It would be easy to imagine that after centuries of traverses, treks, and summits there would be no firsts left. For explorers, finding new ground to cross is almost as difficult as the actual crossing. But that's not stopping anyone: Only a month in, this already looks to be a banner year for elite adventurers, who plan to walk the length of a great river, motorcycle in a very large circle, and summit one of the most dangerous mountains on Earth. Here are the expeditions we'll be watching.
Simone Moro's winter ascent of Nanga Parbat
Simone Moro, a 46-year-old Italian climber, is working his way up Pakistan's Nanga Parbat, the ninth-highest mountain in the world. Though he's already been pushed back to his base camp by snow, his dispatches show that he's optimistic about completing the first winter ascent. Aside from temperatures that can plunge to nearly 60 degrees below zero, the expedition comes with an added element of danger: In June 2013, 11 climbers were murdered by local Taliban soldiers. In an interview with 'The Guardian,' Moro gives his attempt a 10 to 15 percent chance of success. On Nanga Parbat, that's pretty solid.
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