21 May
McGills Mountains

Mountaineering Moments #26 . . . Oxana Morneva Sherpa 🇷🇺

▶️ On an 8000m expedition you fall into a rhythm and routine during both rotations and the summit push. Many of the groups of Sherpa’s, while working for different logistics providers and operators, still work together and hangout based on family ties and extensive friendships. This means that as an expedition progresses the clients also regularly overlap with each other and an overall spirit of camaraderie builds. Oxana was part of this overlapping human train as we progressively undertook Manaslu in 2018, both of us periodically looking out across the vast Himalayas while sipping warming fluids from our insulated flasks.

Oxana is the first Russian woman to successfully summit Makalu, Kangchenjunga and Lhotse. She is the world record holder for the most female ascents of Manaslu (4x) and Lhotse (2x) and has also summited Cho-Oyu. Oxana lives between Russia and Nepal and is the managing director, with her CEO husband, of a Nepalese based guiding and expedition company.

🏔 Favourite Expedition: I love to remember the expedition to Lhotse 8516 in 2019. It was my honeymoon with Dorchy. We both love high-altitude mountaineering. It was an extremely emotional climb. When we went to the assault (summit push) the icefall had collapsed in 5 places. After very dangerous damaged places, I started to shake, and Dorchy said that I was the best climber, and we kissed passionately for a long time. It was unforgettable! And then after descending from the summit, at the base of the Lhotse face, after climbing the last huge crack, we sat for a long time on the snow, hugging each other tightly. Such moments and emotions experienced in these moments remain in the heart for life.

🏔 Top 2 gear must haves. Boots. I prefer Millet Everest. They are very warm and at the same time very comfortable. I've never damaged my feet with them. Down Suite. The best down gear, again, I'm only talking about my preferences, is produced by Mountain Equipment. Boots and Down Suit are the most important equipment, and we must pay special attention to their choice.

🏔 The hardest lesson: was on K2, Pakistan. Then I fell from a great height, and received a complete rupture of the ligaments of the knee joint. This accident was caused by a chain of events that we, the members of the expedition, did not want to listen to. If I were there now, I would do a lot of things differently. And I also learned a hard lesson, and realized for the rest of my life, how seriously you need to take the terms of the contract with the insurance company. You should always consider the worst situation. Otherwise recovery from a serious injury can turn into a real horror

🏔 Music or audiobooks: depends on situation. During training, climbing, driving or falling asleep at altitude, I definitely prefer music. When I have free time or before going to bed at home, then, of course, audiobooks. I also like to read ordinary books very much. Anything about mountaineering or geography or ethnography

🏔 Sunset or sunrise: of course, sunset. I live a very busy life, even in quarantine. At the end of a very busy day, I love to watch the sunset over the sea. My kitchen windows face the sea. I like to sit with a glass of white wine and just watch the sunset in silence

🏔 1st Mountain Project after COVID 19: I first of all, definitely, want to climb Lhotse 8516 for the third time. But before that, we have an expedition to K2 in June, but I will take part in it as a Base Camp Manager.

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