Nives Meroi, Romano Benet and Erri De Luca
at the Pordenone mountain hut
Meroi and Benet are the first mountaineering couple in the world to scale all fourteen eight-thousanders on Earth together. We met them at the Pordenone mountain hut where they were taking part in the cultural meeting ‘Journey in the archipelago of the Dolomites UNESCO mountain huts’. Listen to their account and meet their surprise guest: Erri De Luca!
Meroi and Benet have been scaling mountains together for more than thirty years. They have mastered some of the most challenging routes in the Alps, becoming famous for ventures such as the first winter ascent of Pilastro Piussi on the northern face of Piccolo Mangart of Coritenza and the first winter ascent of Cengia degli Dei on Jof Fuart. Their latest adventure took them up Annapurna, giving Meroi and Benet the title of first couple to have climbed all fourteen 8000ers together.
“You can’t help but be moved by the scenery and energy our mountains convey as you explore them. This is where we began, in the Dolomites, then, a step at a time, we made it to the 8000ers”. Nives Meroi
“Here nature reigns supreme, it sets the rules. We have to approach climbing and nature with humility, we have to listen to the signs and take it slowly. It’s the only way we can get the most out of this activity and stay alive; which is the most important thing of all”. Romano Benet
“This colossal accomplishment is even more amazing when you think of the way they achieved it: with no extra oxygen or high-altitude porters. They accomplished this feat without all the heroism that normally goes with a conquest of this kind”, is how Erri De Luca describes the adventure of this famous couple. The author, who is also a friend of Nives and Romano, took part in an expedition to the Himalayas with Meroi in 2005, which he tells in the book entitled “Sulla traccia di Nives” (Following in Nives’s footprints).
Mariagrazia Santoro, President of the Foundation, concluded: “I can still feel the thrill of Sunday 16 July when hundreds of people met up at the Pordenone refuge, located in the heart of the Dolomiti Friulane, to listen to the poetic account of Nives Meroi and Romano Benet. And what a lovely surprise it was for everyone to meet Erri De Luca, too. You could hear a pin drop as they spoke of their experiences under the Campanile of Val Montanaja. Join us at the next event at the Città di Fiume refuge on Sunday 27 August, with “the magician” Manolo, as we celebrate this great season in the Dolomites.
The “Journey in the archipelago of the Dolomites UNESCO mountain huts” continues and we look forward to seeing you at the Città di Fiume refuge on Sunday 27 August at 11.00 am for the event with Maurizio Zanolla “Manolo”.