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Simone Moro and Tamara Lunger: in the clouds and beyond with Climb and Skillrun

Two famous Italian climbers, Simone Moro and Tamara Lunger, are training with Technogym for a climbing feat that could go down in the history of the sport. Thirty-five years after Reinhold Messner and Hans Kammerlander succeeded in the first Gasherbrum 1 and 2 climbing, Simone and Tamara will try to face in the same way the two fearsome 8.000 mt. Hymalayans in winter, when the weather conditions are much more hostile.
The Gasherbrum is a group of mountains in the Himalayas that includes 4 peaks higher than 8,000 meters, including Gasherbrum 1 and 2.
The two climbers are concluding a process of acclimatization and body adaptation within terraXcube, a hypobaric and hypoxic chamber where the conditions and extreme climates that climbers will find on the Hymalaya are simulated. In this room, Simone and Tamara have spent the last four weeks studying and training for the expedition. Reached with a video call inside the hypobaric chamber, Simone and Tamara told /Newsroom about the period of preparation, a month between scientific research and pioneering training.
This is the first time that this kind of pioneering training research is carried out within such a structure for this kind of climbing. Usually Tamara and Simone would have acclimatized to base camp, where the environmental conditions are naturally more like to those ones at the top. To train in the best environmental conditions the two have performed specific exercises to strengthen the muscles with Exite Climb and have done cardio sessions with Skillrun.
Monitored within the Noi Techpark in Bolzano by the researchers of Eurac Research, the 33-year-old from South Tyrol and the 52-year-old from Bergamo are conducting a real scientific experiment, their adaptation  and their training will be observed the consequences of high altitude on the heart, on respiratory, cognitive and metabolic functions.

Mountaineers' training with Skillrun and Excite Climb

The goal of this month's training is to achieve good acclimatization up to 6400 mt. In this phase, the researchers have brought the chamber up to 8000 m and beyond: the possibility of changing the temperature has allowed them to observe the adaptation of the body to the cold. Simone and Tamara are constantly monitored by the team of scientists with sensors and tests after each session.

Inside terraXcube, Skillrun and Excite Climb help Simone and Tamara to train with short and intense work blocks, where there is no lack of snow and strong wind to complicate the situation.

We try to work on 15-minute sessions for each machine once a day. Skillrun - explains Simone - allows us to work with uphill slopes up to 25%: we work at 3 km/h replicating the ascent conditions.

Climb simulates the steepest sections when climbing, while Skillrun reproduces the mountain walking modes. Thanks to Climb - explains Tamara - it is possible to replicate any kind of difference in altitude. Both machines are at a pressure of 439, 6 mb. now, says Simone.

With Excite Climb we train at the height difference; the altitude is increasing to simulate the effort. At 5500 meters we feel half the oxygen. In those conditions - Tamara tells us - we going to bed tired and wake up even more tired. We repeat both sessions of about 15 minutes once a day.

Training in such weather conditions will provide researchers with useful data to study the consequences of high altitude on the body and help medical-scientific research. At the moment," explains Tamara, "we still don't know the benefit that the body can have by training at that altitude.  Certainly, at those altitudes and with the adverse climate the body is certainly under stress, and the body has to adapt.

Emotions before departure

Simone Moro's models, legends of mountaineering, are Walter Bonatti and Reinhold Messner, but unlike how the undertaking was carried out thirty-five years ago by the South Tyrolean climber, explained Moro to a newspaper in Bergamo, we will try to re-propose this great adventure based on our experience with winter ascents. We will realistically divide the project in two: we will initially attempt the ascent of Gasherbrum I, reached for the first time in winter on 9 March 2012 by Polish mountaineers Adam Bielecki and Janusz Golab (never repeated ascent). The second part will be the ascent of Gasherbrum II starting directly from the pass that separates the two peaks.

I think the emotion is the same as an astronaut leaving for space, it's a mix of tension and excitement. Plus up there it's just the two of us.

Simone and Tamara's undertaking is a leap into the future, an exploration of human limits that also serves science.

It is a way to test the limits of humanity.

Up there it'll just be the two of us. It's gonna take a lot of luck.

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