When Tamara was 15 years old, she saw a picture of Manuela di Centa in an Italian newspaper. She was standing on top of a high mountain, the headline read: Manuela di Centa is the first Italian to reach Mount Everest without oxygen. That’s when Tamara knew that someday, at the right time, she would get her opportunity. She would stand on top of the world’s tallest mountain without oxygen. She was sure of it.
Tamara grew up in South Tyrol as the eldest of three sisters. Tamara’s parents didn’t have a lot of money, but it was enough to provide for the substantial things in life. On the weekends, they drove out with their VW bus, cheering on their father at his bike races. He was her great hero, Tamara was his biggest fan.
From early on, Tamara had demanded everything from her body: as a young girl, she had been discovered by the Italian national team during a ski-tour race. She won medals, stood on the podium over and over again. She suppressed the pain in her knee. The sport made her happy – to a certain extent. “Everybody saw my success, my victories. But nobody saw my pain, my tears and my despair.” Sometimes, Tamara started to cry during training.
Winner Italian Ski Mountaineering Championships 2006 & 2008
Winner Ski Mountaineering World Championships, 2008
Island Peak, 6189 meters, 2009
Lhotse, 8516 meters, 2010
Khan Tengri, 7010 meters, 2011
Muztgah Ata, 7546 Meter, 2012
Pik Lenin, 7134 meters, 2013
Winner Trans Alpine Run, 2014
Only after a long period of therapy did the pain in her knee subside. But Tamara’s career as a ski-tour racer was over.
She had new goals: the extreme mountain climber Simone Moro wanted to take her to Nepal.
Soon the time had come: although Simone Moro had never witnessed Tamara at sports, he trusted her abilities. The professional mountain climber got her equipped, introduced Tamara to the expedition group and traveled with her to the Himalaya.
Once in Nepal, Tamara sat down on a giant rock, her hair dancing in the wind.
“I never had any doubts. I always knew that one day I’d be there – in my dreams.”
And although China had shortly before closed the border in Tibet and Tamara didn’t set a foot on Cho Oyu on her first trip to Nepal, Simone Moro was able to teach her all she needed to know about high mountains on Chukhung Peak (5,555 meters) and Island Peak (6,189 meters).
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