Here’s what Nives Meroi dreams of at eight thousand metres: to become a crow like those that came circling round as she and her inseparable companion Romano slowly ascended, counting their paces. Then, all of a sudden, a sort of race developed: an all-female competition at the antipodes of the way she climbs mountains. So she who had grown up near Bergamo before settling down in Friuli, with eleven 8000-metre peaks to her credit, simply stepped aside - with class. In truth, Nives had always been keen on experiencing and exploring her inner self in different contexts, rather than chasing after results. Fond of winter, she wanted to experience it to the core, both in the Julian Alps (first winter ascent of Pilastro Piussi on the Piccolo Mangart di Coritenza, 1987) and in Nepal (winter attempt on Makalu, 2008). In search of the new and never-seen she even ventured up the north faces of K2 and Gasherbrum II – for «the joy of discovery is far from being a pleasure lost forever». All you need is to go round the corner «and you will see the other face of the mountain, the one that’s hidden and forgotten».