
"Der Lange Weg” in German means “the long road” and this is the title which was given to the memorable traverse of the Alps, from Vienna to Nice, completed by an Austrian team in 1971.
We are an international team who want to follow in their footsteps: it is me, Italian, together with a German athlete, an Austrian, a Spanish, a Swiss and a couple of Americans, just like they did, we will walk about 2000 km, over 85000m of vertical height gain, and all that with the goal of reaching the destination in 35 days, 6 days less than the team in 1971.
We will have many obstacles to overcome, physical effort, and last but not least, the weather conditions. This is the most difficult project I have ever faced.
Quick facts of 1971:
1947 km on foot
85,510 m. vertical height gain
415 hours of walking
48 km ascent per day
2013 vertical meters per day
For me this is a fantastic challenge, and thanks to my Garmin InReach you can experience it with me. Follow me live on: